Saturday, December 11


Last night, Jason brought his copy of The Return of the King Extended DVD Set, which he got from a local dvd dealer. Thanks to the big demand for the set, Vin's supplier messed up and I've had to go elsewhere for my own set. I'll hopefully be getting mine on Sunday.
Anyway, last night we were able to watch several featurettes. As before in the two previous Extended Version sets, the usual cast of producers, designers and cast members narrate the development of the film. This one though has an air of saying farewell, or finality and moving on. It's sad, but gloriously so. I can't wait for Sunday.

Friday, December 10

Tekken 5 in the Home

Take Christie Montiero (and the rest of the Tekken crew) home with you in 2005.

The PS2 version of Tekken 5 will be arriving in early to mid-2005, according to Namco. The development team is shooting for an almost perfect conversion, and this should be possible given that the arcade version is powered by little more than slightly enhanced PS2 hardware.
Aside from arcade-perfect gameplay and graphics, the home version will feature new modes of play including a totally new side-game (ala Tekken Bowl in the past), a simplified custom mode where you can outfit your fighter with various duds and accessories, and a story mode oozing with CG movies. In fact, Tekken 5 will have the most CG cinematics of any Tekken game ever, according to the Namco representative. Each character will have a CG ending to tell his or her part in the continuing Iron Fist saga.
Several time-release characters have already been revealed in the arcade versions- Anna Williams, the sister of blonde bombshell Nina, taekwondo expert Baek Doo-San (who was feared dead prior to Tekken Tag Tournament), and Roger the kangaroo.
Holy Smoke!

There's a HUGE billowing cloud of smoke rising in the distance, easily visible from our office along Ayala Avenue in Makati. Speculations on what is burning range from a building being constructed, and a squatter area. Anyway, we haven't heard any sirens so the firemen must be taking a nap right now as Rome burns. Oh well.

Thursday, December 9

Rut Busting

One of the directions I am considering for my new comic project is an Asian Horror-Suspense title. I've never done anything in comics even vaguely resembling horror... not even a Halloween special for Angel Ace. Some would say that K.C. Strange with Nikki Alfar or Crystal with Jason Banico would count, but these are more action titles.

A horror title would require that the main character be unprepared souls being drawn or snared by a mysterious supernatural force. No special fighting skills, no enemies to battle, no heroics or certainty that it will all end well.

This would be pretty interesting to do, and horror titles are just so 'in' right now, given the hordes of both local and foreign horror movies lurking into theaters, and the runaway success of even shows like Nginiig: The Hidden Files.

Darn this is something totally new to me. How I'll go about it is still unsure at this point. Maybe I'll listen to some of my dreams. Whatever. I'll try to start looking in the darkness and see if something answers.

Left Field

One of my officemates got herself a Nokia N-Gage QD recently. Actually, she started off buying one as a gift for someone else, then suddenly found herself totally crazy over the Finnish gaming phone. So now, she's installing games and apps up the wazoo, and having fun. This from a person who previously owned very business-like phone models. It's great to be able to let go and do unexpected every now and then. Like me wearing boots suddenly one day. Or having green hair. Or eating veggies. Right...

Hmm. Boots... Mmmm...

I had to wake up extra-early today, thanks to a 9 AM appointment at work. Took a cold shower, hied off to the MRT and Cubao. On my way to the EDSA MRT, I decided I had time for breakfast at the nearby Dunkin' Donuts. Aside from myself, there was only one other customer at the counter. There were three DD personnel manning the place. There were no other people at the place at the time.
The counter-monkey attending the lady before me was taking a looooooooong time. This lady customer herself was asking for everything as well. They were taking their time. All this while, the other DD personnel were doing something else in the back room. I started thumping my fingers on the counter.

Still, the customer and the counter monkey continued their rambling. How long does it take to order coffee and a muffin?

After some minutes of thumping my fingers and looking expectantly at the other DD crew without response, I pulled up a chair from the nearby table and sat.

STILL the counter monkey and the customer weren't finished. From the time I entered to the time I pulled up a chair, it was four minutes.

One of the Dunkin Donuts crew came out finally from the back room and started polishing the tables, never mind that I was there waiting and not being attended. Five Minutes.

I snapped.

In the calmest voice I could manage, I spoke to the second crewperson, asking if it was standard procedure to have only ONE person handling the counter when there are other customers waiting. She looked at me blankly, not knowing what to do. I had to spell it out for her. SERVE ME, WENCH!!! Well, actually I didn't say that, I just motioned for her to go to the counter and get my order. VERY calmly. Finally, she jotted down my order and got to fixing up my stuff.

STILL the other counter monkey and the other customer weren't finished. After I finished giving my order, it was only then that the other customer left with her muffin and coffee. SEVEN MINUTES to order FUCKING COFFEE AND A MUFFIN. The counter monkey finally takes my money.

This early and I'm crabby. Well, I had a horrible ride on the MRT to deal with right after. The early morning MRT crowd was present in legion, with solid walls of enemy humans waiting for trains to arrive. Even before you get on board you are squeezed into a tight mass with sweaty, smelly Others. Three trains pass by, and none of us can get in. There's space in the last two, but the people standing by the train doors won't budge- it's a greed thing, really. By the time the fourth train comes by, the waiting crowd had enough. There was easily space in the cars, but AGAIN the sentinels at the doors don't budge. The waiting throng surges forward, totally pushing forward and forcing the way into the car. I spend the first half of the ride standing in the middle of the train, hands at my sides. I don't need to hang onto the safety rails- I am squeezed in so tight I couldn't move, much less fall over even if I wanted to. Just huddled in tight as cheese with smelly, sweaty masses. Gah.

It's times like these that make me hate early morning commutes. Someday I hope to have a car to go to work everyday. But I guess I have to get a driver to do the work for me. If I get this crabby just commuting, imagine my road rage if I get behind a steering wheel.


Wednesday, December 8

War in the Pocket

I've been able to acquire a CD with tons of apps and games for my O2 XDA II Pocket PC Phone. Of course, my favorite is the full version of Age of Empires, which lets me go midieval on enemy kingdoms arses. Having such a classic and brilliant RTS game playable anywhere I go is simply mind-blowing, though I have to admit that playing it for prolonged periods of time would drain my battery pretty fast. Other games include the classic Battleship, Ms. Pac Man, Seven Seas and a simple but cool stylus-powered game called Reckless Thief- basically you just guide a dot through a maze while avoiding touching the walls or any of the moving obstacles. It's cool and strangely addictive to make it throught the maze in the given time limit, and it's great stylus training. Heh.

On the multimedia front, I've fallen in love with Pocket TV, a PPC app that lets you play MPEGs on your PDA. I've been so used to seeing the reduced-frame run of Smartmovie, that the clearer, more fluid movement of actual MPEGs totally blew me away. The only problem is that MPEGs are a lot bigger in size than Smartmovie AVIs, so a full movie would probably take up a huge chunk of even my gigabyte storage space. As it is, I've decided to retain full movies and episodes in Smartmovie, while special clips and shorts that I want to see in quality will be reserved for Pocket TV viewing.

So far I've gotten used to using the XDA II quite well, and so far I'm in bliss with it. Yep, three weeks almost and no temptations yet. Looks like the PDA Phone is it for me. Hope, hope.

Tuesday, December 7

Greater Evil

Leon takes out a cellphone thief with an appropriate level of force.

Capcom gives you another reason to pick up a Gamecube with Resident Evil 4.

Of all the consoles of the current generation, the Nintendo Gamecube is the only one I don't have. This is pretty much since I don't really like the 'kiddy' and 'cutesy' flavor of most of the Big N's franchises, such as Mario, Zelda and so forth. They don't even have great fighting games on the roster! The only games that I like on the GC are the few mature titles, often being creepy games such as Eternal Darkness.
Well, THE creepy game of them all, Resident Evil, will be coming out soon on the Cube with the latest chapter, Resident Evil 4. The game looks incredible, with really detailed character models, and apparently some fairly considerable leaps in gameplay and story.

RE4 stars Leon Kennedy, the former cop from Raccoon City-turned Special Agent. From what has been revealed, it seems that Leon has put the past behind him- the T-Virus, Umbrella, Raccoon City and zombies... all of this plays absolutely no part in this game and story (well, actually not totally no part- a certain female agent from Leon's past just may be appearing in the game as well). Leon has arrived in the mysterious European village of Pueblo to find and rescue the President's missing daughter. But of course, we all know that nothing will be simple or straightforward.

Soon after arriving in Pueblo, Leon finds that the villagers are not ordinary country folk... in fact, they're downright homicidal, burning his companions on a stake, and then later coming after Leon himself in frenzied, scythe and hatchet-wielding mobs. Leon has to use everything in his arsenal and skills to survive this rural nightmare. According to Capcom, these villagers are NOT zombies... but we think that they're not totally human either. Anyway, even being Un-Undead doesn't keep these hicks from getting blown away with Leon's available firepower, making for some pretty gruesome shootouts (clearly, this is going to be an M-rated game).
Resident Evil 4's gameplay now includes the ability to target specific parts of the body- arms, legs, body, head- and doing so will have various effects on your enemies. Enemies also sometimes drop items, or even money which you can use to purchase ammo and new guns from a mysterious merchant. The various menus, including the item menus, have been modified. In fact, it looks a lot like in Diablo's, where you have to manage your items to fit in an inventory with finite space. Pretty cool.

While RE4 really looks great, I have to say that there's pretty much no way that I am buying a Gamecube just for it. I hope that the rumors of PS2 and Xbox ports of the latest RE games is true... I'm bored with mowing down guards and commandos with guns. Wanna try the firepower on some townspeople for a change. Heh. Resident Evil 4 for the Gamecube will hit stores in early 2005.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

I learned yesterday that a friend of mine lost her brand-new cellphone to a thief over the weekend. This pisses me off to no end, since she really liked and deserved the upgrade. The theft occured right in Megamall, which is really not surprising since our malls are fairly crawling with these bastards (another friend of mine had his phone stolen right from the counter in front of him by thieves who posed as customers).

We're not safe anywhere; not really in our own homes, yet doubly more so wherever strangers and outsiders have access. The nicer our gadgets and toys get, the more expensive they become. And so, it's inescapable that we have to be a lot more vigilant. It's better to be a paranoid than to be a victim, that's what I say.

I really wish though that this event does not make my friend fearful of upgrading or getting good phones in the future. It's bad enough that you get victimized and lose a great gadget. For you to become traumatized and then make do with lesser stuff for fear of getting victimized again is adding insult to injury. Had a nice phone stolen? Get a nicer one. Just be a lot more careful next time though.
We should never let these blasted criminals make us change our ways because of them. We work hard to earn the things we want, so we should be able to enjoy them. We just have to be aware that in this day and age, extra-care is needed for us to keep our valuables out of scummy hands.

FUCK all these thieves. If I had my way, I'd bash their heads in with a gold baseball bat. All of them. The whole filthy lot. BAH.

I have to admit it, I've been stuck in one for some time now. I have to deal with these things every now and then, so it's really not a big deal. In terms of comics, I've been mainly just buying and not creating for quite some time now- K.I.A. is in a bit of production limbo, as I wait for the last few pages to be sent in, and then trouble over production. Whatever happens, the Kai anthology special is a go for 2005, but I really have to do something else. I haven't really drawn stuff in months. Over the weekend I worked on a nice little racket, which involved drawing a bunch of characters, and it really amazed me at how my hands have degraded thanks to inaction. I NEED to start drawing again, start thinking and creating. Inactivity is death for creativity, so I have to get busy.

Last night, I sat down and got a piece of paper, and set down the startings of a page. I stared at it for awhile and nothing happened. No, it won't be as easy as that. I've already got tons of pencilled pages just waiting to be actualized- in particular, a whole issue of Angel Ace. That will have its due time, like K.I.A. But apart from my bread-and-butter projects, I think I need something totally new to challenge my neurons and photons.

So I got to thinking about something new. Something totally unlike anything I've done yet. Well, probably not entirely new- it will still probably have a sexy female lead or two... but we'll see what happens as I think up something. Heeeey. I guess watching Paranoia Agent may have knocked something loose in the ol' noodle. Let's see what happens.
Coming Very Soon

Stretching your way before Christmas.

Powerbooks, Greenbelt 4, 4PM on December 14. Written by Gerry Alanguilan, with art by Arnold Arre and Edgar Tadeo. Scuttlebutt has been saying that the Lastikman pages are among Arnold's best ever. Can't wait to see it. Let's all meet there when it happens. Or at least get a copy of this obra when it comes out.