Saturday, December 3

Dead or Alive Finale

The first Xbox 360 brawler, Dead or Alive 4, has been delayed for a while in both Japan and the US. Initially seen as a launch title for Microsoft's super console, the game will be lucky to see release in 2005, given how much of a perfectionist DOA creator Tomonobu Itagaki is. I'm hoping the delay results in more costumes, better gameplay and tons of extras to enjoy this, the latest DOA fighter. And probably the LAST Dead or Alive fighter too, if the words of Itagaki in several articles online are to be believed.
Apparently, Mr. Itagaki decided that with DOA4, he has accomplished pretty much all that he can do with the title; he has all but confirmed that DOA4 will be the final DOA fighting game, citing that the Dead or Alive story ends with the fourth game.

In DOA4, after the last tournament where ninja Ayane defeats Genra, her former master-turned near invincible killing machine, the ninja foursome of Ayane, Hayate, Ryu Hayabusa and Kasumi lay siege to DOATEC to once and for all put an end to the sinister corporation's cloning and weapons experiments. The game's main character, Helena Douglas, can only be unlocked for play after beating the game with everyone else, and her lengthy CG ending movie will be the climax of the entire Dead or Alive saga, perhaps at least as far as the storyline with the evil DOATEC Corporation is concerned.

So there's nothing more to be done to improve DOA? Now, Tekken and Virtua Fighter are already onto their 5th and 6th installments, so that's a bit of huey for me. It's a bit of arrogance from an obviously arrogant man- yeah, I dislike a lot about Itagaki, but I love his games to no end. All I can hope is that the demand for more DOA fighting action will eventually move Tecmo to go for another Dead or Alive brawler in the future.

For now though, DOA4 looks to be IT, so I hope all this last-minute tweaking results in the best game in the series... and at least a couple of bikini outfits too. Heh. No Xbox 360s yet in sight anywhere locally, but we'll see about getting our graspy hands on one AND a copy of DOA4 as soon as we can.

Friday, December 2

Making Headlines

If you have time, get yourself a copy of the Manila Bulletin today and turn to the "i" supplement.

There's a loooong article about local comic book creators, from main man Arnold Arre (Myth Class) to Wasted's Gerry Alanguilan, Oliver Pulumbarit (Lexy, Nance and Argus) and more. Oh, and I'm there as well! It's a really detailed, in-depth and insightful article by cool writer/reporter Yonina Chan. Thanks, Yonina!

Thursday, December 1


Yesterday, while walking around Cyber Zone in Megamall, I looked through the windows of various shops. Apparently there's a bit of a multimedia craze right now, probably sparked by the arrival of the video-capable iPod. There are now lots of tiny MP3 players with video also available. These range from teeny-tiny doo-hickies with thumbnail-size screens to gadgets that look like keypad-less Nokia cellphones that play music and MP4 video. Cheap compared to iPods, Pocket PCs or high-end Mobiles, they're the way to go if you have a budget but want to join the multimedia-enabled crowd.

I have to admit I got enamoured in some of the devices, but thankfully I need only remind myself that I already have a multimedia device. What makes my O2 Mini so cool is that it's also a PHONE, so I bring it along as a matter of course. I'm not the type of person who carries around extra gadgets, since I like to travel fast and light. So a stand-alone device such as a PSP or an iPod really isn't my bag.

So it got me thinking... a device I'd probably go for would be something like a multimedia-enabled wristwatch (gives a new meaning to the word 'watch). I know there have been some forays into this, but there hasn't been really anything seriously made in this manner from any of the big mobile names. A good media or smart wristwatch would be able to tell time and sound alarms, and have stopwatch functions and a calendar. The LCD screen would be big enough for video showing, and would be customizeable so you can change the face of your watch at will (you can also choose whether you want a digital watch or a clock complete with hour and minute hands). Miniature hard drives would be cool, but realistically such a device would probably have limited memory for MP3 and MP4 video loadings (via USB). Of course, watching vids, playing games or music would be power-consuming, so there may need to be a separate battery for the clock function so you're not left up the creek without a way to tell time if you play one too many viewings of the latest Scandal video.

Still, the inherent danger of such a device is the way it's always visible. Such a gizmo would no doubt attract thieves and that is a BIG no-no. Oh well. Maybe a good, plain design can be implemented so the Smart Watch would be chic but not too attractive. Ah, the price we pay for coolness.

It's a dream, of course, for now. But who knows... maybe some Mobile R&D guy is out there, reading this blog right now and getting an idea. Just send me a sample of your gadget when it becomes reality, my good man, and I'll be satisfied. Heh.

Wednesday, November 30

When in Rome...

Bloody historical epic.

If you're my age, you'd probably remember watching Saturday Fun Machine cartoons. Included in this banquet of animated fare was the Hanna-Barbera series Roman Holidays. It was basically a throw-away, lackluster clone of the more well-known Flintstones or Jetsons series, albeit set in Ancient Rome. Of course, the real Rome of antiquity didn't have a happy home life like that of white-picket fence America, with every family owning a family chariot, a clean home with the distinct Roman pillars and a wardrobe of immaculate white togas.

Nope... life in historical Ancient Rome was dirty, smelly, brutal and bloody. There was political unrest, courtesy of the conflict between two great men- Gaius Julius Caesar and Gaius Pompeii Magnus, each commanding legions of soldiers and ranks of politicians. There was class warfare, between the common plebes and the nobility. There's sex, violence, blood and death aplenty whether it's on a road or a street or a battlefield. This is the Rome as depicted by HBO's new and gritty mini-series, and I'm hooked.
I've always been intrigued with HBO's features, such as Band of Brothers, though I've passed on stuff like Carnivale and Deadwood. HBO's Rome serves you raw, bloody sex and violence on a steaming platter with all the trimmings- crucifixions, baths in ox blood, pagan worship, big battles, bad-ass legionaires, conspiracies and political intrigue laced with poison and bloody blades. This is a Rome where family members order executions as easily as dinner (this IS Ancient Rome, where eventually the Mafia and the Cosa Nostra originate, after all), where you truly have to keep on hand free to shake hands with friends, and the other armed with a sword to keep enemies at bay. It's a terrifying time... I certainly wouldn't want to live in this era, not even if I was a noble or a wealthy merchant. But it's a great place to visit and watch.

It's epic yet base, sweeping yet very personal, as seen through both the eyes of powerful historical figures and commoners. The 'heroes' of the series, rowdy womanizing and worldly legionaire Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson) and the hard-principled, morose centurion Lucius Veronus (Kevin McKidd) are great protagonists; such polar opposites that they blend perfectly together to bring humanity and humor in a very harsh and brutal time. Seeing their fortunes rise and fall with the Empire they help or hinder to build makes for an absorbing watch.

I'm definitely getting this on DVD when it becomes available. Now THIS is Roman Drama. Heh. Catch a new episode of Rome's 12 part first season (and supposedly it's already been signed on for a 2nd Season) every Tuesday on HBO.

I've been a bit free these past couple of weeks... I finished Project Hero but then I guess I got a bit sidetracked which resulted in a bit of a delay for Kunoichi Boy#1 to be released in Comic Quest. I just need to fill in some blanks and take the time to produce a batch of copies so the issue can be released at CQ branches. I'll try to do it by the weekend.

Aside from that, I'm already thinking up Angel Ace book that's supposed to come out next year. Finalizing stuff and getting ready to make this a BANG of a release. Still, I'm actually thinking of delaying the 'Last' story and instead coming out instead with an Angel Ace vs K.I.A. crossover comic. I feel that I just have to get past this hurdle before going to the endgame. Not sure yet how to go about this, but I'll figure something out.

Just goes to show how liquid everything is when you don't set it in stone. Oh well. We'll see where this goes...

Tuesday, November 29

Proudly Filipino-Made

Dean already posted this in his blog, so I'll follow suit.

There will be a triple book launch on Dec 10, 6:30PM, at Fully Booked Greenhills. On offer will be stuff our group has been working on for the past couple of years or so. There's the illustrated full-color anthology Siglo: Passion, the Just-For-Fun Superhero comic collection Project: Hero and Dean's baby- Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 1. Please feel free to come and join the giddy glee of launch day with us. It'll be a BLAST!