Thursday, May 11


Justice Alex Ross Series 3 Figures.

Yesterday, while getting my comics for the week, I noticed that also in this week were the newest action figures in the Alex Ross Justice line. I've been eyeing this particular wave for some time thanks to the really nice female figures of Poison Ivy (at her non-veggy) and Wonder Woman, but unfortunately they weren't selling Ivy as a single. So I eventually ended up getting the whole kit and caboodle. So now I've got Green Lantern, Plastic Man and The Joker as well as the two DC babes. Well, I'm happy since Alex Ross' Nicholson-esque Joker is just awesome, and the GL and PM figs aren't bad either. The detail on these toys is pretty awesome. I can't wait to get them out of their boxes and up on top of my display space in The Sanctum. Lovely, lovely.

Wednesday, May 10

The Future of Gaming

Thanks to the Power of the PS3, Raiden finally becomes cool.

I've been on the PC like crazy at home, revelling in the speed of DSL (finally it seems to have settled well) and downloading gobs of stuff as if there was no tomorrow. I've discovered the magic of Bittorrent downloading, and it's incredible... it's like going on a treasure hunt. Of course, this pretty much means I haven't turned off my PC in, like, two days, but it looks to be worth it.

Anyway, I've also gotten into the nitty-gritty of this year's E3 Entertainment Expo 2006, the yearly event in the US where the gaming giants show off their best and latest. Sony of course showed off their upcoming Playstation 3 and finally gave concrete details. The console will make its worldwide debut this November. Like the Xbox360 before it, the PS3 will come with a Hard Drive and will retail at about $499 for the regular set, while a more deluxe version will be priced at $599. WHOA. I bet the damn thing will be grossly overpriced when it finally appears here- the Xbox360 went as high as 100k here (a ridiculous price from some shipper). But something like the PS3 will eventually be mainstream and commonplace, as was it's earlier version the PS2.

This early, the reasons to get a PS3 are flying fast and furious. There's of course the next generation of Final Fantasy games, headlined by Final Fantasy XIII, which seems to feature a kick-ass female protagonist (think Yuna in FFX2 but more bad-ass and armed with a short sword and pistol combo). Another title is Final Fantasy VS XIII which I believe may be a fighting game or action-oriented title. The graphics shown are pretty slick and there seem to be even realtime gameplay elements shown.

Then there are the fighting games: Virtua Fighter 5, which is still slated to come out soon in arcades, will be a PS3 Exclusive. So far, the graphics of the PS3 port seem at par with the arcade counterpart. The game of course will feature all the combatants from the arcade, including two newcomers (Eileen the cute monkey-style fighter and Rey Mysterio-lookalike El Blaze). The game will feature extensive customization features and items to trick out your fighter.

Tekken 6 debuted as well with a VERY short teaser clip showing Jin Kazama fighting it out with Lili, the blonde-haired heiress who first appeared in Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection. The graphics were very detailed but not up to par with the ultra-realistic look first teased at months ago... looks like Namco has scaled down their target somewhat. Anyhoo, the clip ends right before Jin lays the smackdown on Lili when TKD thug Hwoarang suddenly bursts onto the scene on his motorcycle. Looks slick, and I can't wait to see next-gen versions of Nina Williams and Asuka Kazama- here's hoping Character Creation or at least deeper customization features makes their way into the game.

And of course, the BIG gun of the PS3 is none other than Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The latest game from Hideo Kojima features a now-aged and rapidly weakening Solid Snake, now known apparenlty as Old Snake. Details of the story are still kinda sketchy, but basically involves Snake's last mission before he croaks (from old age?). While Snake looks like an oldie, the same cannot be said for the rest of the cast- most of whom are returning faces from previous MGS games. It seems that Snake's condition may be an effect of the FOXDIE virus from the first game, or a result of his being a clone of Big Boss.
Returning characters include Roy Campbell, or 'The Colonel', who seems to be the one convincing Snake to go on one more mission. There's a haggard Naomi Hunter, a more formidable-looking Meryl Silverburgh (who is apparently part of a 'new' FOXHOUND unit) and a 70's style Liquid Ocelot (who seems to be old Revolver Ocelot now taken over by Liquid Snake's grafted arm). Oh, and there's pretty boy Raiden who's now decked out in the cyborg ninja outfit complete with slice-and-dice sword. Can you say... awesome?

The new E3 trailer is pretty dramatic, and has comments about how war becomes routine and antiseptic when every aspect of it- every element of a soldier's capabilities and factors throughout the battlefield- becomes controlled. Snake, an old soldier of countless wars, laments this development, and ends the feature video saying that he has 'one more punishment to endure'. At which point he loads a single bullet into his pistol and aims in into his own mouth.


The trailer as a whole has a sad, melancholy feel- kinda like the autumn flavor of Godfather III... will this truly be the end of Snake? We're gonna have to just dig into our foxholes... it's gonna be a while.

It's gonna be a loooooooooooooooong wait till November. Darn.

Gotta start saving those quarters, people.

Sigh. So many games, so little space in my little Sanctum. Oh well. I could always get rid of the bed. Heh.

Tuesday, May 9

A Date with the DOA Girls

Ryu Hayabusa (Kane Kosugi) grips his ball while a bikini-clad Kasumi (Devon Aoki) looks on. Mm.

Ever since word of the Dead or Alive movie was sent out, reactions to the upcoming fighting game translation tot he big screen has been less than enthusiastic. Over at pretty much every DOA forum or message board, the feeling is almost universal that the movie will suck. I beg to differ. First of all, the DOA storyline really isn't a big deal... it's about ninja and various martial artists fighting for a big prize at the end of a tournament being held by the less-than-benign DOATEC Corporation... nothing really groundbreaking since this is pretty much the storyline for every fighting game from the dawn of man.

DOA is actually two game-to-movie translations in one, thanks to the DOAX vollyeball segment.

Not surprising given the fact that DOA's popularity rests almost solely on the assets of it's female characters, the movie as well will apparently be all about the ladies. Early word is that the story centers on the character of Christie (Australian actress Holly Valance), a sexy blonde bounty hunter who's after the head of the Tournament managing committee and probably the movie's main baddie, Donovan, played by Eric Roberts. This is a bit of a surprise for gamers since in the game, Christie was an assassin working for Donovan, and she was a pretty nasty piece of work.

Looking good.

Thankfully, the game will also focus on other DOA heroines- notably Kasumi(played by Sin City's Miho, Devon Aoki), the renegade ninja girl who has been the main DOA character for most of the games. Gunning for Kasumi as she does in the games is her purple-haired half-sister Ayane, played by the lovely Natassia Malthe, last seen locking lips with Jennifer Garner in the tragic Elektra movie. Then there's Tina Armstrong, a pro-wrestler with dreams of stardom played by sultry Jaime Pressley (I wonder if director Corey Yuen was staking out the Sin City set to cast his film) and finally Helena, an opera singer and martial artist played by Sarah Carter.

Kasumi shows off some of her ninja techniques.

Of course, there's the obligatory 'girl gets attacked while coming out of the bath' scene.

Fans of the game can look forward to seeing other DOA fighters like Ninja Gaiden's Ryu Hayabusa (Kane Kosugi), Hayate, Gen Fu, Bass and others in supporting roles. Noticeably missing so far are fan favorite Chinese femme fatale Leifang and karate kid Hitomi.

Outwardly, the film looks to be a cross between the past Charlie's Angels movies, Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon and Game of Death, with bits of Kill Bill and American Ninja thrown in. Conceivably, it could actually be pretty cool.

Zack (Brian J. White) and Tina (Jaime Pressley) continue their non-existent relationship.

Anyway, the girls are gorgeous. The fighting looks decent, and there looks to be a lot of it. All I want is to see the lovely cast kick butt (or get their butts kicked) spectacularly, and for the movie to have a sense of humor but still remain reasonably faithful to the material. So far, the film looks fun. I'll be giving it the benefit of the doubt and declare that I am excited to see this flick. But hey, I was excited about the Street Fighter movie too years ago. Sigh.

Dead or Alive the Movie is set for an August 25 release.