Thursday, November 9

The Price of Gaming

Are you ready for the PS3? More importantly, is your wallet?

The Death Star of Gaming, Sony's Playstation 3 is on the horizon- literally just a week away. Online, some gaming shops already have it in their inventory for pre-order. How much is the uber-gaming console? Well, according to, the Japanese version PS3 with a 60GB hard drive can be yours for a paltry 990 dollars. That amounts to about 50,228 pesos. Got that? FIFTY THOUSAND PETOTS.
What else can you buy with 50K? Well, you can probably buy the most expensive PDA phone, like the O2 XDA Exec, or a cheap laptop. You can buy a pretty souped-up Desktop PC with a lot of trimmings like Mega-sound, big monitor, 200+GB HDs, DVD writer drives and a nifty table. Or you can buy an Xbox 360 and several legit games. Or you can live vicariously for a week or two.
Also according to Play Asia, the PS3 20GB version sells for a slightly lesser $899, or Php45,200. Still quite a price. 40+ was the most expensive price I saw for an original Xbox a couple of years ago.

Games for the PS3 at launch, however, are hardly must haves. There will probably be a Ridge Racer title, and the shooter/action title Resistance: Fall of Man. Bigger titles like FFXIII, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Virtua Fighter 5 aren't due out until next year, while some like Tekken 6 are still... shudder... TBA. Not exactly a lineup that will drive me into the game store with my life savings.

Even with the prospects of a happy end of the year, I don't think I'll be getting a PS3 anytime soon. Give me a lower price and next-gen fighters and Solid Snake and I'll bite. But thankfully, that won't be for a while. Still, if anyone has 50K to throw away, I'll be happy to come over and test the unit for you, absolutely for free. Heheh.

Wednesday, November 8

Vengeance Online

Lately, the anime series Girl from Hell or Jigoku Shoujo has started showing on Animax. This supernatural/drama series is based on the overall idea that there is a website which allows the wronged, the bullied and the oppressed to send their tormentors to HELL. The website, which can only be accessed at midnight (and only once by any person) has a very simple interface- all you need to is input the name of the guilty party in the blank space. In a flash, the titular Girl from Hell, Enma Ai, will appear and give the 'client' a small straw doll with a red string wound around its neck. To seal the contract, the client must untie the string. Immediately after, the tormentor will be sent to hell.

Unfortunately, all isn't wine and roses. As Enma Ai says, "Whenever a person is condemned, two graves are dug." That means that while the accused is immediately consigned to Hell, the accuser him/herself will follow as well, once he or she dies. To mark their inevitable fate, a black mark appears on the breast of the person who contracted the services of the Jigoku Shoujo. Better think before you act, I guess.

Animax has been promoting the... well, the hell out of this series, and perhaps the hype was a bit too much as when I finally got to watch an episode or two, I was kinda disappointed. The episodes are all stand-alone stories of some person being wronged and how his or her plight escalates to the point where they can't stands no more... and the only recourse is to contract the services of Enma Ai.
After that, like the Lazer Sword of Voltez V, it's all academic as Enma and her cohorts- which include a young man, a geisha girl and an old geezer- give a little payback by confronting the guilty party with their sins. In the end, Ai takes the condemned person to hell on a boat, and that's that. After a few episodes it all gets kinda repetitious, and I can't say that I am particularly impressed by how the 'punishments' are dished out. The guilty don't seem to ever reach the point where they are overly terrorized or are driven to repent or remorse, which makes the part where they are being confronted kind of empty and hollow- or just unsatisfying. Plus, I don't find it clear- what happens to these people? Do they disappear as if they are physically dragged into Hell? Or do their physical bodies die? The series seems a bit vague on these points.
I have to say as well that some of the situations make me angry more at the ones being tormented, rather than the tormentors. There simply HAS to be other ways to resolve some of these problems, without condemning yourself to a hellish afterlife, right?

It doesn't help either that the viewings of GFH have so far been with Animax's less-than-excellent english dubs (ah, Animax and their vast complement of five voices). The stories are very Japanese and perhaps would benefit from more authentic vocal performances.

Still, lovers of drama anime (dranime?) will probably get absorbed in the masochistic pleasure of watching poor saps get hammered before lashing out in revenge with supernatural aid. The series already has proven popular enough for a Second Season, as well as a live-action series. For me, this kind of vengeance doesn't really cut it. I'll hire Golgo 13 over Enma Ai any day of the week. Beats going to Hell, I think.

Tuesday, November 7

Fighting Fire with Fire

If you've been reading my blog for the past couple of months, you'll probably remember me posting some videos showing off the awesome elemental action from Avatar. Well, I've already posted for earth and water... here's a video showing off Firebenders in action. The video is from the Season 1 episode, "The Southern Air Temple", and has the show's anti-hero Prince Zuko squaring off with Season 1's eventual main baddie, Admiral Zhao. Many Avatar fans consider this fight one of the best in the whole series. Don't try this at home, kids.
Chit Chat

Thanks to our one-and-only Webmistress, Cynthia, the DEAD tagboard has finally been removed and replaced with a nice little Chatterbox for short messages and notes. Thanks, Cyn! But of course, as always, any SPAMMING or TROLLING is prohibited and will be deleted on sight. So keep your chatter nice, people!