My Vote for The Lollipop Chainsaw Contest Goes To Jessica!

This is the last day to vote for the Vote for Your Juliet contest at IGN. My vote goes to Jessica Nigri, a talented (and one of the prettiest) cosplayer out there who’s known for her Pikachu getup. Out of all the contestants out there at IGN, Jessica gets the thumbs up from me because not only she’s got the looks to play as the Lollipop Chainsaw protagonist Juliet Starling but also for her bubbly personality and commitment to the contest. I hope she wins. Jessie really looks like Juliet, doesn’t she?

My Top Five Games of 2011

2011 has been a great year. I was able to play all the games that I wanted to play, which is something I couldn’t accomplish in previous years. However, having said that, most of those “played already” games didn’t make it into the list because they are the ones I don’t think can compete with the ones I haven’t played yet like Uncharted 3, Skyrim, etc.. Yes, I’ve not played those games yet unfortunately. You can check out the full listing here but for now, let’s get started.

5. Dead Rising 2: Off The Record

I love Dead Rising games and this one is no exception. Even though the game is pretty much similar to the original Dead Rising 2 but I still consider it to be fresh and original.

4. Rage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

id Software has done it again. John Carmack and the gang have once again blown me away with this amazing game. Rage has so many cool stuff to offer I feel that there’s more to it than what the back cover had to say. The thought of moving from confined space corridor to an open world concept was a risky move but as Creative Director Tim Willits put it best, “our risks always pay off.” Apart from its glitchy graphics and awfully poor ending, Rage is exquisitely awesome in terms of playing and spectating. I love this game!

3. Dead Space 2

A worthy sequel. I love the fact that Isaac Clarke is now a talking protagonist as oppose to a silent one because it adds a whole new experience when you hear him speak. The psychological thrills really delivers and I can’t think of no other game this year that provides the same level of scares and adrenaline rush like Dead Space 2.

2. Batman: Arkham City 

I love Batman and I love this game. Rocksteady has proven themselves that they are the kings in making solid comic book games and I salute them for the impact it had to me and other comic book fans. Some parts of Arkham City may not be as refreshing as the original and Catwoman’s costume annoys me like hell but this game is overall a force not to be reckoned with.

1. Mortal Kombat

My absolute favorite game of 2011. Everything about Mortal Kombat is beautiful, visceral and mindblowingly superb. I normally don’t favor fighting games but Mortal Kombat is so cool, I just can’t get enough of it. It is such an improvement from its predecessors. The X-ray moves and story mode are definitely the biggest highlight and I simply adore this game very very much. I heart you, Ed Boon!

The Search for the Army Men

Believe it or not, I am actually in the midst of collecting the infamous Army Men games, the series that is known for its decline in quality in newer games. I consider myself to be a fan of Army Men because I just love the whole concept of toys duking it out using plastic weapons and utilizing “real world” items to create WMDs. The series had a a great run in the late 90s but as time went on, the developer 3DO began to make so many Army Men games in just a couple of years that it made it difficult to keep track of them.

This made the quality in each title dramatically butchered due to its rush development. As a result, these new games showcased outdated graphics and controls to the newer consoles. And because of this huge blunder, 3Do filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2002. It’s a real shame that 3DO did such a terrible job with their products because Army Men had the potential to be an awesome series with memorable characters, locales and stories. If only they took their sweet time and produce new titles every two years or so like any game companies would.

So what is left for me to do? Why, collecting them of course. With the help of online stores and game shops, I am determine to find every last one of the Army Men games including their handheld ports and console ports. I decided not to buy the Sold-Out edition of the PC games but the actual retail ones that are either packaged in the old fashioned big boxes or the regular ones. Same goes with the Game Boy games where I want to buy only the ones that are still in their original packaging with manuals included. It’s not going to be easy but it’ll be worth it.

If you have any Army Men games that you would to sell, feel free to notify me. I would gladly remove them from your shelves.

My Resident Evil PC Collection

I’m proud to own the first three Resident Evil games (1, 2 and 3: Nemesis) including 4 and 5- all PC versions. The first trilogy is rare and hard to find but I managed to get them (still in their original packaging) but with an expensive price. However, it was all worth it and I couldn’t be anymore happier. The only problem is playing them. Since 1, 2 and Nemesis were made during the late 90s, making them to work on a latest computer will result to a lot of compatibility problems, especially the first one. Depending on the type of graphics card you have, sometimes the game will work and sometimes it doesn’t.

I had a lot of problem getting the first Resident Evil to work because during the installation process, it asks us to choose which graphics card to use and if you choose to wrong one, it’ll result to a lot of complications such as audio problems, graphic glitches, and show stoppers. I did manage to install the game successfully on my Sony Vaio laptop and I was able to finish the game without any problems but when I tried playing it on my Dell desktop, it doesn’t work.

2 and 3: Nemesis worked well but 2 seems to have problem with the saving system. 4 and 5 of course have no compatibility problems whatsoever since they’re the most recent games to come. Once again, I’m very pleased to own all five Resident Evil games PC version but then I realized one game is missing: Code Veronica X, which is the only canon RE game that was not ported to the PC and it makes you wonder, why not? If they port all the other games to PC, why not Code Veronica X?

If there’s one I wish Capcom would grant me is to port Code: Veronica X to the PC and make a compilation of all six Resident Evil games into one through retail or Steam. And it’s Windows XP compatible. That’ll be awesome. Ok I know, that was two wishes but what the heck?

Where Are You, Rachel?

I admit, video game chicks rock and Rachel from the Ninja Gaiden series is no exception. Rachel is my favorite video game chick with Kasumi and Mai Shiranui being second and third respectively and for good reasons. She’s strong, voluptous, sensitive and simply hot! That being said, a japanese toy company called Kotobukiya made a few Ninja Gaiden figures to complement with the XBOX title way back in 2004 and Rachel was one of them.

I’ve been wanting to own this figure for so long but for some reason, this particular Rachel figure is extremely rare and it only makes a brief appearance on eBay and Amazon. I did find this guy from Japan on eBay the other day who was selling this figure but I declined the purchase because I found it to be quite expensive. I tried bargaining with the guy but he refused. Sadly, the bidding ended a few weeks later and what was left were some unpainted Rachel figures from Thailand. No offense to the Thai people but come on, who the hell wants to second-hand paint job?

If anyone is planning to sell this gorgeous Rachel figure or knows anyone who’s doing the same thing, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I must have it for my collection! The least I can do for now is to watch this cutscene of her from Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. Sigh!

-Phear

My id Software Addiction

Man, once again I’ve been neglecting with my blog updates. Bad. So very bad. Well the truth is I once again have been very busy with work and video games. Yeah it’s a curse and a blessing but let’s not go deep into that.

First of all, I’m currently hooked with the games on my iPhone. Street Fighter IV is surprisingly good. I’m not sure how Capcom is able to squeeze all the contents into one handheld game but whatever the case, it is awesome.

Playing as Ryu and Ken is always the best choice especially if you a Hadouken expert since the 90’s era. It’s a funny experience for me to play the iPhone version because I still haven’t played the console versions. Pretty lame I know. Other iPhone games I’ve been playing are Doom Classic, Doom II RPG, Wolfenstein 3D+ and Wolfenstein RPG. Yup, they are all id Software games. Since last year, I start becoming an avid id geek, reading about John Carmack and his team, learning about the id Tech engines and of course, playing their games. I recently finished playing Prey, a game made by 3D Realms and it uses the id tech 4 engine. It’s the same engine that powers the ever so powerful Doom 3.

I’m a huge fan of the id Tech 4 engine (Also known ad the Doom 3 engine). I just love gooey textures of the creatures, the metallic interiors, the weapon designs and just about everything. I’m sad to learn that the engine didn’t do so well in terms of licencing. id Software has a record of people fully utilizing their game engines starting with the Doom engine, id Tech 1, id Tech 2, followed by id Tech 3 which is also called the Quake III engine. Dozens of video games utilized these id tech engines over the years such as Half-Life, Star Wars: Dark Forces, American McGee’s Alice and more. id Tech 4 on the other hand only have seven games which utilized this engine and Prey is one of them.

I didn’t understand why it was not doing so well but then I realized it was because of competition. The biggest competitor the id Tech 4 has is the Unreal Engine and from what I understand, Unreal is capable of doing more stuff than the Doom 3 engine. Gears of War uses it. Batman: Arkham Asylum uses it. BioShock uses it. A hundred more are using it. It’s a sad turn of event for id Software because they’ve always been known for revolutionizing video game interactivity. But no matter what others think of it, I will always be a supporter of the id Tech 4 engine and I can’t wait for John Carmack to officially release it as open source sometime this year. I really want to harness the power of the engine so that I too can make a kick ass game some day.

The latest Wolfenstein game uses the id Tech 4 engine (Heavily modified) but many critics have complained that the graphics is slightly outdated. I don’t care what they say but the game looks really good in my eyes. I’m planning to play the game on the PC this week. Will write a short summary of my experience in the next blog.

The next game I want to talk about is Daikatana: a controversial game back in the late 90’s and the year 2000. It was created by John Romero, co-founder and programmer at id Software until he was fired from the company in 1996. Long story short, he formed a new company called Ion Storm and claimed to the world that he’s going to make a game that would sell. Alas, he was unable to fulfill that statement. Due to arrogance, poor decisions and ambitious goals, Daikatan turned out to be a huge flop and was panned by the critics. Although it happened ten years ago, people do still talk about its suckiness and it was recently added at GameTrailers’ Countdown as the second most disappointing game of the decade.

I didn’t believe all of that. I thought the media were simply exaggerating and not taking the game seriously. I decided to give the game a try and after only playing a few minutes, I took it all back because yeah, Daikatana really sucks. But why does it suck? That’s what I want to know. After some extensive research on my own, I now know why people dismissed it so much. Here’s a preview of Daikatana, a year before it was released.

As you can see, John Romero and his team got both the press and the public all pumped up with excitement by telling everyone that Daikatana will be a great game thanks to its advanced AI, cool graphics and non-stop action. But when the game finally came out on store shelves, gamers found neither of those promises. The graphics are unimpressive and it looks so dull and depressing, both the enemies and your allies are incredibly dumb who’d do dumbfounded things, and the action level is pretty shallow thanks to its poor level design and pathetic weapons. I know this because I’m literally playing the game right now and it’s appalling to see how awful the game is. But having said that, I’m determined to finish the game until the end to see the final conclusion of Hiro Miyamoto and the gang. Despite the abysmal performance, Daikatana at least has a good story to tell that might make a curious gamer like me to check it out. I could go on explaining more about John Romero and Daikatana but I think you should find out yourself, or I could write it down in my next blog. We’ll see.

The last game I want to talk about is American McGee’s Alice. I just finished playing the game a few days ago after ten years of delay and overall, it was alright. The first part of the game is really exciting but as the game progress, it gets repetitive and you get to the point of wanting the game to end soon. And when it does end, it has the shortest and the most disappointing ending I’ve ever seen in a game recently. Sure, it’s a happy ending but I think it could’ve been better. I wanted to see Alice talk to the Wonderland characters before she departs to the real world but nope, that didn’t happen. Gamers who’ve played this game will know exactly what I mean. Again, it was an ok game. Terrific visuals and music score but the experience not so great. Looking forward to see how Alice 2 follows up.

You can tell that I’m into id games at the moment. I’m even reading the autobiography about the two Johns who changed video games forever. It’s called Masters of Doom by David Kushner. It’s a fantastic read especially if you’re an id freak like me. Highly recommend it

-Phear