Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: etc, etc, etc

In a sentence, imagine Street Fighter II with slightly nicer graphics and hyper combos.

In more than a sentence, why is it that Capcom’s fighting games are allowed to be so lazy and yet get relatively good reviews? Street Fighter IV, Marvel vs Capcom 3 and the 1.1 versions of both of those. Shallow and lazy. Particularly the versus series. Great potential for some kind of interesting story mode reduced to a handful of cool cutscenes.

So. What do you get in Tats vs Caps? Not a lot. Punch people in the head on seven stages in Arcade Mode. Punch people in the ahead against the clock in survival mode and punch as many people in the head before your life runs out in Survival Mode.… While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not gaming.

My First Import

As much as I love this hobby, the truth is I have never bought import games before. I’ve been given one (as seen in picture), and played quite a few, but never did I lay out my own cash. The main problem was finding a way to play them. I just didn’t want to spend extra money for a Japanese console/fliptop/Freeloader disc in addition to premium price for the game itself. As for the Dreamcast, I didn’t realize its import friendliness until it was too late. It hasn’t been much of a hindrance, as localizations for worthy games have become more common (even for fighters).

This weekend I finally brought home my first import game, Salamander Portable.… Welcome to read zone!

Quick Impressions – The World Ends with You

I’ve put around five hours into The World Ends with You and besides the “I cut myself to see if I can still feel pain” emo moniker I am very pleased. The battle system makes use of both DS screens simultaneously and though movement of your character via stylus is sort of spotty, everything ultimately works together nicely. The music is absurd Japanese pop that’s both infectious and terrible and the graphics are very stylized – this is one of the few DS games that has a AAA presentation and Squeenix deserves praise for actually trying. Of course the game flopped in Japan and will likely follow suit worldwide, so their effort will be entirely unrewarded and they will realize what a huge mistake taking a chance was.… They’re reading her… and then they’re going to read me!

Review – Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney

After finishing last year’s stellar Trials and Tribulations, and damn near falling out of my chair during that final case, I immediately went online and pre-ordered the next installment of the Ace Attorney series, titled Apollo Justice. And as I did this, I realized how lucky we all are to get another lawyer adventure game so soon after the last one. It took Capcom no more than four months to give us a new sequel, which is quite possibly a miracle in the video game world.

But wait? Who the hell is Apollo Justice? Does this mean no more Phoenix Wright? No more Edgeworth? And more importantly, no more Dick Gumshoe?… Call me game-shmael.

Review – God of War: Chains of Olympus

Reviewing God of War: Chains of Olympus can be done in either a paragraph or several pages. Actually, describing the game can be done in one hearty breath, though its existence makes for a longer and frustrating commentary on the industry.

Let us get the first part out of the way; Chains of Olympus is developer Ready at Dawn’s attempt to bring the full God of War experience to the PSP. In this goal they have succeeded; the game looks and plays so closely to the PS2 originals that Chains (almost) sits right up there with them in terms of quality. It really is amazing to think that this game is being played on a handheld.… Lame is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

Metal Gear Solid: The Settle Collection

As the PS2 winds down, it has become quite popular to release cheap three game collections for it. Until now, the best one out there was the Devil May Cry pack, but now it has been usurped by Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection. With the first three MGS games for $30, this is the perfect way for MGS newbies to experience the series before it signs off with its fourth and final entry. Whether it is worth it for long time fans is a tougher question to answer, as this package is shy from perfect.

The content is the toughest question. Metal Gear Solid comes in a nice DVD case, but is the original Playstation pressing, meaning you will need a PS1 memory card.… I only ask one thing. Don’t read in my way.

Echochrome Demo impressions

Thanks to their simple file format, getting Japan only PSP demos is a snap. Thank goodness, because that means you can play the three level demo of Echochrome without hassle.

EXCITING!

The experience is quite interesting, but I am not completely sold. The stylings are nice and simple – an absolute bare minimal interface, simple levels and constantly looping string music make this the closest thing to therapeutic gaming. Despite the Japanese text, the controls are easy to learn; you can make your stick figure avatar either move faster along the terrain, or stop to “think”, giving you time to do the same. The D-pad of course allows you to rotate the world, which is the mechanic used to solve all the puzzles.… 18 Wheeler American Pro Reader

Better Late Than Never — Tyson Reviews the Xbox 360

I showed up a couple of years late to the party that has been the Xbox 360. Thanks to my cheapness and the joys of region encoding, I held off getting Microsoft’s newest system while I was in Japan, vowing to grab one mere minutes upon my return to the United States. Over the past two years I have had bouts of jealousy, smug satisfaction, and concern as I watched the trials and tribulations of the Xbox 360 owner. From red rings of death to the release of Halo 3, I have quietly observed from the sidelines and bided my time. Well, that time has come. Holding true to my promise, I picked up a 360 Elite two days after landing in the US and since then I have been sampling the many facets of the console.… [put on your VR headset now]

Review – No More Heroes

No More Heroes looks to be another feel good indie hit, which means it will be used as fodder in a growing debate in the entertainment world. These days, a surefire way of garnering critical acclaim and a small but fanatical following is to produce something that appears to have hipster/geek chic and indie cred. Do this, and watch people fawn over how “charming” your work is, while still containing a powerful message about something. Go far enough, and you will have something that goes beyond the rest, reaching a level of acclaim it has no right holding.

Examples of this are not too hard to find. On television there was Gilmore Girls, a show whose every DVD boxset had to include a booklet explaining every pop culture reference used in the season (making sure it looked like an old marble composition notebook for those who thrive on nostalgia).… The fuck does Cuno care about reading?

All you ever need to know about Japan

After spending 10 nights in Japan I am now qualified to make sweeping statements about the Japanese culture. The following are immutable truths (told in a convenient pros and cons style) about this wonderful and bizarre country:

Pro
Suntory Boss is the boss of them all since 1992.

There’s no use denying it.

Con
Japanese people seem as pro-Japan as Americans are pro-America. I was asked by one of my gracious host’s fathers why we came to Japan. He was an awesome guy but really pushed hard for an answer he found satisfactory. I think the question was probably just mistranslated and he actually asked, “How awesome is Japan?” The same day, a man on the street approached us and told us in English that “Japan is number 1.”… Gotta get down on Friday.