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Archive for December, 2007

Review #151 (2.5 days later than I wanted it to go up, and still the first one out there. Poor SNK)

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Review: NeoGeo Battle Coliseum

Neo Geo Battle Coliseum
Publisher: SNK Playmore
Developer: SNK Playmore
Genre: Fighter
Release Date 12/17/2007

SNK Playmore’s track record with its fighting games has been less than stellar for a while. After KoF 2002 and 2003, everything seems to have fallen apart. Games like KOF XI, Maximum Impact II, and NeoWave were mediocre at best. Compilations like Art of Fighting Anthology fared little better, showing that even some of the classics haven’t aged well. KoF XI damn near made me throw away my SNK fanboy membership card. It was Advance Guardian Heroes all over again.

In the back of my mind though, I knew NeoGeo Battle Coliseum was coming. Unlike the crapfest that was Capcom Fighting Evolution, I had heard excellent things about the Atomisware version of this game. That is was a gift to SNK fans the same way SegaGaga was the last thank you from the REAL Sega. It was supposed to be a lot of fun, and left out most of the mistakes Playmore had made since reviving the SNK name.

Then came little tiny doubts creeping into my mind. NGBC was only being released on the PS2, generally a bad sign for a SNK game. The PS2 is generally regarded as the worst system for porting fighting games to. The Dual Shock is a hideous piece of crap for the genre. The Xbox, the Dreamcast, and hell, even the Gamecube was able to handle controls response time and gameplay better than the PS2. It may be the supreme winner of the last console war, but in terms of quality fighter game play, I’d take the PSX over the PS2 anyday.

Then came delay after delay after delay. I was expecting this game in late summer. It has been out in arcade form for 2 years. Why the delays in what should be a simple port? The roster too, gave me pause. A lot of the characters were obscure or niche, even to the most diehard of SNK fans. Finally, there was the knowledge that several characters in NGBC like Geese Howard, Mr. Big, Mai, Kyo and others were ripped from NGBC and put into the KOF XI PS2 version. And consider how awful that game played, I was definitely expecting the worst from this game.

So is NGBC the final nail in the coffin for my SNK love the same way Shining Force Neo ruined that classic series for me, or is NeoGeo Battle Coliseum The first fighting game release on the PS2 that SNK has gotten right in 26 months?

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Pikachu is a bad ass

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Pikachu FTW

Only Weds

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Dammit, I still didn’t finish my review of NeoGeo Battle Coliseum last night. No time! Tonight it will be done and up. If only because I have nothing else going on until pretty late tonight. And I have to start my NiGHTS review.

Analiese and I got together last night instead of Thursday. We were going to go to the advance screening of Sweeny Todd, but the line was insanely long at 6pm and so we said fuck it and went to eat yummy Thai food. When we left at seven-thirty the line was still crazy long and tso we just went back to my place and watched Borat and screwed around. We had a bit of a serious talk after all that and then she asked if she could stay over the next night (tonight) as she lives in the Boonies and is going to be out late tonight. I said sure because I’m a sucker.

Blade Runner HD collection, Lost Season 3, and my new GPS all arrived yesterday. Sweet.

Watched Slaughter Night with Heather and Vlad after Analiese went home. It’s a dutch horror film involving Ouija boards, possession and a mine. Not recommended.

You want to know what’s sad? I still have no idea who I am voting for in 2008? I loathe Hilary. Obama is…meh, but I’d choose him over Hilary. Edwards and Kucinich are people I prefer, but I know they won’t get the party nod. It’s kind of sad when this is the best we have to offer as an alternative to evil in 2008.

My name is Raistlin of the Red Robes! Except for you know…my beefy stats.

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

I Am A: Chaotic Neutral Human Wizard (5th Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength-14
Dexterity-17
Constitution-13
Intelligence-17
Wisdom-16
Charisma-18

Alignment:
Chaotic Neutral A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and last. He values his own liberty but doesn’t strive to protect others’ freedom. He avoids authority, resents restrictions, and challenges traditions. A chaotic neutral character does not intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a campaign of anarchy. To do so, he would have to be motivated either by good (and a desire to liberate others) or evil (and a desire to make those different from himself suffer). A chaotic neutral character may be unpredictable, but his behavior is not totally random. He is not as likely to jump off a bridge as to cross it. Chaotic neutral is the best alignment you can be because it represents true freedom from both society’s restrictions and a do-gooder’s zeal. However, chaotic neutral can be a dangerous alignment because it seeks to eliminate all authority, harmony, and order in society.

Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Class:
Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard’s strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

——————————————————————————–

Detailed Results:

Alignment:
Lawful Good —– XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (18)
Neutral Good —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (18)
Chaotic Good —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (20)
Lawful Neutral — XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (19)
True Neutral —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (19)
Chaotic Neutral - XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (21)
Lawful Evil —– XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Neutral Evil —- XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Chaotic Evil —- XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)

Law & Chaos:
Law —– XXXXXXX (7)
Neutral - XXXXXXX (7)
Chaos — XXXXXXXXX (9)

Good & Evil:
Good —- XXXXXXXXXXX (11)
Neutral - XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Evil —- XXX (3)

Race:
Human —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (14)
Dwarf —- XXXXXX (6)
Elf —— XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Gnome —- XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Halfling - XXXXXXXX (8)
Half-Elf - XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Half-Orc - (0)

Class:
Barbarian - (-4)
Bard —— XX (2)
Cleric —- (-8)
Druid —– XX (2)
Fighter — (-2)
Monk —— (-15)
Paladin — (-17)
Ranger —- (-4)
Rogue —– (-2)
Sorcerer — XX (2)
Wizard —- XXXX (4)

I missed being Chaotic Good by one point. I’d agree with that more than Chaotic Neutral.

RIP Goth Thursday Nights

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

Man, first I hear from Allen that Arcadia/Alchemy/whatever is done at the end of the year, and now I hear from DJ Nitrogen that Ground Zero’s Bondage a Go-Go is closing up shop in MSP.

It’s like every Thursday night event featuring monochromatically clad people is closing up.

I could conjecture as to why things are falling off and what could be done to breathe new life into the subculture, but hey, my specialty is getting the mainstream/people outside the subculture casually interested and maintaining a long term hardcore zealous audience in a writing atmosphere, not a musical/social one.

So far from the end of the week - DAMN YOU!

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

Man was yesterday awful. I ended up working ten hours without lunch or a break and I was just making tiny little cold fusion errors. Thankfully even the guy here who knows cold fusion inside and out was having the same issues I was, so I felt a little better. Still, I hate it when I should know something, but my brain is just misfiring.

I come home and one of the feral cats from the yard snuck into the house and then freaked out because it was a totally alien environment. I managed to pick it up finally, but with a bit of scratching on my arm. Wash wash wash.

I ended up saying fuck it and decided not to work out yesterday and then just hooked up my desktop computer to my HDTV so that I can lie down when I type, thus protecting my ulnar nerve. Combine that with my wireless setup and I can type from my couch all the way across the room from my TV. It does mean I have to increase the font size of everything though, and remind people to increase their font when IM’ing me, but hey it’s still a sweet setup.

My plan was to get the NGBC review done for today, but it didn’t happen. I didn’t get home until 6:30 and I ended up writing seven pages, but then it was 10:30 and I’d only gotten through balance. It’s a long review, but a lot of it is telling where each character has come from and the paths you have to take to reach each of the four potential final bosses.

Busy week ahead. Sweeny Todd tonight, finishing my review and starting on NiGHTS Weds. Thursday is company XMas party and then I’m going out with Analiese (maybe I should move this to Weds) and Friday I can’t remember, but I think I have plans.

Today I have to remember to pick up The Simpsons Movie at Target. Cheapassgamer.com has a $5 off coupon for the movie at Target and it’s 15-16 dollars there this week, so it drops to 10-11 for a brand new DVD, and it’s better than the Simpsons had been in nearly a decade.

This is cute…

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Read the whole thing and tell me if you can find the “Ho ho ho, Red Flag alert!” that I found.

136,500 People

Looking for payday loan?

Unusual Deaths in 1977
Tom Pryce, a formula one driver, and a 19-year-old track Marshal Jansen Van Vuuren both died at the 1977 south african grand prix after Van Vuuren ran across the track beyond a blind brow to attend to another car which had caught fire and was struck by Pryce’s car at approximately 170mph. Pryce was struck in the face by the marshal’s fire extinguisher and was killed instantly.

Natural disasters in 1977
1977 Bucharest earthquake
Great Lakes Blizzard of 1977
Independence Day Derecho of 1977
1977 San Juan earthquake

People who died on August 17 (various years)
2007 - Eddie Griffin, American basketball player
2007 - Bill Deedes, British journalist and politician
2005 - John Bahcall, American astrophysicist
2004 - Gérard Souzay, French baritone
2004 - Thea Astley, Australian writer
1995 - Ted Whitten, Australian rules footballer
1995 - Howard Koch, American screenwriter
1994 - Jack Sharkey, American boxer
1993 - Feng Kang, Chinese mathematician
1992 - Al Parker, American adult film actor
1990 - Pearl Bailey, American singer and actress
1988 - Victoria Shaw, Australian-born American actress
1988 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr., son of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States
1988 - Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, 6th President of Pakistan
1987 - Rudolf Hess, Nazi deputy
1983 - Ira Gershwin, American lyricist
1979 - Vivian Vance, American actress
1973 - Conrad Aiken, American author
1973 - Paul Williams, American singer (The Temptations)
1973 - Jean Barraqué, French composer
1971 - Wilhelm List, German field marshal
1970 - Rattana Pestonji, Thai filmmaker
1969 - Otto Stern, German physicist, Nobel laureate
1962 - Peter Fechter trying to cross the Berlin Wall
1954 - Billy Murray, American recording artist
1940 - Billy Fiske, American aviator and Olympic athlete
1925 - Ioan Slavici, Transylvanian writer of Romanian origin
1920 - Ray Chapman, American baseball player
1918 - Moisei Uritsky, Russian revolutionary
1901 - Edmond Audran, French composer
1896 - Bridget Driscoll, world’s first automobile fatality
1880 - Ole Bull, Norwegian violinist
1875 - Wilhelm Bleek, German linguist
1850 - Don José de San Martín, Argentine general
1834 - Husein Gradaščević, Bosnian rebel leader
1786 - King Frederick II of Prussia
1785 - Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of the Colony and the state of Connecticut
1768 (N. S.) - Vasily Kirillovich Trediakovsky, Russian poet
1723 - Joseph Bingham, English scholar
1720 - Anne Lefèvre, French scholar
1676 - Hans Jakob Christoph von Grimmelshausen, German novelist
1673 - Regnier de Graaf, Dutch physician and anatomist
1657 - Robert Blake, British admiral
1510 - Edmund Dudley, English statesman
1476 - Vlad Tepes, Prince of Wallachia and inspiration for Dracula
1304 - Emperor Go-Fukakusa of Japan
1153 - Eustace IV of Boulogne, son of Stephen of England

Odd Beginning to a Week

Monday, December 17th, 2007

1. Congrats to Christopher and Jessica to making whoopie in such a way that Jessica is going to be running the gambit of pain, nausea, emotional surges and strange food cravings.

2. Holly’s birthday was Saturday. Yay Holly!

3. Holy crap was this morning dead/dying Grandmother day or something? I’ve heard from multiple people that a family member of this designation is very ill/passed on. And it’s only 8:43am. I know the above statement sounds a lot more callous than it was intended, but the frequency was just a bit odd to me. My condolences to everyone involved.

4. Back to normal work hours! 8:30 -4:30 is so much better than 10-6, you have no idea. Even though it’s the same time spent working, I just like the day is shorter and have less energy with the later work hours. Today it’s going to be designing PowerPoint templates and creating images. Go excitement land!

5. Weekend was pretty laid back. Saturday involved errands, a relaxing lunch and then clubbing. Nothing major occured. Analiese called wanting to know if she could spend the night, but I didn’t get the message until midnight as Spellbound blocks cell reception. I called her back and said sure, but she never showed. I learned the next day she called about ten and by the time I called her back, her cell had died that night. As she hadn’t heard from me she assumed I didn’t get the message so she went home, and the next morning plugged in her phone and got the message. Wah wah wah.

6. Today is my five year anniversary of writing in/for the Video Game industry. It’s hard to believe how much I’ve written, but even more, how much my style has changed. I don’t know whether to be sad or proud that five years of my professional writing have revolved around a form of entertainment I’ve been engaging in since I was first learning my times tables.

On the 4th Day of Xmas, Your Icon Gave to Thee…

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

The DieHard Tetralogy…in song form!

Every review I’ve ever done, plus statistics galore to boot!

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Retrograding 12.17.2007

5 Years. 150 Reviews. Where the the time go? I’ve written about 1000 articles, reviews, columns, news bits, and commentaries on games since my very first article for 411Mania.com five years ago. Who knew it would turn into such a big piece of my life?

This retrograding is more a look back at the games I’ve reviewed more than anything else.

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