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Archive for November, 2008

Monday!

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Man, in less then a week I’ll be back in Minnesota. I’ve been checking the temperatures and the lows there are the high’s here. Ick ick ick ick ick. I still have no idea what’s going on in terms of where I’m staying and if I’ll need a rental car or not. Scott and I have been playing phone tag all week. He wants me to stay with him, but he has a two year old now and Shae is pregnant with baby numero two so I don’t want to be a burden, especially if I’m coming and going at odd hours with friends. Also unsure if I should rent a car or not simply asthere’s nothing *I* especially want to see or do besides hang with buds.

This is going to be an insane week of overtime as I prep for the end of the 2009 member app. Of course it’s also the week where every company’s delayed games have decided to hit meaning I have FIVE games this week in addition to my Valkyria Chronicles review. Fuck me.

Not much else really going on. A lot of work, a lot of writing, and little to no free time. ugh.

Review #230

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe
Publisher: Midway
Developer: Midway
Genre: 3-D Fighter
Release Date: 11/16/2008

I’ve never been a big Mortal Kombat fan. I LOVED MKII and had fun with Ultimate Mortal Kombat III, but I’ve always preferred the King of Fighters Street Fighter and Eternal Champions line of fighting games. Once MK made the change to 3-D, it kind of lost me as a fan. The games became too easy, too unbalanced, and it became far less about skill and more about cheese.

I used to be a die hard DCU fan. However, the Didio regime pushed me away from comics with the new apparent mandate of gore, killing, and useless character deaths to sell issues. Considering my five favorite DCU characters are Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), Booster Gold, Ralph Dibney, Mister Miracle and Martian Manhunter, comic fans can probably tell why I was turned off.

So knowing I have put off by both franchises, you’re probably wondering why on earth I’m reviewing this game. Well there are Four reasons.

1) The first is that I want to love both, but they’ve pushed me away. The merging of the two into a Marvel Vs. Capcom title is just the bit of fan service I needed to give both another chance.

2) The second is that it’s been a long time since either franchise has had a quality game. The last good MK game was Shaolin Monks and that was a beat ‘em up. As for DCU? Their legacy of craptastic games is never ending. Justice League Task Force, Superman 64. Hordes of awful Batman games. It’s due for a run.

3. Even if the game turned out to be a buggy piece of crap, I knew I’d have fun with it. I love crossover fighters. Hell, I adore SVC Chaos because it’s so bad it’s hilariously fun. It was such a throwback to the early 1990’s in terms of broken characters, frame rate wackiness and insane combos that I still play it on my Neo*Geo and Xbox.

4. Even though I’m severely pissed at most of DC’s writing and direction, I still read four comics put out by them: Booster Gold, Blue Beetle (Jaimie Reyes, which is now cancelled), Trinity (Which I have a subscription to because I am a Busiek/Nicieza mark) and Jonah Hex, which is easily the best comic on the market today. No, I don’t read Marvel now that Nextwave and Cable/Deadpool are done. As the writers of Jonah Hex also wrote the script for this game, I knew I had to give this game a whirl.

So how was it? Did MK Vs. DCU manage to sway the heart of someone who is used to 2-D games with insane end bosses, Super Specials and long D pad strings for combos, or was this the final nail in the coffin for both franchises in terms of gaming?
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The NEW UFC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORLD…

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Brock Lesnar!

Fuck yeah!

Guess Who Already Beat MK vs DCU?

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Journalists aren’t allowed to put their reviews for MK Vs. DCU live until Saturday Nov. 15th due to an embargo by Midway, so you’ll have to wait until Monday for my review of the PS3 version of the game.

As a teaser/preview however, enjoy screenshots of the Arcade Ending when you beat the game with Scorpion. My PPS3 user name is AlexLucard for US gamers and Japanese DHGF for well, Japanese gamers. Feel free to look me up for a battle sometime.

Click through on the images for a larger shot.

My Name Is Bruce

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Mother fuckin’ finally!

It starts Friday at the Landmark!

555 11th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 452-7672

Whoo! New Bruce Campbell film.

Keith, you rule.

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Review #229

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Hal Labs
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: 11/11/2008

The original Pokemon Ranger proved to be a popular title two years ago. Not only was it the first action RPG for the Pokemon franchise, but it allowed you to download a Manaphy egg into your (then upcoming) Pokémon Diamond & Pearl cartridge. I loved the first one and it was in my top ten games of 2006. Many of you agreed with me and so did the staff here as we voted it the best Action RPG of the year (with Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Red/Blue Rescue Team taking best Turn Based and Disgaea 2 taking best SRPG).

Two years and two weeks later, the Ranger series returns with new moves, a new story, new battles and even new Pokemon for your turn based games. The question is, can a game that was so outside the box two years ago still hold be an engaging and interesting today when the DS has become the best selling system of all time? People complained about how much harder Ranger was then its turn based progenitor and some Pokemon fans were unable to adjust to the real time gameplay. Let’s take a look if Hal made it two in a row, or if the Mystery Dungeon spin off is the only Pokemon branch to improve this year.
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The Healthiest Grocery Store

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/diet.fitness/11/11/Healthmag.healthiest.grocery.stores/index.html

Harris Teeter beat out Trader Joe’s. Surprising.

Happy Little Weekend

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Mr. Chewie Biteums had a lovely little birthday involving Carrot Cake Cupcakes, fennel, carrots, and mint leaves. Baby of course was even happier as she’s more of a foodhound and she got to share. It was so cute with the cupcakes. Chewie and Baby ate the wrappers instead of the cupcakes. It turned out they hated the buttercream icing smell or taste (as I’m not a fan either) and once I turned them upside down, they devoured them.

Saturday and Sunday were Pokemon days. I ran around and hooked up the Dragonite offer at multiple Toys R Us. Here’s hoping the kids (and those of you reading this) get that this Dragonite is not meant to be leveled up. It has maxed out stats and is at level 50 to help you bum rush Pokemon Battle Col and other times when you have Pokemon levels set at 50. So only use this Pokemon for those occurances, otherwise it becomes just another Dragonite. Dragonair’s only evolve into Dragonite at level 55 meaning this Pokemon’s existence is otherwise impossible. Leave it alone level wise!

Sunday involved a date with hottie Chinese girl who I picked up thanks to my limited knowledge of the language. Very cute. Very fun. Very immature.

Lots of games this week: Tecmo Bowl, Eternal Poison and Pokemon Ranger II. Next week is even busier though: Mortal Kombat vs DCU, Rabbids TV Party, Castlevania Judgment, and Metal Slug 7. Alas, MS7 will have to be the latter of the 4 seeing as it’s a portable game and I can take it on vacation with me.

Busy week. Thursday and Friday are business travel, but here in the DC area so I’ll be around.

Review #228

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

theresia…
Developer: Arc System Works
Publisher: Aksys Games
Genre: Adventure
Release Date: 11/06/2008

In case you missed my interview with Aksys last week, this game is a double first for the series. It’s the first time the series has leapt from cell phones onto an actual gaming system and the first time North American audiences are getting a chance to play this spooky point and click series.

I’ve been quite excited for this one due to the buzz I’ve heard about the series across the Pacific. “It’s like Rule of Rose story-wise but it doesn’t suck to play.” “It’s like Shadowgate but without those bloody torches” “It’s like what Dementium could have been if it didn’t suck in every way possible.” So of course I’ve been quite interested to see how this game goes.

It’s been an amazing year for adventures games. The Sinking Island, The Lost Crown, and Nikopol have been amongst the best games of the year, regardless of genre. Alas, those have all been PC based. The DS however has had to deal with slightly lackluster adventure games like Unsolved Crimes and Time Hollow. Does theresia manage the first really good Adventure game for the DS in 2008, or does the PC manage to dominate this genre once again?
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