Attack the EPIC!

Posted in Anime, Film/TV, Uncategorized, Updates, Videos Games on October 13, 2011 by darkmesh24

Hello everyone, it’s been a long while hasn’t it? Well, I’ve got a ton of things to talk about so without further delay, let’s get started!

I recently had the chance of checking out a movie that I’ve heard so much about that it may not get a theatrical release in Australia due to poor box-office sales in the UK, the movie is called Attack The Block. A horror/comedy from the producers behind Shaun of the Dead, it’s about a bunch of troublesome kids from south london try to survive an alien attack. It’s a simple plot but on how it’s laid out is relentless and times it’s scares almost perfectly which is rare in modern horror films where most of them are just flat-out predictable, there is quite a bit of humour in it but most of it comes from the odd moments involving Nick Frost’s character in which they’re are hilarious. I saw this movie by importing the DVD/Blu-ray combo from Amazon UK and it was well-worth the money and if anyone has any interest in seeing this movie, do so in anyway you can. I just wonder on how the writer/director Joe Cornish is gonna go on about the Tin Tin movie since he’s credited as co-wiriter along with Edgar Wright.

Speaking of Horror films, in order to celebrate the month of October (even though we don’t celebrate Halloween in Australia), I’ve rented a few horror films which are mostly considered some of the best or classics. The first one I saw was the original Ring film and while it’s not really a jump-scare fest as you would expect but the movie does a really good job of building the fear inside you and the uneasy feel of the movie is complimented with a spooky soundtrack which sounds excellent despite it’s quality. The next one was Evil Dead II. Now to be honest, I didn’t think the first one was that great as it felt rather predictable for me with the best thing about the movie being the camera work. This sequel/remake still has that but a little better thanks to some rather humorous moments, especially when Ash’s hand gets possessed and starts knocking him out. The more recent one I saw is the George A. Romero clas$ic Night of the Living Dead. Despite it’s really outdated age in terms of quality, it’s definitely a must see for horror fans as it feels very old-school in it’s zombie themes, the over-dramamtic yet classic soundtrack and the realism of survival. The only problem I had was that the ending was quite of a downer but I won’t spoil it. I do plan to watch other films before October is over but these are the ones I’ve seen as of this blog.

For those who are wondering about my viewing in Anime, I’m nearly done with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood but the anime that I finished more recently after a hiatus was Deadman Wonderland. A seinen (meaning an anime/manga intended for older boys) about a kid who gets framed for a ludicrous slaughter of his classroom including his friends gets sent to a prison that is also an amusement park, but the plot thickens when the one responsible is in the secrets parts of the prison (who also gave him a strange kind of power to use blood as a weapon) is within in the prison but there are more twisted things that happens within Deadman Wonderland. This is without a doubt the most f***ed anime I’ve seen this year and I really enjoyed it, especially for it’s plot and presentation, the characters are (for the most part) outstanding with a sense of depth or insanity that can make you either like or dislike them immensely and I give props to Manglobe for doing that but the only downfall is that since there’s a lot of plot to it (from the manga, of course), the series is only 12 episodes long and it doesn’t entirely cover it which is a shame since the series (from what I’m told) didn’t do too well in Japan that it may not get a 2nd series and what’s worse is that since Tokyopop (Deadman’s publisher) in the US is closed down, finding remaining volumes is going to be hard to do so. I plan to do a video review of this series soon like I did with Blade, so look out for that if you’re subbed to me!

Now onto the big part of this blog and that is…The games! Recently, I got RAGE for my PS3 and while the gameplay is kinda similar to Fallout 3 or Borderlands without the RPG elements, it’s pretty much a standard FPS with some form of exploration but it’s more closed than the previously mentioned Action/RPG games. But what sets it apart from those games is that it has unique weapons with different ammo loadouts that you can switch on the fly, interesting gadgets to use and the car combat is some of the best I’ve played since it’s reminiscent to Borderlands and Twisted Metal with better pedal controls. But the highlight of the game is the technology behind it. While it does suffer from noticiable pop-in textures, I have never seen such a fantastic looking game in terms of athestics which is similar to Borderlands but has it’s own flavour and what makes it more amazing is that it runs on a silky smooth 60fps and that’s saying a lot since it’s a multiplatform game! I’ve heard this game takes a long time to beat and from what I can tell it seems to be that way, so if you’re an FPS player that wants a good single-player campaign experience, then I think it’s worth the money.

I’ve also been playing the Battlefield 3 beta recently and it’s a ton of fun despite it’s glaring flaws but that’s why it’s called a “beta” to begin with though. My big complaint is that the unlockables come at random, when at a point when the game tells you that you do get it, it doesn’t appear when you’re playing the next match which is weird. I assume it won’t happen in the final game or else that would be a crisis and something happened to my rank as I’m now back to Rank 1 for some inexplicable reason (must have been a game bug).

I’ve noticed some big gaming news lately that I’m very excited for. First off, the Yakuza zombie spin-off is FINALLY getting a release in the west next year, under the subtitle Dead Souls. I honestly cannot stress on how excited I am for this. I wish they could bring out the PSP spin-offs (AKA Black Panther) but this is good enough and I hope it was promised to rework the control scheme. Speaking of Yakuza, the same team behind the franchise is working on a squad-based shooter as you may know it called Binary Domain. Like most people, I was skeptical about it at first since it looked like another generic shooter with Terminator mixed into it but with recent developments of the game, it’s becoming more different than any shooter with the new Consequence system where on how you trust your team changes both the game’s plot and gameplay dramatically. So colour me impressed, Sega!

The biggest news that I saw at work today is that one of my most anticipated Wii games has been rated for Australia. Meaning that we aussies are getting The Last Story! So excited for this as it looks fantastic and I hope it plays well, I never been a fan of Sakaguchi’s work but Lost Odyssey (which I’ve yet to finish) was quite amazing and I hope this reaches the same level as that game in terms of an emotional plot and presentation.

In handheld news, Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune is working on his 2nd game with his new company Intercept that has me excited and it’s called King of Pirates which looks a lot like One Piece mixed with Dreamworks and it has potential to be a solid 3DS release. There’s only been a debut trailer but the game seems promising enough despite the lack of gameplay.

I was gonna talk about some games coming out on smartphones like No More Heroes (if you can actually believe that) and Infnity Blade II but I don’t have much to say though. So what’s next for me? Well, I plan to do a small blog (on my Gamespot account) about Soundwave 2012 next to see what my thoughts on some upcoming bands and what I like and don’t like. So thanks for reading and I’ll leave you with the new trailer for Hitman: Absolution.

Bye!

Reel Anime 2010 Special – Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance

Posted in Anime, Film/TV, Reviews on September 2, 2010 by darkmesh24

In honour of this year’s Reel Anime 2010 (sponsored by Madman Entertainment), I decided to do a series of reviews of 3 of the 5 movies that are featured for the next two weeks in September.

The two films I’ll be skipping out are Evangelion 1.11: You are (Not) Alone (I already have seen it and own it on DVD) and King of Thorn (Not really that fussed about it).

Reel Anime is an anime film festival that has been happening over the past few years with featured anticipated titles like Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence and Appleseed: Ex Machina. This year’s head-liner film is the one I’m about to review.

Evangelion 2.0: You can (Not) Advance

A direct sequel to the 4-part film series known as the Rebuild of Evangelion, which is a part-remake/miniturised version of the acclaimed series that was released in Japan back in 1995, created by Hideki Anno and the production studio Gainax. It was considered a love/hate series for many reasons that I think has been said and done to death and considering that I haven’t watched the series besides the first episode (due the damaged DVD rental I had), so I’ll leave it at that and talk about the movie.

From my recollection of the first movie Evangelion 1.01: You are (Not) Alone, I was a bit unsure but after watching it, I was conflicted yet engaged and intrigued by it. There were a few things that kinda annoyed me like Shinji’s strange, idiotic and yet somewhat sympathetic behaviour, slightly confusing plot points, etc. but at the same time, I enjoyed it because of those reasons as the movie was like no other mech anime that I ever knew, not to mention some strong emotional points that makes it unique.

So now the sequel hits as it continues Shinji’s story within his father’s organisation NERV and we see some new characters, more character development, epic mech fights against the angels and so on. Although I did hear that this sequel is a giant change from the original series, so it may divide fans in the process but since I didn’t see the series that much (as I previously mentioned), I’m not gonna talk about the differences, this is a newcomer’s experience.

But what really matters is what do I think of it? Well, despite it not being as strong as the first one, I still enjoyed this one no matter what. But that doesn’t come without a few flaws, so I’m going to list them and give a much depth as I can.

Some of the problems including the characters are still considered to be loved or hate (I personally had a hard time with Asuka, the EVA 02 pilot), one of the new pilots isn’t really fleshed out properly (she didn’t give out her name, unless I may have missed a line), some of the music is a little odd and out-of-place at times, some comedy parts aren’t that funny (but that’s depends on a person’s taste though, so not a big deal), minor character design flaws (mostly at the beginning) and there are a few moments that don’t make a lot of sense (like that one EVA pilot on the moon).

But luckily the positives weigh out the negatives as there was strong character development (including a strange yet subtle romance between Shinji and Rei), heavy themes and dramatic moments that gives a strong impression (including a minor back story on the 2nd impact), decent CGI-effects, great fight scenes between the EVA units and the Angels, some great (but slightly over-the-top yet still fitting) music scores, the art design looks great and the ending leaves with an epic climax (but sadly leaves on an odd cliffhanger with Misato saying some strong words which I won’t spoil).

So if you’re a fan of the first one and/or a fan of the franchise, you owe yourself to see this movie. It’s a great sequel to a fascinating re-build of a beloved series.

So that’s it for the first review of the Reel Anime 2010 Special with only one down and two to go. The next one will be RedLine, so keep a look out! Until then, Take care!

Remembering Satoshi Kon

Posted in Anime, Special Occasions on September 1, 2010 by darkmesh24

Hello everyone, it’s been a long while since I’ve posted a blog here. This is something has happened last friday and I feel inclined to express my feelings on the matter because this means quite a bit to me in a special way.

Anime writer, director and animator Satoshi Kon has suddenly passed away this week due to pancreatic cancer at the age of 46.

For those who don’t know who he is, he was responsible for the most creative and ingenious anime features ever known in history. He only did 4 feature films in his career as well as one 12-episode series.

Born and raised in Hokkaido, Satoshi originally intended to be a painter while studying at the Musashino College of the Arts. After working on a manga titled World Apartment Horror along side Katsuhiro Otomo, he then entered into the anime industry working on Roujin Z back in 1991 as a set designer and then later on worked as a script writer for a story section in Otomo’s Memories in 1995 but then after that he got his big break with his debut feature in 1997…

Perfect Blue

Originally intended to be a live-action feature film but after an earthquake that damaged the production studio, it was then reduced into an animated feature with Kon as the director. Perfect Blue is a loose adaptation of the book of the same name written by Yoshikazu Takeuchi, it was a story about woman who quits her career as a singer in a pop group in order to go for an acting career but not everything goes well as an obsessed fan/stalker haunts her with a blog on the internet as well as seeing visions of her old self disorienting her that she descends into madness and losing track of reality.

It was Kon’s first project as director and it was showcased at Fantasia Festival in Montreal, Canada in 1997 where it was very well received. Some critics were mixed about this film as they ask why was it an animated film and going on course with anime clichés of gratuitous sex and violence but others praised it for its intense and psychological elements that felt similar to an Alfred Hitchcock film. It had a huge following that even director Darren Arronofsky bought rights to the bathtub scene for his well-known feature Requiem of a Dream.

I say that this film was an introduction to his work, even though my first time viewing it was a bit uneasy due to certain scenes but the twist and thrill factor is what kept me fascinated about his work, as well as his clever and seemless transitions. This was a great starting point for him and his career. This is a top favourite along with Paprika.

Then in 2001 (4 years later) he then released his next feature…

Millennium Actress

His second project as director and first as co-writer (along with Sadayuki Murai), the story is about a documentary filmmaker visiting an ageing actress and she tells the story about her past, growing up as an actress during the second world war in order to find a mysterious man who has touched her heart when she was young.

The scenes of her finding him were displayed when she’s in a film, working as an actress. What else was interesting was the filmmaker looking at her past like if he was a ghost, he even saw the young version of himself working in her films.

The style of the film always kept changing as the actress kept going with her story, changing scenes from films that she has appeared in, influencing the feel of the Japanese cinema during those times, even evoking Akira Kurosawa‘s 1957 feature Throne of Blood as well. Kon stated that the history of film wasn’t something he had in mind while working on this feature but he learned a lot in the process though. Also the character was inspired by the famed actress of the 1940-60s, Setsuko Hara as she was withdrew her public life, like the main character Chiyoko did.

I should also note that this is the first Kon feature for the music to be composed by well-known Electro-pop/Rock idol Susumu Hirasawa who also worked on Berserk in 1997, he later on worked in other Satoshi Kon projects including Paranoia Agent and Paprika.

It was once again met with great praise, earning 4 awards and having a small film run in Los Angeles and New York. It was promoted by animation studio Madhouse to be oscar nominated but that sadly never came to be. It’s a touching tale from start to finish and while I may not have become that indulged into it like the others have but the sheer artistic and emotional journey is something to make note about.

In 2003, Satoshi co-wrote and directed Tokyo Godfathers which was a bit different from his past two works.

A drama/comedy about a trio of homeless misfits. One who is a gruff drunk, another who is a girl who ran away from home and another who is a drag-queen (I am not making this up), while searching for a present for Christmas in a garbage dump, they come across baby crying and motherless. With the child on their hands, they all agree to find the child’s parents and we also get an insight of their past on what went wrong in their life and also clashes in the process in a few scenes.

Not much to say but a funny, crazy but entertaining ride as learn about the hardships of these characters, their decisions and so forth, all leading to a crazy climax. It shows on how versatile Satoshi Kon can be, from being dramatic and scary to something funny and it shows as well as earning 5 award wins at numerous film festivals.

I would like to talk about his 2004 TV series Paranoia Agent but the problem is that I haven’t seen it to give a decent overview. I’ve heard positive things about it though but again, I haven’t seen it to talk about it, so I’m gonna have to skip it. I apologise and I’ll possibly do a review of it in the future. So let’s move onto his final project that he worked on back in 2006…

Paprika

Based on the 1993 novel by Yatsutaka Tsutsui, this was the last “completed” project done by Satoshi as co-writer/director.

The story is a little confusing to comprehend. It follows a research psychologist for company that has created a device to see inside people’s dreams. The psychologist has an alter-ego in the dreams that she has under the name Paprika (hence the title), trying to find the thief who stole the device and also getting assistance as well as helping a police detective on unsolved murder case.

This was a film that again was critically well-received but complained a bit due to its confusing plot but others enjoyed the visual prowess as well as the dynamic story, no matter how crazy it was. Some critics even said that it wasn’t a film meant to be understood, it was meant to be watched and enjoyed (if you get my drift). It was showcased at numerous film festivals and it was one of the first few anime films to be on UMD (the format for the Playstation Portable) and Blu-Ray (considering that the film was published by Sony Pictures).

It’s often considered the inspiration for Christopher Nolan‘s more recent feature film Inception (despite the fact that he worked on the film back in 2001) and there’s already plans for a live-action adaptation from director Wolfgang Petersen (the director behind The Never Ending Story).

I saw this movie a few years ago at the Melbourne International Film Festival and I was dazzled by the film for its visuals, plot and characterisation. It was on so many levels, it was mind-blowing, even if it was hard to follow at times as well as being ridiculously fantasty-like at the near end of the film. This still counts as my top favourite anime film of all time along with Perfect Blue (as I previously mentioned) and I don’t think there is anything to replace that, just like the man himself.

Well, that’s all the history of films by Satoshi Kon although back in 2008, he begun on his next work entitled The Dream Machine, a film that was intended to be for a younger audience than his previous work but due to his sudden death, it’s unknown when the film will ever be finished or not, but I personally think they should in honour to commemorate his great talents that he shared the world with.

There you go, Satoshi Kon was a great filmmaker to the anime world and he’ll be sadly missed as no one can ever replace him. While he may not have the high status like Hayao Miyazaki or Mamoru Oshii but his talent in writing and directing are second to none. He was like a strange mixture of Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock mixed into one and with brilliant plot ideas, in-depth characters and lust visuals.

I salute to you, Satoshi Kon with all my heart as you’ll never be replaced.

So that’s it for this blog, my next one will be a 3-part series focusing on an anime film festival, so stay tuned! But in the meantime, check out this video I made :P Take care everybody!

Defending Goldeneye 007

Posted in Random, Videos Games on August 4, 2010 by darkmesh24

Okay, it has been a while since my last post here on my blog but that’s mostly because my net has capped over the past couple of days (may switch to a new plan soon), been working hard and starting out a new set of weekend courses. But other than that, let’s get on with this…

If there’s one gaming company that everyone hates these days is Activision and all I have to say is, who can blame them? Activision (or more likely the CEO, Robert Kotick) have been causing controversy in terms of business within the game industry, such as rasing prices for brand new games due to development costs and subscription fees for Call of Duty.

But even with that said, game-wise they have been a competent publisher for their big franchises (Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, etc.) as well as newer ones like the new Transformer games and speaking of which they have 3 games that I would like to get and play from Activision and they are Blur (despite my dislike for the realistic steering), Singularity (may give it a rent at best) and the game I’m going to talk about in this blog…

Goldeneye 007

A re-imaging of the hit FPS on the Nintendo 64 which was based on the 1997 Bond film starring Pierce Brosnan. I am one of those who played the original back in the day with my dad and my brother on the old 64-bit machine, It certainly was a lot of fun to play single-player and multi-player but maybe not so much now since on how dated the game is. I don’t think it’ll be playable in this day and age.

But moving on, I wanted to bring this up because I’ve been seeing a lot of comments on gaming websites/forums that a lot of people are nit-picking the living shit out of this game and I don’t see why. Are they jealous that it’s a Wii-exclusive or something? Well, I’m gonna discuss in-depth about these complaints that people have made an elaborate on why they think they shouldn’t complain to begin with.

#1: Rare should be making this game!

Okay, starting off already I think a lot of people who are complaining about this game are most likely nostalgia fanboys. For those who don’t know, the original N64 game was developed by Rareware or now known as Rare, they’re also responsible for other memorable games on the SNES and N64 like Donkey Kong Country and Perfect Dark (which later got an XBLA port) but they’ve no longer working with Nintendo after they were bought out by Microsoft for over $3 billion dollars and since then, they’ve only made games for the Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade (with a few exceptions working on Nintendo handhelds).

Now is it me? Or has Rare been losing a bit of confidence ever since they were bought out by Microsoft?  Haven’t they lost the magic that they had back in their Nintendo days? I’m not sure but it kinda feels like it. I could be wrong but that’s besides the point.

Now I’m not gonna focus on their recent years of their games but I’m gonna talk about my thoughts on why it’s simple that Rare cannot develop the game.  For starters, besides their games on Nintendo handhelds, they’re mostly a Microsoft owned developer and cannot be allowed to develop on any other system unless otherwise like Bungie and since we haven’t seen a Rare game outside of a Microsoft console since the original Xbox with games like Grabbed by the Ghoulies and Conker: Live & Re-loaded, so I doubt that it can be possible for Nintendo to develop Goldeneye for the Wii, unless Nintendo buys Rare back which I much doubt that.

#2: This game should be on XBLA

Now going back to my point about the previous comment, I did left out one other thing that Rare can’t do since they’re with Microsoft and that’s being able to port the original game to the Xbox Live Arcade.

Now I did know that there was an XBLA version in the works but since Nintendo owns the original rights to the name, it was obvious for them to take action and not allow the game to be released on the XBLA but at the same time, they couldn’t bring out the original N64 title on the Wii’s Virtual Console due to more legal wrangling, so it was like flipping a 2-sided coin that is.

Now another thing I should mention and since it’s Rare developing games for the XBLA but I should also note that this may come across as more of a personal opinion, so you can not count this in but at least let me talk about it. If Goldeneye was going to be a straight-up port of the N64 version but with a few tweaks to make it appropriate on the Xbox 360, wouldn’t the game feel a little dated control-wise?

Because one of my biggest problems with the Perfect Dark remake on the XBLA is the controls, they work fine but aiming can be a real annoyance because of how sensitive it can be. You may not think that way but again, don’t count this in. So I can imagine what the XBLA port of Goldeneye would play like, the same but with the dual analog-sticks but not incorporating them properly and besides, isn’t Perfect Dark the same game as Goldeneye but with more originality and better features? So I personally don’t see that much to complain about Goldeneye going to the Wii if Perfect Dark is the superior game that can be bought on XBLA.

I don’t know I guess I’m missing something…

#3: Craig wasn’t in the original, bring back Brosnan!

*groans in agony* Honestly, I can understand from a nostalgic stand-point on how Pierce Brosnan should be in this game because his representation was in the original game as he was in the original movie but apart from that, I don’t see what the problem is.

It’s an FPS, it’s not like you’re gonna see the character in the entire game unless in cut-scenes or cover mechanics but even that being said, why bother complaining? Just play the damn game and have fun. I also don’t know why people think Daniel Craig is the worst bond ever, sure he may not look like the part but if you ever saw Casino Royale, he basically gave the character a fresh new feel for the franchise, even if it’s not accurate to the original Ian Fleming novels (because the movies are adaptations to the novels).

Some people can argue about that when EA had the Bond license, they did have the game From Paris with Love with Sean Connery’s look to it and they should have done that for the new Goldeneye game with Brosnan but even with that being said, I’ll repeat it again… Does it matter? The character designs are not important. It’s the gameplay and the game modes that made the original a standout in the history of gaming, nothing more.

Now there are a few other complaints but they’re mostly minor like level changes and I’m just like “Really? I do believe they have some levels from the original kept or else it wouldn’t be called Goldeneye to begin with and they’ve added a few more just to keep the variety going and make the experience fresh” and also the “Wii motion controls suck! They should have put this game on the XBLA/PSN” Well, get this… There have been site listings of a Classic Controller Pro bundle for Goldeneye (like Monster Hunter 3), so if you don’t like motion-controls and have a bit of spare cash to spend on, this is your best bet as the game is Classic Controller Pro compatible which is great for those who enjoy playing dual-analog FPS games (Not sure if they’re gonna include Gamecube controller support though).

Well anyway, that’s my defense blog, rant or whatever you want to call it. So until next time, take care everybody.

Surprise, Surprise at Anime Expo 2010

Posted in Anime, Random, Special Occasions on July 4, 2010 by darkmesh24

Hey everyone, just a bit of a quick blog that I want to make. My next blog will probably be about something else, either about video games or a vlog.

Now, I don’t live in the US, for those who don’t know. But I wanted to make this blog about a certain expo that has been happening lately in Los Angeles called the Anime Expo. Pretty generic but at least it isn’t named something silly like “Sakura-con” and so forth.

(Note: this photo was taken from Wikipedia)

So you know what to expect at most conventions like cosplayers, panels, screenings, etc. But the biggest thing at this year’s expo was anime distributors in the US like Funimation, Bandai, Sentai Filmworks and so forth have made some big announcements of new licensed shows to be distributed to the West on DVD/Blu-ray or even streaming online (legally, obviously) and there is a few that I would like to talk about as I am quite excited for them.

So let’s start off with an obvious one for me…

K-ON!

Now everyone who has read my blogs in the past knows that I enjoy this show a lot. I haven’t gotten up to date with the 2nd season yet (which has now expanded to 26 episodes unlike the first season which was 13 episodes) but I’m half-surprised about Bandai getting the license to this show.

I’m surprised that it’s been licensed because I can now get it on DVD (or Blu-Ray if I wish) and enjoy the 13 episodes of “moe” glory but what I’m not surprised about it is that it’s being licensed by Bandai and considering that Bandai has licensed previous shows produced by KyoAni like Haruhi Suzumiya and Lucky Star, I was expecting that Bandai would be the top choice and I was right.

But even with that being said, I will get my hands on it whenever it comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray in Australia but if not, then I’ll import away!

Next up is a title that is similar to K-ON! but different in a lot of ways…

So Ra No Wo To

Right off the bat, it’s easy to dismiss this show as K-ON! in a war setting but it goes deeper than that. I’ve only seen 3 episodes though which might make it a tough choice to add but other than that, I’m quite intrigued that this has been licensed. The premise may seem simple but I was told that the later episodes does go more in-depth, even if it is a bit flawed but hopefully, it won’t be entirely annoying.

Picked up by US anime retailer Right Stuf (and yes, that’s how you spell it), it’s possible that it’ll come out with a sub-only release.

Trigun: Badlands Rumble

One of my favourite anime series of all-time has now gotten it’s own movie after over a decade when the original series was created. From what I can tell, the story may be on a certain story arc from Trigun Maximum, a manga created by Yasuhiro Nightow (which I believe is more of a sequel or something close to that of the original story).

But one thing I can say is that the main original characters are back with two of them going into a duel with each other. The movie was premiered in Japan back in April and Funimation plans to release it in cinemas as well, which may be interesting to see since Trigun was more successful in America than it was in Japan. I just hope it comes to theatrical and/or DVD release here.

Darker Than Black: Ryusei no Gemini

A sequel (or 2nd season if you wish) to a rather confusing but still original noir, supernatural thriller of the same name, produced by Bones (Fullmetal Alchemist, Ouran High School Host Club). Darker Than Black is a continuation where the first series left off and while I’ve yet to finish the original series after putting 10 episodes in (I know I’m lazy, shut up!), I can say that if I do get around to finishing the series, I will get around to watching this if it comes out in Australia. Funimation has picked up the rights (which was kinda obvious since they got the original season) and while I haven’t exactly seen the dub for it but I’m sure they’ll continue to make the original fans happy.

(Okay, this was an awkward choice since I don’t know too much about it but let’s move on.)

Highschool of the Dead

From Madhouse Studios and the director of Death Note comes a brand new series that hasn’t been officially been released in Japan yet and has NOTHING to do with George A. Romero’s classic zombie series. Highschool of the Dead is only a day away from being unveiled in Japan but a little-known distributor in Japan known as Sentai Filmworks has picked up the rights to simulcast on Anime Network (a streaming website) and later will be released with a dub.

I’m pretty sure that what I see is what I’ll get and that is it’ll probably be a wild adventure of students trying to survive a zombie infestation and I can be either be happy about that or be surprised with something deep that is beyond what the show has shown us so far, which is blood and boobs. We’ll have to wait and see about that.

Durarara!!

From the light novel, written by Ryogho Narita, who brought the overlooked gem Baccano! Durarara!! on the other hand doesn’t bring the supernatural in 1930s gangland America but this one is in the big city of Tokyo featuring an odd “Sleepy Hollow-like” story.

This is one series I’ve heard a lot about but never got around to watching it but since it’s based on the same light novel and not to mention, from the same studio that brought Baccano! then I hope that I’ll be in for a treat as Baccano! was quite of a unique experience. Aniplex of America will be releasing it with a dub on DVD next year and a site for the show has been unveiled.

Well, that’s all that I have to talk about, I do have more shows on my list but I don’t have much to say but I will title them for you.

  • Toaru Majutsu no Index (main story) and Toaru Kogaku no Railgun (side story)
  • Hellsing Ultimate Vol. 5 – 7

(Three of these shows have been picked up by Funimation)

So that’s all the anime that I’m glad to hear that got licensed, there may be a few more shows like Revolutionary Girl Utena, Black Butler 2 and so forth but I have no interest in those as of this blog.

Now all I just wish that either Madman and Siren Visual can bring theses shows out on DVD/Blu-Ray and 2011 will be complete for great anime to fill on my bookshelf. That’s all for this blog, take care and I’ll see you all next time.

P.S, Why hasn’t anyone licensed Kimi Ni Todoke or Arakawa Under the Bridge?!

Top 11 Best things at E3 2010

Posted in Special Occasions, Thoughts & Impressions, Top Lists, Videos Games on June 15, 2010 by darkmesh24

Hello again, back again with another blog and it’s quite of a big one.

Well, it’s E3 time again and unlike last year, I’m not going to do a round-up on the press conferences because I don’t feel like doing that and getting flamed for that :P So instead, I’m going to do a Top 11 of the best things that I saw at E3, either on a press conference, hands-on report, whatever and it doesn’t matter if it’s hardware or software, I chose the top 11 things that intrigued and/or wowed me at this year’s E3 and trust me, it was really hard to try to nail this down to ten as there was so many games that I really wanted to get and also wowed me as well.

So without further ado, let’s get started with #11!

#11: Xbox 360 Slim

While the Xbox 360 game library may be lacking in exclusives, they’re not lacking in range of hardware as they unveiled their 5th version of their console known as the Xbox 360 Slim. Thinner, smaller and more travel-friendly (via console or hard drive), they made a lot of changes that kinda makes the current models feel outdated. For example, the system now has Built-in WiFi (which I think they should have done in the first place but oh well), a 250GB hard drive which is now smaller and compact, a much smaller power adaptor and just overall, a better looking and improved console.

Since my old 360 died due to a disc-read issue and had to settle for an Arcade version, I think I could trade it in and get the new slim model for a much cheaper price as it retails for $449 at launch which I think it’s kinda too much considering how cheap the 360 is nowadays but I don’t know, I guess it’s the hard drive that makes it more.

#10: Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage

A game that I had some interest in importing but I guess I don’t need to since Tecmo/Koei is brining it to the west. Based on the cult favourite manga/anime franchise, Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage brings the glorifying elements of Dynasty Warriors and combines it with the over-the-top gory action that the franchise is well-known for. I’ll admit that I never seen the anime, even though I want to but this game looks phenomenal. While it may have that Dynasty Warriors feel which may cause repetition but the presentation and the ability to play as other characters, I guess I can overlook the repetition of the game. Not to mention the developers talking about improving the enemy AI and more extreme violence which makes it the more superior version.

The reason this is on the list is because this is a title that had little to no chance of coming to the west but I guess the strong support of the die-hard fans must have paid off as fans and non-fans can experience the glorifying world of Fist of the North Star on their 360 and PS3.

#9: Mortal Kombat

While there was a leakage of the possible movie titled Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, it wasn’t for the proposed new Mortal Kombat that co-creator Ed Boon has promised. This however, is the game that he was talking about. A complete throw-back to the classic Mortal Kombat games back from the mid-90’s with a 2.5D look in high-definition and not only that but all the fatalities, stages, characters, etc. from the original games have returned with a brand-new and darker look.

Ed Boon stated this game as a fan-service game, a game for the die-hard fans and can also allow new players experience the franchise in an old-school way with a fresh new look. One big addition which isn’t really new in fighting games but a first in Mortal Kombat series is Tag-Team mode which I don’t think I need to explain any further of that. The only thing about it that I’m a little disappointed is that they didn’t mention if you can do team-fatalities, which may be missed as it would seem cool to combine fatalities to make it even more over-the-top.

Other features include characters from the 3D MK games (Sorry, no DC universe) and an X-Ray feature where you can pull off a special attack that can cause physical pain on your opponent (breaking bones, damaging muscles and body organs), kinda reminds me of that crappy movie-based game Fight Club which had the same X-ray feature.

So all in all, Mortal Kombat may not have been that surprising as it was announced a little earlier before E3 but when I saw the stage demo of the game, I have to say it looks awesome even if it is a little stiff at time. All I just hope the fatalities are easier to pull off.

#8: Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

A game that I wasn’t really excited about (almost at all) until recently when I saw the stage demo on Gamespot. I thought it looked incredible and hopefully it’ll be incredible to play but then again, it’s from Capcom and they have been best known for some of the best fighting games in history and their Vs Capcom franchise is no exception.

Pretty much a love-letter for those patient enough for this game to be announced and while it was announced before E3 but to get the chance to experience it is something else. Taking the 2.5D route they did with Street Fighter IV and Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, MvC 3 has been given a facelift to make it one of the prettiest looking games around that combines the look and feel of the two worlds.

While the roster isn’t complete yet, they are promising to bring back familiar faces from the Marvel world such as Wolverine, Spider-Man and Hulk as well as characters from the Capcom side like Ryu, Mega Man (maybe) and Morrigan, they’ve also added two more characters to both sides (which makes it 4 in total) for the first time, such as Deadpool and Iron Man at Marvel’s side and Dante and Chris Redfield on Capcom’s side. Other additions and changes to the game is that the game now has more simplified control-scheme, similar to Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom and the ability to tag partners while doing an air-combo. The other additions are pretty much obvious such as single/team special attacks, story mode, online mode and more.

So in the end, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 was a surprise to me on how cool it’ll be. As much as I did enjoy Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom on the Wii, I’m hoping that this will be just as fun as that without having to go through the annoying balancing issues the previous game was complained so much on.

#7: Sorcery

A real shock to me because I have no interest in the Playstation Move whatsoever but this really stunned me.

Sorcery is one of the big titles they showcased at Sony’s Press Conference that utilise the Move controller and I have to say but the looks and how it plays it’s quite impressive. The concept of the game is basically Harry Potter but with the art-style of the overlooked PS3 title Folklore. You can cast different spells and flick the controller to cast them in any way like either setting your enemies on fire or creating a firewall with the fire spell and you can even combine spells like a tornado spell with a fire spell.

You can even mix potions that can refill your health or change into a different creature that can get you into different places where you couldn’t go. There’s not much else to say, it sounds nice, the graphics are nice with its dark and mystical look and it’s a promising title that actually wants me to get the Move. That’s all I can say.

#6: Twisted Metal

Man, I haven’t played Twisted Metal in years. While Sony’s Press Conference had 3D gaming, Move, Kevin Butler, Gabe Newell announcing Portal 2 for the PS3 and so forth, one of Sony’s most beloved franchises cames back in full force for the Playstation 3 after a lot of lying done by game director by David Jaffe, saying that there wasn’t a new game in the series (trying to be secretive?).

Anyway, the game is basically what it is. Gritty, fast-paced and explosive action featuring unique characters and vehicles in large arenas to explore and cause destruction. This new title however is focusing a lot on multiplayer and will feature a new mode called “Nuke”. The game will feature single-player, of course and for the first time ever, there’s now aerial combat to keep the experience fresh and challenging.

But the main heart of the game is its gritty style, dark humour, explosive antics and everything people know and love about Twisted Metal to begin with. I’ll be happy to play it again if they fix the driving controls (pressing up on the analog stick to accelerate doesn’t work with me).

#5: The Sly Collection

Oh, good old Sly Cooper, I miss you so… But not for long!

One big surprise at this year’s E3 from Sucker Punch is that they’re brining back the character that started them off. Our favourite thief, Sly Cooper and his team returns to the Playstation 3 in this nice compilation game known as The Sly Collection.

Okay, so obviously they’re not exactly “bringing him back” from his days on the Playstation 2 but they are giving the chance to play as him in the three games that were originally released on the PS2 and put it all into one Blu-ray disc with extra features. The game’s graphics have now been put into high-definition to make the game as crisp as possible, the functionality of putting the game into 3D, trophy support and mini-games that support the Move.

Honestly, this is the best collection that I’ve seen at E3 ever. It gives the original fans more if they haven’t gotten the entire collection and gives the new gamers something fun to enjoy on their Playstation 3. Welcome back, Sly.

#4. Rayman Origins

Not much has been revealed about this title but then again, I haven’t seen Ubisoft’s press conference as of this blog. But I did see the trailer for it and I was amazed. I never played a full Rayman game in my life but this makes me want to get into the original games.

Rayman Origins seems to be like a prequel to the main franchise, being the 2D platformer the first game was as the sequels were 3D. It has a quirky feel to it, an amazing cartoony art-style and it just looks like a lot of fun. While it may not be a full retail game but it’ll look superb as games that retain classic 2D gameplay with great visuals, games like Braid, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, A Boy and his Blob, etc. So if you’re sick of them damn rabbids, this is what you asked for!

#3: Child of Eden


This is a title that I know little about but for some reason, it left a huge impression on me. Another game that they’ve shown at Ubisoft’s press conference and as I said before, I didn’t see it but read an article and watched the trailer for it and wow… it looks amazing. So amazing that Shigeru Miyamoto said that this is the game of the show. Now that’s saying a lot.

Child of Eden is a funky shooter from former Sega designer and Q? Entertainment founder, Tetsuya Mizuguchi. The developer behind cult favourites including Rez, Space Channel 5, Lumines and so forth. This is more of a spiritual successor to Rez as it shares many of the same elements these games have, with the funky, strange yet fascinating visuals, groovy techno beats and simple yet fun gameplay but that’s not all…

The game is being slated for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 and you can play it with the traditional controller but you can also have the option to use the Kinect camera (Project Natal‘s final name) if you have a 360 or the Move controller if you have a PS3. So I am looking forward to this game as it may considered to be one of those “diamond in the rough” titles and since I enjoyed Rez and Lumines, I hope that I can also enjoy Child of Eden when it gets released.

#2: Sega’s Line-up

Prior to E3, IGN released this game list of titles that were confirmed to show up at E3 this year and when I looked at Sega‘s line-up, I was amazed. So many games that I want to get my hands on…except for one which is called Sonic Free Riders but other than that, their line-up was fantastic.

Two great looking Sonic titles, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 which is a throw-back to the classic Sonic games from the Mega-Drive and Sonic Colours, which is basically Sonic Unleashed but without the “Werehog” stages. But it doesn’t stop there as they have two Wii-exclusive titles by High Voltage Software, Conduit 2 and Tournament of Legends, a brand new title from Platinum Games (creators of MadWorld and Bayonetta) under the direction of Resident Evil director Shinji Mikami, Vanquish and finally, the sequel to the game that put Total War on the RTS map, Shogun 2: Total War.

Also I shouldn’t forget to add the games that are developed exclusively by Sega themselves including Yakuza 4 (I’m so happy that this is coming to the west), Valkyria Chronicles II (the PSP sequel to the cult-favourite SRPG on the Playstation 3) and finally, Phantasy Star Portable 2 (same as the first one but now with online multiplayer).

Oh I forgot to mention that they’re re-releasing classic Dreamcast games to the Xbox Live Arcade (possibly coming to the Playstation Network as well), including Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi, if only they brought out more games from the Dreamcast era like Skies of Arcadia and so forth, that would be fantastic.

So just with the games that I mentioned, it clearly shows that Sega probably has the best game line-up than any other 3rd-party developer at E3 this year. There’s not much else I can say about that, other than “God bless you, Sega”.

Now those have been spoken about, but you’re probably asking… What is the best thing I saw at E3? I’ll tell you…

#1: The Nintendo 3DS

This was a big shock on how Nintendo finally redeemed themselves with an excellent press conference. As we all know that 2008 was an embarrassment and 2009, while an improvement but still didn’t offer a lot but this year… They’ve done it.

Not much talk about sale figures, casual games and No Cammie Dunaway (no offense to her but she’s really boring). It was all games that people wanted from Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Metroid: Other M, Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. Not to mention the 3rd-party titles that looked promising which were Epic Mickey, the Goldeneye remake and Dragon Quest IX.

But the best part of this Press Conference was Nintendo’s unveiling of the 3DS. Nintendo’s take to do what Sony is doing with 3D gaming but on a portable console and no glasses. The design is basically the same as a DSi but with some noticable changes, such as the 3D effect (obviously) and having no need for 3D glasses to view it. Although if you don’t like it, there’s a slider that can give you the ability to set the 3D effect to full, low or turn it completely off. It has two cameras on the top of the 3DS to take pictures (like the DSi) and view them in 3D, you can watch movies in 3D and again, all without any glasses…Amazing.

But that’s not the only addition to the 3DS, there’s an analog slider where you can move around in a traditional 3D game (much like the PSP’s analog pad), the home, start and select buttons are at the bottom of the touch pad and you have most of the button placements like the DSi did, but going back to the specifications as it will have WiFi integration and also it will support software downloads.

I should also add that you can play your old DS games on your 3DS and as well as (I think) you can transfer your DSiWare games to your 3DS, so it’s good for those who own a DSi or DSi XL to transfer their downloaded content to the 3DS. I’m guessing via SD card to transfer your downloaded content but I’m not sure.

But the one thing about the 3DS that killed everyone in shock of how awesome it is was the promising line-up of games. From the announcement of the launch title Kid Icarus: Uprising and Mario Kart, not only it has a lot of games from Nintendo but several 3rd party developers like Namco with Ridge Racer, Capcom with Street Fighter IV, Tecmo with Ninja Gaiden, Konami with Metal Gear Solid, THQ with Saint’s Row and many more. It was un-fucking-believable.

No one can do a handheld console better than Nintendo and their history starting from the Game Boy proves that and they continue their heritage of excellent handheld systems with the 3DS. Making this the best thing at E3 2010.

Now for some special mentions that I wanted to talk about them more in-depth but don’t have the time to do so. So, I’ll talk about them briefly…

Best New Accessory: Nyko’s Raven Controller.

While Sony and Microsoft’s new accessories didn’t impress me a lot, Nyko’s new Raven controller did. It’s a controller for the Playstation 3 that has an odd but interesting design with the soft-feel texture on the controller and there are two designs, one’s more like a traditional

Best Act at a Press Conference: Kevin Butler.

The spokesperson for the Playstation 3 & Move controller, Kevin Butler comes out and while taking stabs at Sony’s competition, he also gave a hilarious but rather awesome speech about how “Gaming is god”, etc. It was so funny to watch, you can watch the speech here via the video I posted above.

Anyway, now it’s times to round-up the other games I’m excited for that are coming out in 2010/2011:

  • Crysis 2
  • Fable III
  • Gears of War 3
  • Splatterhouse
  • Castlevania games
  • Bionic Commando Rearmed 2
  • Crackdown 2
  • Kirby’s Epic Yarn
  • Goldeneye
  • Epic Mickey
  • Killzone 3
  • Red Faction: Armageddon
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Infamous 2 (even though I don’t like Cole’s new look)
  • F3AR
  • Mafia II
  • Lost in Shadow
  • True Crime: Hong Kong
  • The 3rd Birthday (never played a Parasite Eve game though)
  • Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days (hopefully better than the original)
  • Ghost Trick
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
  • RAGE
  • Naughty Bear
  • WWE All-Stars (Maybe)
  • Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
  • Quantum Theory
  • God of War: Ghost of Sparta
  • Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time
  • Metal Gear Solid: Rising
  • Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
  • Bulletstorm
  • Okamiden
  • Motorstorm: Apocolypse
  • Devil’s Third

There’s a few more they’re more like minorities to the list and it’ll make this blog a lot longer than it should be. So, that’s all I have for this blog. Thank you for reading and see you all next time.

Nutshell Reviews and Impressions #1

Posted in Reviews, Thoughts & Impressions, Videos Games on June 12, 2010 by darkmesh24

Hello everyone, *sigh* I’m losing my energy for creating blogs which is really a shame as I have a list of blogs and ideas that I want to do but I just don’t seem to either care or can’t be bothered doing so.

But enough about that as I’ve been playing quite a few games recently, 2 of them that I have finished and another which I have rented. Now don’t expect a lot of depth in these because I don’t have the ability to do that at the moment, so these are going to be short and sweet for the most part. Let’s start with review #1…

Red Dead Redemption

As you may recall, it was one of my top ten most anticipated games of 2010. I loved the original Red Dead Revolver back on the Xbox and I couldn’t wait for this one. So, did it live up to my expectations? Well, yes. Maybe not entirely story-wise but gameplay wise, it’s fantastic. It plays very similarly to Grand Theft Auto IV but with a lot differences like the setting, the side-missions/mini-games and other gaming mechanics.

The story is pretty well constructed (kinda reminds of me of the aussie-western flick The Proposition) with a lot of interesting characters (although there was one that I didn’t like, West Dickens was that very one). Presentation is pretty standard but appealing to the gamer as it features an authentic western look with great character designs, world map (it’s pretty large that I have to admit) and the music, while not memorable but fitting and authentic for the classic western film-fan to enjoy.

The gameplay is pretty much like Grand Theft Auto IV (as I previously mentioned) and it’s a lot more refined as it has plenty of new things to do, a larger map and interesting tools to use as well such as the lasso to capture a horse or capture a person alive. You have the cover system that was in GTA IV and it works just as well as it is in this game. Riding horses is a little easier than the cars in GTA IV but can be annoying when trying to keep a certain speed with the horse but it’s not a big issue. My favourite thing to do in the game is to do the bounty missions but they can be tough sometimes as you will die a few times if you’re not careful.

So all in all, there’s not much to say about Red Dead Redemption but it’s a fantastic game that no gamer should miss. If you have a 360 or PS3 and really enjoy open-world games, buy it. It’s well worth the money.

Alan Wake

A game that I have been waiting with great anticipation as it was developed by Remedy, the developers behind Max Payne. After 5 years in development since it was first announced back at E3 in 2005. I got quite excited for it as it finally came out and bought the limited collector’s edition. So, what are my final thoughts on it? Well, it’s a pretty good game but wasn’t as gripping as I’d hoped for.

It’s sad because Max Payne 2 was such as memorable game to me because of its setting, story, dialogue and gameplay. While it retains the same aspects with Alan Wake but for some reasons, it had a certain lack of soul within the mix which really disappointed me. But hopefully, the DLC will be worth it when it comes out. The game plays out like a TV series as there are 6 episodes to go through.

The story is intriguing about a writer who goes on a holiday with his wife to try to get over his writer’s block but then tragedy strikes as his wife gets taken away by a dark presence known as “The Taken”, Alan is hunting down the Taken to get his wife back but also comes across pages of a manuscript that he never remembered writing. The story gets deeper as you progress and it’s really interesting on how it goes down.

The gameplay is your standard action/adventure game but has some survival horror elements in the mix as well. Such as having limited ammo, finding different sources of light to defeat your enemies and other elements. It works well but it’s a little hard aiming since there’s not reticle on-screen, the flashlight does help a bit with the aiming but not well enough though if you want to trigger head shots.

One of the biggest factors of the game is the use of light, similar to Alone in the Dark but in a less creative way though, which isn’t a big problem though. You use your flashlight, streetlights (which are your checkpoints), flares, flashbangs, etc. Most of them are handy while others are very effective like the flashbang for example as it can wipe out an entire band of enemies with one bang, which can save you batteries and bullets but use them sparingly though.

So it all sounds fine and dandy, the only disappointment for most people that it’s not the open-world game that it was hoped to be back when it was first announced. My only disappointment with the game is how lacking the feel the game was for me. The story didn’t seem to have that strong feel that Max Payne 2 had for me which is hard to explain that in better detail.

But all in all, I thought it was a really good game and I’m willing to give it another go in the future as I want to play for the proposed DLC and collect all of the manuscripts in the game (but have to play it in nightmare mode).

And finally, the last game I finished recently is No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

Now, I would like to talk about the game but instead, I’m going to be a lazy bastard and link you to a review I posted on Kotaku. If you haven’t read it, go read it now!

But if you’re too lazy to read the review, I’ll give you the rundown. It’s great sequel to an awesome game that no much people have played, they’ve ironed out all the problems from the first game but still have a few uneasy quirks but other than that, it’s going on my nominee list of the Top Ten Best games of 2010. Expect to see that blog in the future ;P

Anyway, that’s all I have for now. I would like to talk about other things but I just don’t have the time or effort to do so, but I will leave this blog with a few key things that’s been going on with me lately…

  • Finally purchased a ticket to go to Armageddon
  • Finished Yakuza 3, I may do a review of that
  • Planning to return to Gamespot but only for gaming updates
  • Bought a lot of stuff recently including Team Fortress 2 and Killing Floor for the PC as well as Lunar: Silver Star Harmony for the PSP
  • Purchased Scott Pilgrim, now I can finally see why people are loving this comic so much
  • Planning to do Vlogs (which I’ve stated numerous times) but don’t know what to start with (Some pointers would be great thanks)
  • I bought Split/Second at GAME recently but can’t play it due to a disc-reading problem on my 360, I also bought Nier off eBay for $40.

Well, that’s all that’s in my head that I wanted to talk about, so hope you all have a great long weekend. Take Care.

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