Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ninja Gaiden 2: Skull mini Boss on Chapter 6

Ninja Gaiden 2 Chapter 6-Lycanthropes' Castle pt 2

Man, this mini Boss ain't so mini. I'm still figuring out how to beat this friggin' creature! Any help anyone?

Patapon Army vs Tough Boss at LEVEL 40!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Official: MS slashed lower price for Xbox 360

Microsoft just announced on their website with its Xbox 360 SKUs price drop in Europe only. really is. Starting Friday 14 March, new Estimated Retail Prices for Xbox 360 consoles start at £159.99, a price cut of about 80 euros from its original installment.

Keep the drooling to minimum, here’s the breakdown:

Xbox Elite

Xbox 360 Arcade console gets a new price tag of £159.99, shaving £40 off the original ERP.

Xbox 360 Premium, with 20GB hard drive and one wireless controller gets a new tag of £199.99, a saving of £50.

Xbox 360 Elite, will have a new price of £259.99, shaving off £40 off the original retail price.

No other announcement regarding a follow suit of price reduction for North American version. You wanna bet for it?

Source: Xbox Official Website

Friday, March 07, 2008

Nintendo DS Navi Starry Sky: See the Sky... with a DS!

You want to see the sky at night, but having trouble seeing it thru a tiny weeny telescope? Fear not, my fellow astronomy enthusiast. An astronomy software and magazine publisher 'AstroArt' from Japan just announced that they will release a new Nintendo DS device, called 'Navi Starry Sky' this summer.

According to their website, this device will act as a 'telescope' by pointing and waving your DS to the sky at night, and you'll see a constellation name and commentaries in that direction, wherever you point onto a celestial object. How? Just imagine you're waving a Sixaxis with a dual screen, to the sky. Yes, this device is equipped with tilt sensor pre
tty much like a Wiimote and Sixaxis.

In addition, the device also has a bank data of many celestial constellations and planets, which will guide you with an arrow on the display, to show you the correct position of a particular astronomical object in the sky. This is very convenient indeed.

This product will be launched in a Photo Imaging Expo in Tokyo, March 19 - 22. Stay tuned for a North American and European release.

With this kind of device for DS, this will open a helluva lot of possibilities for future DS development. Maybe later some other Japanese company can develop a gold nugget finder or oil wells. Now that's too much. Or is it?


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Video Game Piracy: One Day in the Land of the Pirates

Yesterday I visited my local game store. If you imagine that Indonesian local game store is the one that usually see in Gamestop or BestBuy, well, it's not. If you read my previous blogs, you'll have the idea of what I mean. During that day, one strange thing happened (which it gets less stranger cuz I had these previous experiences before); almost all the game store is closed or half its door closed. Is this what I think it is? Apparently yes, because just a couple of hours before police made a 'blitzkrieg' inspection to supervise (or confiscate) pirated software in the local software market. Actually, this software center is located in the middle of the city and it's well known to be the center of game stores and every other gaming supplies, which obviously including game softwares. Previously it was also the center of any software piracy you can imagine; movies, PC software, MP3 files, and the list can go on and on. Now that all of those are already wiped out (or so they think), the operation goes on into game software. This game-software-inspection was previously unheard of, but thanks to the popularity of PS2, now the authorities are beginning to set their eyes to a new target.

You may think that 'how come that this kind of practice still continue to live on?' Well, the answer is not always simple. In Indonesia, you can point your finger to government's weak spot against piracy. I'm not complaining, though. *Cough* thanks *cough* to that, we Indonesian gamer can enjoy the 'freedom' of choosing game software with dirt cheap prices. This kind of practice has been going on for quite a while, which can be traced back to the era of NES in the 80s. The reason why is this only recently that the authorities keeping an eye of this kind of game piracy, is because gaming has become increasingly popular to local enthusiasts. Or if somehow Sony or Microsoft has screamed loud enough so it arrives to the local ear of government officials, I dunno about that.

Anyway back to the story, I rushed to my usual game store and check out their latest 360 title collections so far. Well, as I had guessed, they have none. They only have these crappy FPS titles and some other older-than-my-grandma titles. Rather than going home with empty handed, I can only pick up a copy of Tenchu Z (yes, I'm that desperate for new titles). I mean, what more should I pick: those other titles the have that day was only FEAR, Tomb Raider Anniversary Edition, Fatal Inertia, and other junk. I'm a fan of Tenchu series since its PSone era, and I don't think I have any better choice.

I'm not saying that Indonesian is a proud consumer of those kind of software, but video game piracy is abound in here. I'd buy a PS3, which is hack-proof so far, but I don't have any interest in its current software lineup. I'll change my mind when later MGS4 come up, but what else? I'm not buying a console just to play ONE game. I'd rather not go back to my Xbox experience when I only bought that bulky thing just to play Ninja Gaiden. Now that I have a 360, I'd rather buy its Ninja Gaiden Black 360 rather than buying Xbox in the first place. But then again, who'd guess it'd happen.

I often visited that game center and see many westerners bought the pieces as well. I guess they'd think, hey this is a gamer's paradise; game software is so insanely cheap, you don't have to line up or camp up just to buy a Wii, download PSP games for $1 cheap (and DS for 50 cents), and anything in between. Like I said, we're not complaing, but we realize that this kind of situation won't last forever. Someday all Indonesian gamers will succumb to the policy imposed of buying original ONLY software game. We don't know how many more years til we reach that point, but all I can say now is, if you visit Indonesia someday, you know you have found a heaven on earth, just like 15th century adventurer found the islands of Maldives.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Xbox 360 vs PS3 vs Wii; A Budget Point of View

Some say I’m a hardcore gamer. Or was? I read in a game magazine somewhere that what defines a ‘hardcore gamer’ is when you have all current generation (or next gen) video game console in the market that you’re actively playing. Don’t bother which one is current or next-gen, as long as the console’s still flushing with new software hits, you gotta own them all in order for a bragging rights to be a ‘hardcore gamer’. Talking about last gen console war, well, I didn’t really think about it, cuz I own them all: Gamecube, PS2, and Xbox. I played them all to their limit. I replaced my first loyal serving PS2 last year with the slim version, and now I think my slim PS2’s optical drive has to be trimmed up (for those of you who may wonder why such a short period, I play only backup games *evil grin*).

Now that the next-gen console war has turned into a ‘current gen’, we gamers has no choice than to plunge ourselves in the middle of the battle. And those are expensive battle indeed. I really miss those back in the days when you can buy a game console for as much as USD 150 or even USD 200 with fully accessorized, turbo charged machine. When you can easily collect all three consoles with minimal effort (no overtime shifts necessary), now we’re faced with bitter choice of picking the right one for you. Up to this point, I think this post is well suited for cheap-ass limited-resources gamer like I do. I can not blame inflation really, but think about it, a Wii costs around 249 bucks, with no additional racing muffler, compared to Gamecube’s heyday at $149. A PS3 costs around $499 with no leather seating, compared to PS2’s once most expensive model at $199, and should I mention Xbox too? I dunno about you guys living in a place called North America or Europe with better standard of living, but I live in a country which, as a single guy, you can have $500 monthly and sipping Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks everyday of the week. Stashing some hundred bucks for a single console can really left a big hole in your already shrinking pocket. If someday later you can compare game console as basic as the need for oil, we should really march to Japan and Redmond, Washington and I’ll be your Malcolm X. I’m starting to think that I’d convert into a vegetarian just to afford a Wii and a PS3 (what? Veggie meals are more expensive? Damn!)

But, as some wise men say (btw, these wise men should really try to live as a gamer), let’s look things at its bright sides. I also live in a country where games are still insanely cheap and *cough* piracy *cough* is abound. In here you can buy a 360 game for as much as $5 and even less. A Wii game for about $1.5 and you feel like a kid inside a candy store… with big allowance.

What can I say, we choose gaming as our hobby. I read somewhere that some guy is crazy enough to sell his house just to buy a Harley-Davidson. I guess we’re still better this way (my fingers crossed). We make sacrifices for all things we love. This is way better than not to have a hobby or living in a cave, biting leftovers of a dead zebra. Long live gaming!

But then again, hopefully I can regain my hardcore status when I’ve enough dough to grab that PS3 and Wii (they’re already winking dreadfully at me).

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm an Assassin, with no Creed

Assassin's Creed. This Ubisoft title has caused a spur ever since it was announced to the world, back in 2006. Does it live up to the hype? Well...

First of all, this game is good, not great. If you measure a game solely by its visual performance, then you'd place this in one of your all-time top ten favorite list. This is a game which apparently set up with a sequel in mind. I've been disappointed before by many North American games, which takes you into a something like open-end ending kinda thing (or you got better and proper word?). Try Halo 2, or Gears of War (those are great games which I enjoy very much, but whine on its ending).

Gameplay wise, it's interesting but not captivating. Basically you were dispatched by your boss to kill nine bad-guys. In your journey to wring the neck of those poor souls, you have to meet some requirements, like pickpocketing, eavesdropping, catching flags (catching flags??), killing some soldiers discreetly, beating up some guys in the middle of the street, and... um, basically that's it! Yeah, for every single stage, out of 9, you were basically required to do the same process all over again. That's the only flaw of this game, and the BIGGEST one. This lacks creativity, cuz it's just too bad that Ubisoft created this game so grand in visual, but the gameplay is so lame. The sword-fighting part is not that OK either. You start to really enjoy your action scenes only on the later part of the game. During the beginning to the middle of the game, when you cross-swords against your enemies, usually you can go and win a fight barely unscathed (except the Templar Knights, they're slightly more challenging). But the story can be different when you're up against many Templar Knights at the same time, en route to the final boss stage. That's when everything gets to be interesting. By then you can starting to feel how this prick gets really tough.

Playing Assassin's Creed is like a roller coaster ride. At first you're going to be awed with its stunning graphics, cuz you start from the apex of a roller coaster and slide down in full speed then at the bottom you're twisting and turning with screaming along the way. But, after the screaming part wanes, you're entering a flat course, rolling to another apex or twist n turn, but this time the flat course is just too long it makes you drowsy and just can't wait to hit another screaming part. That's what happened to me. In second half of my journey, I always skipped the non-required part and head straight to kill the main bad-guys, just to keep me from yawning of these unnecessary repetitions.

All in all, this game is certainly having a sequel. Let's just hope that the Ubisoft guys listens to the the screams of the fan cuz their roller coaster has not enough apex and twist and turns (cuz I know game developers won't listen to me cuz I live in Indonesia and they don't have much luck in Indonesian software market =p)

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