Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rock Band 2 Review

Like a devoted groupie I rushed to the store to pick up my copy of Rockband 2, once I got home the first thing I did was jump on the PS Store, buy the $5.00 "key" and transfered the 55 out of 58 songs from RB1 along with all the songs I had purchased from the Rock Band Store (DLC) then I entered the promo code for the additional 20 free DLable songs that are available from RB2. The game comes with 84 brand new Rock songs from such bands as AC/DC, The Allman Brothers Band, Alice in Chains, Beastie Boys, Bon Jovi, Fleetwood Mac, Foo Fighters, Greatful Dead, GnR, Journey, Kansas, Linkin Park, Metallica, Motorhead, Nirvana, The Offspring, Paramore, Rage against the Machine, Soundgarden, The Who and so many more!
Rockband 2 keeps all the deep customization for your avatar and adds a few new additions. In fact the game keeps all the aspects that made the first so great and builds on them like, Band World Tour, this time around the solo tour is replaced and now World Tour can be played online or local. This is an improvement as many people may have friends who aren't local but wanna join a band and play together. Score Duel, Tug of War, Quickplay, Tutorials. Some new additions to Rockband are Tour Challenges, and Battle of the Bands, Tour Challenges are exactly what they sound like, my wife and I have just started doing these as we've been so focused on completing the world tour and reaching 1 billion fans that we haven't really explored the new aspects of RB2. Battle of the Bands is the focal point of RB2 and is showcased in the games intro, this is a really cool feature that allows bands to compete online in limited time tournaments. The tournaments are posted on the world tour at different venues around the world and each has unique criteria to perform, bands meeting the criteria perform the tournament and have their scores posted and any other bands that participate can see their score versus others and their rank within the tourney.
Since I got Rockband 1 the strummer on the Fender Stratocaster style guitar crapped out and I had to buy a new guitar for my wife. I hope they improved the durability of the equipment as I've read alot of sites that offer DIY repair walkthru's for the Fender Stratocaster guitar. As I said in my Rock Band 1 review The game is great fun for parties and individuals alike and has infinte replay value especially when DLC is factored in. For those players looking to expand their Rock Band experience even further check out! The site offers some really cool things for the Rock Band communinity like you can design your own band T-shirts, and have custom figurines of your band made!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

While you're stuffing your face with turkey and cranberries today take a moment to recognize there's always something to be thankful for, like the adjustable lounge chair your gonna park your ass in after desert.
Happy Thanksgiving from Free Swim...see ya when I come out of my food coma!

Monday, November 24, 2008

See you on the streets

It’s a brisk fall day, as Krog and I drive up the hill towards our destination, I bring up the matches we had a few days prior and what we could do differently if the girl who plays Blanka is there or that Japanese dude that spams the Shoryuken. As we park the car and head towards the doors I feel my anxiety rise…or is that my chi? Krog boasts about how he pummeled the guy playing Zangeif and how he was totally feeling his Krojo after knocking the guy playing Guile off his win streak. The chill of the air and the light of the afternoon sun fade as the sounds of HADOKEN’s and YOU WIN’s fill the stuffy air of the arcade, as we walk through the door way a wall of Street Fighter II cabinets form wall of neon, electronic euphoria. I reach into my pocket and grab a ten and slide it into the change machine, like a crack addict my hands begin to shake with excitement, I meet up with Krog at one of the machines where there’s room to put our quarters down….only five matches ahead of us. We watch as challenger faces off against the current leader of the machine…I study his methods…looking for patterns, patterns that I can exploit. My turn arrives and I throw my quarters in and scroll to my primary fighter…the one I am most familiar with…the first lady of fighting games…

As the announcer says READY…I get into position, run my fingers over the six buttons and get a comfortable grasp on the joystick, my mind is racing on what my first move will be…vertical jump forward, play offensive or jump backwards and turtle? Perhaps a straight vertical jump or risk a Spinning Bird kick from the getgo to let him know I know how to play the Chunster…..FIGHT! The cheering and noise fade away as the match gets underway, I slip into a sort of tunnel vision as all I’m aware of is my health bar and how my opponent is doing, where’s the opening to get a punch in or a kick…do I have enough health to risk the Spinning Bird again I got him with it twice…should I switch up my style and go on defense…I have the lead…how much time is left…how much of a lead do I have…
The match comes to an end and the dull sounds of the crowd flow back into the room, Krog cheers me on as he drops his quarters in to challenge me, the experience starts again but now the trash talking ensues…
That is what it was like during the early 90’s when Street Fighter II rejuvenated the US arcade scene.
Come tomorrow Capcom will launch SSFIITHDR on the PSN. I have waited a looooong time for this game to be playable online. Why do I love Street Fighter so much? I don’t know but there’s a competitive spirit that burns in me every single time I play Krog, it drives me and makes me play harder than usual. The best analogy is the competitive nature between Ken and Ryu seen in the story line and the anime’s. And in the end it’s pure fun.
So Krog I’ll see you in the streets… ^_^

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Astro Boy teaser

I recently posted about the Robotech live action movie that's rumored to be in the works thanks to Warner Bros. and Tobey Maguire and how I think it's not only a bad idea but pointless, your making a movie based on something of the same makes me think of that scene in Chasing Amy, "you're a friggin tracer man".
Anyway before I go off on a tangent please enjoy the mega man teaser with Dr. Wily and Dr. wait...the dig dug trailer...oops I mean the Astro boy trailer!
I have but one question for whoever is responsible for this, WHY!???


While we wait for the glorious return of Conan, we may get to watch Vikings battle Aliens! It's gotta be better than AVP2, there's definately not enough Leif Erikson ass kicking out there! After watching the trailer I kinda got the impression James Cameron has spies in his alien with iradescent fiber optic hair in dreads.
Check out the trailers on the OS @
There still is no announcement for a US release date, so we get to enjoy twilight instead o.O

Friday, November 21, 2008


$14.99 that's it. That's right, $14.99 for SSFIITHDR! Now that's a value even vagabond Ryu can scrape outta his duffle bag!
Look at what you get for $14.99!!!!


  • All new 1080p high-definition art for Street Fighter characters and backgrounds created by Udon Entertainment, creators of the Street Fighter comic books
  • Features all 17 of the original Super Street Fighter® II Turbo characters including Ryu, Guile, M. Bison and Akuma
  • New optional "Rebalanced" Mode: massive changes across the board to all Street Fighter characters as created and tested by some the world’s top-ranked professional Street Fighter players
  • One to two player head-to-head play either offline or online
    Single player vs. CPU
    Player vs. player over the same console
    Player vs. player online
  • Training mode helps fighters hone their skills
  • Improved network code for the best possible online fighting game experience
  • Numerous online features:
    In-game voice chatting between players
    Matchmaking flexibility through multiple options
    Personal and friends statistics tracking
  • Quarter Match Mode - this spectator-based system allows online competitors (2 competitors and up to 4 spectators) to use a "virtual quarter" to "buy into" heated two player matches
  • Comprehensive worldwide rankings and leader boards by character - tracks overall wins and losses, number of throws, perfects, highest combos and more
  • Widescreen support with option to select classic 4:3 mode for SF purists
  • Choose from either classic Super Street Fighter II Turbo music or optional newly remixed tunes
  • Option to play as the original Super Street Fighter II Turbo 2D sprites for traditionalists

Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs trailer

I'll admit I've enjoyed the first two Ice Age movies, it's a really clever formula that Shrek began, create digital fluffy animals that kids will enjoy as they do silly things and add adult humor that totally flies over the kids heads and in comes the box office numbers!
Besides the obvious historic flaw that the Ice Age came before the Jurassic era this move looks to continue to be as entertaining as the first two. The economy better turn around so I can afford the "value" combo when this hits screens next summer.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

SSFIITHDR trailer #2

Round 2 of the SSFIITHDR trailers is out and continues to promote the games tournament mode. Check out the trailer below to see who makes it to the next round as well as the awesome music! >.-

Street Fighter IV New Famitsu Scans

Famitsu has some more info on everyones favorite Saikyo style world warrior Dan Hibiki and Fei Long the fighter with the worst case of atheletes foot! Fei Long looks baaadass, I hope Capcom makes his alt the famous yellow jumpsuit!
The article also gives a sneak peak at their ultra's and a few more pics of Gouken. One last thing I wonder if that DVD is for the Street Fighter IV anime???

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


By now most of you have seen the new Star Trek trailer, I'm not a huge fan of the franchise but I'll tell ya one thing, it's obvious why they wanted JJ Abrams, the franchise needs a jump start and who better than him, with shows like Lost, and Fringe, the guy seems to know what we want to see.

The trailer was cool but Winona Ryder as Spocks Mom???? And John Cho (Harold) as Sulu….meh.It’ll be cool to see Capt. Pike before the futuristic motorized wheelchair! I’m still on the fence with this one, I think Trekkies will enjoy it for all the trek universe fanservice, but it doesn’t look as intelligent or emotional as TNG.

The trailer below is what I saw when I watched the trailer....


Looks like the good folks over at the Capcom unity site have announced the launch date for Super Street Fighter II Turbo ND Remix!. According to Capcom Unity long awaited Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix will hit the PSN 11/25 and the NXE 11/26. It's been a long time coming but soon Ryu, Ken, Chun Li and the rest of the world warriors will be available in glorious redrawn sprites by Udon in crisp 1080p resolution!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Robotech Movie

With the success of 2007's live action Transformers movie it was inevitable that Hollywood would push their luck and attempt to tap another resource....the great eye of Hollywood has turned it's attention to 80's animated shows. GI Joe is on the way to a theater near you and the defender of the galaxy; Voltron is rumored to be on the way along with He-man, and the Smurfs!

Regrettibly so is Robotech, one of my earliest introductions to the wonderful world of anime. I first got word of this back in Sept. 2007 and I figured it would remain on the back burner until the idea fizzled away, unfortunately new information has recently surfaced about Warner Bro's hiring Alfred Gough and Miles Millar to pen a script, the project originally had Lawrence Kasdan writting the script. I'm almost positive Kasdan has never heard of Robotech, but I feel he'd produce something better than the two guys responsible for the Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and Smallville...

I have no hope that this movie will do the source material (Super Dimenstional Fortress Macross) any justice at all, the fact that Warner Bro's is making a silver screen adaptation of an adaptation of three completely separate anime by a company that shouldn't hold any rights to the Macross franchise speaks volumes to this project. Tobey Maguire as Rick Hunter (Hikaru Ichijo for the uninformed) DECULTCHA!!!

If I hear Lynn Minmay sing "we will win", I will get up and demand a refund!

If your interested in this movie and don't know the difference between Macross and Robotech please go to and learn! It will open your eyes to the difference between the Original work and a second rate mashup of three separate works with some glaring discrepancies in the story, characters and plot.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Movie Review: Quantum of Solace

Let me begin this review by saying, this isn't your daddies Bond. Quantum of Solace begins practically where Casino Royale left off, Bond is tearing through the Italian country side as he makes his way from Mr. White's villa on lake Como. Bond is pursued by a pair of high end Alpha Romeo's, the car chase was very Bondesque, and the pace never lets up throughout QoS!
With Mr. White in the hot seat Bond and M interrogate him, don't worry though Mr. White keeps his pants on! They soon realize they have no intel about the organization Quantum nor who is involved, but they learn relatively quickly not to trust anyone, and this paranoia follows Bond throughout the movie. Giancarlo Giannini, returns as Mathis and emphasizes the point of trust, I truly enjoyed his character and was upset that his dry wit won't be around in the next Bond movie, Mathis describes the situation Bond finds himself in best, "As we get older the good guys and the bad begin to get mixed up" the final scene Mathis was in was fantastic, QoS needed more scenes like this to break up the frenetic pace.

Approximately half way through QoS we are introduced to agent (Poppy) Fields, (Gemma Arterton) who is tasked with bringing Bond back to London, it's unfortunate her character ends up as a disposable pleasure instead of a meaningful pursuit as Vespa would say. The scene where Bond discovers Agent Fields on the bed face down was unmistakable fan service.

The other female in Quantum of Solace, Olga Kurylenko as Camille does a terrific job as the other Bond girl, in fact I found the two women portrayed very unique Bond girls, Camille the strong independent woman of the nineties and Poppy the glamorous yet weaker willed woman who always gets swept away by Bond in the seventies. Judy Dench did an amazing job as M...again she has done a spectacular since she took the role back in 95 in Golden Eye.

QoS does have an obvious resemblance to the Bourne series in the action scenes, but for those who call it James Bourne you can have your Dalton, Lazenby and Moore Bonds, I prefer my fromage with crackers. Like I said earlier, this isn't your fathers James Bond, and personally Craigs Bond is not only refreshing but the characters development is something that all previous incarnations were sorely lacking.

The plot of QoS is your typical secret agent setup, a secret organization is attempting to control a natural resource on earth. Could Quantum be a previsioned SPECTER, I do hope so then we could revisit this Illuminatti-like organization again and find that Dominick Greene was NOT the head of the organization! I really was not impressed with QoS' villain, Dominic Greene (Matthieu Amalric), Le Chiffre may not have been the true villian in Casino Royale but he was leagues more sinister than Dominick Greene and his gay henchman. I did think it was timely though how the global climate crisis was hinted at in QoS as it's been pretty much debunked that the whole global warming/inconvenient truth was a carefully constructed hysteria.

Also for the first time the title of the movie actually means something, Bond is looking for the smallest piece of solace after Vesper betrayed his love. The Bond in QoS is acting like most men would after the events in CR, throw in Bonds ego and it's very believable how Bond acts in QoS. One last thing, Chris Cornels' intro "You know my name" for Cr was one of the best ever, the QoS theme song with Jack White and Allicia of the worst.
I enjoyed this movie very much, as a stand alone film it's not as strong as Casino Royale but the two films together are brilliant!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

SSFIITHDR trailer #1

Capcom's revving up the Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD remix media machine with the first trailer for the soon to be released fighting game that started it all.
You gotta love the choice of songs for this first trailer, LOL!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Transformers 2: Optimus <3 Jetfire

I'm not one to post movie rumors but this one's been out for awhile and If true this could be as impressive to see on the big screen as Jurassic Park was the first time you saw the digital dinos or as utterly horrendous as Dragon War.
Apparently Jetfire or should I call him VF-1A will be introduced in ROTF, no longer the F-14 Tomcat now Jetfire will be the much speedier SR-71 Blackbird and Optimus Prime will be crushing hard on him! Rumor has it the two "get together" for some bot on bot action O.o
In other ROTFLOL rumor news a team of six decipticreeps will build a significant relationship and when they "get together" something BIG is gonna happen ^-^....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fanboys trailer

So yeah I was first on line with my bud Krogenar and my wife at the Ziegfeld for Star Wars Episode 1, we saw the line grow and the trully terrible costumes ...yeah I'm looking at you tin foil Boba Fett, and some that looked prossional, we talked to the news reporters and avaoided getting trampled by the stampede once the velvet rope was unhooked....stairs will beat an escalator every time >.-
Well none of the movies lived up to the hype but it sure was a fun time.
It's scary to think it's been ten years!

Mega Man 9: Review

Megaman 9, another game from Capcom Digital Downloads, and another quality title I've added to my collection along with Super Puzzle Fighter II. Megaman 9 reminds me how hard the classics were and that you don't need next gen graphics to enjoy a video game. For $9.99 you get a full game... that's a tremendous value considering most titles this generation are $59.99. Capcom has released some fun DLC for MM9 that adds replay value to an already fantastic game, see how far you can get with Endless Attack for $2.99, Hero mode adds a harder level of difficulty for .99, Super Hero mode kicks the difficulty one notch higher for .99, try beating the game with Protoman for $1.99 or add a special stage to time attack mode for .99. Capcom has also mad 5 Megaman themes @ 1.99 each to cutomize your PS3!
It's great, and as an old school gamer I really apreciate that Capcom had the guts to actually bring back the blue bomber in all his 8 bit glory! It cool to see how much they supported the game with media kits, cases designed like old NES cartridges and the awesome box art created to compliment the MM1 boxart even though the game is strictly a DL. Megaman 9 is just as challenging as the old days, I would say it was about as challenging as MM2 or 3, but not as tough as MM4. The robot masters are all quality designs and the levels are designed very well also. I wish there was more variety to the enemies in the levels and less spike/ falling traps.
I laughed at the games intro....Dr. Wily swearing he's not responsible and asking for donations be sent to his swiss bank account so he can finish working on his robots to stop Dr Lights plans of world domination, savvy MM players will notice DR. Wily's account is the date the first MM launched on the NES! The attention to detail is great and the game plays just like the old ones, even down to the flickering, Capcom did a fantastic job and most important it is FUN! Nostalgia positively remembered, I look forward to Capcom making Mega Man 10...and maybe Bass and Treble returning.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fallout 3 Review

As I wait in a dank, post-apocalyptic sewer, I can hear something skittering about in the darkness ahead. My wrist-bound PipBoy 3000 has a small light I could activate, but if I turn it on then whatever is lurking up ahead will know I'm here. A quick check at the pale green readout of the PipBoy shows my radiation level is within manageable levels. 'Manageable' means that with the proper drugs ('RadAway') I won't die outright from occassionally having to stave off dying of thirst by drinking irradiated toilet water.

The scratching sound is getting closer.

I leap out into the sewer intersection, raise a sledgehammer over my head and time suddenly slows down -- grimacing, I slam the hammer down on chitinous back of a 'radroach' - a giant, mutated cockroach. With a single satisfying crunch, the radroach is dead.

Radroach meat tonight, mmmmm....


Welcome to the world of Fallout 3, probably one of the best games I've yet to play on the PS3 (also available on XBOX and PC) to date, maybe the single best game overall that I've played on any system.

The backstory is that around 2077 the world underwent a nuclear holocaust rendering the world an irradiated wasteland. The only surviving humans are those that were fortunate enough to be sealed away in vaults. Each of the Fallout games of the past detailed the adventures of the 'Vault Dweller' - a character who is (through circumstances) thrust out of the sterile, rigidly-controlled vaults into the wasteland that the world has become.

The hallmark of the Fallout series of games is the heavy dose of black, sardonic humor injected into the story lines and artwork. Before the nuclear holocaust the world (America, at least) had achieved the 'Golden Age of Science Fiction' - the time dreamed about in the 1950's and 1960's -- a world in which androids clean the house for mother, men work on their own personal flying cars -- it's the DisneyLand view of what the future was going to be like. Or was, from the perspective of the Fallout games.

So, whenever the game gives you information about how it's important to stay hidden from enemies, it will do so using an illustration of a man in a 1950's-style suit hiding behind a boulder, while mutants pass him by, while he smiles amiably. Think of the old film reels your parents watched in high-school advising them to 'duck-and-cover' in the event that a nuclear bomb were to land in the school's playground.

Fallout 3 continues the franchise's weird blending of apocalyptic horror with dark comedy.

The game has a number of features that make it a contender for top game of the year. For starters, the game is completely open-ended - it's like Grand Theft Auto in that you can wander in any direction you like. It all takes place in what is called the 'Capital Wasteland' - the environs surrounding the Washington D.C. area. Which brings up the game's visuals, which are astounding - the imagery is well-done, eery and creepy and lonely. Looking at the Capital Dome in ruins, the Washington monument really had an effect on me.

Also, the game presents you with moral decisions, and the ability to make your character either a saint, a devil, or anything in between -- and the game world reacts to your decisions. Kill someone inside a town, and the townspeople will attack you -- this is a desperate world filled with desperate people, they stick together! Fallout 3 presents some of the most desperate NPC's I've ever seen in a game - I encountered a man dying of thirst. My possible responses were to help him, or tell him that he's 'not my problem'. You even get a chance to detonate a nuclear bomb and destroy an entire town.

In my case, I reported the man who offered to pay me to do the deed to the local sheriff. The sheriff insisted that I go with him to confront the man, and I did. The evil NPC calmed down the sheriff, who turned his back. Before I knew it the man pulled a gun and started shooting at the sheriff! Naturally, being a Boy Scout, I pummeled the evil NPC on the spot, killing him.

But the sheriff was dead, which left the town at the mercy of another, even more cruel NPC.
The point is, this game keeps you on your toes. The sheriff didn't have to die, if only I had been more careful.

The combat system is also interesting. When encountering the various irradiated fauna of the Capital Waste, be it a mutated molerat, raiders straight out of Mad Max, or rogue military robot still searching for communists, the game resembles a first person (or third person) shooter. The weapon selections are what you would expect in a post-apocalyptic world: sledgehammer, plywood with nails in it, lasergun, brass knuckles, hammer, wrench -- including conventional firearms.

But what really makes the game a guilty pleasure is VATS (Vault Assisted Targeting System) -- which allows you to stop time and make split-second decisions about where to aim at your opponent. You can choose the head, the limbs, even the weapons that your enemies are holding. In some cases there are specialized parts of the creature that are more vulnerable, or result in special behavior if struck -- such as a military droid 'combat inhibitor chip' or a ceiling-mounted turret gun's targeting system.

In my earliest use of VATS I was on a quest to raid a SuperDuper Mart not far from a city. I went into the parking area and was immediately attacked by a Giant RadScorpion -- my bullets were bouncing off it, so I used VATS and used a baseball bat to pummel it to death. I then dragged myself into the store.

And another thing: this game plays dirty -- just like you'd expect in a gritty, hellish world. You'll spend a lot of time sneaking around. Early on, at least, staying hidden from your enemies is crucial. Did I mention that the evil NPC who killed the sheriff earlier used a silenced handgun. It was mine now, as I slinked around inside the SuperDuper Mart. A raider was walking along the tops of the shelves, a sentinel. Using VATS I was able to snipe him from very close. Then I noticed that there was another enemy nearby, so I moved in to take that raider out.

I waited for the raider to walk past me, then jumped out -- but kicked over a bottle, and that raider whipped around, along with a second raider I hadn't even noticed. This second raider was a woman, and she was right behind me. Using VATS I targeted her head once (since she had a tire iron as a weapon) and then targeted the chest of the original raider three times.

So from my perspective, the game is frozen, with an enraged, very scary woman attacking me from behind, and another raider firing his handgun at me. I accepted my targeting choices and hit the button. What you see then is a slow-motion video of the results.

My handgun shifted right, and my single shot took off the woman's head. My jaw dropped. My remaining three shots dropped the second raider. But keep in mind -- the game spares you nothing. You see the head separate, the blood, the head flying, rolling, bouncing off things. It was so horrific I could hardly believe what I was seeing. This game is absolutely not for children.

Despite my luck, the rest of the raiders showed up in force, and I could not escape.

Go buy Fallout 3 now, and get started -- the game combines sneaking, an open environment that is visually spectacular, character customization and creation that is incredibly detailed, problem-solving, and very hardcore action. If you're a fan of the earlier games you will not be disappointed -- if you've never played any other Fallout game, this is the one to get. You do not need to have played the other games.