quinta-feira, 27 de dezembro de 2007

A galaxy full of wonders

Still alive

Besides being one hell of a video, with a great (and addictive) song, "Still Alive" also describe my status. Yup, I'm still here, although I've not been very active lately. You know, with Christmas and all I ended up forgetting/not having time to post or comment. Im also fucking lazy...

Anyway, I hope you all had a great Christmas. I surely had! Here's what kept me busy lately. No, it's not Super Mario Galaxy, since I don't have a Wii. What I have is a lovely Xbox 360, so I got myself what is without doubt one of the best games released this year. I'm talking about Mass Effect, of course!

Bioware's latest masterpiece sure is a great game. I've been a fan of the company for quite some time, specially after playing Knights of the Old Republic (I will never forget that twist in the middle of the story), which actually has some similarities with Mass Effect, both being about space, planets, alien races and all that stuff. But there are a lot of differences between the two.

ME isn't about a galaxy far, far away, it's about our own world in the year 2183. The whole setting of the game takes a different, more "realistic" approach than Star Wars. For once there's blood when you kill someone and the guns, although futuristic, sound like actual firearms instead of toys shooting lasers. Then there's the Spectres, ME answer to the Jedis. The Spectres aren't good by nature, nor are the "bad" ones corrupted by their own quest for power. They are just tools of the Council and they're just people. Whether they take a more polite approach or just kill everything in their way, as long as they get the job done, all is well in galaxy.

But enough with comparisons, let's talk about the game itself. For a start this is one of the most cinematic games I've ever played. There are times were you really feel like you're in a sci-fi movie of something. This is in most part due to the cinematic feel of the cut-scenes and the rather excellent dialog system, but the combat also takes a part on this. Forget turn based shit, this is real-time, baby!

Ok, pardon me, all you traditional RPG fans out there, but I have to admit, I always felt that fighting in turns (I attack now, you attack next...) is stupid and boring. Now Bioware has proven that it's not scared of taking risks and gave us a game that, if you ignore all the powers you can use, feels almost like a pure shooter. Of course throughout the game you actually feel you're getting stronger as you level up and buy new gear, unlike a real shooter we're you're as strong in the end as you are in the beginning, so the RPG component is always present.

(SPOILER warning, don't read if you're planning on playing this game)

But what I truly love about RPG's is the ability to make choices, and ME is full of them. The consequences of you're actions can vary from just making an NPC like or hate you to deciding whether a member of your team lives or dies or if the Council lives in the end or its time for humanity to lead all the other races when they're gone. You can even convince the main villain to surrender! Unfortunately he is so messed up by then that he kills himself if you do that. Imagine that, how many games have you played where you spent hours tracking down a guy that looks like Hitler himself just for him to shoot himself in the head in the end? Not to mention that later in the game you find out that, despite what you believed earlier, the guy's not that bad, he actually had good intentions but was brain-washed.


There are some issues that really bothered me, though. For once, the game is not as big as they want you to believe. Of course, you can explore an entire galaxy, with lost of systems and planets, but in every system there's usually just one planet you can land on, and after a while they're just to damn predictable. Basically all you can do in this uncharted worlds is look for crashed satellites, ruins, bases or whatever and recover treasures.

Also, the game is just too short! Yeah, I know I once said that I like short games, but not when it comes to games I expect to be fucking epic. Look at Oblivion for example, I already spent 111 hours with it and I don't even have the expansions yet! Compared to that, ME is kind of a disappointment. It took me 12 hours to beat the main storyline on my first try and little more than 20 on my second run-trough, now with almost all side-quests done. The bad thing is, I watched the ending of the game and I kind of felt empty, you know? Almost ripped-off, as when you pay for a ride on the roller-coaster and what should be a long ride full of adrenaline ends within 2 minutes.

My last complain is about the fact that, once you beat the game you can't go back. The reason why I ignored the side-quests during my first play was due to my belief that, once I beat the main-quest, I would be free to explore the rest of the galaxy. How I was wrong...

Meh, fuck it. This is still a great game. I would even risk to say it's a must have for every 360 owner, fan of RPG's or not, so if you have one, now you know. *looks at Father from the corner of the eye*

Now that I don't think I'm going to play it again (hey, I just beat it twice in a row!) all I can do is enjoying the bonus DVD that came with my limited collector's edition while I wait for Bioshock to arrive (I finally bought it, I've been dying to play it ever since I played the demo).

By the way, here's a video review so that you can see the game in action.

quinta-feira, 13 de dezembro de 2007

Happy Birthday Saturn Junkyard!!!

Oh, what a great month this is. It's Christmas, the only time of the year that still means something to me (not to mention that my first Saturn was a Christmas gift); I finally got my driving license after two failed exams; and guess what, it's the Saturn Junkyard's first birthday! Hell yeah!

Just to think that one year ago Father K was writing his first post on his new project, uncertain whether it was going to be the new reference for Saturn fans or just another blog, lost among the hundreds that are created every day. Well, now, when we look at the numbers and see nearly 22.000 hits, 200 posts, 5 contributors from all around the world and even more regular visitors that bring life to the cbox and give us precious feedback about the posts we make, I guess we all know the answer. It's a fucking huge success, that's what the SJY is!!!

So, congratulations Father on the awesome blog you made, and thanks for the opportunity you gave me of writting for it. It is truly an honour to be part of the "Saturn Junkyard family".

*raises a half-emptied bottle of champagne*

All hail the mighty Saturn, king among consoles!

All hail Segata Sanshiro, king among deities!

And, last but not least, all hail the Saturn Junkyard, king among console blogs, and his great creator, Father Krishna, king among bloggers!!!


terça-feira, 4 de dezembro de 2007


Besides the masterpiece that goes by the name of Shenmue II, there's another game that caught my attention lately. As the title suggests, that game is Okami, another masterpiece made by those brilliant guys over at Clover Studios. Unfortunately, in an industry where uninspired sequels and shitty clones sell the most, Clover was closed some time ago due to poor sales, leaving behind not only Okami but two other great games, Viewtiful Joe and God Hand (haven't played them yet, but everyone says they're damn good).

At least Okami was so great that right now Ready at Dawn are making a port for the Wii. But what makes this game so great? Well, take a look at this:

Looks fucking good, doesn't it?

The visuals are simply awe inspiring, with an unique art style inspired by classic Japanese paintings. If you look carefully you can even notice a paper texture in the background, like the whole game is nothing but a moving painting. Awesome!

But there's more to it. The wolf you control is no ordinary canine. In fact it's the goddess Amaterasu, on a quest to defeat the evil Orochi and return life to the land. This is made by reviving special trees that, once restored, trigger a special cut-scene of life literally returning to the land. This needs to be seen:

But wait, there's more! You're a goddess, and since every deity can perform miracles, Amaterasu is no exception. With the press of a button you can stop the game and make the world look like a canvas. Then you just need to paint with the celestial brush to do what ever you want, from cutting obstacles or enemies, to restoring bridges or returning life to dead plants.

See why the game is being ported for the Wii?

I think that's all for now. The point is, this game is just absolutely brilliant and it deserves to be played by everyone. Do yourself a favour and go buy this game. Now!

quarta-feira, 21 de novembro de 2007

The Red Ring of Death strikes without mercy!

That's right, after countless hours of the purest joy and entertainment, my Xbox 360 finally gave up on living. In the middle of an intense fight between humans and locust in Gears of War the console suddenly stopped responding. "Big deal", I though, "I just have to turn it off and on again". When I do that, those dreaded lights suddenly appear before, mocking me, laughing at me, while all my dreams shatter and tears start to form in the corners of my eye...

Ok, enough bullshit, but the fact is that, while I spent some months barely touching my beloved 360 (lack of games and money to buy them), the fucking bitch had to stop working right when Call of Duty 4, Mass Effect and many other great games are released. Like our wise Father once said: "Oh bloody hell! Fuck arse and bollocks!".

At least the Microsoft support is known for being quick, efficient and free. Already called the support line and now I just have to wait a couple weeks to have my baby back (or a new one, in case mine is FUBAR)(that's "fucked up beyond all reason", folks).

By the way, more than 1000 visits so far! Ok, 800 to 900 are probably mine, but what the heck, it's impressive nonetheless!

segunda-feira, 12 de novembro de 2007

Graveworm - Losing My Religion (REM cover)

I know what you're thinking, for a gamer's blog this sure has lots of music in it, but I just had to share this with the world. Thanks to a new user of my beloved PTGamers forum, I discovered this most excellent cover of REM's classic, Losing My Religion. Speaking of the original song, it's one of those rare cases of "lighter" music that I really like, and one of the few that made it into my almost metal exclusive music library.

Still, there's nothing like the heavy guitars and guttural vocals of metal, so why not mix the two? That's exactly what Graveworm thought with this most excellent cover. I have to admit, at first it seemed like a poor attempt to "metalize" the song, but after listening to the song over and over again I started to notice the changes in the background music, how well the two vocals combine and specially how great this cover really is. Now I'm addicted. I still prefer the original version, but this sure is one hell of a cover!

For other great metal covers check out Blind Guardian's version of To France or Nightwish's cover of Pink Floyd's High Hopes (I so love this song...).

quarta-feira, 7 de novembro de 2007

System of a Down - The Legend of Zelda

The internet sure is amazing. Just when you think you've seen it all, something like this appears:

Yup, that's System of a Down during a concert at Big Day Out, performing the theme song from The Legend of Zelda series of videogames, although with some "unusual" lyrics...

Found this while searching for some live versions of Suggestions, one of my favourite songs from those guys.

terça-feira, 30 de outubro de 2007

Serj Tankian - Elect The Dead

So, Serj's solo album is finally out and I already have a copy. After the fucking brilliant single Empty Walls and the...hmm...ineresting The Unthinking Majority, I really didn't know what to expect. Was the quality of Empty Walls the rule or the exception? Well, I'm happy to say it's definitely the rule! There are a couple of songs that I don't really like (Money and Baby), but there are more that enough awesome songs on this album to make us forget about SOAD's hiatus.

Speaking of System of a Down, in comparison this is a lighter album in terms of guitars and such, but has so much more powerful vocals! We all know Serj for his awesome vocal tricks, but maybe because this is a solo album he definitely let his vocal cords go wild. Examples? Lie Lie Lie or Prayse the lord and pass the ammunition.

Other great themes are Sky is Over and Saving Us, which has one fucking powerful chorus, so whether your a SOAD fan or just like Serj's unique style, you definitely have to listen to Elect the Dead. You can start right here:

Saving Us

Sky is Over

Lie Lie Lie

sexta-feira, 19 de outubro de 2007

Serj Tankian new video

I already knew System of a Down were on an extended hiatus, but I had no idea their singer, Serj Tankian, was preparing a solo album. I found it today, while watching a video about using Portal's gun on Half-Life 2. I didn't know the song but immediately recognised the singer's voice, so I immediately searched for it in my System of a Down albums. But, guess what, it was nowhere to be found, so I looked for it on the web and finally discovered it was not a SOAD song but Serj Tankian alone. Now I'm waiting for the album, Elect the Dead, to come out, since that song is bloody brilliant.

On a side note, this place looks fucking dead! Besides gnome, who kindly left a comment in every single post, and blackhole, a fellow PTGamer, who wrote on the cbox the other day, it seems like no one cares for this little forgotten corner of awesomeness. Well, that's not totally unexpected since all I post are my ramblings, but...I don't know, I guess I was expecting more love from our little community... ah, fuck it, at least I can still use this as a diary of sorts...

quinta-feira, 11 de outubro de 2007

The King of Iron Fist Tournament 5

I think that's what the Tekken name means... Anyway, it's been a slow week and the most exciting thing that happened was, obviously, Tekken 5. Being a fan of the series since Tekken 3 (great game) I don't know exactly why I waited so much to try this game. Maybe because at the time I was busy playing something else, I guess...

Well, but now I'm playing it, and it's awesome! It's easily the best Tekken game since 3, if not better! But what makes it so good? Well, for a start the sheer amount of content. There's 30 or so characters to choose from, each with its own story, there's the Devil Within mode which plays like a 3D action/platform game, and then there's perfect ports of the arcade versions of Tekken 1, 2, 3 and StarBlade! And, of course, not forget the usual modes like Story, Arcade, Team Battle, Time Attack, Survival or Training.

Not enough? Well, there's also the money you receive from playing these modes that you can use to buy accessories for your characters, and don't forget the Theater mode were you can watch the character's endings, most rendered in beautiful CGI, and the game's songs.

But what's content without a solid gameplay? Of course the one in Tekken 5 won't please everyone, but it's quite enjoyable and it represents a return to the game's roots, discarding some innovations present in Tekken 4 in favour of old favourites, like the endless arenas.

And then there's the graphics... Wikipedia says: "The graphics in Tekken 5 are sometimes referred to as the best on the Playstation 2 platform." You're dead right! The game's just gorgeous. The characters move fluidly, the arenas are beautifully created and the destructive elements are a great. Just look at it:

Of course, due to youtube's limitations, the actual game is much better

So, you're looking for a good 3D beat'em up? Look no further, for Tekken 5 is great in every way. Easy to learn, difficult to master, pretty addictive and with potential to entertain you for lot's of hours, this is a game everyone should try.

sábado, 29 de setembro de 2007

Not dead yet!

Besides being the title of Chidren of Bodom's last album, which I managed to loose before even listening to once, the title of this post can also describe my blog. Yeah, I know, it's been ages since I last wrote something, but not only I've been pretty busy lately, also nothing special happened. Well, besides 25th September, that is...

That day marked the release of Dethklok's first album! Don't know who Dethklok are? Well, they're basically a virtual band, stars of the TV show Metalocalypse, an adult-oriented cartoon with a dark humour not suited for everyone (I have to admit, although I love their music I'm not really a fan of the show). Although a virtual band, their music is just great, something fans noticed from the very beginning, but until now all we could do to listen to this great songs was capture the audio from the episodes or listen to some clips on their MySpace page. Both ways are not practical and limited, since the songs from the shows were always short (1-2 minutes).

Fortunately now those days are gone, thanks to the release of all of our favourite songs in audio-quality, full-length, arranged versions! There are also exclusive songs, that I don't remember seeing before, which is great!

So, what can I say more about The Dethalbum? Well, the first time I saw the tracklist I was somewhat disappointed to see that 2 of my favourite songs were left from the main album, being available only in a bonus cd. Also, when I finally put my hands on the album, I noticed that this tracks were different from what I was used to.

Anyway, all this suddenly disappeared when I started to listen to the other songs. Both Murmaider, the 1st track, and Fansong, the 6th, are bloody brilliant, and all the songs in between are pretty awesome too! In fact, the first 6 songs are so good that I haven't played the rest of the album yet, but I bet there's more awesome songs waiting.

Here's a quote from a review over at metal-archives.com:

"The best thing about this album though is not it's great riffs and solos, Gene's drumming, or the vocal hooks - but the variety of metal on this disc. There is literally something for everyone here. There's brutality, beautiful melody, orchestral score, 80's metal, blues influence, and alot of accessibility. I wouldn't be surprised if they started selling this at local Wal-Marts, if they aren't already. (It would be great to get some mallcore kids into the real metal scene) This is the metal record for the whole family if you will, 38 flavors besides vanilla - one of those albums we get once in a decade. It truly is an amazing album. Hopefully they can top this, should they release another album. But personally, I think that will be hard to do."

So, interested now? If you are, you can check out their MySpace (I personally recommend listening to Duncan Hills Coffee and Blood Ocean) and, or course, there's always youtube:

- Murmaider

- Fansong

- Thunderhorse (did you know this was a bonus song in Guitar Hero 2?)

By the way, in a somewhat unrelated matter, rumour has it that Iron Maiden are coming to Portugal in 2008! OMFG!!! If this is true one of my life goals will be completed next year!

domingo, 16 de setembro de 2007

Movie critics are fucking idiots!

Not only critics, but almost all the people that write about movies for sites like the Internet Movie Database, Rotten Tomatoes and such. Like someone wise said in a thread about the movie I just saw: "They [critics] wouldn't know a good movie if it slapped their arrogant grins off their faces". Why am I telling you this? Well, for a long time I've seen some of my favourite movies being torn apart by critics, but now I'm full of it!

Just a few hours ago I watched Pathfinder. It's a movie I didn't know anything about until I saw a poster of it in my regular movie rental store. The premise caught my attention from the start. Vikings and Indians (ok, native americans), two ancient cultures, beating the crap out of each other. Then, as I searched for more information, my enthusiasm cooled down. It seemed that the Indians were victorious in the end (fuck, I wanted the Vikings to win!) and they do that with the help of a Viking boy who is raised by them and then turns against is own people (WTF? I hate when someone does that). Anyway, it still had Vikings and Indians killing each other, so that should be enough for me.

Well, now that I've seen it, yes, it was enough for me. The movie is not perfect, far from that, and I didn't like the many incoherences when it came to the Viking culture. For example, the horned hats are just a stupid stereotype, they were just used in ceremonies, and, unlike what the movie tells you, not every Viking carried a sword. In fact, swords were hard and expensive to craft, so only leaders carried them. Regular soldiers had to bear with just axes. But, despite that, I enjoyed the movie. It's brutal, it's bloody and it has great action sequences

Wanna know what people think about it? They all say it's crap. WTF? Are you fucking kidding?

This shouldn't be a surprise, really, since many other personal favourites of mine suffered the same fate. Know Alien vs Predator? Jurassic Park III? It happened to them too. Fuck, it even goes all the way back to my childhood! Ever heard of Godzilla? That fucking awesome movie with a creature 100% cooler that the ridiculous original Japanese character? Everyone said it was crap. How is that even possible???

But I can go on. Know Danny the Dog (known as Unleashed in some territories)? I'm not an expert when it comes to martial arts movies, but I do know that was an impressive movie like no other I have seen, and one of, if not the best movie in Jet Li's carrer. Now, I don't really need to tell you what everyone said about it, do I? Guess they prefer the Jackie Chan's comedy-style martial arts stupid films.

Well, I think is enough with the ranting. The whole point of this post, other than canalizing my rage in a productive way, is that you should never trust the opinion of a critic, or of any other person that writes movie reviews, for that matter. See the movies for yourself, because all the judgement you need is your own.

Oh, and if you want some good action movies, you can check out any of the ones I mentioned, despite what people say about them...

sábado, 15 de setembro de 2007

Aliens and Predators

Well, guess it's about time I post anything new, isn't it? Sorry for being away for so long, but nothing special happened lately, so I really didn't have anything to post about. Also I'm feeling a little depressed this week. Don't know exactly why, to be honest. Guess it's just me, I get like this from time to time.

Anyway, since I saw Alien vs Predator (great movie, I don't care what people say) last weekend I already played two distinct games in order to extend the experience of the film. The first was not a game per se, but an expansion pack for a game. I'm talking about Alien vs Predator 2 Primal Hunt. Although I've played AvP2 some years ago, I never played the expansion, maybe because of the bad score it got from a Portuguese mag back in the time. Well, now, with the movie still fresh in my mind, I decided it was about time!

So, now that I've played it to the end with all 3 races, I have to admit, that review was right about some things. The whole expansion feels like just a poor extension of the main game. There's barely anything new, the level designs are far from great, and it all ends too quickly. But is it worthy for a fan of the original game?

Hell yeah! The opportunity to play with a Predator once again is great. There's nothing like turning your cloak on, sneaking behind a prey and ripping it apart with the Wirst Blades. Or just snipe at them from afar with the Spear Gun, with the bonus of the heads being ripped off the body and getting stuck in the walls behind. In the end, as always, you can also collect the heads of your enemies and take them as trophies. There's no actual reward for that, but it's cool to hear your Yautja screaming while you take the head off.

And, for the first time, you can also play with a Predalien, that cool mix between and Alien and Predator. The gameplay is exactly the same as with the Alien of AvP2, but it's just cooler to play with this new guy.

After beating this expansion I also tried to play the original AvP, but unfortunately it didn't run on my PC. Guess my machine is too good for that game, which is a first, since I was only used to it being too bad for games.

Anyway, while I was thinking about getting Predator: Concrete Jungle for the PS2 (which I didn't get yet, waiting for this "predator fever" to cool off and then reappear by the time the second movie hits the cinemas), I decided to try some arcade action. You know, that Model 2 emulator I talked about in the Saturn Junkyard is not the only "board-specific" arcade emulator out there. While searching for more arcade goodness I stumbled upon Modeler, a lovely Model 1 and System 32 emulator.

The Model 1 emulation is still in a early stage, though, so you can forget Star Wars Arcade for the time being, but the System 32 emulation is pretty good. And what could possibly be the best game to try the emulator with? That's right, Alien 3: The Gun! An amazing shooter this game is, and since the emulator has mouse support, aiming could only be better with a light-gun.

Taking control of a marine armed with an awesome machine-gun with infinite ammunitions (no little pistol for you!), you blast your way through 6 levels full of almost every alien you can think of, from face-huggers, to chest-busters and many variations of an adult xenomorph. What I find really amazing are the animations of the aliens, so fluid that you just want to shoot them to see them move! Ok, that sounds weird, but if you play this game you'll see what I mean.

You can get both the emulator and some roms here.

As always, great posts demand great soundtracks, so once again I listened to a whole cd:

Slayer - Christ Illusion (strong cover, guess that's why it has been censored)

Here's the first single of the album, and my favourite track - Eyes of the Insane

sexta-feira, 7 de setembro de 2007

Jurassic Park: Trespasser

After watching Jurassic Park III for the 2nd time last weekend (the first one was in the cinema, when it first came out), I felt like I needed something to expand my experience, hence, a videogame. The problem is there's not much JP games, especially recent ones. Anyway, after playing JP arcade on MAME, I decided to try Trespasser, an old FPS (released in 1998) said to be pretty advanced for it's time.

Well, now I can say it myself, that game not only was, but still is, an FPS like no other, and in many ways it's precisely the FPS I've been craving for so many years. Yes, it's that awesome!

I really don't know where to start. Well, I think I'll begin with the story. Here you control Anne, a young woman who crash-landed on Isla Sorna, the island from JP 2 and 3, sometime after the events of the 2nd movie. Like in the movies, you control a civilian who just wants to get out of the island alive, and that's your main goal.

There isn't much story here, but you character usually talks to herself, about what's happening around you, and you'll often hear clips of John Hammond's memoir, which is great for fans since it gives you an intimate look about Hammond's life and the creation of Jurassic Park.

But what really shines in this game is the gameplay. There's so many brilliant and unique things about it that I don't really know where to start. For instance the game is all about realism. There's no HUD whatsoever. You can see your health by looking at your chest (yes, if you look down you actually see your character's chest, something we only started to see last year with Call of Juarez and other game I can't remember now). There's a heart-shaped tattoo on one of Anne's breasts that fills as you gain damage.

There's also no health packs. You regain your energy automatically over time as long as you're not hit, something Call of Duty 2 was famous for "introducing" in 2005...

Since there's no HUD you also depend on your character to know how many bullets are left on a magazine, so you have to pay attention to her comments when you shoot.

Now, what really makes this game stand out is the arm. The right arm, to be precise, since the left one was broken when Anne crashed on the island. All the interaction with your surroundings is made with this arm, that you can move freely in every direction, and by interactions I mean picking and using weapons and objects, open doors, press buttons in keypads, etc...

Related to this is the game's physics engine, which was so advanced for it's time that it was only surpassed by the on present in 2004's Half-Life 2. Unlike HL2, though, where the objects you picked up appeared suspended in front of you, like some invisible hand is holding them, here you actually see your arm extend to pick the object and your hand holding it.

Now, about the weapons, they're also unlike anything you've seen before. Not the weapons themselves, but the way you handle them. Like the objects, you actually see your arm extending to pick them up (not only you see, but you have to do it, since it's not automatic), unlike every other FPS where you just pass over them and they magically appear on your hands.

Now, once you pick them up, you also don't handle them like you do in other games. For instance, there's no crosshair and you actually have to position your weapon in a way that you know where you're shooting, cause if you rotate your weapon to the left, you'll shoot to the left. Another thing is that your weapon is not an independent object like in other games, it's still part of the world, so it interacts with the objects around it. This means that if, for example, you go against a wall, the weapon will react accordingly. This is most important when fighting dinosaurs that like to bash you, since if you're not careful you can loose your gun in the middle of a fight.

(not the best video, this game looks bad if you don't know how to play it)

This is specially great for finishing of half-dead dinosaurs. If you see a dying raptor you can put your weapon against it's face and actually feel when your gun is touching it, by the way it won't move further. Then, you just need to pull the trigger...

Despite all it's innovations, this was really a game way ahead of it's time, which explains the poor sales and reviews. Of course the game is not perfect. The budget wasn't enough for what the creators were trying to do and since the game had to be rushed to meet the release of the 2nd film, there are some rough edges. The realism and slow-paced action wasn't also well received by gamers with Quake running in their veins, but that's not the game's fault. It's actually the gamer's fault, since now we could have more games like this one, if it wasn't for the stupid gamers that just want another brainless shooter like the other million brainless shooters that already exist...

Anyway, if you like Jurassic Park or just want an FPS like no other, give this game a chance. Although it's an old game, you can make it look (and actually play) better using this unofficial patch, and there's also a great community dedicated to this great game.

PS - From now on I'll always end my posts by telling you the music I listened to while writing the post. I think it's a good way to share my favourite bands with you guys. This time, since the post was really big, I listened to a whole album:

Sonata Artica - For the Sake of Revenge

Some of my favourite songs:

- My Land

- Gravenimage (short version) and Don't Say a Word

- The Cage

terça-feira, 4 de setembro de 2007

Blind Guardian awesomeness!

Say hello to the latest acquisition for my music DVD collection:

Blind Guardian - Imaginations Through the Looking Glass

Being the only DVD they released so far, this and the CD Tokyo Tales are the only way to listen to this great band playing live in the comfort of your home.

Wait, don't know who Blind Guardian are? Well, for a start you can look here and here, but I can also try to define them myself, of course. They started as a Speed Metal band, but after the album Somewhere Far Beyond they started to sound more like Power Metal, and, like all Power Metal bands, their lyrical themes are mostly about fantasy tales and legends. One difference between BG and other Power Metal bands, though, is that, although every band sing about fantasy settings that immediately remind us of well known books, although never making references to any book in particular, BG never try to hide their influences, with obvious songs like Lord of the Rings or The Quest for Tanelorn.

Since I'm already talking about LotR, Tolkien is probably the single biggest influence of BG's work, with an entire album dedicated to singing about The Silmarillion. Their music is not consensual, though, and I've already introduced BG to Tolkien fans, with negative reactions.

Now, about this DVD in particular. Well, to be honest, I only know 3 songs present in it, since as of now I only have 2 albums, Somewhere Far Beyond and Forgotten Tales. Anyway, those songs are great when played Live, although not perfect (I'm used to Iron Maiden's perfectly played live songs, so I'm picky about this). LotR's final is not as good as in the orchestral version present in Forgotten Tales, and the very end of Somewhere Far Beyond could also be better, with the guitar playing too low and the vocalist singing the final lyrics with fewer enthusiasm than I expected. I also miss the song The Quest for Tanelorn, but hey, you can't have it all, can you?

Still, despite this, these songs are really great, and The Bard's Song is near perfection, so this DVD was worth it.

If you're interested in this DVD or Blind Guardian in general but don't want to waste money without knowing if you're gonna like their music, here are the songs I mentioned:

- Lord of the Rings (not the one present on the DVD, couldn't find that one)

- Somewhere Far Beyond

- The Bard's Song (in the forest)

segunda-feira, 3 de setembro de 2007

Room decoration

Like my God of War 2 poster? :)

(click to see it in it's full glory)

Sorry for the bad picture, but it's the best I can get with my phone. I thought about sharing this magnificent view with you guys, since it's easily one of my best posters. In case you're wondering, yes, it came with the Portuguese edition of the Official PlayStation Magazine, but no, I haven't bought the magazine, I managed to get it some other way..., so I'm not entirely in the dark side of gaming yet xD

By the way, I also have this cute one, from the same magazine, with a Little Big Planet theme. Aren't the little guys so adorable?

But fear not, for my room is not deprived of SEGA-related decoration. Here is just one example of that, my commemorative poster of Sonic's 10th birthday and a Soul Calibur one on the bottom, featuring that big breasted beauty called Ivy.

And by the way, since I'm already in a photo show-off, here's my customized Dreamcast! Ok, it's just a sticker, but I think it fits really well. What do you guys think of it?

sexta-feira, 31 de agosto de 2007

Star Wars Racer Revenge (PS2) review

The original Star Wars: Epidose I Racer was a special game for me for many reasons. The demo of the PC version was one of the first games I played in my very first PC. The Dreamcast version was a cult game for me and a friend (he actually enjoyed it even more than I), and one of the few racing games I played multiplayer with my buddies. I actually even played the arcade version of the game once, which, in case you guys don't know, is completely different from the home versions. Supported by a vastly superior graphics engine and with completely different tracks (one of which, if my memory serves me correctly, I think was ported to Racer Revenge), it also had a unique control scheme. Instead of using some regular wheel, it mimicked the "real" (how real can a fictional vehicle be?) Podracers, using one stick to control each engine.

Well, now it's time to move on, leave Episode I Racer behind, and say hello to it's sequel, Racer Revenge!

So, what does this new game have to offer? Well, for a start, the first thing I noticed when I first played the game was the graphics. God, this game is gorgeous! The difference between this and the previous game is huge! Not so much because of the PS2's power, since this machine is not that better than the Dreamcast, but more because this is an exclusive game, and not just some port of a PC/N64 game. The podracers are über detailed, the tracks are awesome and there's even some pretty sweet lighting effects.

The tracks are not just pretty, with delicious details all over the place (that unfortunately you can't really appreciate, since you pass by them at 400 km/h), but they're also superbly designed. Most tracks are pretty standard, but there are also tracks so brilliantly designed that you'll find yourself gazing with awe at the imagination of the producers, with sections where you literally fly over the track and others were it seems like you're in some sort of crazy roller-coaster.

The gameplay is pretty much the same, except for the new destruction system. Now every opponent has a life bar, and you're always encouraged to ram them until that bar expires. They can do the same to you, and although now it's not so easy to explode against the environment like in the previous game, on the other hand, once you wreck your podracer, you're done for good, since there's no respawn here.

About game modes, there's just a few here. Besides you're usual single race and vs. mode, there's only one championship mode. With just 14 stages, it's not going to last forever, but at least it's fun while it lasts. Here you can upgrade your podracer and unlock lots of stuff, like new tracks, podracers and even artwork galleries.

Anyway, although short, this game sure is an awesome and thrilling experience. When you're in a canyon at 400 km/h, battling against an opponent that's trying to ram you against the wall, while trying to make all the curves without crashing against the stone pillars in the middle of the track, suddenly all other racing games seem boring...

Whether you're a fan of the original game or just like fast-paced arcade racing games, this game is for you. Make sure you won't miss it, specially since it's running dirt cheap on ebay.

And in case you're looking for some quality music, I wrote this review while listening to:

Blind Guardian - Quest for Tanelorn

Dio - Holy Diver

Moonspell - Finisterra

Moonspell - Upon the Blood of Men (unfortunately it's not on youtube, but if you like the song above, look out for this one)

quinta-feira, 30 de agosto de 2007



Welcome to my own blog! After messing around in other people's blogs for some time I decided it was time to make my own. Sometimes I just need a place where I can post all the shit I want and hopefully this is going to be that place.

Be sure to check it out often and leave your mark, for I'm a comment whore and right now I need all the comments I can have. It raises my self-esteem, I guess...