domingo, 14 de junho de 2009

Da Weasel in the house

Tomorrow's my first end of semester exam, am I'm going crazy studying all day long. I really needed to chill out, and what better way to do that than going to a Da Weasel concert? That's right, after interrupting my ritual of going to one of their shows at least once a year for the first time in 2008, I started doing it again. It was my 4th show, the 2nd with songs from the last album (which I absolutely despise), and honestly it was better than I thought it would be.

Maybe they realized that, once the dust settles and the novelty effect wears off, their true fans are the older ones, those who followed their career, not these kids that only listen to them because "it's cool", and the old guys like me like the old songs better. So, they cut a bit on the crap from the last cd, returned with a few old favourites, and overall just gave a good show. Like two years ago they had a big-ass screen on the background (3 screens, actually, a main one in the middle and two smaller parallel screens), unlike in previous years when there was just a painted wall, and this time they made better use of it, with some really cool effects that really added to the music.

(video by me, which explains the quality)

The public, on the other hand, was a bit off. There wasn't a lot of people and most were just standing still, like fucking statues or something. Only the front rows were really into it, jumping, and waving hands, and screaming, and shit, and since the place wasn't that crowded I managed to sneak in until I was just 5 meters or so away from the stage. In fact I was so close I almost caught a water bottle thrown by Jay! But, of course, the fucking prick right in front of me had to catch it... Still, it was the closest I ever was to the band, so it was cool. Also, in the end there was the inevitable mosh pit when they played "Tás na boa", which was fucking great to relieve the stress.

(end of the show, again photo taken with my cellphone)

Overall, a great show. And it only cost me one euro! The booth lady was so nice that, instead of charging me and my two friends three euros each (the ticket price), she charged only three euros for the three of us! Fucking win! :D

quinta-feira, 11 de junho de 2009

PS3's rocking again

As many of you probably know, I bought a PS3 on impulse last summer just to play Metal Gear Solid 4. The good thing is, it was the first thing I did on impulse that I didn't regret later. Heck, it was one of the best summers of my life! I'm not a beach lover and the sun burns my skin, so there's nothing better than spending a whole month shut inside, in a cold living room, playing one of the best games of all time.

The bad thing is, the bloody thing was so fucking expensive it left my wallet with a hole so big it took me this whole time to repair, so in the meantime I sure as hell couldn't afford any more games. For a long time I wanted to pick up some cheap early games, like Motorstorm or Lair (I know, I know, but I'm a big dragon fan). The only problem was, I couldn't find them cheap. Then I really wanted to experience that amazing piece of software named Valkyria Chronicles. Except that, at the time, I was piss poor (for a change...). Then it was Killzone 2, but once again my wallet was against me.

All this changed yesterday, in a fortuitous visit to the nearest GAME store. I usually go there just for a kick, to kill some time looking at games, and always leave empty-handed. Not this time, mate! For they had this wonderful title, in used but excellent condition, for the mere price of 15€

It's Uncharted, dawg!!!

So, there you have it, the first game I bought for my PS3. Too bad I still have 2 exams to go before ending the semester, so I can't play it for now. Only played a little bit yesterday to be sure it worked, and OMG, it's all in Portuguese! Voice work and all!!! Sony, you fucking rule!!! :D

quarta-feira, 10 de junho de 2009

Alive and kicking!

Ok, it's about time I bring this god-forsaken place back to life! Gather around, my dear friends, for I'm about to do what I do best: review stuff and tell you about stuff you never thought existed! This time I bring you the tale of an Xbox game. An original Xbox game, not 360. Now, now, what could come out of that little, somewhat ill-fated, predictable little box? We all know the first Xbox was only good for sports games and shooters (HALO!!!111oneoneone). Well, allow me to prove you wrong. You see, although the console performed terribly in Japan, it did manage to have its share of exclusives we, westerners, never saw. Incredible, I know, but it's true! One of such games goes by the name of Metal Wolf Chaos.

Now, pay attention, as what I'm about to write may very well be too much for you to absorb all at once. In this game you take control of the president of the United States of America. Now, go back and read that sentence again. You don't work for him, you don't have to protect him, he's not just a shadowy figure you never see or a just a poser for the cut-scenes. You, the player, take direct control over the most powerful man on earth! (or so they say) (and no, it's not Obama, soz... *sad face*). But wait, there's more! Obviously you're not on foot, otherwise it'd be boring. Oh no, the president obviously deserves a more fitting ride, so you're riding a big-ass power armor, aka=mech, name Metal Wolf!!! Holy fucking Jesus!

But wait, it gets better. Unlike most mechs, the weapons are not directly and permanently attached to its arms, instead it has them stored in those huge containers over the shoulders so you can pick them up as you please. Oh, and yes, they're fucking gigantic versions of real-life weapons.


Gameplay-wise, the game can seem a bit complicated at first, specially since the default controls have inverted aim (you point the analog stick down and the camera goes up) and a lot of the menus are in Japanese. Still, after some experimentation I managed to configure the controls to my liking, and once you get the hang of it, the game actually plays quite well. The main objectives of each mission usually involve destroying key targets, most of the time enemy towers, with the ocasional boss fight against a huge (HUGE!) mechanized enemy. The levels, usually with a urban setting, give you some liberty as to which way to go and wich targets to get first, which is always nice, and along the way you'll encounter a lot of enemy soldiers or tanks that you can either take out of ignore.

Taking them out is usually the best option, unless time is a priority, since it gives you points that you can use to unlock new weapons. Speaking about weapons, they come in every shape and size (well, not size, since they're all huge), from handguns (can you picture that, a robot shooting a handgun?) to machineguns, rocket-launchers or some exotic pieces, like rifles that shoot lighting. Overall the gameplay is fast and fun, although it takes sometime to get used to the weird weapon-changing system (you can carry up to 8 weapons at a time, 4 for each hand, although the bigger weapons need both hands), and this is in part due to the awesome graphics.

The key word is destruction. Almost everything, beside key structural elements like buildings that are part of the level, can be destroyed. Somethings, like trees, containers or cars explode just by ranning it over, and the rest can easily be dispatched with a couple of well-placed rockets. This goes for enemy towers and other buildings, huge neon signs, building facades, etc, etc... and, you know, the bigger they are, the more impressive the resulting explosion is!

Overall this was a good surprise. At first I tried it just out of curiosity, thinking that there was nothing more than an ingenious gimmick and a ridiculous plot, but actually there was. The gameplay is solid and fun, the graphics are amazing, even the soung is good, and I'm talking about the soundtrack, not the cheesy dialogues (although, if you're into that, they're also great...I guess... "I got to do it, Kate!", "But why, Mr. President?" "Why? Because I'm the president...of the United States...of America!!!"). Too bad it's somewhat rare import, and probably fucking expensive nowadays too, so you're better off getting it through...*coughcough*...other means...

Bye, y'all!