What transpired this week has been nothing short of chaotic and, personally, further enlightening of how I feel about the state of affairs regarding the gaming community and gaming journalism. As I write this, I’m still afraid of the repercussions that might be imposed on me, my staff, and everything we’ve worked on since 2011. So much so that I’m even afraid to name names. I’m not even tagging this article with the terms that it should be tagged in. Never before have I seen a single article be enough to take an entire website offline, and self-hosted no less. I expressed my concerns when this whole thing started blowing up, and that’s exactly what happened. Thankfully, the site has returned, but I can’t imagine how stressful it must be to see everything you worked on disappear because of something you said on a single article. This is the kind of thing the SOPA fiasco warned us about, where criticism and reporting, even at its most objective, would simply be wiped away because the subject(s) didn’t like what was being said.
On June 13, 2013, the world of Japanese VO suffered a really terrible loss when Kenji Utsumi, one of the most veteran seiyu (Japanese voice actors) in the business, lost his battle with cancer, passing away at age 75.
As the Wired Fish’s resident anime geek, as well as one of a relatively low number of passionate “voice actor enthusiasts”, I find that I grow fond of certain voices. Certain actors who fill a niche well, giving me a fond thrill whenever I hear them. “Ah, there’s X actor, good to know this hero’s in good hands!” or “Oh, she’s voiced by Y, no wonder I hate her.” Utsumi-san had made a career out of voicing rough and tumble guys, his lower register voice giving many a throaty growl to characters both old and new, and I’d like to highlight a few here. Continue reading
I figured I would share a sample of the wonderful voice acting that can be found in Gabriel Knight 2 — Enjoy!
P.S. Don’t expect a review for this one anytime soon, I’m progressing slow as shit and have other games I’m playing at the same time, but at least now it’s easy to share captured images and audio of the games I am playing currently, so expect me to post up things I find funny every now and then.
I want you to remember a time that you watched a really funny internet video. You saw it, and you said to yourself “Wow, this is hilarious! I have to show my friends!”. And so you posted it on your facebook, or showed it at a group hangout. Sure, it was stupid and devoid of any real meaning, but everyone laughed and had a good time, and it was quickly forgotten. If the mood strikes you, a long time later on you might still reference said video with a knowing wink and a smile, and a few people will chuckle and move on with their lives. And you will too.
This is kind of what Shootfighter Tekken is in a nutshell. A three episode OVA utterly devoid of any real intellectual or emotional depth, but still a ton of fun to watch while it lasts. Is it one of the greats, destined to stand with the great artworks of anime? No. But I deny you to not have a blast while watching this gaudy, ridiculous, and awesome little gem.
Imagine, if you will, the final lap of a 10 lap footrace. In front, you have the gold medalist. He’s obviously going to win, as everyone suspected from the start. And about 10 feet behind him, you have the runner up. The silver medalist, the guy who never really had a chance of winning, but by maintaining his pace he’s shown himself to be a respectable contender. No one will argue that he’s as good as the guy in first, but he’s won a few fans in the audience, and will be remembered fondly.
So they approach the finish line. The first place runner crosses with elegence and ease. The second runner up is about 5 feet from the line. He then shits his pants and falls down. Everyone sees it. His pants dirtied by the tragedy that just took place, he gets up and stumbles over the line, still the runner up. And the audience cheers apprehensively. Yeah, he still came in second, and the rest of his run was great. But holy shit, that ending. It’s kinda hard to forget that he SHAT HIS PANTS AND FELL DOWN.
“With my heart full of gratitude for everything good in the world, I’ll put down my pen. Well, I’ll be leaving now.”
– The last words of Satoshi Kon’s final address, posthumously posted on his blog by his family.
One year ago today, on August 24th 2010, the world of Anime lost one of its truly gifted and visionary creators when Satoshi Kon, the man behind such mind-bending works of art as Paranoia Agent and Perfect Blue, passed away at 47 after a mostly private battle with pancreatic cancer. He left behind a legion of mourning fans, instructions for the completion of his final film The Dreaming Machine, and a legacy of some of the most creative, wonderful, and boundry pushing animation ever put to film.
I have never been into anime based on puzzle games, but that easily changed after finishing the series Hikaru no Go. The series starts with a simple concept. Hikaru finds an old Go board in his grandfather’s basement. When he finds the board, he notices blood on it but he is the only one that can see it. Sai, the androgynous ghost who resides in the board, arises from his rest and possesses Hikaru. After Sai explains why he possessed Hikaru and his mysterious past, he convinces Hikaru to play some Go. Hikaru takes Sai to a Go salon and plays another boy named Akira. Naturally, due to the guidance of Sai, Hikaru crushes Akira. Hikaru saying that his first time playing only furthers the plot. Akira trying to surpass Hikaru and figure out his mysterious strength, etc etc.
Now judging the series, solely on story line, isn’t fair when it comes to Hikaru no Go. I have watched this series twice in my lifetime. The first time, I was 13 and bored watching repeats on Toonami. The second time, I actually learned how to play Go before watching the series again. This made a world of difference and I suggest people follow my footsteps before watching the series. An understanding of Go, goes a long way. (<—see what I did there ^_^) Anime based on games/sport of any kind are usually hard to pull off and the audience usually needs understanding of the game/sport before really getting into the series. This is where Hikaru no Go really shines. Not only does the series do a good job explaining certain rules/elements of the game, but it also really puts perspective on the participants of this game. There are plenty of times, usually when Sai is teaching Hikaru a strategy, that the rules are explained in a simple and fun way. I found myself learning new things about Go by the third episode and I had been playing Go for about three months already.
Furthermore, at the end of each episode, more emphasis is put on GO and the community. The segment is called “GO! GO! IGOO!”. In this short two minute segment, being taught by real Go professionals, the series takes a Detective Conan puzzle approach. Different problems are given to the audience to solve by either next episode or the end of the segment. The cast even travels to different parts of Japan, China, and Korea to explore different Go communities around the world. This segment really got me into Go. Anyone giving the series a try will almost be forced to try the game at least once.
If I could compare the relationship of Hikaru and Sai to any other show, it would be a Zanpakto and a Shinagami without the blood and story inconsistency. Sai, in the beginning of the series, brought a lot of attention to Hikaru because he was playing based on Sai’s instructions. Hikaru naturally begins to learn the game and happens to be amazing at it. So the amount of games Hikaru gets to play start to change drastically. Naturally the relationship takes a hit and the characters bump heads. The thing that stood out to me most about this dynamic is that the relationship was very adult. No wimpy feelings, no crying, no inexplicable bitching. Both characters brought up logical points for how they felt. Not only did this dynamic exist between these two characters, but the whole cast. I concluded this was done purposely to give the audience an idea of how professional Go is handled. Hikaru may have been thirteen when he turned pro, but the world of Go was adult and he was treated as such. The series still has small humor bits and it is not always serious. The combination of these two elements makes the series a much watch for me.
Is there a flaw in the series? Yes. It has the same flaw as many series based on games or about detectives. The anime doesn’t spoon feed the audience every bit of information. Nothing is made apparent. The problem with this series and others, it isn’t flashy and will only grab a persons’ attention if they aren’t willing to give it up. For example, Bleach will can capture someones attention because of the weird looking monsters, hero with orange hair, and a giant sword or two. Compare that with an anime based on a strategy game that uses white and black stones……see what I mean? I personally don’t find this to be a flaw. But I also am a fan of many anime series that are known to do this: Monster, Detective Conan, etc.
This is a very good anime and should be watched for an enjoyment and educational reasons. Hikaru no Go is the full package when it comes to animation and voice acting, and goes above and beyond to make one of the oldest games ever created awesine. Long live Go and long live Hikaru no Go.
The wheel of fates are turning again and I am loving it. If you own Blaze Blue Continuum Shift and did not download the patch, stop reading the article, run to your PS3 or Xbox 360 and download it…..NOW! If you ignored my instructions, have the patch already, or just plain don’t care, you may or may not understand how epic this patch is. The patch was released around the middle of May and I have been playing the game since. I play it mostly on the PSP but the changes are the same for next gen systems. I love some things about the patch (Tager buffs FTW 🙂 !) and some things I don’t like (the return of Jin Kisaragi and his icy stare). But overall, this patch proves how amazing Aksys is as a company. Not only did they use Dustloop forums as a reference for changes, they actually did a lot of things people liked. For example, the nerfs to Bang Shishigami. All fans of CS2 pre-patched remember the walking nightmare Bang was. He had no bad matchups, amazing priority, super armor on one of his best moves, and is A FREAKIN NINJA. But with the application of this patch, he isn’t as difficult to fight. Below is a combo video, by Diamondtifa, showing his amazing abilities pre patch.
Furthermore Aksys went above and beyond and made room for a new DLC character. His name is Relius Clover and he looks really cool. In the video below people describe him as a mixture of Carl and any random character from Jo Jo’s Bizzare adventure. I can’t wait to get my hands on the character and try some sick MVC3 like combos.
This will come up in a discussion somewhere on the interwebs, so I might as well bring it up now. Capcom Vs Atlus, Fate of two DLCs. Now my stance on this is very complicated, so I will try to make this as simple as possible. I am for the Atlus/ Netherealm games method for issuing out DLC. The user chooses what they want to buy. This method may not be as profitable as Capcom’s, but it definitely allows more control in the user’s hands. For example, if I didn’t want Relius Clover (highly unlikely), I wouldn’t have to patch my game. In Capcom’s case, they package Street Fighter 4 : Arcade Edition and Ultimate MVC3 user’s have to by characters they do/ don’t like just for a rebalance of the game. Recently a youtube who goes by the name AngryJoeshow made a rant about this same subject. He only addresses Ultimate MVC3 but it is still worth the watch:
With the application of this patch, it is clear how Aksys got to where they are today. Constant interaction with the community of people who love the game, patches that actually make the game better, and kept promises of future content. I know this review is short, but there is nothing more I can say about Aksys without making you guys think I am on payroll. If you don’t have BlazBlue Continuum Shift, go buy it. If you haven’t downloaded the patch, download it already. I am proud of Atlus and you should be as well.
Do we have a treat for you today. In light of the recent events involving Capcom,
We’ve dedicated half the show time to talk about them. Regarding Capcom, we talk about the revelation of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the cancellation of Megaman Legends 3, and general issues with Capcom lately.
Afterwards, we talk indie games with this year’s Humble Indie Bundle. And finally, Nintendo’s in trouble 3DS doesn’t meet expectations, the Wii’s continues to experience a huge drought, and reports massive financial losses.Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3………………………..1:12 Megaman Legends 3……………………………………24:00 Humble Indie Bundle……………………………………35:50 Nintendo Woes…………………………………………..51:05 Outro………………………………………………………1:07:34 Credit………………………………………………………1:08:30
We are all familiar with the concept of the “Buddy Cop Show”. Typically, a young buck of a detective, usually with potential yet-unfulfilled is partnered with a gruff veteran whose patience and experience serve to keep the young’n in check, and eventually make him better at his job. Over time, the youngster will come to look up to the veteran as a symbol of what he wants to be, and may even adopt him as a father figure. As for the vet, he’s probably weary from all his years of service, but his time with his partner will re-ignite the spark of passion he once had for his job, and both will eventually part as equals.
The reason I start this review with this description is because Heat Guy J is, essentially, a “B.C.S.”, with alot of the tropes associated with said genre. Oh, except the vet is a tall, trenchcoated android and the whole thing takes place in a futuristic city. Despite the cynicism oozing from the above paragraph, Heat Guy J stands as a sterling example of how a combination of good writing, high production values, and well-developed and likeable characters can make even the most stale premise great.
God, that’s a silly title isn’t it? It sounds like the single greatest buddy cop show ever: “Veteran detective Craig “The Kung Fu Master” Kavorsky teams up with hot young cop Andre “Opium” Andorhal, and together, they solve the cases no one else can” *cue Isaac Hayes-style opening theme* Then again, the title it was known by upon arrival in the U.S. back in the day, “Lightning Fists of Shaolin”, isn’t much more dignified.
Nah, but great title aside, “Opium and the Kung Fu Master” is a shockingly dark, well made film from the twilight years of Shaw Bros. Studios, and shows that, even if it is corny, a Kung Fu film can deliver a good story alongside its kick-ass fights. Starring several all-time greats at the top of their game, including legendary leading man Ti Lung and future Gallants star Chen Kuan-tai (who I wish so hard played a character named “Opium”), and featuring immensely satisfying fight scenes choreographed by six (yes, SIX) fight directors, O.A.T.K.F.M. (I am not typing that whole thing again) is a worthy send off for Shaw and an amazing film in its own right.
Several weeks ago during my internship, dancers Mitsuko Yoshitomi and Honomi performed on the Open show set. You can catch their performance on the BronxNet Open site (it starts around 50:32, followed by an interview with them around 55 minutes in). The video does load slowly though. But fret not, you can hit the jump and see that same performance in the youtube video below (you’ll only be missing the interview). They will be performing this Saturday (May 21) at the Dance Parade in NYC, which starts at 1PM. Continue reading
Hello Fellow Fishes. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s time I bring back The Breakdown. Before starting The Wired Fish, I used to do reviews of games on DeviantART. My last review was The Conduit, which I reviewed July 27, 2009. At the time it was my only platform to do any form of blogging. But now, things have changed, and I have more tools at my disposal for writing something with a bit more pizazz. One thing that I stand by still is my review format. I detailed at one point how it works on dA, so go ahead and read it to get an idea of how The Breakdown works. To put simply, there is no overall score, only individual ones. And it is impossible for a section to get a perfect 10.
Anyways, onto the show at hand: Okamiden. This sequel to Okami’s been a long time coming. First appearing on the PS2, and then The Wii (complete with IGN’s Stamp of Approval), Okami was an amazing experience that I would never forget. Unfortunately, the game didn’t really sell well. It did garner a cult following though. What made matters worse for the possibility for a sequel to Okami is that 1) Clover Studios shut down, only to independently reopen as Platinum Studios. and 2) ReadyAtDawn, the guys that handled the conversion of the game from PS2 to Wii, went back to work to make another God of War game for the PSP. So things looked pretty grim for Okami fans. Then one day, Capcom revealed that Okamiden was being made, and it was for the DS. I, unlike many, welcomed the fact that it was a DS game, as now there is some tactile feedback with the celestial brush techniques (I’ll be getting to that later). So, Was all that worry for an Okami sequel worth it? Or did Chibiterasu piss on all of our hopes. Hit the jump to read the full review. Continue reading
Oh? Well, fresh of Xenoblade getting localized and set for release in Europe, Nintendo of America register the domain for Mistwalker’s The Last Story. When going to www.thelaststory.com, the URL redirects you to Nintendo’s site.
for those not in the know, The Last Story is made by Hironobu Sakaguchi and his company, Mistwalker. His company made Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey for the Xbox 360. Cry On was 360 bound, but canceled. Here, familiarize yourself with The Last Story.
In about a week, this blog will be ready for its debut. In the mean time, catch my latest ramblings on LiveJournal. For now, I’m just putting getting the visual stuff ready and seeing what WordPress can do. Once I’m confident, all blogs from be will be posted here instead, and no more entries will be posted on Livejournal.
See ya next week.