Saturday, May 24, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
|Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders):||Red Cross:|
|International Donation Site||International|
|MSF Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
Despite being out-sang by the other David (Archuleta) during the final night, he managed to pull in a whopping 56% of the total 97.5 million votes cast. My take on young Archuleta: he has a very nice voice, but I think people would tire at hearing the boring ballads he belts out on almost every show.
David Cook on the other hand has shown major versatility and an uncanny ability of making a song his own, much like last year's runner up (and sadly, current record flop) Blake Lewis. Here are some of David Cook's best performances on American Idol:
- Arguably his best performance in American Idol, Lionel Richie's Hello was taken to "rocky" heights:
- "One shouldn't abuse a Mariah Carey song, especially in this manner". That was the comment I got from a friend on David Cook's version of Always Be My Baby. I thought it was pretty nice:
- A Michael Jackson favourite of mine, and a version done by Chris Cornell. I was pleasantly surprised at Billie Jean sounding the way David Cook sang it. It rocked. A lot. Can he do Dirty Diana as well? Pretty please?
- I bet that many people were suprised or were just simply in awe of David Cook's performance, singing Music of the Night from The Phantom of the Opera.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
If there's a game on the Nintendo DS that can (and will) make you miss your baths and is the epitome of the "just-one-more-turn" addiction normally found turned-based games on the PC, that game would be Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords.
Puzzle Quest plays a little bit like one of those Heroes of Might and Magic games on the PC. There's the game-world map whereby the hero moves around and there's also the hero's starting location, a city which can be upgraded with player-specific buildings.
The similarities with the HoMM end at combat. While there's also experience to be earned from combat, actual combat takes place as a Bejeweled game between the player and the AI. Where else can you say that you got pwned by a giant vampire bat in a game of Bejeweled?
Being an old title, Puzzle Quest would probably have dozens of reviews to its name, each would also be probably recommend that you get it. My sentiments exactly, having played the game. I got this game as a used copy a couple of weeks ago with Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney for a paltry RM 90 or USD 28 for both!
If you need to get a new copy, the US version is available at Play-Asia for USD 24.90 (click here) whereas the Japanese import version, Simple DS Series Vol. 23: The Puzzle Quest: Agaria no Kishi (quite a mouthful) is also available at a cheaper price of USD 19.90 (click here).
P/S: Both titles are at bargain prices.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The King Lives! Albeit in Be@rbrick form. Medicom Toys has released the Elvis Presley Be@rbrick figure in 100% and 400% sizes.
These official Be@rbrick figures measure 60mm and 27 centimeters(!) for the 100% and 400% sizes respectively. Here are some photos on how these collector items look like:
Play-Asia is currently selling both figurines, click here for purchase details for the Elvis Presley Be@rbrick 100% and here for the Elvis Presley Be@rbrick 400%.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Hmm. This is the 666th post in my blog. Pretty freaky. :) Anyways, value-priced versions (read: cheap, bargain bin) of two Bleach titles for the Nintendo DS went on sale today.
Bleach DS: Souten ni Kakeru Unmei (Best Version) (a.k.a Bleach: The Blade of Fate) and Bleach DS 2nd: Kokui Hirameku Chinkon Uta (Best Version) (a.k.a Bleach: Dark Souls) are selling for USD 29.90 each.
Pretty good value for money eh? Interested? Click here to purchase Bleach DS: Souten ni Kakeru Unmei (Best Version) (a.k.a Bleach: The Blade of Fate) and here for Bleach DS 2nd: Kokui Hirameku Chinkon Uta (Best Version) (a.k.a Bleach: Dark Souls)
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The same material that makes them bounce gives off a horrible stench, one that is rubbery + plastic-ky at the same time. It's so horrible that even if one of those balls were removed from the plastic packaging they come in, the nausea/migraine inducing stench will engulf the entire room.
I've placed the two balls in a sealed container and will get rid of them on Monday when the garbage man arrives. What a waste of 5 dollars and 40 cents.
But if you want to get them as stink bombs, be my guest. They are available at USD 2.90 each at Play-Asia.com. Click here for purchase details.
DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU!
Here are some pictures of the Mach 6:
Have you gotten your's yet?
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Also interesting was the gameplay. At first I thought the game was a straight-forward shmup ala 1942, where you shoot down planes, tanks and enemy emplacements with your souped-up helicopter. The subsequent land-based commando mission took me by surprise. It was a break from the norm but at the same time, devilishly hard to play.
I took a video of that sequence:
So what are the differences between Crossfire and Super Airwolf? Both are similar gameplay wise but try to spot the differences between the games with the videos I've taken below:
This write-up wouldn't have been possible without jEnesisDS, a Sega Genesis emulator for the Nintendo DS, and the R4DS, a flashcart used to run homebrew applications on the Nintendo DS.
Hi old friend. Yes. It's been a while. How have you been doing? Yeah, I know it's hard to be stuck in a shelf for so long, and I apologize for not taking you out for a spin every now and then. But here am I now, looking at you. I hope your current accommodation isn't too harsh on your formerly shiny under side.Yes, I'm back in the throes of Diablo II.
You really don't age well do you. But despite all the wrinkles on your forehead, and those large looking lint on your grainy clothes, you still play like a charm. Point, click, run... just like old times. And don't forget the items! But I still don't get the socketed ones.
This time around, I'm taking things a little different. You and I, we used to play long-range, but how bout having playing with a gang of friends (or automatons) of the bony variety instead. They look cool, and surely even out the odds when we're in a pinch. Ah...let the good times roll.
Anyways, Nine Over Ten 9/10 is now on Twitter! So get updates on what I am doing, review announcements and bargain highlights on your IM or mobile phone simply by following me on Twitter. Click here to do so now!
Friday, May 16, 2008
Now this really looks interesting. Released in 1984, Nintendo's Micro VS System is a portable console that doesn't look like a typical Game N' Watch unit. The Micro VS System came with a screen measuring slightly lesser than 16 centimeters and brought about 2 player action with the supplied pair of controllers.
You can find used Micro VS System units selling for more than USD 30 on eBay whereas new ones are going for USD 70. However, collectors are in luck since Play-Asia is selling brand-new factory sealed units of the rare Micro VS System: Donkey Kong Hockey for just USD 49.90 each
Here are some pictures:
These are the technical specifications:
- Official Nintendo Portable Game
- LR44 (AA) Micro Alkaline Batteries included (1.5 V)
- Play modes: vs Computer or 2 Player mode
- Extendable controllers (upto 48cm)
- Battery life: 5 months (an hour play per day)
- Time display: 12-hour system
- Alarm: Set in 1-min intervals
- Limited availability
Nintendo has revolutionized the gaming industry in many ways, the systems they have developed are often truly innovative. It widens the gaming communities and bring gaming experiences to new heights.Interested? Click here for purchase details.
Arcade consoles have long been linking players together for fighting and sports games, and the Micro VS System was released in 1984 and is one of the earliest consoles that makes such gameplay portable. With the console's two handhelds, two players can join a game by sharing the screen between them.
This console is one of the rare artifacts that tells the historical development of the gaming industry, a true collector's item that any serious gamer must own and Play-Asia.com is lucky to get hold of a limited quantity of brand new factory sealed consoles.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
The idea for the 10th Edition of The ROM Report came to me when I was talking to a couple of my colleagues about 80s cartoon series. I remember being glued to the tube and being fed a diet of Thundercats, Transformers, Centurions, and Spiral Zone.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was also a favourite series of mine. I wouldn't really call them turtles, they are more like tortoises but like blondes, turtles seem to be more fun. The cartoon came out in 1987 and the NES game was release in 1989.
It's pretty fun to play, as you can see in the video I've taken earlier of the game.
On the otherhand, I didn't really watch Beetlejuice on TV. However, the video game, released for the NES is a little tough and presents a challenge. See for yourselves:
Now, if you think difficulty levels are over-rated, you have not seen Transformers: Convoy No Nazo. Yup, it's based on the Transformers cartoon series and stars Ultra Magnus.
The game is so tough that I can't even get pass the first level. Here's a video of my attempt:
All 80s inspired games featured in this article can be run on the Nintendo DS with the use of nesDS. Check out the rest of The ROM Report for more information on how to run older generation games on the Nintendo DS.
I rarely blog about figurines/action figures nowadays, but I figure that Transformer fans would be interested in this one. The Revoltech versions of Rodimus (Hot Rod) and Star Scream by Kaiyodo are going for a bargain price of USD 17.90 each at Play-Asia! The prices are cheaper than that of Amazon.com!
Being Revoltech action figures, both are highly poseable and come with additional hands and their respective weapons. Here are some pictures:
Click here for purchase details for the Rodimus action figure, and click here for Star Scream. Here's a tip: Purchase both to get another dollar off the total price.
NES gamers would probably remember Taito's classic The Legend of Kage which was released in 1987 for the North American NES.
The game was a 2D platformer and even though I've played it as a kid, I remembered distinctively that the hero was a ninja that could jump really high, and one of the enemy types wore a hat and shot flames, and was a tough bastard at that.
Anyways, I got the game to run on the Nintendo DS with the help of the nesDS emulator. You might want to check that out, but before that here's a video of the game running on the DS.
Since the theme of this edition of The ROM Report is "the old and the new", lets talk about the sequel to The Legend of Kage. Yup, Kage Densetsu: The Legend of Kage 2 was released in early March 2008 for the Nintendo DS.
The graphics have become much prettier, and along with it, more forgiving gameplay and a rather nice soundtrack as well. The hero, Kage, can still jump really high and comes with a new special power that allows him to duplicate himself.
I'll let the movie do the talking:
Kage Densetsu: The Legend of Kage 2, is available at Play-Asia at a cheaper price than what other imported Japanese games are sold for. Click here for purchase details.
Monday, May 12, 2008
So what to expect this week at Nine Over Ten 9/10?
- A review of a new Sherlock Holmes game!
- A new ROM REPORT!
- A review of Japanese import Kage Densetsu: The Legend of Kage 2
- More highlights on bargains and discounts for video games!
- And many more :)
Sunday, May 11, 2008
For the latest highlights on bargains and discounts for Nintendo DS games, head over to the brand new www.nineoverten.com.
Mega Man fans! Play-Asia has a lot of Mega Man titles on sale at just USD 16.90 each including the newest Mega Man ZX Advent. Not only that, RockMan titles are going for a cool USD 9.90 each. Click here for the entire list of Mega Man and RockMan titles on sale for the Nintendo DS.
In Iron Man, Tony Stark is a modern day weapons maker, one who doesn't really have a conscience, not losing sleep over the people who have died because of his weapons. He gets attacked by terrorists using the very weapons he created, gets captured and thrown in a cave, where he finds redemption, deciding to do something with his life and becoming Iron Man in the process.
Like Jonah, he escapes the cave a changed man. But unlike Jonah, the Tony Stark in the movie doesn't lament about the mission he sets out to do, otherwise there would be a plot device where he turns to drink as an escape, just like in the comics.
That point aside, Iron Man is quite a different kettle of fish from other superhero movies. For one, the casting is perfect. Even before the movie was announced, I always thought that Robert Downey Jr. would make an excellent Tony Stark, with his past substance abuse and his looks, and this movie was an Iron Man fanboy's dream come true.
The repartee and on-screen chemistry between Tony Stark and his assistant Pepper Potts (played by Gwyneth Paltrow) would make you forget about the suit(s). Not only that, the interactions between the characters, played by an ensemble cast that include not only Downey Jr and Paltrow but also Jeff Bridges and Terrence Howard is something to be marvelled (no pun intended) at.
Even Paul Bettany (of The Da Vinci Code and A Knight's Tale) is thrown in as the voice of Tony's sarcastic computer system.
The art of conversation is lost in superhero movies, but Iron Man brings that back, with some really cool action sequences and a bloody cool suit. The suit is kind of like the one in the Ultimates comic books, whereby it's like a wearable fighter jet and assembly is required. I actually prefer the Extremis enhanced version, but this movie version is so hot, even my girlfriend (who doesn't really watch superhero movies) wants one.
Iron Man fans will be in for a treat at the amount of fan service given... Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, anyone?
So, what are you waiting for? Go watch Iron Man at a cinema near you!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I must say that with WFC Connectivity, Speed Racer: The Video Game would have been up there contending with Mario Kart DS for the best racing game title on the Nintendo DS.
Admittedly, that thought didn't cross my mind before I started reviewing the game. Likewise for many movie tie-ins and in-fact many Nintendo DS games these days, I approached this title with trepidation thinking that hey, at most its gonna be something a little less crappier than M&M's Kart Racing.
Yup, the market is full of shovelware these days that a little pessimistic thinking is acceptable. Are we looking at another video games crunch ala the 80's? That's enough material for another article.
Back to the game. Boy, was I glad to be proven wrong. The game started off with a nice FMV, with the backstory being set after the events of the movie. Without further ado, I jumped into an arcade mode race and the graphics were the first thing that caught my attention.
Someone better create a digital video output expansion set for the DS so that I can view this on my widescreen..this is really good!
It was a really trippy experience going through the first race and the excellent graphics were accompanied with excellent controls and gameplay. Some portions of the track are like half pipes, and if you were to drive off the sides, a tap of a button will bring the car right on to the track. This user friendly approach is extended to situations where you might find yourself driving backwards, and a touch of a button will right the car.
All these stunts, which also include flipping the car during jumps, drifting through corners and executing Car-Fu, which is a mini game that can be executed during overtaking, will help you fill your boost meter which can be expended to provide a timely boost of speed.
However, fill the boost meter to the brim and you'll have access to the Zone. It's abit hard to describe the "Zone", it's like a mega boost of sorts and pretty much worth the effort to fill the boost meter.
More importantly, stunts also win fans. Fans are to Speed Racer as currency is to RPGs. the more fans you win over in a race, the more cars, drivers and game modes you can unlock!
Aside from the Arcade Mode, there is also an expansive WRL league mode, which is divided by difficulty level. Each level has its own sets of cups and special events and is the place to be to gain fans to unlock the goodies mentioned in the previous paragraph.
The Options menu provides quite a bit of flexibility. You can choose between three different control schemes, adjust race variables such as number of opponents and laps, and whether to use the metric system or the imperial system for your speedometer (lol..jargon? that's just MPH or KPH).
Speed Racer is like a breath of fresh air among the other racing games I've seen lately on the Nintendo DS and I highly recommend it. Speed Racer: The Video Game is available at Play-Asia with free international shipping to most countries. Click here for purchase details.
Click here to purchase the game at Amazon.com.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
For the latest highlights on bargains and discounts for the consoles, head over to the brand new www.nineoverten.com.
For all you PS3 owners still stuck with a SuckAxis, I mean Sixaxis controller, it might be beneficial for you to know that the Dual Shock 3 is selling at a discount at Play-Asia.com, and it comes with free international shipping to some countries.
Yup, ditch that motion controlling/rumble-less thingamajig for some rumble goodness. You know you want one. Click here for purchase details.
Anyways, what did I buy? Here's the list:
- The World is Flat ~ Thomas L. Friedman
- Confessions of an Economic Hit Man ~ John Perkins
- The Undercover Economist ~ Tim Harford
- Emma ~ Jane Austen
- Smoke and Mirrors ~ Neil Gaiman
- Retro Gamer
- Onslaught Reborn (Hardcover)
What books have you gotten this month?
And they are pretty big too, with a 4 centimeter diameter. I just hope they are contained within rubber balls, which would be fun to bounce around!
The Super Mario Galaxy Mascot Super Ball Gashapon is available at Play-Asia at USD 2.90 each with free shipping to most countries. Click here for purchase details.
Posted by tokyo_nights at 11:27 AM
This is some sort of a Bargain Week, where I'll be highlighting cool video game bargains. So, lets have a look at some previous gen consoles going for a song:
First up, is the Nintendo Gamecube console going for nearly half price at Play-Asia. The Spice Orange, Jet Black, Silver/Platinum and Purple/Indigo versions of this lunch box like console are priced at USD 79.90 each!
Play-Asia has also an interesting selection of Xbox consoles, namely the Xbox Ice Blue Console Halo 2 Limited Edition set, the Xbox Console (Asian edition), and the Xbox Console Bundle including Jade Empire and Project Gotham Racing, all of which are going for USD 99.90 each!
Check them out as well as other video game bargains at Play-Asia.com
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Thanks to the Internet, deployment and maintenance work can take place from home and it does make the job a little bit easier. However, there are instances where work can drag on till 6 in the morning. So how do I keep awake while waiting for others to complete their tasks?
Caffeine is an option, but I tend not to drink coffee late at night. Video games are more viable as they keep me engaged, but there are some caveats. Games such as Digidrive cannot be played on easy mode since the slow gameplay (at that level) and the hypnotic movement of the pieces would put you to sleep.
Burnout or Mercenaries for the PS2 are better suited for keeping me awake since they are both noisy, fast, and action packed.
Reading is okay but the material should be engaging like the book I'm reading now, Freakanomics.
So, what do you do to keep awake at night?
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
For the latest highlights on bargains and discounts for the video games, head over to the brand new www.nineoverten.com.
Here are a bunch of GBA games that are worth more than their selling price (which is less than 10 bucks a pop):
- RockMan Zero 2 ~ USD 9.90 (Click here for details)
- RockMan EXE 3 Black ~ USD 9.90 (Click here for details)
- Family Tennis Advance ~ USD 9.90 (Click here for details)
- Golden Sun ~ USD 9.90 (Click here for details)
- bit Generations: Boundish ~ USD 9.90 (Click here for details)
- Wario Land Advance ~ USD 7.90 (Click here for details)
- Napoleon ~ USD 6.90 (Click here for details)
Monday, May 05, 2008
Iron Man for the Nintendo DS has been great experience so far, and while I'm playing to unlock the "One Man Army" mode, which I think will get you to blow up more stuff compared to the story mode, the story mode seems to be intriguing on its own. For one, there is that research points thing and secondly, each level is expansive, with multiple objectives and a boss fight of sorts at the end.
Lets talk about the levels first. The levels are so big I have trouble finishing them in a single casual sitting of 5 minutes. Going along with the expansive levels are the rather nice graphics as well. The textures may look a little basic, but hey, it's on DS, not the PSP.
Gameplay is a mixed bag here, but its not necessarily a bad thing. The first level will have you playing a little like Tomb Raider as you fight your way out with the first version of the Iron Man suit. The second level however, transforms into a shmup, as you get to fly around in the latest Iron Man suit, shooting repulsor beams and firing the occasional rocket or unibeam and even release an EM pulse.
You'll require the use of both buttons and the touch screen in order to play. Use the touch screen to aim and fire repulsor beams/flamethrower, or to shoot a unibeam. The touch screen also serves as a guide with arrows pointing to the next objective.
I don't think it would be hard to add a mini-map, like the one found in football games, with dots representing enemies, buildings, powerups and the ilk, on the touch screen, but no such think here. Come on, the levels are big and it's an Iron Man game... high tech and all that jazz.. a mini map would definitely help.
Remember that I mentioned Research Points? Iron Man for the Nintendo DS displays a little more depth compared to other super hero games on the same platform by allowing you to go all RPG on it.
You can spend Research Points to upgrade your Iron Man suit (better shields, repulsor beams, upgraded rockets, etc etc), which you get to pilot from level 2 onwards, but you'll have to destroy ALOT of enemies (and buildings) to obtain them points. Whatever happened to good old (but boring) R&D.
A Story Mode is nothing without a story and Iron Man tells its "cutscenes" in the form of stills with shots from the movie as well as stylize comic book art. Apparent Robert Downey Jr. reprises his character from the movie by lending his voice for the game. And speaking of sound, it's largely forgettable, so don't aim for a sonic experience.
Iron Man has a pretty solid outing on the Nintendo DS, with interesting gameplay and RPG elements and is available at Play-Asia (click here for purchase details).
Sunday, May 04, 2008
I came home with a Racer X keychain, and the limited edition notebook. Pics:
Want some of these merchandize? Get to your nearest KFC outlet. The Limited Edition notebook comes with a metal front page and costs RM 7.50 as an individual purchase, or comes free with the mini bucket meal.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Here's the direct link to the article.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Now is really a good time to go for a holiday.
Cya. Be back on Saturday, or Sunday..
Happy holidays! More game and collectible reviews when I'm back!