Tuesday, June 30, 2009

King Of Fighters XII: Exclusive Arcade Review

One of the most loved fighting game franchises has been in the arcades for quite a while already, but if the rumors are correct, it has graced in Malaysia at Penang. KL however, are left out. However again, I had my exclusive chance to completely play the whole arcade game and experience what has been a wait for just too long since XI came out. Being apart of my Australian review, this is going to be a purely unbiased review (As I am a VERY HUGE fan of KOF ever since 95) that I hope would benefit the people who have also been waiting for this game in anticipation of the console version. Here goes!

As I've detailed many times in my previous posts, the system has been given a revamp. It's back to 4 buttons instead of 5, and the power gauge has shrunk back to just one. The character count has also gone very low compared to the usual roster, and there is no story mode this time, except that Iori is now seen flameless, Kensou sporting new gear, and Raiden being the new addition to the KOF Universe.

The flow of the game is now in time attack mode, similar to Tekken 5 and 6 and probably so on. And the game lasts only for 5 rounds. The way to win is still in 3 on 3 mode and its up to both players to beat the heck out of each other. To get a ranking, you need to be able to clear the round as soon as possible. And that's it. Don't worry, there's a whole lot of rankings to obtain (100 and below), just that you need to be speedy to beat your foe. Yes, no need to be flashy too.

So, is it good? In a way, yes. The Critical Counter system is a breath of fresh air and really gives some great creativity to show what you can do, its similar to Custom Combo scene in Street Fighter Alpha, Capcom Vs SNK 2 and even Snk Vs Capcom. The Deadlock system is also great, not just because its flashy, but its also a great way to strategize what happens after the Deadlock occurs. It's a little similar to the Parry system in Street Fighter 3, but there probably would be some damage occurs at a minimal. The one Max bar makes it good to simplify power usage and Max use among players.

The problem? There is no story anymore and it does no continue anything. Nor will it be the case in the console versions. This is a major problem considering the fact that every KOF ever released, had a story. This would mean, we would probably get a story at XIII instead of XII. And to be honest, many are waiting for the departure of Ash and the return of K' instead. The Guard Cancel system however is now cheap and a major problem. When the timing hits, then only you can get it done, but, it won't be like last time, as it consumes the Max gauge no more. This, is, very, cheap.

The speed of the game has also reverted to a more sluggish pace. Its not the true speedy style seen in normal KOF games, but, the speed is similar to Garou: Mark of the Wolves. The combo link timing is also, messed up. You can still link combos, but veterans would need to really get learning the new speed system being dished out here. Veterans, you have been warned.

Being baeten by a Leona. Where's my character btw?

Another concern is the low character count. At 18, there's very little to choose. Fans are upset that Mai is not in, and there's way too little women in the game too. In a way, its hard to be able to choose our variety of play when there's quite little to choose. This is after all a 3 on 3 game.

Overall, this game is a passing grade for me. The problem however, is the fact that with the change that was decided on, it feels like a demo instead of a full game. SNK should understand, that this is in no way, SF or Blazblue. Its not a one on one fight. 3 on 3 is the namestay. So, for the veterans, this may be very difficult to get the timing right for this game. Newbies however would love the 2D graphics and backgrounds in display. Here's also to hoping that the console versions get a little more extra, and not just 2 new characters. Until then, SNK has XIII to prove with to make sure, that they really get things right this time.

Monday, June 29, 2009

AirAsia trip to Gold Coast, Australia: Flight Review

What a flight to remember. I should say that this is the first time I flew on an airplane, and in fact, it is my first time flying overseas to another country. So, it was an honour and a pleasure to secure myself a free ticket last year in August, to make this trip to Gold Coast, Australia and to be graced by such beauty of a foreign country. This post will be about the flight, the aircraft, and those small minor details that I can divulge in.

My flight was supposed to have flown at 9.20 pm. However, there was a little bit of delay. I was thinking that the aircraft would be next to the gate, but this being LCCT, we had to walk a distance to the aircraft itself. When it rains, it would really be troublesome.

The aircraft boarded on was the Airbus A330. My aircraft however had an extra screen in front of us that provides various types of information available. Some however are locked and requires to be paid for RM30 to be unlocked. Locked content includes a bunch of movies, tv shows, music and the passengers disposable to watch on. However, the seat of the aircraft is a problem. ITS TOO SMALL. And the seat does not recline. It does, but so little that during my 8 hours of flight, I did not sleep. Instead, i was found sleeping in a library when my girlfriend was submitting her assignment.

The food, is so so. The Nasi Lemak is of OK standard, while the Big Bruce's BBQ Chicken was so devastatingly not similar to what is presented in the menu. It was a major dissapointment. The price however, was not worth it. It is common to have high prices for food and items in an aircraft, but the quality really does not match the value.

In other words, the flight itself is subpar. there's good value for money, but if my best friend can snag a RM 1600 return flight to UK, AirAsia X should at least do more and better to make sure its customers get an almost equal value for the flight. I was pleased with the entertainment system that lets us know where we currently are in the sky, but i think they can do better the next time. This wouldn't hamper my chances of flying again with AirAsia X, but i'd prefer having JetStar, minus their bad landings. Great job for making Malaysia proud AirAsia, I hope to see a better and improved service later on.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Proposal: Exclusive Movie Review

Wow, the posters in Russian. But I like this once instead of using the common ones found. Either way, the tagline for the English posters would say "Here Comes the Bribe...", the movie itself is mildly sweet and good enough for a romantic comedy to watch.

Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) is being deported back to Canada after she couldn't clear her visa in the past. As a result, she blackmailed her Assistant, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) into marrying her. As a result, Andrew took it to get a job as editor, only to have them go to Sitka, Alaska to get married. Along the way, mishaps happen and perhaps somethings do change, for the better, for everyone.

Like I said, the movie is mildly sweet and just nice. And its a good movie too. However, it wasn't that great, as there were some missing strings that was left loosened, and some unnecessary things to just fill the minutes up. There was a particular scene however that used the same background actress again and again and again. Like 5 times? I was sure they did editing, but having that actress come out way too many times really does make it feel like a movie and not a love story.

Sandra did her job well, and so did Ryan (I'm not a biased fan that would say he's rocking everything he's got. He did a good job, but it wasn't that excellent however). And the pace is ok, maybe a little jumpy in terms of the realisation created. But still, its a nice job.

Summer seems to not have that much of romantic comedies, or maybe my eyes were just too focused on this one. Releasing 30th July in Malaysia, you can expect this to be a nice diversion out of the family fun Ice Age 3 and the action packed Transformers to make you have a good time laughing and say aww for a just a little bit. Have fun later!

Year One: Exclusive Movie Review

Sorry Malaysians, but it seems that we might not get to see this in our country. Just like how Superbad and Adventureland is not here, so would this movie be. FORTUNATELY, its good not to have this movie here also, since its just bad...

Year One chronicles the adventures of Zed (Jack Black) and Oh (Michael Cera of Superbad fame). After Zed eats the forbidden fruit, he was outcasted from his village and made his way over the mountains. Following him is Oh. Along the way, they meet interesting characters from a murdering and sly Cain (David Cross) until meeting with the circumcission hungry Abhraham (Hank Azaria, and yes, it is Abraham) until ending up at a city that sacrifices vigrins to summon for rain.

Now, let me ask you, what does the poster imply? The earlier ages right? Well, that was what I was expecting, until they warped 500 years into the future, literally. The plot of story is just messed up. I'm pretty sure that audiences were expecting to get a movie about the adventures of Zed and Oh in the first year of earth. But what the heck? We warped to Abraham sacrificng Isaac? That's just really off. And perhaps this is the only problem there is with the whole movie.

Jack Black didn't feel that strong this time compared to his other movies. Heck, his voice acting in Kung Fu Panda was much more better than this one. But, above all the problems the movie has, Michael Cera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse saved this movie and kept it as interesting as it can. Still charming after their major breakthrough in Superbad, Oh is just very interesting a clueless and young kid (that surprisingly with the costume makes him look like he's 24). Isaac also works through as a guy that makes himself be that accessible to everyone in the hall.

This is good for a laugh, especially at the first parts of the movie, that it looked the movie was in year one. But after that, you could do like what the couple next to me did, leave the hall. Its just not as good as many were hoping. Good thing Transformers is around. :D

G'Day mates!

Ah, back from my Aussie travels and there's honestly A TON of things to blog about and to even compare back and forth between our country and Brisbane itself. So, i'll be doing my best to shell out what I can for everyone to read on. :D

So, this would be a temporary special before I get back to blogging on games and movies once more. I'll be shelling out 2 exclusive movie reviews for all to see. Lets go!