Fighter games will never overrated, let me just put it that way. No matter how many generation of Tekkens or Virtua Fighters come out in the next 10 years, it will always be meaner, better and stronger in all sense of the word. PS3’s Virtua Fighter 5, (yes 5!) is out and has great reviews as well as ratings. My favorite game site, Gamespot, rated it to be 8.1. Hey, this site is rarely that generous with their ratings so with an 8.1, it’s definitely worth the play.
Virtua Fighter 5’s fighting is virtually top notch. And that is what fighting games are suppose to do best – fight. With great graphics and 14 year storyline, it’s hard to resist. I am quite tempted to poke fun at how plain and amateurish the first Virtua Fighter looked but I won’t. But do look at this :P
Virtua Fighter 5 is a great-looking game from top to bottom. The characters look great and animate well, with the lone exception of their mouths, and teeth, which just look a little off when characters speak at the end of a fight. There are plenty of different backgrounds in the game, and they all look great while also figuring into the fights. Some of them are walled off, giving you a surface to juggle fighters up against, while others are open, letting you win by pushing your opponent out of the ring if you can. The game runs at 720p on the PlayStation 3, which gives you a nice, high definition to work with, though some of the characters and stages can look a little pixelated in spots.
Overall, I think the game looks pretty good. I am a sucker for great graphics with corny melo-dramatic storylines in these games.
Newsweek has published an article on gaming arcades in Japan, comparing them to America’s arcade culture.
There are 9,500 arcades in the country with more than 445,000 game machines made by Japanese companies like Namco and Capcom, says Masumi Akagi, publisher of Japan’s Game Publisher magazine. In the U.S. of course, the story is much different–arcades are a rapidly dying breed with only about 3,000 in operation down from 10,000 a decade ago.” … “So this is what we are missing in America, with our arcades abandoned by the big entertainment and game companies and converted into Baby Gaps. Japan’s “quarter kids” have grown up and are still having fun… Yet there’s evidence that the country is ambivalent about its arcades. Japan is facing a looming demographic nightmare.”
I loved spending time in the arcades in Japan. There were often fanatics that would pull off perfect scores on the most difficult levels of games like Drum Master, and do so in front of a crowd. There were puri kura machines to record the day’s memories. There were plenty of UFO catchers to win some kawaii prize that you couldn’t dream of getting in Australia. All in all, plenty of fun. I hope they never die.
One of the most popular arcade games in Japan at the moment is Drum Master by Taito. It can be played with one or two players (or on Playstation 2), and the idea is to hit the drum or drum edge at the right time. Little smily faces fly across the screen to indicate when you hit the drum, Dance Dance Revolution style.
One of the nice things about this game is that there’s a rotating playlist of songs that you can drum along to. They are usually top 40 songs but three’s also a selection of anime themes. There’s also varying levels of difficulty. You can play for 2 rounds with 1 credit. The price of 1 game will vary in every arcade.
In Akihabara, there’s an arcade that opens out to the street, with a Drum Master machine literally on the pavement. Some people practice the game until they can show off to a large audience in Akiba on a Sunday afternoon. The audience is usually as intriguing as the person who’s memorised the game. Once I had to squeeze past two maids, a decorer, and this guy dressed up as Winnie The Pooh who were watching someone showing off their skills at the game.
This video was found via Kotaku, and it’s standard fare on a Sunday arvo in Akihabara.
You thought you were obsessive with your video games collection? Think again and visit Gibby’s Game room: 5,000+ games within Mario themed walls. In fact, there’s no need for a complete description here: his photos speak for themselves…
When I was younger (10-15yrs) I played the hell outta video games but gaming comes to a trickle once your out on your own, married, have kids, and a social life. Something you don’t have when your freaking 12. I just never grew out of “collecting” games and still enjoy playing them when time to play them is available.
The themed room was my wife’s idea and perhaps it is a bit overboard but it’s very unique and my son loves it. I have no regrets on how I finished that room.
1UP.com has this cool feature on videogames emulators by Nich Maragos, titled “Afterlife“, which is an interesting read if you’re into video games.
What looks like a game system, plays like a game system, and yet isn’t a game system? The answer is an emulator, which is a means to make one piece of consumer electronics behave like another. Whether they’re hardware add-ons or clever pieces of coding, emulators have been a part of videogames almost as long as the medium itself — but they’re decidedly the black sheep of the gaming family, for a variety of legal and ethical reasons. (More…)
More low-res, old-skool, vintage, and low-tech, here comes the ultimate block for nerds: Pixelblocks. Perfect all the nerds out there who want to re-create the world of Donkey Kong and Ms Pac Man in their living room. If you are a Pong fan, it’s much easier…
1up.com has a great feature about cartoons based on video games characters, and there are some you might remember. There are others you will be happy you forgot them until now. And then some you wished you’d never seen (Q*bert with a jacket and arms? Come on!)…
The cool thing about growing up in the 80’s is that my generation saw a lot of tech things be born and grow to become the huge complex things they are today. Sounds corny but I can’t help to feel that you can enjoy a PSP better when you started playing on an Atari 2400. We spent hours in front of Pitfall! and Donkey Kong, and I believe we appreciate the graphics of the PSP much more than a kid who never played on anything else than a PS2. And it doesn’t only apply to the hardware, the games too have evolved, but more often than not you can’t beat the fun brought by the simplicity of classic games.
Sony seems to agree with me on those two points. They released a set of classic games for the PSP, and they were clever enough to make it attractive both for the old timers like me, and for the kids. The disk contains the original versions of Pac Man, Ms Pac Man, Galaga, Galaxian, Rally-X, New Rally-X, and Dig Dug. The real original version like you used to play in smoky coffee shop on those tables that were also arcade games. And they made new versions of these games so that if fills the screen nicely (original games were vertical, remember?), and so that colors and sound use the PSP capabilities a bit more. But they kept the new games close enough to the original ones, so that it is fun to play even if you’re a purist.