Friday, January 21, 2011

Introducing SuperPhillip's Favorite Anime Themes!

Just like I have done with video game music (VGMs), I am now constructing a list of my favorite anime music to share with the SPC populace! Join me as I take a listen to various anime soundtracks one track at a time in this new feature to SPC! Unlike the weekly VGMs, SP's Favorite Anime Themes will most likely be a monthly occurrence. I know, you're already salivating at the thought!

Volume 1: Tank! (Cowboy Bebop)

The queen of music composition, Yoko Kanno, deals out this, the opening theme for the anime series, Cowboy Bebop. One could say that it is worth watching Cowboy Bebop for the music alone, and I could agree. However, the show is such a delight even for non-anime fans that I highly recommend you watch the 26 episodes and one movie. "I think it's time we blow this scene. Get everybody and their stuff together. Okay, 3, 2, 1, Let's jam!"




Volume 2: The Wings of A Boy That Killed Adolescence (Gundam Wing)

Are you familiar with the name Kou Otani? He'll be featured a lot on this list as he composed music for both Gundam Wing and Outlaw Star, two anime that I enjoyed so much I purchased their collections. Nevertheless, Kou Otani has also done video game music as well. Do you know the video game, Shadow of the Colossus? He did the music for that. Regardless, The Wings of A Boy That Killed Adolescence plays twice during the Gundam Wing saga. Once in the first episode as the Wing Zero descends toward Earth's atmosphere and during Zechs' and Heero's fight in Antarctica. It's a rockin' version of Code Name Heero Yuy.



Volume 3: Rewrite (Fullmetal Alchemist)

Rewrite is the fourth and final opening theme of the original Fullmetal Alchemist. It is performed by Asian Kung-Fu Generation, and it really, really, truly rocks ass. I prefer the original Fullmetal Alchemist's soundtrack to Brotherhood. Perhaps it's because I'm more familiar with the original's score. Regardless, I enjoy the second and fourth title themes the best. You'll hear the second in a forthcoming edition of my favorite anime music. Not only do I like the music the best in the original, but the story is much more satisfying to me. Again, it's probably because I'm more familiar with it than the manga-faithful Brotherhood series.



Volume 4: Flight (Outlaw Star)

Whereas Kou Otani used synthetic instruments with real live instruments in Gundam Wing, in Outlaw Star, he uses real instruments through and through. Flight is a theme for when Gene Starwind's ship takes flight for the first time. With Melfina as the operator, naked in a cube of water (I don't ask, I just write the descriptions), and Jim, Twilight Suzuka, and that crazy cat girl, Gene has a tight crew with him to take care of anything. Outlaw Star's soundtrack is compromised of two original soundtracks. I own both, but I think they're bootleg versions. Alas, it's still good music even if I didn't send my monies to the right company.



Volume 5: Robin (Witch Hunter Robin)


Robin is the titular character in Witch Hunter Robin. I've only watched a few episodes, but this theme was common throughout. I would imagine Robin hunts witches with old sorcery ways whereas her companions use new technology to track and kill witches. I do not know if they go after warlocks, male witches. Perhaps warlocks are taken care of differently than witches. Who knows? All I know is that if I were a male witch, I would want to be called a warlock and not a witch. What was I talking about again? Oh, yes. This theme, Robin, has a beautiful piano melody. When it plays again, it is supported by powerful accompaniment that sent chills down my spine the first time I listened to it. If you're unfamiliar with this song or the anime, maybe it will do the same for you?



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There goes this batch of wonderfully wonderful anime themes! We heard some great themes from Cowboy Bebop, Gundam Wing, Fullmetal Alchemist, Outlaw Star, and Witch Hunter Robin. Stay tuned for the next installment where we'll get Brain Powerd, go Darker Than Black, and get help from the Paranoia Agent! Until then, toodle-loo!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Adieu, Xbox 360...

My Xbox 360 died on me about a year ago. It's a gigantic paperweight now. When I see or hear of people buying multiple 360s, I call them fools. Why reward Microsoft for their gross negligence? The system does have a lot of great games, but really you can get many of those on the PS3 as well. Just sayin'; hope that didn't make anyone cry. Microsoft's few first party offerings are usually gun games that don't really click with me. Though as you'll find out, there's one or two gun games I do want to play. This list is simply all the games I want to play on the Xbox 360 that I never did and never can since I have no intention of ever buying another Microsoft console ever again.

Halo Reach


This is one of the games I was talking about in the introduction. It's full of fast and fun gunplay, running, jumping, fragging, and forging. What I mean by forging is the ability to place parts down on various levels to mod the multiplayer arenas. Very cool. The community is still very strong to this day with popular Forge users getting recognized daily. Halo Reach is one of the few first party exclusives from Microsoft that I'm interested in.

Crackdown 2


I've heard bad things about Crackdown 2 sadly, but I'd rather see for myself the problems the game has. I really liked the original. You played in a sandbox city, exploring buildings for orbs. Of course, that was just side stuff. The real game involved tracking down various gang lords and taking them out. The more gang leaders outed, the more territory of the city you would reclaim. No idea if Crackdown 2 follows the same premise. I just loved tossing cars at innocent pedestrians.

Tales of Vesperia



My older brother played through the fifty required hours (or so) to play through to see the ending. The visuals were simply breathtaking and colorful. Hey, there's probably a first for an Xbox 360 game. No, that's just trolling. Regardless, the active time battle system led players to "actively" participate in the game's encounters instead of simply mindlessly hitting button after button in menu screens. Hopefully, and this is a long shot, the PS3 version gets released stateside.

Kinect Sports


I didn't get a lot of time to play through Kinect Sports. I only played through the table tennis game at my local Best Buy, and that was pretty much all the experience I had with the game. Kinect Sports from Rare didn't really leave a solid taste in my mouth. In fact, I didn't find it fun at all. However, that was just a ten minute play session, so it's hardly fair to call it bad when I didn't really play all the game had to offer. Here's hoping I get a chance to be less biased.

Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise


I played through the entirety of the original Viva Pinata, and I really loved almost every minute of it. Everything from the charming presentation to the addictive nature of the game resonated with me greatly. The sequel introduced new pinata creatures, more things to do, different garden habitats, and a new musical score to boot. The fascination with attracting new pinatas, romancing them, and creating a garden full of new friends is still enticing to me to this day.

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Who else's 360 died on them? Did you buy another one, or were you like me and said, "the eff with that, Microsoft!"? What games that are exclusive to this system do you want to play that you've yet to play? Let me know in the comments section. Tomorrow, I have a new treat in store!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Top Five Fighting Game Characters

I did not come up with this idea which I know is very difficult for you to believe. Actually, there was a NeoGAF topic asking to list their top five fighting game characters. With Marvel VS. Capcom: Fate of Two Worlds coming soon to a PS3 or 360 near you, it seems like the perfect opportunity to share my favorite fighting game characters of all time!

5) M. Bison (Street Fighter series)


Every fighting game needs a major villain, right? Well, in the Street Fighter series, there is none tougher or meaner than the nefarious M. Bison. He can levitate, he can use his fists of doom to unleash Hell upon his enemies, and he has a snazzy cape. What more could you want in a fighting game villain?

4) Roy (Super Smash Bros. Melee - GCN)


Roy is a character featured in the Fire Emblem franchise. Now some would state that Super Smash Bros. is a party game-- not a fighter. These people are what we here at SPC call "idiots". Regardless, Roy can charge up his sword unlike his FE counterpart, Marth, and cause massive damage to any Nintendo staple foolish enough to hang around near him.

3) Ryu (Street Fighter series)


Ryu is practically the fighter's fighter. He's the face of the Street Fighter franchise, and he's well-known as a Capcom hero. That's why he was one of the first characters introduced in the upcoming Marvel VS. Capcom 3. Ryu is infamous for his shoruyken (Sure, you're Ken) and hydouken moves which form from his powerful fists.

2) Zero (Tatsunoko VS. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars - Wii)


Zero was a badass in the Mega Man X series of games. Sure, he died and needed to be resurrected, but he was immensely strong with his Z-saber. In Tatsunoko VS. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars on Wii, he was a combo-getting, enemy-hitting, S.O.B. His ultimate attacks required Zero to unleash multiple swipes with his Z-saber on his poor, unfortunate opponent.

1) Link (Super Smash Bros. Series - N64, GCN, Wii)


I don't like "maining" characters as is popular in fighting games. Instead, I like to pick and choose, playing as the entire roster. Perhaps that's why I always get beat online in Super Street Fighter 4... Anyway, Link has an arsenal of tools picked straight up from his exploits in the Legend of Zelda franchise. He has a hookshot to grab walls if he's too far away from the arena, boomerang, bombs, and many more. He gives off appropriate enough damage to enemies, can clean up a room with his up + B maneuver, and looks great in tights. Does that make me gay?

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My fighting game experience is limited, obviously. I'm sure you can come with a more impressive list, no? I encourage you to do so. Share your secrets with the rest of SuperPhillip Central! List your top five favorite fighting game characters for the world to see!

Nintendo 3DS Game Lineup Trailer

Hopefully this one stays up and is not taken down upon Nintendo's request. This English trailer shows off the same games that the Japanese trailer displayed if you remember. Regardless, it does show some newish footage of some of your most anticipated games for the Nintendo 3DS ($249.99).



Marvel VS. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (PS3, 360) Taskmaster/Akuma Gameplay

Two new characters have been added to the ever-expanding roster of characters in Marvel VS. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, due out February 15th in North America. The two new challengers include Taskmaster, from the Marvel comic of the same name, and the evil villain from the Street Fighter series, Akuma. Taskmaster has a photographic memory, allowing him to learn moves from opponents he has faced. Meanwhile, Akuma is simply a powerful badass. Watch both trailers introducing both new challengers.





Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Localizations, Please!

Don't you hate it when you're personally hyping up a game, and it never crosses over to the West or gets released in your region? Boy, do I do! That's what the focus of today's feature is all about-- those games that have stayed in Japan for one of a million reasons and never hit North American, European, or Australian soil.

The Last Story (Wii)

Final Fantasy creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi's latest work hits Japan like a typhoon on the 27th of this month. No word on a Western release has been given, but Mr. Sakaguchi himself stated that he would love to get this game into the hands of as many people as possible. One could ascertain that this means that his intent is to get the game localized for Western audiences. This nontraditional RPG has some of the most impressive Wii visuals to date, a deep character customization system, and if Sakaguchi still has it in him, a heart-tugging story.



Xenoblade (Wii)


When Nintendo purchased Monolithsoft, the makers of the Xenosaga trilogy as well as Baten Kaitos, it seemed like Nintendo's consoles would have a bounty of RPGs on them. Not so much for Western fans. The wide expanses of Xenoblade are just begging to be explored by more than the Japanese. The battles taking place on the various dungeons and fields are just making gamers salivate. Now why isn't this game being localized, and if I read "Nintendo doesn't care about the core after making three Mario games, a Donkey Kong Country game, a sequel to their worst selling game of all time just for the core in Sin & Punishment" I will kill someone.

Tales of Graces (Wii)/Tales of Graces F (PS3)


Namco-Bandai doesn't mind sending garbage to Western gamers in the form of Pac-man Party and other poorly-constructed titles, but they seem very tepid about sending out another Tales game. This is even after Tales of Vesperia sold respectively on the Xbox 360. You know, the shooter box and RROD box. It appears that yet another Tales game will not be released over here in the West in Tales of Graces, and it's a darned shame. The visuals are bright and cheery, the score is amazing, and the battles are as addicting as ever.

Disaster: Day of Crisis (Wii)


This title was nixed by the president of NOA himself, Reggie Fils-Amie. I have no quarrels with the man, but this title would have filled a hole in the 2008 holiday lineup for Wii. Disaster: Day of Crisis takes place in a city on the brink of armageddon with shooting, driving, and saving innocent bystanders. The game makes fine use of the Wii remote, and in a startling case, this game actually WAS released in Europe. The only territory the game did not see the light of was in North America. It's a shame, too, as European readers of SPC have stated they enjoy the heck out of the game.

Mother 3 (GBA)


I just want Mother fans to finally shut up about localizing this game. I have no interest in it whatsoever. If you're so desperate, just download the ROM and translation patch. If you like legal activities, then import the game, learn Japanese, and enjoy. Harsh, yes, but the incessant whining for this game is deafening! My ears are still ringing for heaven's sake! Of course, we, North American gamers, were teased with Lucas in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Lucas is, of course, the hero of the third Mother game.

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Do you have a game for any system that hasn't been localized as of yet? It doesn't have to be strictly for a Nintendo system that mine unintentionally was. Raise your voice (but not that crappy Hilary Duff movie), and let your opinion be known in the comments section.

Monday, January 17, 2011

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - Still Hatin' Ryan Seacrest Edition

Seriously, I love Dick Clark. I loved him on American Bandstand, loved him on the $25,000 then the $100,000 Pyramid, and then Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve. Ryan Seacrest is a douche. End of story. Take your letters and shove them.

Now onto more important matters. It's Monday! My internet has been restored much to your chagrin! That doesn't matter though. I'm posting five new VGMs this week, and you, nor my ISP, can stop me! I've gone crazy! Nonetheless, we have music from a plethora of games this week including but not limited to: Viewtiful Joe 2, Space Channel 5, and Skies of Arcadia. Abandon your ships because the VGMs come plundering!


v636. Viewtiful Joe 2 - Railroad Battle (Truck Stage)

Choo-choo! This song is heard while Viewtiful Joe and Sexy Sylvia go after a dinosaur atop two hand-crank carts if memory serves correctly. The battle's intense as you're fending off enemies as well as missiles. Viewtiful Joe 2 wasn't as good as the original, but it wasn't a bad game either. It was a commendable effort for a sequel, and being able to play as both Joe and Sylvia brought a new dynamic to the game.



v637. Space Channel 5 - Option: The Reporter From SCH5

This option theme comes from the Dreamcast classic, Space Channel 5, where you got to boogie with Ulala as she tries once more to save the universe from evil. I never owned a Dreamcast, so I never got to play Space Channel 5 along with a number of Dreamcast exclusives. Here's hoping some hit the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Store!



v638. Skies of Arcadia - The Kingdom of Ixa'taka

The Kingdom of Ixa'taka is a jungle paradise hidden among the treetops, high above the jungle floor. Its music is accordingly tribal as are the denizens of Ixa'taka. Skies of Arcadia is one game I would greatly want a sequel for. Hopefully one day we get it As for now, listen to the music of this wonderful RPG with Kingdom of Ixa'taka.



v639. Super Mario World - Welcome to Mario World


This special song comes from a special jazz version of the special Super Mario World soundtrack. We've already heard one of these songs "Mario! Stay Alert!" way back in the first 100 VGMs. This song, "Welcome to Mario World" is the jazz version of the main theme of Super Mario World. Smooth jazz is what one could call it. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!



v640. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble - Big Boss Blues

The ultimate battle theme for your fight against both Kaos and its puppeteer, the evil K. Roolenstein, Big Boss Blues is a chilling theme. I love the rock guitar at the beginning as well as all of the ambient sounds chirping throughout the piece. While DKC 3 may be my least favorite soundtrack of the three, it still holds up well today. What is your opinion on the Donkey Kong Country 3 soundtrack?



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My gas tank is empty of VGMs for this week, but fear not-- as five more VGMs will be forthcoming next Monday. Perhaps they'll come in the morning... Maybe the evening... Who can possibly fathom a guess? Until next week, the VGMs bid you adieu and farewell!

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