Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Flavor's Random Pick: Guitar Hero: On Tour (w/ peripheral)

I was going to post about Guitar Hero on the DS at some later date, but I noticed that it's currently on sale. I figured you'd rather hear about it now while it's cheap than later when the limited time offer might be off. Guitar Hero translates from the home consoles to the Nintendo DS handheld surprisingly well. If you're used to playing Guitar Hero on any system, this will be an easy transition for you. Plus, it's MUCH more portable than lugging around an XBox 360 and a guitar controller.

Of course, when something like this is ported to a handheld, some things get cut (like one of the controller buttons for example), but I don't think you'll be disappointed with the result. The game is still the same, fun, Guitar Hero that you've grown to love, and now you can play it on the go.

The Guitar Hero controller attachment plugs into Slot 2 (the GameBoy Advance cart) slot of your DS. Sorry, if you own a DSi, you don't have a slot for the Guitar Hero controller to plug into. Then, you put your hand into the strap on the controller which lets you hold the DS in one hand. That leaves your other hand free to strum the guitar using the included guitar pick stylus on touch screen.

For a limited time, Play-Asia has the Asian version of Guitar Hero: On Tour with the controller attachment on sale for only US$39.90. That's a steal! If you want even more songs, I'd suggest picking up Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades (without the controller attachment). The one controller will work for both games.

I think you'll be hard-pressed to find a negative review of either game. I mean, if you don't like Guitar Hero, that's one thing, but if you do, and you want a portable version, this is it! Here's an ad for it just so you can see what it looks like.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Play-Asia Weekly Special: Naruto: The Broken Bond

We didn't bring you the news early like we did last time. I, myself, will use the excuse of being away from a computer for most of my Christmas holiday. Anyway, enough about me, what you probably care about is the games.

Building on the success of Naruto: Rise of a Ninja, this new action adventure takes the story to a deeper level within the Naruto Universe. Now a respected ninja, Naruto evolves into a mature and strong hero. However, with his new status comes responsibility, and Naruto will soon find himself surrounded by conflict. Forced to relive bitter memories, Naruto's best friend Sasuke strikes out on a self-destructive quest for power. Now with the help of his friends, Naruto must confront Sasuke and save him before it's too late. Team up with multiple characters, explore open 3D environments and challenge some of the fiercest enemies from the Naruto Universe.

Play-Asia's weekly special makes the latest game in the popular Naruto franchise available to us gamers that have small bank accounts due to Christmas shopping (or to those lucky gamers that received some cash gifts).

Naruto: The Broken Bond has received high marks from all the major review sites. For example, IGN has given it a score of 8.3. More reviews can be found here.

Play-Asia is bringing this to you for US$29.90 this week. Get it while it lasts!

Söldner-X: Previous Post Plus Point Two

The previous post cited an article which reviewed Söldner-X and gave it a score of 8.0. I can top that!

Not only are Gamespot users currently rating the game at 8.5, but, regarding Söldner-X on the PS3, Gamer 2.0 is giving their readers "Buy It" suggestion and has rated the game a "Great" 8.2.

Gamer 2.0's rating included a 9 for gameplay, and the only score that was below 8 was audio which received a rating of 7. You can find full Gamer 2.0 Söldner-X review here.

Whether it's the gamers themselves or the reviewers, people seem to be enjoying Söldner-X on the PS3. When you get a game this great for a price this cheap, why wouldn't you enjoy it?

Also, don't forget, this game isn't just for the PS3 owners out there. There's also a PC Version of Söldner-X that's available at a new low price which includes all sorts of extra pack-ins that you don't get on PSN.

If you're STILL not convinced, I dug up a couple more reviews of the game:
  • Gaming Age says, "I actually enjoyed Soldner-X, and for $9.99 for at least a dozen hours spent playing and replaying the game, it was worth the cash"
  • Worth Playing gives a bit of background about the PC version and then states, "A year later, the PSN Store would add the game to its catalog with several improvements made specifically for the PS3 faithful. Although it is without some of the extras that shmup fans might have wanted to add to their collection of art books and soundtracks, Soldner-X brings a solid action-packed experience to the console."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Söldner-X Scores 8.0 - IGN Review

If you still have any doubts about purchasing Söldner-X for PlayStation 3 off the PlayStation Network, you might want to check out what the biggest gaming site has to say about the game.

Praising the graphics and gameplay, IGN awarded the game an 8.0 overall. If you're still not sure whether to buy the game for a mere $9.99, then check out the full IGN review here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Söldner-X Tips & Tricks: Make sure you play online

Söldner-X has this fabulous online High Score function that nowadays every game has. It lets you compare your skills with other players around the world. My skills aren't that high so I better don't mention them. Just how do you know you will submit your scores online or not? Well, it's very easy. By default, Söldner-X has server connection enabled. Therefore, if you have never changed the settings, you will play with online high scores enabled. However, what happens when you are starting Söldner-X with a disconnected LAN cable... It will simply turn online high scores off, but it will not turn it on again by itself.

It's easy to see if you are playing online. In the main menu, there's a scrolling message ticker on the top right. This will tell you your global rank, if you have been replaced and the most recent news entry of the community section of If it simply says "offline" then it means, well, you're playing with online high scores disabled. Head over to the options menu, and enable online high scores again! Cheers!

Cantonaut's Gamer Tag

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Flavor's Random Pick: My Chinese Coach

If you want to learn Japanese, French, Spanish, or Chinese and you're a gamer, chances are you'd like learning the "My Coach" way.

These edutainment titles by UBI Soft are great for someone that wants to learn a new language, especially if they have time to sit like on the bus, subway, train, couch, library, etc. If you have a trip planned to a foreign country, and you want an excellent learning and translation tool to bring with you on the trip, this is it!

So, let's just pretend that you're going on a trip to China. We all know that you're going to bring your DS with you. I mean, that's what it's for, right? You've got plenty of time in the plane, so start going through the "My Chinese Coach" lessons.

The in-game teacher will educate you about the words and phrases for the lesson. You can hear her speak each of them. If you want to, you can enter a mode where you speak into the microphone and try to match her pronunciation. Though, that's probably going to annoy the people around you on the plane.

Then, you have to "master" each of the words and phrases from the current lesson. To do this, you play mini-games that help you memorize them. Early games include a Whack-A-Mole style game and a multiple-choice quiz. When you progress to new lessons, you unlock new mini-games.

Once you arrive in China, you can start using your new phrases. Oh, you don't remember them all? Do you need to use a word or phrase that you didn't learn yet? That's no problem. There's a dictionary built in to the game. You can use it like a portable phrase book or English to Chinese dictionary. Though, it's way better than that, because you can hear the pronunciation of each word. With a tonal language like Chinese, that can be very important. In the worst case, you could just show the DS to someone and ask them to listen to the phrase so they know what you're trying to say.

I am using My Chinese Coach to try to learn some Chinese. I am also listening to a Chinese language instructional audio book when I drive my car. It's just too hard to play DS while driving. The audio book requires you to speak along with the lessons, which isn't ideal for learning on mass transit. It's also not much of a game, and I assume that readers of this blog are mainly gamers. To me, the language "tapes" are the traditional way to learn, but the DS games are the new cool way to learn and also get a portable translator.

If you have a DS (or a PSP in some cases), try one of UBI Soft's My _____ Coach titles. I have also tried "My Spanish Coach" for the DS. It is the same game, but of course it is teaching Spanish instead of the aforementioned Chinese. If you're trying to learn a language, I feel like you can't go wrong with one of these titles. Even if you're taking a class in school, I think it would be a great tool to aide your progress!

My Japanese Coach
My French Coach
My Spanish Coach
My Chinese Coach

Monday, December 15, 2008

Play-Asia Weekly Special: Midnight Club: Los Angeles

The best way to see Los Angeles is at 245mph.

Race at breakneck speeds through the streets of modern-day L.A. recreated in stunning detail. Drive the hottest range of real-world tuners, muscle cars, exotics and superbikes on the streets today. Customize your vehicle with the best after-market performance parts and custom kits. Illegal street racing with no track, no load times, no rules: Welcome to the Midnight Club.

Play-Asia's upcoming weekly special satisfies the need for speed in you.

Midnight Club: Los Angeles is rated 5-stars on Play-Asia, that means it's a really great game. Let's have 'Jouk' do the talkin':

Old School, really old school.
Remember the days when one tiny mistake, that the AI drivers never would make, cost you the race?

Remember when one fall on a bike, 20 meters from the finishing line cost you 15 minutes of races because you got busted?

Still yearn for those "old skool days"? Then get this. It looks amazing, drives well (arcade physics -wise) and sounds great. And it's relentlessly unforgiving, meaning you won't be cruising any races except the easy green ones... ;)

Available from tomorrow, the 16th of December at around 0800 GMT for an astonishing price of US$14.90, you can't miss that. Just make sure that you own a Japanese or European console, it won't work on North American ones...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bob's Game: Future Play-Asia Product?

Robert Pelloni has spent the last 5 years of his life making a game about Yuu. From the looks of it, it's a commercial quality title.

Click here for the high-quality version of the video

You can find more about Bob's Game at his website or read more in the full article (link below) to get some more info.

Well, it's probably a lot higher than commercial quality compared to some of the garbage some game publishers try to pass off on us, but we try not to concern ourselves with those sort of titles here. He has done all the programming, all the artwork, all the sound effects, and all the music by himself. It is quite an achievement, but the ultimate goal for Bob is to get it into the stores and ultimately the hands of actual gamers.

As I mentioned, Bob has worked on this game for the last 5 years of his life. I don't mean that he came home each evening from his day job and spent his free time working on the game. What I mean is that he had no "real" job and no "free" time. From what I can tell, this game was his life for the past 5 years. He taught himself game programming, music tracking, and pixel art. It is quite an achievement. I've never seen a "homebrew" game programmer produce anything near this magnitude.

Now, Bob is trying to get his game published. To do that, he needs support from a publisher and Nintendo. To this point, he has not used any official Nintendo development tools, and Nintendo never seems to like playing with the little homebrew kids. They require that games be developed with their Nitro SDK, but to get that you need to be a Nintendo licensed developer. So far, they have not let poor Robert join in any of their reindeer games (by which I mean, they have not licensed him).

Bob's latest tactic is to hole himself up in his game development studio (also known as his tiny apartment room). According to Bob, "When Nintendo decides to approve my developer license application I will leave the room. I cannot finish "bob's game" for Nintendo DS until I have the Nitro SDK! I am supposed to receive a decision in 6-8 weeks. It has been 16 weeks!"

So, there the story sits for now. "Bob's Game" is pretty much complete. It just needs a publisher and some licensing. If you want to read more about this intriguing story, head over to If you want to view some other videos of the game, check out Robert's youtube channel at If you want to know how to help, he has some instructions on his page about how to contact Nintendo to request that they license his development efforts.

Söldner-X Tips & Tricks: Get your own gamer tag

Since launch of the PC version of the game around a year ago, there have been gamer tags (aka badges, dog tags, etc). For some reason eastasiasoft never came around advertising them on the PS3 version and there's some quirks with the messenger system that seems to work only on the PC version, but anyway, the gamer tags are fully working. Here's mine:

Cantonaut's Gamer Tag

I will now show you how to get yours.

In order to have your own gamer tag, you simply need to submit one high score (at least) which is done if you play the game in online mode (default) and you are online of course. You can see here, my rank is a mediocre 67, nothing to be proud of but I'm also posting this because.. well because maybe I can apply some self-pressure here to try harder. The gamer tag can be used in most forums and blogs (such as this!) and it's very simple to do but there's no search function for your profile, that complicates things slightly.
  1. Submit a high score to the servers (happens automatically on the game over screen)
  2. Find out what rank you are. Wait around 5-10 minutes in game and it will tell you your current rank (the message displayed upper right on the main menu)
  3. Go to's Community Pages
  4. Locate your entry & click on your name
  5. A profile page pops up. Here's mine.
  6. Scroll down to where it says Gamer Tag and snap the URL as displayed in the boxes, or copy & paste the HTML into your blog. Be sure to hotlink the image, because it's updated regularly. If you host a copy of the image then you will display outdated information.
Try it out now!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Söldner-X Tips & Tricks: Re-Spawn behind a wall solution

Söldner-X: Himmelsstürmer players have noticed that (especially) in World 2 (aka The Industrial Menace) it may happen that you bite the dust and re-spawn behind a wall with no way of getting out, hence losing just another life. This is kinda lame and annoying but it's probably more annoying than anything else in the game so I thought I give you a solution for this :) Even if that means that I may lose my prestigous 42nd (at time of writing, current results may change) position.

The solution in fact is very easy. While you are respawning, just steer the ship! "Wait... What did you just say? How can I steer the ship while I'm not even in control of it?". True, I thought the same, dying repeatedly behind walls and all I wanted to is going to the nearest hardware shop to buy the biggest sledge hammer they'd have (turns out they were out of stock). But someone told me this, and I tried it, and it works. So next time you are in danger of spawning behind a wall or just everytime you respawn, remember that you can steer the ship WHILE IT'S RESPAWNING, giving you the option to appear just anywhere on the play field! It takes a bit of practice to spawn at that specific spot you want, but it's very easy to just avoid getting locked up somewhere. And now, back to the game already!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Flavor's Random Pick: Pipe Mania

Pipe Mania, aka Pipe Dream, has been around for quite some time. I think that I still own a GameBoy cartridge of it somewhere in my basement, though versions of the game even predate that. On top of those, there are countless clones and spin-offs with similar gameplay. I have even played one called "Home Before Dark" on my daughter's Webkinz account in which your goal is to line up paths for pets to get to their houses before the sun sets.

The current incarnations of Pipe Mania have been released recently on the PSP, Nintendo DS, PS2, Wii, etc.

Pipe Mania is a simple game to learn. The different incarnations throughout the years and on different platforms may present the playfield differently and the input mechanism may vary, but the game is always the same. You are in charge of placing pieces of pipe in such a way so that the liquid can safely reach its destination. These pipe pieces are arranged in a queue so that you can see the upcoming pieces which allows you to make better decisions about where to place the current piece. That's really about all you need to know to play the game, and it ends up looking something like this (screenshot from the PSP version).

The new (PSP, DS, PS2, Wii, etc.) versions of the game introduce some new elements: attacks that come while building your pipeline, hidden treasures, and unlockables, but at the heart of the matter, it's still the same game that you've either come to love or you should try and see if you love. You're not going to find deep storyline, strategy, or role playing elements here. My recommendation is to pick this game up on a handheld console (which will probably be a recurring theme for my posts since that's where my interests really lie). You can pick up Pipe Mania and play a level in for a few minutes, run through many levels, or really try to maximize your points in any given level by making long and interesting pipelines. It's a great game that way, so you can easily play it whether you have 5 minutes or several hours.

I have tried both the Nintendo DS and the PSP versions, and I have to say that I prefer the game on the PSP. I found that after a while, I didn't even use the stylus on the DS, and PSP's larger screen seemed to fit the playfield better. Of course, you get an extra screen on the DS, but it didn't seem to add anything to this particular game. All I'm saying is that if you own both, pick up the PSP version. If you only own a DS, don't hesitate to grab it for that platform, though. It's good either way, and I have to assume it's just as fun on the PS2, Wii, or PC.

As always, Play-Asia has all of the Pipe Mania versions you could possibly care for here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Is ugly the new cute? Or why does everybody want a Sackboy?

When I was young, calling somebody Sackboy was pretty much like giving him a bad name.

Times change and seeing that current hype for Sony's LittleBigPlanet, I am getting afraid Sackboy might become one of the most popular names for newborns next year: That's my son Sackboy, doesn't he look just like his daddy?

Anyway, most likely it is better not to think too much about it. Just get your Sackboy now as long as there are still some available. Or do you really wanna face your girl friend with no Sack (Boy!) on Christmas Eve?

Shopping Guide: The Games to Own On PlayStation 3

Not sure what games to buy for the PS3 this Christmas? It's been quite a year, but there are three first party titles that really stand out and all of them were released recently.

1st Recommendation: Resistance 2
Better in every way? Hell yes. This is one of the most feature packed first person shooters around. Between the campaign, co-op and competitive mode, you'll be spending months playing it all.

The only complaint? Apart from some small issues, the game also plays differently to the original. It now feels more like Call of Duty 4 instead of the first game, which had a unique feel. You can always pick up the first game at a budget price.

2nd Recommendation: LittleBigPlanet
The idea was sound, but whether Media Molecule could pull it off was a different matter. And they did. LittleBigPlanet is a great game, the graphics, physics and of course Sackboy all come together to provide a unique experience. It's a platformer, but it's also highly challenging and fun to play for all ages. After completing the game, you can create your own levels with the very complex level editor. There's also four player online co-op for both the story and user created levels!

3rd Recommendation: Motorstorm: Pacific Rift 

Better in every way compared to the original Motorstorm, you can't go past Motorstorm: Pacific Rift for your racing needs. Now Motorstorm was a great game, but it was a very frustrating experience and many people gave up playing due to the obtuse learning curve and challenging AI.

The improvements in Pacific Rift are plenty. Stunning graphics, better handling, AI, physics, faster loading times and new inclusions such as 4 player splitscreen and trophies. And the graphics? Yeah, they're phenomenal.

The sequel is still quite challenging, but it's much more rewarding and fun this time around. Don't judge the game on the demo available on PSN, it's actually one of the worst tracks in the game. Motorstorm: Pacific Rift is definitely one of the best racing games this generation and probably the best off-road racing game ever.

Play Asia Weekly Special: Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway

Dean and Sam Winchester fighting their way across the country in a 1967 Chevy Impala in search for their father. Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway lets you ... oh wait... Stop. Ctrl-A - DEL. Wrong track, sorry. But given the name, right...?

Here: "In Brothers in Arms Hell’s Highway you join Matt Baker, Joe Hartsock and the rest of the 101st Airborne Division in Operation Market Garden as they fight to open the infamous Hell’s Highway in a daring bid for a quick end to the war. The classic authentic, squad-based combat series explodes on next-generation hardware, offering unprecedented graphics and features".

I can't really vouch for the accuracy of above statement, unprecedented graphics and features, well I have to see them first so I can say that they were previously unseen. At any rate, the game got some good reviews, not really enough reviews on Play Asia so that we could tell for sure how much fun this game's gonna be, but for US$17.90, there's hardly a mistake to be made.

Our vedict, as usual: Buy!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Söldner-X: Himmelsstürmer now available on North American PlayStation®Store

Shooter fans out there! Söldner-X: Himmelsstürmer (AKA The Funny Umlaut Shooter) has made it's landing on the North American PlayStation®Store. We've been following this one closely, as you would have thought.

Not many reviews out there, but of course we'd give it a buy-recommendation nonetheless.

No (official) word yet about the Euro-Release and why do they never mention Japan? Well, anyhow, it seems the game is scheduled to reach the Asian (that means Asia w/out Japan, such as Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia et al) market the Thursday after this and the Euro release seems to be on 18th of December 2008. Yahoo!

As our friend Brandon put's it: "So if you were suckered into buying a PS3 by MGS4 or Senjou no Valkyria, now you can play a third game as well. If you're curious, the available PS3 trophies can be found here."

We wouldn't say it so harshly, but we certainly recommend you to head over to your nearest PS3, go to the PlayStation Store and play away.

And they even got hi-scores!

Update: Silly me, forgot to mention the video!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lego Double Feature Weekly Special Cont'd

As rumored last week, legoism continues on Play-Asia with Lego Batman. Includes Robin, The Joker and other villains (wait, Robin's a villain?) and remember not for kids below 3 due to small parts that could be eaten that should not. Back on track, here's the story:

In LEGO® Batman™: The Videogame, play as Batman and his sidekick Robin as you build, drive, swing, and fight your way through Gotham City capturing escaped villains including The Joker, The Penguin, and Scarecrow and putting them back in Arkham Asylum where they belong. Then jump into the story from the other side and play as Batman's foes! Enjoy the power you wield and battle Batman while spreading chaos throughout the city. There's no rest for the good (or the evil!).

They (Play Asia) put it on sale for US$19.90. That's good, we all need a little spending break in preparation for Christmas. Alright time to grab this one now before it does the out of stock thing.

Update 12/07/2008: It IS out of stock now :(

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lego Double Feature Weekly Special

"With a tongue-in-cheek take on these original adventures, LEGO Indiana Jones follows Dr. Jones' escapades through the jungles of South America to the mountaintops of India. Build, battle, and brawl your way through your favorite moments, from Indy's entanglements with snakes to his dashing boulder run."

Today's weekly special on Play-Asia features Lego'ed Indy and there's no way you could miss this. Did we say double? Oh right... How would we know that... Let's check back next week!

And, just to quote Mr. /Mrs./Ms./Miss "lienoge"
"Really Awesome !
This is a very good game of the first 3 movies ! It's just fun to play! Only the service of Play-Asia is better :-)"

Nothing to add to that! So, for US$19.90, grab your copy now!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flavor's Random Pick: Delta Warp

Delta Warp is one of those titles that you probably missed when it was released. It had several strikes against it. First of all, it was on the often overlooked Neo Geo Pocket platform. On top of that, it was made by a relatively unknown company called IOSYS, and it was a puzzle game without any block building, bubble shooting, piece dropping, etc. Well, it's actually a fun puzzle game that works rather well. A buddy of mine that goes by the name TideGear has an excellent short description/review of Delta Warp which can be found over at Retro Thing. Here's an excerpt.
"The gameplay and rules are fairly complex, for an action puzzle game, yet the game is intuitive enough to ease the learning curve quite a bit. The action is based around controlling a delta (aka triangle) as you flip it along its three edges moving it through adjacent triangle-shaped spaces in each stage."

These carts aren't easy to come by, but currently Play-Asia has some pre-owned copies in stock here.