Friday, February 27, 2009

Nintendo DS Games For Toddlers (Flavor's Random Pick)

If you're a parent, like I am, that's into handheld gaming, you might want to check out UFO Interactive's line of Smart Games for kids. This line includes titles such as "Smart Kid's: Gameclub," "Smart Girl's: Playhouse," and "Smart Boy's: Gameroom." Having 3 daughters, I am most familiar with the "Smart Girl's" line of games, but really it's mostly just the art style that's specific to girls. Boys (especially those in the 2 to 6 year old range) would get just as much out of any of the games as would girls, but I can completely understand why you might not prefer to have your son seen playing "Smart Girl's: Magical Book Club."

I know that Nintendo is trying to target the younger kids with a lot of their DS titles, but, from what I've seen, most of the good games start at about age 6. If you have a kid younger than that, there really isn't a whole lot that they can do that will keep their attention and challenge them. I have found the "Smart Girl's" games to be great for my daughters. My 2-year-old is really starting to learn stylus skills (which seem to translate fairly well to mouse skills on the PC). Of course, she can't read, but she has, fairly quickly, learned how to navigate the entire game. There are puzzles, matching games, drawing pages, musical games, etc. that keep her occupied whenever we are out somewhere that she can't run around. My 5-year-old is just starting to outgrow the game a bit, but she still likes to play it, especially if she can show her little sister how to do things. She still plays it, but she has started getting into games with deeper story lines, now that she's learning to read. Still, any of the Smart games will keep the girls occupied and learning whether it be just for a couple minutes or a couple hours. If you have kids in the 2-6 year-old range, I highly recommend that you look into these titles.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wall Street Fighter IV - Come let out some steam!

Something amusing for everyone. Street Fighter IV generated a large amount of hype for every gamer, while the Wall Street brought a lot of people down, so when the two combine, what do you get?


Yes. Let's see who will win through all this at the end of the day. To those who still have not gotten a copy of Street Fighter IV, come get it now and let out some steam!

Done by a bunch of fun loving Hong Kongers, we hope this video would bring some laughter to your face, if not chuckles or a small smile.

If you prefer to let out steam through other genres, come visit for our collection of games, movies, music and budget deals.

6th Annual Cheapy Awards: nominated in three categories - go vote for your favourite site now! - Update!

The Oscars has just ended, we hope everyone had a nice time admiring the outfits of the stars on the red carpet, watching clips from nominated films etc, but it's now time to shift your attention back to gaming.

We are proud and honored that once again has been nominated by the dedicated community of for their Annual Cheapy Awards. CheapAssGamer is a community of hardcore gamers and, eh, savers.
Also famous for their CAGcast with Cheapy and Wombat and not to forget the CAG Foreplay starring the Shipwrecks. [end of shameless advertising plug].

Voting is up until the end of this week (25th Feb 2009) so hurry up and place your vote!

This year, for the 6th Annual Award, we are nominated in three categories (click on a link for each category):

Voting is open now and we invite everybody to go there and place their vote. We also thank all people who nominated us in the first place, being in the competition alone is certainly something that makes us very happy.

As the winner of last year's Best Independent Online Game Retailer award, we of course would love to defend our title.

Anyway, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers for their continual support.

Update: Voting is over... Bugger... next time we'll get onto this quicker. Results coming up soon!

Play Asia Weekly Special: Hellboy: Science of Evil!

Take a preview at the upcoming Play-Asia weekly special. This week, we're getting mighty Hellboy in Hellboy: Science of Evil!

From the textbook: Hellboy: The Science of Evil will give players the opportunity to experience the epic adventures of the acclaimed comic book hero, fusing action, atmosphere and humor. In his latest quest, Hellboy uncovers an insane Nazi plot for world domination and must rush to defeat the crazed Hermann Von Klempt before he can exert his evil will upon earth. As a visceral brawler, the game lets players unleash Hellboy’s superhuman abilities as they smash their way through hordes of enemies with contextual use of the environment for added destructive power and strategy. Just another day for Hellboy…

Don't miss this week's weekly special for sale at an unbelievable US$ 12.90 for the region-free, english version from Korea. We suspect this will be a good seller, so don't wait too long to pick it up!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This is not the band I want to join, Mom! - Detroit Metal City

Negishi Soichi is a shy, gentle teenager who wants to become a popular singer. To realize this dream, he left the rural area for Tokyo. However, the trends in the international city is going in a way that he could not quite fathom. Instead of the sweet pop music that he makes, the people are more interested in Death Metal bands.

Things get more wild after he met and signed a contract with the Death Records Label President. He is allowed to debut as a singer under the name of Johannes Krauser II, a Death Metal Band's vocalist. And with a bassist and a drummer, Detroit Metal City gives their performances, with a huge success.

As Negishi, the boy hates the music he performs on stage, but as Krauser II, not only is he wonderful at it, he seems to enjoy what he does a little too much. In fact, he is so convincingly evil on stage that people have no trouble believing that he is a demon, a terrorist from hell, as he termed himself.

Wanting to leave the band to develop his own music but is too afraid of the devil president and growing to want to please the Krauser II fans, Negishi is living a rather (amusingly, interestingly) troubled double life.

My favourite part has got to be Matsuyuki Yasuko, the devil president's laugh. That evilly mad cackle is the envy of any aspiring witch.

Krauser II's laugh is absolutely lovely as well.

Laughs are not the whole of the movie, but it makes up a big part of it. From Negishi's geeky image, his senselessly fluffy sweet songs (named Amai Koibito - Sweet Lover, as well) to the just as senseless bloodshed in Krausers' songs (Satsugai - Massacre), the contrast is just so great that you cannot help but laugh.

The double personality is wonderful as well, Krauser doesn't feel any sense of guilt for whatever damaging acts he does on stage but when it washes back to Negishi after the alternate personality fades, its another funny moment.

Although the live musical performances are dubiously themed and the lyrics may be offiensive to some people, the movie's or the manga's plot itself starred next to no particularly questionable material. No character is evil or violent (except for the devil president, she is comically evil), some are exceptionally sweet, Negima is happily invited to have breakfast when he appears in front of his parents door in Krausers' form and is referred to as "Kura-chan", what more loving family can you get?

Give it a go if you can stomach the more-than-loud metal music and the perverted lyrics. Just skip the songs if you are exceptionally keen on keeping your mind clean, otherwise a little shock won't hurt.

If you manage to look past the "kill" kanji, the thick white make up on his face and his exceptionally foul mouth, you can see some kindness in Krauser as well.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

GP2X Wiz Flash Games

I just got some good Wiz news today. It seems that casual game developer Pixelthis Limited is working on bringing their games to the GP2X Wiz. They plan to have three of their games ready for the Wiz's launch: Mr. Ice Cream, Rune Mage, and Magic Beans. If things go well from there, more games will follow.

From what I can gather, GPH is really pushing to get the latest Flash 8 Player working well on the system. That may even be the reason for them recently pushing back the release date of the Wiz from March to April. This will make it easier for developers like Pixelthis to release their games on the system, because this will open up Wiz's potential game library to any developer creating Flash content.

Mr. Ice Cream
Everyone's favourite Mr. Ice Cream is on his way! Serve delicious ice cream and toppings in 5 stunningly drawn locations around the world, and meet 30 international characters with their own unique animations. Can you help Mr. Ice Cream keep his customers happy?

Rune Mage
Rune Mage is an addictive puzzle game featuring 25 levels of intense game play across 5 stages. The game is enhanced with great manga-style character art. Follow the character as he works his way up from Neophyte to Master Rune Mage, and conquer the different elements to win the game!
Magic Beans
While experimenting with beans in his secret underground laboratory, Dr. Blah accidentally creates out-of-control Magic Beans! Try to control Dr. Blah’s creation before things get out of hand. A frantically addictive game that will turn your perspective on falling block games upside-down!

Thanks to Peter from Pixelthis for all of the above pictures and game descriptions.

Play Asia Weekly Special: TimeShift for Xbox360

Take a sneak peek of Play-Asia's upcoming weekly special. This week, it' TimeShift for Xbox 360! Before you get get lost in time(-shifts), let's hear what "they" have to say about the game:

In TimeShift, you assume the role of renowned test pilot Colonel Michael Swift who recently lost his only daughter in a bus accident.

Depressed and desperate for an escape from his misery, Swift decides to accept a recent offer from the U.S. Government.

Armed with a time-control device called the "Quantum Suit" and a time machine called the "Chronomicon," Swift sets out to test the most significant inventions of the century.

He is briefly sent back in time to 1911 to plant an experimental probe. Upon his return to the present, a shift has occurred. The world he left has changed beyond all recognition. And his knowledge of this timeshift has made him an enemy of the state.

Swift is now both on the run and on a mission to set time straight once again.

Swing from hero to the enemy of state and back again. Timeshift is available as a region free Asian version for an unbeatable bargain price of US$ 16.90 only.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The ideal date - Harukanaru Toki no Naka de

"Previously released on the Nintendo DS to celebrate the mother company, Koei's 30th anniversary, Yume no ukihashi is now upgraded and re-released for the television screen on your PlayStation2.

Watch the scenarios between the three generations of Hachiyous, marvel at how the same seiyuus could bring out the difference in the characters and see how the 24 retainers chat with and tease each other in this cross generation party.

The PlayStation2 version comes with more fully voiced scenes, from the small ones such as assisting you to cross the dream bridge and exchanges with each other occasionally. Get to know more about the two divine guards as they get more plot scenarios.

Meet all your 24 retainers as well as other important figures in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de history in this classical romantic adventure."

Figures of the Haruka boys have been released earlier, and its time to see their actions in the game. Designed by shojo manga artist Mizuno Tohko, its no surprise that the game is gearing towards the female markets. In fact the studio which made the game, called Neoromance, already spells out who the game is for.

Mainly a text based dating game, the Harukanaru Toki no Nakade series mixes beautiful stills and animations together with turn based RPG elements and mini games. It creates an environment that pulls in a different sort of gaming community.

Shojo, however, doesn't just mean teenage girls (in some cases, even men are referred to as shojo. But this is another matter). Besides school girls, a lot of housewives and working women are in love with the game as the Neoromance radio program shows.

Letters have been sent to the host of the program, stating how the game fulfilled the ladies' desire for loving words, praises or even romantic poetry, that husbands or boyfriends tend to neglect.

Not everybody can write poems or is able to recite them properly. Even badly written ones require a lot of talent and effort. Creating an atmosphere where reciting poetry is more romantic than hilarious is a lot of work as well.

So ladies (and gentlemen?), stop putting so much pressure on your other half and play the game instead. Gentlemen (and ladies?) if you just happened to be in love, or is in need to impress someone who refuses to compromise, play the game and learn a thing, use it as a tutorial.

Harukanaru Toki no Nakade Yumenoukihashi is available on both Nintend DS and PlayStation2 while the Haruka 2 and the new Haruka 3 Aizoban are available on Sony PSP.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Walking on red carpets - Street Fighter IV Action Figures

"Neca's action figures of Ryu, Ken and Crimson Viper are opening the path for the release of the fourth installment from the hit fighter series Street Fighter. So, everybody, make way.

Spotting multiple points of articulation, you can twist their limbs in all kinds of battle poses for your very own mini-fighting arena.

Ryu and Ken, the two protagonist are here of course, what would Street Fighter be without them?

Looking gravely serious and stoic, Ryu is ready to strike while Ken, who spots a wide, feral grin on his face, is flexing his joints.

With one fist raised, he is tellling you that he, too, is ready for whatever you throw at him.

Another character that made her way to the figure series is Crimson Viper, the new girl to Street Fighter. With a head of flaming red hair tied in a long braid, she resembles a fiery serpent.

The American spy's fighting style will be completely different to the existing characters. Play the game and see that your figure can recreate all of those easily.

Recruit your fighters now, Ken, Ryu and Crimson Viper are available at this very moment"

With these three figures, you can recreate at least three battle scenes and a great number of fighting stance. With your imagination and deft fingers, you can even emulate a whole battle ground.

And for those who does not want to play in the battle field, you can make them do humorous routines such as Haruhi Suzumiya's Hare Hare Yukai dance. Three is a perfect number, each of them can assume the role of Haruhi, Mikuru or Yuki.

Lets see if Neca is going to create figures for Sakura and Chunli so the guys can go back to assume more masculine roles.

If the dancing idea is a little grotesque, there is also the Musou action that you could play around with. Swarm the three with numerous trading figures ( has quite a large suppy, don't worry) and see these fighters break through their ranks with their fists.

These are just some (crazy) suggestions, how you play with them is up to you and like Little Big Planet, the creative process is part of the playing process and the playing process is part of the creative process, start making use of your imagination now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wine, Roses and Kat-Tun - One Drop

"One Drop is Kat-Tun's Valentine gift to all their fans. As the theme song for Kamenashi Kazuya's new drama Kami no Shizuku, the song is an up beat rock tune that portrays the group's youth and vitality.

Kami no Shizuku originates from a manga of the same title and tells a story about men competing for the ownership of a connoisseur's red wine collection as well as his legendary bottle of Kami no Shizuku - God's drink (God's Drop creates some very un-appealing images).

Through wine, the drama portrays humanity, from jealousy between people of the same industry to the relationship between family members. Start acquiring a taste for the beverage through One Drop now."

A romantic dinner date consist of candlelight and of course, wine. And what is better than such a dinner is a whole drama or manga series focused on the beverage. In fact, wine stores has been putting the series on display and on sale as it helps them expand their client base.

From decanting wine to using poems to describe its scent and taste, this manga teaches people enough about the drink to fully enjoy it and gives them some knowledge as to impress their friends and dates.

Its not too late to start cramming, be prepared to appear knowledgeable, for your date might be an avid follower of the manga or the show.

The song is fun and energetic and watching the Johnny boys dance is always an amusing affair. You might need to be 18 or 21 to start learning about wine (most people start their wine education with their first sip, unlike Shizuku, the hero), but you can be at any to enjoy One Drop.

Available products:

One Drop (CD+DVD version)
One Drop (Standard version)
One Drop (First Press version)

Monday, February 9, 2009

GP2X Wiz Homebrew (Quake 2, X-COM, MAME)

My sources tell me that the GP2X Wiz is due to be released around March 5th, but prototypes of the Wiz are already in the hands of some great homebrew game developers.

These guys have been hard at work getting games ready for the launch early next month. I'm not talking about some silly little games like pong or tic-tac-toe that any mediocre programmer can whip together. I'm talking about games that you've actually heard of and played before. Check the full post to get an idea of what I mean.

Open systems like the GP32, GP2X, and now the GP2X Wiz are popular platforms for running older games. Sometimes great games that you know and loved from years past have their source code released by the original developer. That allows homebrew developers to port the game to these platforms. When source code is not available, you often see homebrew developers making their own version of an old game or creating an emulator to play the original game on this new platform.

Recently, I've seen and read about some interesting games running on the Wiz. Have you ever played UFO: Enemy Unknown (aka X-COM: UFO Defense)? Well, thanks to a guy called "Pickle" you can play it and it's sequel X-COM: Terror from the Deep on the GP2X Wiz.

In fact, this Pickle guy has been pretty busy lately. He's got games like Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, and Quake II running on the Wiz. Here's a video of Quake 2 running.

I mentioned emulation as a way to run popular games. A lot of people get these handheld consoles just for the emulation of older systems. I believe that emulators running on the GP2X Wiz will range from emulating systems like the Commodore 64 to the Playstation PSX. One of the most well known and popular video game emulators is MAME. If you didn't already know, MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, and its job is to run all your favorite arcade games. A developer called "Franxis" has been working on bringing MAME to the Wiz. Here's a video he made of his latest version.

Of course, whenever we're talking about playing your old games on any system, it's worth noting that you need to own the original game to legally play the game. In fact, you will need files from your original version to play the games mentioned.

Blue before Valentines - Sayonara Tsuki no Haikyo

Moon gazing in at a pond of pink water lilies is a very romantic business, however, watching the moon alone as the sole survivor after an un-named catastrophy could be very lonely. Experience a bit of blue to further appreciate the cheery pink and red Valentines day this weekend.

Seto has set off for the large red tower (Tokyo Tower?) to find the trace of humans after his grandfather, his only family and companion died. On his way, he came across a silver haired girl who was just as surprised as he was at the sight of another human being and fled from the shock.

Thinking the white glint in her hair and the sweet note in her voice the light in his potentially lonely life, he followed the girl through the underground ruins and deserted theme parks and met an array of ghosts as well as eccentric characters.

Sick of being alone? Its time to set out.

It's not the action, it's the atmosphere and story that counts in Fragile. Although the action is wonderful in my opinion, hard core action gamers may find this department lacking. I've been able to emerge from the battles victorious, with relatively few injuries.

Although none of my adversaries which I have come across have extremely damaging attacks, they were spooky. From the different species of phantom hounds, stray ghosts to strange arms that come out of walls to grab at you, you feel as if you have walked into a ghost house in a theme park as well.

Graphics and music creates a dark atmosphere that dwells more on loneliness than horror, which is suitable for the theme. Collect items to learn of the thoughts of various people before they die. From the promise a mother made to her child during the earthquake to the abandoned dog that watched as his owner left him, all these snippets interweave together to bring out the loneliness and vulnerability of Seto, and therefore, his determination to find the girl.

Everything is quiet, which makes the growls and gigglings of the ghosts more eery. Voice acting is superb, players can see how much Seto has grown up, from the uncertain, stuttering boy to the determined young man at the end.

The Japanese, however, might prove to be a bit of a challenge. While neither tutorials nor dialogue are delivered in extremely difficult sentences, players might not be able to fully appreciate the story and its atmosphere if they do not understand the language at all.

The best way to appreciate your boyfriend or girlfriend during Valentines is to experience loneliness prior to the festival. What is sweetness and warmth if you do not know bitterness and coldness.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Coming Soon: GP2X Wiz

The GP2X Wiz is the next cool handheld from Gamepark Holdings. Some of you might know of their GP2X handheld, and you might even rembmer the GP32. All of these systems are geared more toward the "homebrew" scene that likes tinkering with cool new gadgets than consoles that require you to own official commercial titles.

There is a whole group of developers that write and port games, applications, emulators, etc. to these systems. Often, this translates into free open-source games and tools for the enjoyment of all owners of such systems.

DJWillis is such a developer, and he has recently received a prototype Wiz console to test. He was kind enough to post a couple pictures of the Wiz sandwiched between a older GP2X and a GameBoy Micro. This ought to give you a good idea of the size of the Wiz.

You can find a blog post about his impressions of the Wiz here. In upcoming posts, I plan to discuss some more details about the GP2X Wiz including system specs, upcoming games, release dates, etc. I also hope to get some better pictures and videos of the machine in action. Stay tuned!

Pink Power - Give way to Chopper now

Valentines is just around the corner, have you prepared something for your loved ones yet? This is not a day for lovers only, and like the Japanese, people prepare two types of gifts, one for their true loves and others for their friends and family.

Either way, anyone would be too happy to recieve a Chopper. Soft and chubby with large eyes, the smart but gullible little elk is the mascot and one of the most useful member in the Straw Hat pirate's crew.

With pink as its image color, Chopper is a perfect Valentines gift. Whether in a pink body suit and reborn as a baby or in a pair of trunks with red hearts, Chopper is just as cuddly.

Forget about the roses and the chocolates, or add something to it if you find it safer to have something routine as well as the Chopper plushes. Win yourself some hearts this year through the doctor.

This year's Valentines day is placed right behind Black Friday. So let the pinkness wash the dark and heavy atmosphere away and have Chopper take over the world through soft, plushy power.

The One Piece mascot, like many of the crew memebers, have a lonely past and it is through joining Luffy on his quest that he finds a home. However, on their search for the legendary treasure One Piece, Chopper also finds a place in the show's many viewers' hearts.

Offer him a place in your home if you like him so much. Whoever said that Chopper has to be given as a gift only? He is waiting for your adoption, get him for yourself as a Black Friday present if you can't wait until Saturday, the little doctor is always ready to perform his magic.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Limited Edition Söldner-X: Himmelsstürmer Under 10 Bucks

The Limited Edition PC version of Söldner-X: Himmelsstürmer is this week's Play-Asia Weekly Special. This really is an awesome deal for any of you that may have been waiting for this to come down in price. $9.99 USD is a steal for everything you get with the limited edition. In fact, if you play Söldner-X on PSN, I'd recommend that you get this deal on the PC version just to get all these hard-copy extras that you'll never see in the PS3 version:
  • Söldner-X: Himmelsstürmer software (PC CD-ROM)
  • Söldner-X: Himmelsstürmer Limited Edition slip case
  • Söldner-X: Himmelsstürmer Original Soundtrack CD
  • Söldner-X: Tactical Reference Book (English, 52 pages, hardcover)
  • Certificate of purchase (serial numbered)
  • Manual (English, 16 pages)
  • Online key (required for high score upload)

Sumo Cats - Dokodemoissyo

Toro and Kuro have ran here, after turning into long plushes and TV stools, they are now back to their normal plushy selves. But knowing these two eccentric friends, they could only be semi-normal.

With impossibly large heads and almost scrawny bodies, the two are dressed in sumo get-ups, ready to compete in this round's games.

Place them on your chair or sofa as cushions their large heads can support a big portion of your back with a choice of black or white these cats can go with various color schemes of your room.

Not quite soft or tame, Toro and Kuro adds a hint of personality to your home.

Toro and Kuro's pose reminds me of Sabotenda from Final Fantasy so if you tie a handkerchief around Sabotenda, you might be able to form a three-way inter-series wrestling match.

This time the cats are no longer offering their heads for you to sit on. They are demonstrating some traditional Japanese sports. Put them together and see who will win. With scrawny bodies and big heads, these cats are funny characters that will bring a smile, a grin or a laugh to a person.

Valentines doesn't have to be about roses, chocolates, hearts or anything so routine. When things become a routine, it gets boring. Try the sumo cats this year and be wacky!