Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy birthday, cup noodles

No food is quite as convenient as cup noodles. To celebrate the product's birthday, fans get a fun, even somewhat bizzare birthday gift. Turn the wheel at the bottom of the cup to set the time, press on the kettle and do all you can to return the noodle pieces into a neat circle within three minutes, otherwise, everything will burst out of the cup.

Putting everthing back is deceptively easy, afterall, there aren't that many pieces ot put together in the first place, yet you really need an eye for detail if you are to follow the curve of each of the noodles.

You can choose between three flavours, seafood, plain and curry. Seafood is the easiest, plain is normal and curry is the most difficult. Try out the different flavours and see what side dishes you can put into your noodle cups. As shown in the picture, shrimps, corn and barbequed pork goes quite well with plain noodles.

You can make use of the timing device in these toys. Pour hot water into your edible cup noodle and use the three minutes to play the puzzle. When the pieces exploded all over the table, you'd know that your noodle is ready to serve.

For those who are more interested in the food than the puzzle, please check here for the full list flavors available.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 possible spin-off title

With Modern Warfare 2 sales exploding around the world and breaking records in various countries, I guess it doesn't come as much of a surprise that there's already talk of a new spin-off title based off the character "Ghost" in the game. He's the guy with the skull mask, just like in Army of Two.

Voice actor Craig Fairbass let slip that Ghost will be getting his own comic book and possibly another game to go with it. Considering the popularity of the series, it's surprising it hadn't been exploited more until this point. But it's happening now, so prepare to see a whole lot of Call of Duty spin-offs in the future, especially if this one becomes a success. Looks like Grand Theft Auto is no longer the king on the block.

"I did in the last game a voice for a character called Gaz and in this game I’m now voicing a guy called Ghost, who now just got a spin-off comic of his own and they’re talking about another little game to go with it, so, I’m quite excited about it. It’s grown and grown and grown."


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

From Battle Royale to Death Note to Kaiji

Kaiji is one of the newest and hottest Japanese films in the cinemas right now. Starring Fujiwara Tatsuya and the former Takaratsuka top star Amami Yuki, this is one film that movie fans cannot miss, especially those who enjoyed Battle Royale and Death Note.

Ito Kaiji was his friend's guarantor, so when his friend bolted, the loan shark Endo Rinko came to him for the money (2.02 million yen, with interest piling up by the minute as they talked). Without the money to pay and intimidated by the violence this lady is capable of, Kaiji agreed to board the gamble cruise Espoir, to earn his freedom and a fortune...

Or to fall into the depths of hell.

Everyone who has watched any movie about gambling knew that the games on the ship or in the rest of the movie are not about luck, it's about cheating. After being the game master in Death Note, Fujiwara now plays the pawn and is just as convincing as ever.

Perhaps even more so, since Kaiji is a much more human character, it gives Fujiwara more opportunities to display his acting talents and portray his growth as an actor. He is one of those actors who could play any role and bring out the essence of his character.

To make things even more interesting, Matsuyama Kenichi, L in Death Note, also makes a brief appearance. Those who live in Japan or any where near a cinema which is showing the film, go get a ticket today, those who are not, the DVD or Blu-ray disc will surely come soon, we'll keep you posted.

Spoilers from this point onwards, click at your own expense.

Without watching the film, Yui's It's All Too Much probably won't make that much sense. You actually feel the indestructible force of Hyoudou Kazutaka, the emperor who controls Teiai. No matter how much you want to stick a knife into that hateful old man, you'd feel that he won't die, because he is JUST SO RICH.

And you know, money just might be more important than life in such a society.

Still, after ripping a huge chunk (500 million yen) out of that old man, he didn't seem all that invincible anymore. But if you have read the manga, you'd know that 500 million have merely made a dent in his pride, he's still the super antagonist, the dictator with absolute power.

Because of his dictator, the embodiment of all the bad things in a capitalistic society, people are split into the group of winners and the group of losers (or the junks), we lesser humans, of course, are in the junk group.

So welcome, junkies, here is a trailer of the movie, enjoy.

Monday, November 2, 2009

30 minutes - impression on P3 PSP

With Memento Mori as its theme, Persona 3 is one dark, stylish treat and one of the games that breaks the Shin Megami Tensei/ Persona title from a niche series into to a big commercial title.

All those who have played the old P3 on the PlayStation 2 should be familiar with the game, those who are not, get the game, play it and post your impressions on your own blog or some message board!

This PSP port has a new OP and the pictures are still as attractive as ever, the song has a bit more 'fire' than the last one, which is both good. However, I could not help but miss the opening animations in the old PS2 version! I remembered feeling Yukari's fear when she first held the Evoker to her head. There are no texts and no dialogue, but that brief sequence of her sweating and trembling and dropping the gun already explains everything.

Another thing about the animation is that it gives you such a deep impression of the game world and the trendy people who live there. Just seeing how the girls' school bag accessories jingle as they giggle and the MP3 screen flash already remind gamers of urban Japan.

Now, instead of the animations, we have some stills that are visibly brightened and contained more visual details. The sequence with Yukari is replaced by a picture with the voice over saying something like "I can do it... (sob)... no I can't..." It's very explicit, but I like the old representation better.

I need to play on to see how many animations survive the cut, and before I lament on about how much I miss the old PS2 version, I have to say that the battle system of the PSP Port makes P3 so much more playable.

I'll admit that I have never finished the old PS2 version, the highest floor I have gone up to was 5 or 6 (pathetic, isn't it?). Party Characters get exhausted easily and the AI, although quite intelligent (or so I've heard), wastes SP, which makes the battling aspect very difficult.

Now that I have control over all my characters, the battles aren't as annoying and I am so much more willing to go on. Even if I get a game-over at the end, I've only got myself to blame.

Actually, there are more reasons I can't finish the old PS2 version, click "read more" to be spoiled. Or leave it to order, or even better, play your game now.

Memento Mori - remember that you will die... means that you will die no matter what. There are three ways of dying, gameover during a battle, selecting a wrong path during a game event and... well, winning the game.

You just, die.

Actually, this is a selling point, I don't remember where I've read it, but on some guide/art book, the director said that parting is a big thing that teenagers are going through and this is one of the games that gives you the most realistic experience. (take this with a grain of salt, as I've read it a year ago and I no longer have the book near me.)

Going through all that trouble, battling all those shadows just so you can die (or fall into a coma) on a pretty girl's lap just doesn't add up. If its about death and rebirth, fine. However, it's not, in P3 FES, you're officially dead and the spotlight goes to Aegis (the pretty girl whose lap you fall "asleep" on).

I don't mind sad endings, I do read some tragedies, I just like to have a choice to live if I could.

Now I'm not sure if the girl-MC route in P3 PSP will give me this choice, but I'd like to try it out after I beat the game in the original guy-MC route. And at the mean time, I'll stop reading any spoilerific material.