Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Rockstar Presents Table Tennis

If you're looking to buy a new Xbox 360 game, go get Rockstar's Table Tennis. Priced at $39.99, it's worth every penny. The game is pretty bare bones with only a few modes such as tournament, exhibition, and multiplayer on Xbox live, but the depth of the gameplay is incredibly deep.

I managed to get a copy of it and the gameplay is surprisingly addicting. Rockstar did an amazing job with the ball physics. The left analog stick controls the player and the face buttons/right analog stick control the type of spin you put on the ball, leaving you with right spin, left spin, top spin, or backspin. The left and right spins can be combined with the top and bottom ones, while the amount of spin applied on the ball can be varied by how long you hold the right stick or face button. In addition to this, you can pull off what Rockstar calls focus shots. Focus shots are pretty much powered-up hits. In order to pull off focus shots, you have to build up a charge meter which fills up when you pull off shots that have tremendous spin.

As if gameplay isn't enough, the audio is on par with it's Dolby 5.1 set-up. While playing in a match, I would hear different chants from all around the stadium as I rallied to win hard-earned points. Rockstar also did an awesome job with implementing music during matches. In addition to hearing certain crowd members yell out your name, electronic music will start to play after rallying for long periods. The timing of all of it is right and it heightens the intensity of the match. Call me crazy or not, I found myself raising my fist after winning 40+ rallies.
To top it all off, the graphics are on par with what next generation gaming should look like. If you've played Fight Night Round 3 for the 360, you could probably make comparison to it. With clothing swaying from left to right and shirts getting darker from sweat, the cloth physics are on point. From actual gameplay to replays, there is a great amount of detail in the stadiums and characters. It truly is next generation in terms of gaming.

So all-in-all, it really is a title worth picking up for the Xbox 360. I've never really played Ping Pong before, so I'd imagine those into the sport would really fall for it. To be honest, the first 15 minutes(pretty much the learning curve) was enough to convince me. It's a pretty bare game that doesn't include a career or create a character mode, but the gameplay is really that deep where it will tie you over. It's easy to learn how to play, but it may take a while to master. For $39.99, you really can't go wrong with this title.

Check out Rockstar's site for more info and screenshots.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

E3 2006

The Electronic Entertainment Expo took place all last week at the LA Convention Center. For those who aren't familiar with the expo, it's a gigantic industry only trade event featuring everything videogame related you can think of. It's basically a way for companies to show-off what they have upcoming for release in the future. As years have passed, it's grown to be one of the largest videogame expos. With over 60,000 attendees this year, the annual show was a major success once again.
With Sony and Microsoft showing off new titles for their next generation systems, Nintendo came full force with their Wii system. Sony showed titles like Heavenly Sword and Gran Turimo HD, while Microsoft impressed the majority with Gears of War and Viva Pinata. Nintendo took best in show with their new Wii system which utilizes an innovative controller. They attracted so many attendees that a 4 hour line formed wrapping around the Wii area. Other highlights of the show featured celebrities such as Paris Hilton and the original Batman, Adam West, making appearances and signing autographs, while the Tony Hawk booth had a live demo featuring several pros ripping it up in a full-sized halfpipe. Although it was an overwhelming day, I managed to snap a few photos while I rushed through both halls trying to check out everything. Click on the thumbnails below for larger images.


Gondry Says Be Kind, Rewind

Looks like Michel Gondry is currently in pre-production right now with his latest film, Be Kind, Rewind.
The story, by Gondry, follows a junkyard worker (Black) who attempts to sabotage a power plant that he believes is melting his brain. But his plan goes awry and the magnetic field he creates erases all of the videotapes in the local video store where his best friend works. Fearing that the mishap will cost his friend his job, the two team to keep the store's only loyal customer, a little old lady with a tenuous grasp on reality, from realizing what has happened by re-creating and refilming every movie that she decides to rent.
According to Killermovies.com, Kirsten Dunst is in talks to join Jack Black when it starts shooting in September.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Shining Parody

This is pretty old, but I thought I'd post it anyway for those who have not seen it. Just goes to show how much impact an editor has in cutting footage together.

Art School Confidential

picture of Art SchoolFilmmaker Terry Zwigoff and comic artist and screenwriter Daniel Clowes, who collaborated for the acclaimed 2001 comedy-drama Ghost World, team up once again for this offbeat satire. Jerome (Max Minghella) is an aspiring artist who arrives at a prestigious East Coast art institute to study. While Jerome enjoys daydreams of becoming the best-respected painter on Earth and winning the hearts of his female classmates, he soon learns the sad truth -- his "cool artist" act is old hat in the big city, and as he's surrounded by every art school cliché on Earth, practically nothing about him stands out. Determined to be recognized whatever the consequences, Jerome maps out a bizarre plan to become famous that has some unexpected consequences. Loosely adapted from a story in Clowes' comic book Eightball, Art School Confidential also stars John Malkovich, Jim Broadbent, Anjelica Huston, and Sophia Myles. Check out the trailer below.

Check out the official website here.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Rockstar Presents Table Tennis

With the Electronic Entertainment Expo behind us, all we can do is wait for promising titles like this one. Rockstar's first sports title Table Tennis is set to be released next week, May 22nd. I didn't get a chance to test it out at the expo, but from what I've heard it's looking to be a pretty engaging title to pick up and play. Also, if you're thinking you don't want to spend the $60 for this 360 game, you're in luck because Rockstar has announced it will be on shelves for $39.99. Check more out here.


Set for release in Q4 2006, the Nintendo Wii will include four controller ports, a slot-loading disc drive, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, 512MB of Flash memory, two USB 2.0 ports, SD card slot for memory expansion, PowerPC CPU (Broadway), ATI GPU (Hollywood), and Gamecube disc compatibility. The Virtual Console lets players download classic games from a selection of SNES, NES, N64, TurboGrafx 16, and Gensis titles. The WiiMote has a built-in speaker, rumble capabilities, expansion bay (Zapper, etc.), d-pad, and a thumb stick. Speculated price range is currently $149 - $299.

(Info from TechEBlog.com)

Live Action Metal Gear Solid Confirmed

For all you Metal Gear fans, Hideo Kojima has confirmed that a live action project is underway for Solid Snake. Kojima did not mention the name of the party, a release date, or any potential directors or stars. However, ever since the original PlayStation Metal Gear Soild, the English-language dialogue of game hero Solid Snake has been voiced by Hollywood figure...Read more here.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sony Announces PS3 Price

PlayStation®3 Launches On November 17, 2006 In North America Equipped with Blu-ray and Pre-Installed HDD United States: US $499 (20GB HDD) and US $599 (60GB HDD) Canada: CAN $549 (20GB HDD) and CAN $659 (60GB HDD)

Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) announced today that it would launch PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3) in Clear Black in North America on November 17, 2006, as part of a worldwide simultaneous launch.

PS3 is the most advanced computer system that serves as a platform to enjoy next generation computer entertainment contents in the home, realized through the combination of Cell and RSX™ processors, in addition to the playability of a vast catalog of PlayStation® and PlayStation®2 software titles.

Having Giga-bit Ethernet and a pre-installed hard disk drive (HDD) as standard in PS3, users will be able to download a variety of contents as well as access on-line games and services over the network.

Equipped with basic input/output ports, PS3 supports a broad range of displays from conventional NTSC/PAL standard TVs to the latest full HD (1080i/1080p) flat panel displays, offering the joy of the most advanced computer entertainment contents to homes around the world. For use in living rooms, maximum heat and noise reduction has been achieved with a noise level equivalent to that of the current slim-line PlayStation 2.

With the overwhelming computational power of the Cell processor, PS3 is capable of playing back content from Blu-ray (BD) disc at a bit rate of multiplex 48Mbps with ease, the maximum bit rate defined in BD standards.

The new controller for PS3 has been created by refining and improving the world's most popular PlayStation controller which has shipped more than several hundred million units worldwide. The controller for PS3 employs a high-precision, highly sensitive six-axis sensing system that is capable of processing all parameters within the controller itself, thereby eliminating the Need for any additional settings on the display system. By applying this technology, it will become possible to freely control the PS3 system over the network.

While further enhancing the joy of entertainment on PlayStation 2 and PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system, SCEA will vigorously promote PS3 as the next generation computer entertainment platform.

Read more here.

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