Video – Street Fighter X Tekken Trailer

Well cats and kittens, the first shot in the Namco vs. Capcom war begins with Street Fighter X Tekken, a new kind of Vs. game, debuting with this trailer at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con. But what’s even more bizarre is Pacman chasing Megaman at the end of the trailer. Is that a sign of things to come? Very exciting time…


Classic Gaming Retrospective – Mega Man 1

Ed DiFolco and Big D discussed the classic Mega Man series, primarily the first three entries, in the second episode of Pixels & Bits. Having grown up with an NES, I also played Mega Man as a child, and I remain a fan of the classic series to this day. So I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and give my own retrospective of the series. This will be broken down into several parts. This first part will focus on a bit of background history as well as the first Mega Man game.


Mega Man box art

The classic Mega Man series started as Rockman in Japan. However, it is said that the game was originally supposed to be a licensed Astro Boy game, but the deal fell through and Capcom instead redesigned the game and characters into something original. The story of the Mega Man series is rather simple. Dr. Light and Dr. Wily were associates in the field of robotic science. Dr. Light created a series of robots, including his own lab assistant Rock and housecleaning robot Roll. At some point, Wily grew jealous of Light and turned evil, reprogramming Light’s six construction robots in the process. Light didn’t have any combat robots, so Rock volunteered to be altered so he could fight Wily and the robots. At which point, Mega Man was “born.”

While all other games in the classic series had eight, the first Mega Man only had six master robots. The game had a score system which was never used in any sequel, and never really had a point as it couldn’t save your scores. It’s also the only game to feature score bubble pickups. There isn’t a whole lot to say. This game set the classic formula that the series still uses even in the most recent incarnations.

There was a remake of this game on the PSP called Mega Man: Powered Up, which introduced a chibi art style, two new master robots, voice overs, and a new “Powered Up” mode which features redesigned levels.

Along with the original six master robots (Elec Man, Cut Man, Guts Man, Fire Man, Ice Man, and Bomb Man), Powered Up adds Time Man and the amusingly racist Oil Man, whose Japanese design looks like someone wearing blackface. Capcom did try to dull the cries of racism in the West by changing his skin to dark blue and his over-sized lips to yellow in every region outside of Japan, but it’s still hard to look at him and not see blackface.

I never played Powered Up, as I don’t have a PSP, so I can’t comment on that game directly. But the original Mega Man is still a classic.

Tuesday Morning News Update: QCW, Namco vs. Capcom, Benoit, Summerslam + MORE



– The latest episode of QCW Wrestling Radio recapping the TNA Invasion, the first WWE Money in the Bank PPV, Raw + Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is up right now here. In addition, chessarmy, FK, and Dennin discuss their own Top 10 TNA Rankings. If you aren’t there each and every Monday Night LIVE – you fail. Listen NOW!



– I’m not certain if this is an answer to the mystery of Mega Man Universe, but Kotaku.com is reporting on a rumor started by Game Informer of not just ONE title, but TWO games coming out called “Namco vs. Capcom” and “Capcom vs. Namco” featuring the superstars from both Capcom AND Namco (duh) in a fighting game. According to Kotaku, Capcom would be developing Capcom vs Namco, built on the Street Fighter IV engine, while Namco will develop Namco vs Capcom, which will run on the Tekken 6 engine to ensure that the games don’t have any sort of misleverage (see the SNK vs. Capcom series). This is VERY exciting news for fight fans and add this to MvC III and it looks like Capcom will be quite solid for the next 3 years. Read the Kotaku article here.



– For those who missed Raw, Randy Orton vs. Sheamus for the WWE Championship was announced after Orton won a #1 contenders. In addition, the co-main event will feature John Cena & Bret Hart & Chris Jericho & Edge & R-Truth & John Morrison & Great Khali vs. Nexus in a 7 on 7 Tag Match. This was not announced officially by WWE as of yet. The other rumored match was set to be Kane defending the World Title against Jack Swagger, but this will all depend on whether or not Undertaker is healthy in time for the show.



– TNA’s ECW invaders will now be known as the “Riot Makers”. Horrible name, but I guess that’s better than saying “ECW” and getting a letter in the mail from an angry Jerry McDevitt. Also, TNA wants Sabu and Sandman in for the show. No word yet as to whether or not they’ve agreed.



– For those wondering about Chris Benoit and his place in the WWE DVD world, we’ve learned that Benoit IS indeed in the WWE Elimination Chamber DVD, so WWE did not break their word about the DVD having EVERY MATCH despite the tragedy. What’s most interesting is the editing of the audio that was made to the set. Read the VERY interesting article here.



– Absolutely AWESOME Thor pictures from the set here




Final Fantasy XIII review

Final Fantasy XIII logo

Final Fantasy XIII
Published and Developed by Square Enix
Platforms: PlayStation 3; Xbox 360


Final Fantasy XIII is the latest in the storied Final Fantasy series of Japanese Role-Playing Games. If you’re a gamer, or know someone who is a gamer, chances are you’ve heard of Final Fantasy. I played this latest installment on the PlayStation 3. Does this game live up to the epic pedigree?

GRAPHICS: Starting with the seventh game, the Final Fantasy series has been all about flashy visuals. Sometimes I wonder if Square Enix places a higher standard on graphics nowadays than anything else. Needless to say, Final Fantasy XIII looks beautiful. That is, once you get beyond the claustrophobic corridors. Other than the lush, open areas later in the game, there isn’t a whole lot to see. You walk around in various metal environments, which look nice in their own right, but aren’t spectacular. The areas covered in crystal, however, look great. And once you get into the more natural environments, the beauty of the game starts to shine.

Enough about the environment. The characters look good, as is typical in Square Enix games. There are some pre-rendered cinemas, and while you can generally tell when they start, the in-game models are almost as good. Maybe when Final Fantasy XV comes along, Square Enix can finally retire the pre-rendered cinema. Though I don’t see that happening, honestly.

The user interface is decent. It does its job and doesn’t get in the way much. The battle effects are nice, but you might not notice them a lot. Finally, at several points in the game I found myself utterly clueless as to what was happening in a cut-scene. The camera shakes wildly all over the place, they cut between angles frequently, and I often have no idea what I’m seeing. More often than not I had to consult the Datalog to know exactly what I just witnessed.

Pretty environments, nice characters, but far too much shaky cam in the cut-scenes. 8/10

SOUND: It’s pretty good for a Final Fantasy game. But where the hell is my victory fanfare? The one I’ve heard since the series began? Instead I get this super lame jingle to let me know I won. What the fuck? Now I haven’t played Final Fantasy XII, so I don’t know if that’s the game that murdered the victory fanfare, but that’s just pathetic. That was one of the staples of the Final Fantasy series. Hearing that fanfare brings back fond memories of the series. Replacing it after such a long time is just ridiculous.

The voice acting is good, I guess. The sound effects are good. Pretty much everything else is okay. I just didn’t pay much attention to the quality of everything else because I was too busy raging over the victory fanfare.

They replaced the victory fanfare! 0/10 (yes I can be petty)

STORY: The quality of the stories in Final Fantasy, especially since number seven, is debatable. The story in FFXIII is decent, but it seems all too familiar. It doesn’t help that the story doesn’t pick up until at least ten to twenty hours in. The absolute worst part of the story is the Datalog. To fully understand what the hell is happening, you need to reference the Datalog every time something is added, simply because it will tell you things that the game doesn’t show you in a cut scene. It comes off as a crutch Square Enix uses far too often. You’ll see a cut-scene where the characters interact, and then the Datalog will give you insight on their personal motivations and what they thought about during the scene. Things that you either have to pay close attention to know or that are simply not alluded to at all.

Another annoying part about the story, which is another crutch Square Enix used, was the scene where the party members act all emo and angsty, then one of them gives a pep talk about hope (the concept, not the character) and how everything will be just fine. They repeat this scene ad nauseam. I think every character had their time to give the pep talk, but Hope (the character) gave the pep talk the most. It got really bad when every few cut-scenes featured this speech, and I just wanted the twats to shut up.

An all too familiar plot that takes a long time to get good, and the annoying twats that tell it. 6/10

GAMEPLAY: While the story can take ten to twenty hours to finally start making some sense, the tutorial takes almost as long. I know many games introduce mechanics later on in games and then offer tutorials on how to use it. But Final Fantasy XIII continuously introduces new mechanics every hour or two for the first fifteen hours. And then suddenly the tutorials stop, and that’s when things start getting good. I can understand not wanting to bog down the player with a ton of different gameplay facets, but maybe you shouldn’t have so many to start with.

Eidolons, this game’s version of Summons, are pretty much useless. Unless you’re about to die and don’t have any medics, which is virtually impossible. MP is non-existent, and all actions (magic, attack, etc.) take up portions of your Active Time Battle gauge. This means magic is free. So if you have two medics in your party, you can heal your group almost instantly and with no penalty. But only once you gain access to the Paradigm system. Before then, you’re stuck with Potions. And I need to mention that Potions, the only healing item that I ever saw in the game, become virtually useless about five hours in or whenever the Paradigm system kicks in. Sure, Potions heal everyone at once, but they heal such a tiny amount that it’s not really worth it once your HP goes above 600.

Another useless feature introduced late in the game is the ability to train any party member in any Crystarium role. This sounds great, but in practice it isn’t worth it. You’re much better off using your Crystarium Points to keep building your existing roles than trying to teach new ones. The roles that a character don’t start off with have a bare minimum amount of abilities (a fraction of what a native user gets) and cost extreme amounts of CP.

Overly complicated mechanics, some of which are useless, and a tutorial that never ends. 7/10

OVERALL: Flashy graphics, an okay soundtrack, a been-there-done-that story, and uselessly complex gameplay make for a decent Final Fantasy but far from great. 7/10

QCW Radio, Boxing, and Pixels & Bits ADDED + Superfriends Press Release



Three new podcasts are up currently on SuperfriendsUniverse.com. QCW Radio Episode 88 is up and ready to be listened to here. It was taped last night with your usual show recaps + special main event topic. The newest World Championship Boxing is also up here. Plus, later today we will be streaming the fourth episode of Pixels & Bits and if you can’t wait, the archive is up here.


Superfriends returns this Wednesday Night. The press release will be up tomorrow morning.


Lots of content coming your way + a news update. Stay tuned.

RISK: Factions review

RISK: Factions logo

RISK: Factions
Published by Electronic Arts
Developed by Stainless Games
Platform: Xbox 360 (via Xbox Live Arcade)


RISK is one of the all-time classic board games. There have been several versions of the board game, as well as many different computerized adaptations. The latest of which is RISK: Factions on the Xbox Live Arcade.

RISK: Factions allows players to play either the classic RISK rules or the more recent 2008 rules. Factions also adds dynamic map features and five factions (humans, cats, robots, zombies, and yetis). Up to five players can participate at one time. Now let’s break things down into categories.

GRAPHICS: The maps are nice to look at and the user interface is easy to navigate. If you’re playing the Classic RISK mode, there isn’t much else for you to see. The Factions mode has cartoon portraits of each faction leader, as well as animated battles. The characters are nicely animated and very expressive, and the battles are quite entertaining when you aren’t cursing your luck with the dice. The single-player campaign has five missions and each mission has a cartoon introduction created by Powerhouse Animation Studios. The cartoons are well animated and are each rather funny to watch.

In all, the cartoons are great, and everything else is nice and simple. 8/10

SOUND: In the Classic mode, the sound is minimal. I think there’s some background music, and you get sound effects for the battles, but there isn’t much else. In the Factions mode, the dynamic map elements and the animated battles have some nice sound effects. The voice acting in the campaign cartoons is excellent. The voices fit the characters perfectly and do a lot to give them personality. I wish that the faction leaders talked during the actual game instead of being restricted to the cartoons, though. Hearing smack talk from Generalissimo Meow would make me so happy.

To sum up, the sound is bland in some parts, but excellent in others. For the cartoons alone, I give the sound 9/10.

GAMEPLAY: I could spend hours detailing all the rules and gameplay quirks. In the Help & Options menu there is a “How To Play” option that gives you a quick primer on both the Classic and Factions rules. If you’re new to RISK, read that and you’ll get caught up. Anyway, the controls are basic. It’s more or less point and click. As the game is a mix of strategy and chance, you will often find yourself poised to take over an entire continent, only to end up a few armies short by the time you reach the last territory. That is the frustrating part. But there is nothing sweeter than making a successful run and expanding your empire.

The gameplay is both simple and complex, as well as frustrating and oh so fun. 10/10

OVERALL: If you’re a fan of turn-based strategy, RISK: Factions is the game for you. At only 800 Microsoft Points ($10), you can’t get much better. 10/10