Archive for the 'videogames' Category

Tekken For Granted

Gary lost his shit the last time I professed admiration for a non-Capcom fighting game, so it’s with some trepidation that I reveal that I am enjoying the hell out of Tekken 6.

In our neighbourhood the fighting games of choice were Street Fighter and Virtua Fighter, and the latter only because the convenience store across from the high school held onto their cabinet years past relevance. I had only played Tekken a few times before last week and walked away unimpressed. I think the reason I wasn’t interested back in the day is the same reason that I’m digging it now; despite a few whimsical flourishes, Tekken is a pretty straight-forward martial arts simulator, at least in comparison to most fighters. Now that I’m older and know a little bit more about actual martial arts I find I can appreciate the nuances in what I once perceived as practically interchangeable characters.

I’ve been using Lei Wulong exclusively since picking the game up, mostly so I can pit him against Marshall Law and simulate the Jackie Chan/Bruce Lee brawl I’ve always dreamed of. At this rate it’ll take me a year before I get through all 40 characters.

Posted in Kung-Fu, videogames on December 5th, 2009 by Steven

Tight!

It never gets old.

Posted in street fighter, videogames on April 15th, 2009 by Steven

K’un-Lun Calling

Seeing as Marvel Ultimate Alliance is at least partially responsible for the creation of this blog, I thought it would be worth noting that the sequel will contain 100% more kung-fu with the introduction of the Immortal Iron Fist. Having Luke Cage in the first one without the additional option for a Heroes For Hire team-up was one of the biggest failings of that game. I can’t wait to see the alternate costumes, especially since they seem to start with the worst designs first.

Posted in Iron Fist, videogames on April 3rd, 2009 by Steven

The Secret Origin Of I Was Ben

The small handful of you who read I Was Ben on a regular basis may be wondering what happened to us over the past few weeks. Gary and I only see one another once a year, if that, and since I Was Ben is at least partly a desire for us to swap stories despite living a world apart from one another, it makes sense that the site would go on hiatus while we were in close proximity. In a way, with all the Hulk comics, Hong Kong action movies and Battle Fantasia tourneys, it’s like the last three weeks was I Was Ben come to glorious life.

Despite launching in March, I Was Ben was conceived a little over a year ago, the last time I saw Gary. We were in Vancouver, hiding from the rain playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance on our brother’s Xbox 360. Whatever flaws the game may have, and it has plenty, it papers over the cracks with tons of cameos and costuming options. For two guys who used to challenge one another to name various B-listers on the Marvel Universe poster, it was like a dream. We made teams comprised of such characters as 70s Luke Cage, the western version of Ghost Rider, and Beta Ray Bill, and played until the break of dawn.

We were about ready to call it quits for the night when we decided to play as the Fantastic Four, Kirby-style. Each character has multiple catchphrases. While “It’s Clobberin’ Time” is an obvious one, The Thing also wails the plaintive moan, “I was Ben…” It’s just about the saddest thing one can hear while punching AIM agents in the face at five in the morning.

Posted in Aunt Petunia's Favorite Nephew, videogames on January 4th, 2009 by Steven

Hadouken!

The latest iteration of the Street Fighter franchise dropped earlier this week, and Capcom pulled out all the stops. SF2THDR (don’t ask) is a polished up version of the classic Street Fighter II Turbo, tweaked and rebalanced based upon knowledge gleaned from well over a decade of tournament play, with a fan made soundtrack that’s already made it’s way online in its entirety and a hip hop album inspired by the game. Not bad for a $15 download.

Probably the most noticable difference is in the new graphics designed by Udon studios, the people behind the Street Fighter comic book. I worked with a couple of cats from Udon, and they’re good people. The new look was obviously a labour of love, because nobody in their right mind would want to redraw all those fucking sprites.

Hats off to all involved. Never before have I enjoyed getting my ass handed to me so many times by so many different people from around the world.

Akuma by Arnold Tsang, for Street Fighter #0.

Posted in Chicken Wing, street fighter, videogames on November 30th, 2008 by Steven

Shoryuken!

I was in Toronto this past weekend, just in time for the Street Fighter Tribute launch party being held by Udon and The Beguiling.

The party was held in a bar across the street from The Beguiling, but I wasn’t sure if books had to be purchased in the store first, so I took advantage of the confusion and headed there. I may be only the second person to buy both Street Fighter and King-Cat comics in a single purchase. At one point a man wearing a snappy grey suit and fedora burst into the store and stomped down the main aisle. I don’t know why Seth was in such a hurry, though for a brief moment I thought he was there to participate in the tournament. I should have known better. Seth is obviously an old school Street Fighter fan. None of this Street Fighter II bullshit.

The area outside the venue had a huge pile of giveaway comic compilations and posters. This was a great idea considering the attendance of a number of people who had never read the comic and were only attending the event for the competition. I hope Udon got a few extra readers out of the effort. I picked up the first collection of the Street Fighter Alpha manga, and will be sure to buy the second volume on my next visit to Toronto.

Inside, over a dozen contributors to the book stretched out along two walls of the room, with the remaining wall space taken up by video projections of various Street Fighter skirmishes. When I approached the merch table, one of the organizers thought I was there for the competition and took my name down. I hadn’t played in years.

While I was waiting for the tournament to start I bumped into a bunch of former animation colleagues, at least three of whom made it into the book and were signing. Eventually a few more familiar faces popped up, and during the tournament we took turns drunkenly cheering each other on.

My first nemesis was my doppelganger circa 1992, all long hair and gangly limbs. The only notable difference was that he brought his own controller to the tournament. This was a common sight and was the detemining factor in separating the pros from the amateurs, though it was a waste of time considering arcade-style controllers were made available to us.

Surprisingly, I won the match. My opponent’s downfall was in trying to anticipate my strategy when I didn’t actually possess one. I didn’t even know which buttons were which at first, and only used the first two I tried. Every time my opponent readied himself for a special move that I had no chance or intention of actually pulling off, I would stroll in and kick him in the face. This continued until he was knocked on his ass.

This couldn’t last, and I was defeated in my second fight by someone who had learned to temper his chaotic button-mashing with actual tactics. I only found out after this match that I had been playing on the wrong setting, choosing “Normal” over one of the other, more appetizing options, like “Hyper” and “Super Turbo”. I doubt it made a difference considering I wouldn’t have been able to pull off any of the moves available to those settings anyway, but I’m pretty happy I was able to keep it real, Wizard’s Castle-style.

I stuck around until the final match, shown above, which was easily one of the greatest fighting game battles I have ever seen. It was best 3 out of 5, and they went all the way, with each round ending with only a smidgen of life left for the victor. In one fight they each landed their attacks at the same time with no visible difference in their seemingly empty life counters. The crowd was silent as we watched the bodies fall to the mat, waiting to see who would be the first to stand and claim victory. It was glorious.

I had over an hour to kill waiting for the next bus out of town, so I wandered over to Yonge St. Walking over to Funland and throwing a few quarters into Rival Schools or Metal Slug has become a conditional reflex over the years, something beyond my control. Funland closed down a couple months ago. I guess I still haven’t gotten it out of my system.

Posted in RIP Funland, Street Fighter Tribute, capcom, street fighter, videogames on October 2nd, 2008 by Steven

Hey, Lighten Up, Dude! This Is KOF. Enjoy It!

At this point we may as well give up pretending otherwise and just make this a video game blog.

I’ve been playing Virtua Fighter 5 in anticipation of Nagy’s return to Canada. The man is a natural born Virtua Fighter, and only three months of sustained training could possibly allow me to last more than two rounds. Still, for various reasons that I won’t go into, I’ve found myself longing for a 2-D fighter, so I recently picked up King of Fighters 2002.

I’ve always been a novice when it comes to fighting games, so I never really appreciated the differences between franchises or 2-D to 3-D beyond a supreficial level. So I was surprised to discover that as much as I enjoy Virtua Fighter’s complexity and problem solving, there’s nothing quite like delivering a K.O. with a button-mashed flying kick to the face just as an opponent is about to unleash some apocalyptic special move.

Here’s hoping King of Fighters XII, seen in the video above, comes out on consoles. It’s a thing of rare and fragile beauty.

Posted in King of Fighters, Terry Bogard is my co-pilot, videogames on September 26th, 2008 by Steven

Damn Straight

megaman9_01b.jpg

It’s hard to believe how madly the genius the folks at Capcom are to make this puppy up.

“The premise of our marketing concept for the game was to promote this title like it was 1987, complete with cheesy art and game descriptions (read the back of the box) that had little to do with the actual game.”

Ya gotta love the old game art. Megaman was  my first love for this majestic art form. It use to be great seeing these boxes at the local video store and imagining the digital worlds I would visit on those groovy Welland weekends with my brothers.

megaman9_02.jpg

Unfortunately, this game is only for download or something on X-box 360 and this package’s more promotional having a cd with images and other cool shit on it. It’s said to look and play just like the old NES variety.

Still…very Piiiimmm’ though

megaman9_cover.jpg

Posted in capcom, megaman, videogames on September 24th, 2008 by Gary

Valhalla Calling

The video game I’ve been working on for the past year and change gets released today. Twelve-year-old Steven would be pretty damn pleased.

Posted in Vikings, videogames on August 19th, 2008 by Steven

Hadouken!

 street-fighter4.jpg

I was very excited to stop by an arcade yesterday and see a new little fighting game by the name of Streetfighter 4.

Unfortunately, I have to say that I’m pretty mixed in the feelings department about the game. Why, why, WWWWHHHYYY did they have to make it 3D??? The game itself plays just like its 2D counterparts, but has a kinda-sorta cell shaded style that well…is lifeless.

street_fighter_4_shot_abel2.jpg

Capcom always to me was the place to go for awesome 2D fighters. I’ll go to Virtua Fighter or blech…even Tekken if I gotta have 3D fighting action.  I can certainly understand if this was a Street Fighter EX kinda thing, but to call it Street Fighter 4 is crazy!

street_fighter_4_ryu_ken_1.jpg

It was still a pretty fun game though. It plays solid, but it hurts just thinking of the fresh, crisp 2D fighters they could have had instead of this 3D nugget of poo.

Posted in Japan, street fighter, videogames on August 11th, 2008 by Gary