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Topics - Aazealh

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51
Site & Forum News / Berserk Quiz: Leaderboard & Discussion
« on: May 17, 2010, 09:43:44 PM »
Welcome to the Berserk Test of Knowledge's feedback & discussion thread. Here you can post questions about the quiz, brag or complain about your score and give all the feedback you want. Although it is of course absolutely forbidden to repost questions from the quiz or to ask what their answer is. You're supposed to find that by yourself. If you're in need of clarification on syntax, you can ask me by PM.

And if you truly wonder what the answer to a question is and just can't seem to find it by yourself, try to be creative and ask about it indirectly in another section of the forum. :slan:

You'll find an introduction and a short Q&A to the Quiz in this thread: http://www.skullknight.net/forum/index.php?topic=11828.0
And to take the Quiz itself, head over here: http://www.skullknight.net/berserkquiz/

Have fun! :SK:


Below is the leaderboard, which keeps track of the official scores. If two scores are tied, the time it took the applicants to finish the Quiz is used to decide who is rated higher. If the completion times are tied as well, the one who got the score first is favored.



As an added incentive for the Quiz' debut, I will personally (well, actually it's courtesy of asmer) offer a copy of the Young Animal issue celebrating the 20th anniversary of Berserk to the person holding the first place in the leaderboard at a date of my choosing (admins are not eligible).



Leaderboard


01. Marik / PASSED / 30 points / 1:05
02. Maldoror / PASSED / 30 points / 1:25
03. Ragnarok / PASSED / 30 points / 1:28

04. Griffith / PASSED / 30 points / 2:28
05. Mohamed Sabry Hegazy / PASSED / 30 points / 4:13
06. Surakemastura / PASSED / 29 points / 3:00
07. EeXerO / PASSED / 28 points / 1:41
08. Walter / PASSED / 28 points / 2:06
09. Cyrus Jong / PASSED / 28 points / 2:36
10. k / PASSED / 27 points / 2:54
11. m / PASSED / 27 points / 3:32
12. Th3Branded0ne / FAILED / 25 points / 2:21
13. gnom / FAILED / 25 points / 3:09
14. Rhombaad / FAILED / 22 points / 3:28
15. phoebus / FAILED / 22 points / 4:35
16. duran80 / FAILED / 21 points / 4:08
17. lcjvhso / FAILED / 21 points / 4:37
18. panicfactorx / FAILED / 20 points / 4:00
19. Scorpio / FAILED / 20 points / 4:10
20. rage / FAILED / 20 points / 4:37

52
Site & Forum News / Aazealh's Educational Test of Berserk Knowledge
« on: May 17, 2010, 09:43:40 PM »


Welcome! I'm proud to introduce this new exclusive SK.net feature: the Educational Test of Berserk Knowledge! As some of you may already know, this is a very old project. I came up with the idea back in 2003 and have been working on it on and off over the years. Mostly off, obviously. It was delayed for various reasons, sometimes because of technical limitations but mostly because of procrastination. Originally there were supposed to be 3 quizzes of increasing difficulty, but as months and then years passed by I had to cut to the chase so I could release something.

I've finally decided to launch it after waiting so long and am eager to let you guys enjoy it. Below you will find a link to the test itself and a series of quick Q&A that should tell you all you need to know about it. For any additional questions or general feedback and to see the leaderboard, please head over to the dedicated discussion thread.






Questions & Answers


What is Aazealh's Educational Test of Berserk Knowledge?

In short, it's a quiz. But it's not your average quiz: it's dynamic. That means everytime you take it the questions will be different. You'll be asked various questions about the Berserk manga, its author and all of what it has spawned since it was created (video games, animated series, etc.). Your goal is to pass the test and prove that you know enough about Berserk to call yourself a fan.

What are the rules?

You have 5 minutes to answer 30 questions. You should do this by yourself, without preparation and without any exterior help or reference. The goal is to evaluate your knowledge, not how fast you can look something up. When you finish the test, you'll see your score and be told whether you passed or failed.

There is no limit to the number of times you can take the test. By all means you're encouraged to do it all day long; the ultimate purpose being that you learn while having fun. You're not expected to win the first time you take it, in fact I don't think it's even possible. Your aim is only to succeed one day down the road. Whether it takes an hour or a month is irrelevant.

What are the requirements for taking the test?

You should have read the Berserk manga up to volume 34 and have some knowledge of general Berserk trivia (things like who the author is).

What if I'm not sure which source to trust?

The Japanese volumes of the manga are always the first reference. In doubt, trust them over Young Animal, the anime, anything.

I'm not sure what input is authorized for some questions.

The simplest way is the best. Correct spelling is a must. Misspelling something will count as a wrong answer. Don't use punctuation. Capitalizing doesn't matter either way. To give you an example, if you're asked what is the first volume of the manga, the answer should be "1".

What if I don't like the spellings you're using for the characters' names?! Maybe that's why I'm not winning!

Then you're in luck, for I made it so you can use the original names for characters and places. That's right, if you simply refuse to write down "Guts", feel free to enter "ガッツ" instead. That being said, I was careful to plan for variations on names the spelling of which we're not sure, and the spellings we commonly use around here won't be a problem.

What do I win?

My respect (you should be honored) and bragging rights. You passed the test. Did whatshisname pass it? You can even put your score in your signature or make it into a bumper sticker or something.

How can I prove I got the score I did?

Make sure to enter a name we will recognize at the beginning of the test, and once you've done, click the "Submit Results" button. That will allow us to verify your score and enter it in the leaderboard if it's high enough.

It's too hard!

Nah. Just keep at it, you'll get better in no time. Remember that this was originally the easier test out of 3 I had planned. Don't shame yourself.

It's too easy!

Yeah, I know. Maybe when enough people will have passed this test that it will have become obsolete I'll make a harder one.

I won, what now?

Congratulations! But were you 100% correct? If not, try to be. True victory will only be achieved the day you get a perfect score ten times in a row. The shorter the time it took you the better as well.

53
Video Games / Marvel vs Capcom 3
« on: April 20, 2010, 09:28:50 AM »
Full title is Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds.

It will be released in spring 2011 on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The game will feature over 30 characters, all redone specifically for the occasion. They're striving for a more balanced game than MvC2 was. It's running on the MT Framework engine (used in RE5 and Lost Planet 2), so a different one from SSFIV. It'll contain at least 100 musical tracks, and they're making an effort on the story's side as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6vR-d2LZi4

Color me excited.

Guesses on the characters involved based on the silhouettes: 01 | 02

54
Video Games / Gears of War 3
« on: April 13, 2010, 01:14:23 PM »
Trailer: http://www.gametrailers.com/video/ashes-to-gears-of-war/64419

Any thoughts? Nothing special as far as I'm concerned, but that's to be expected at this point. Hopefully Epic will go all out in this one and give the series a proper conclusion.

For now the release dates are April 5, 2011 in North America and Asia, April 7 in Japan, and April 8 in Europe and the rest of the world.

55
Video Games / Infinite Space
« on: April 11, 2010, 11:43:44 PM »

Title: Infinite Space
Platform: Nintendo DS
Publisher: SEGA
Developers: PlatinumGames & Nude Maker

Infinite Space is a a hard game to classify, but I guess it fits the RPG genre the most. It's the story of a teenager who decides to travel through space in a quest to understand his father's legacy. While the premise is as stereotypical as it gets, the storytelling is actually quite good and is still riveting to me after 25+ hours. It's an epic tale in which you'll meet many characters, fight many battles and eventually change the fate of the universe itself! :guts:

Official website: http://platinumgames.com/games/infinite-space/

The video at the top is a neat trailer but it is spoilerish, be warned if you care. You should also know that the actual game has no voice-over nor any animated scene that I've seen. It's all unanimated character portraits and full on text dialogues.




I'm making this thread to inform people about the game and answer whatever questions you guys might have. Eluvei wanted 3 pages, so let's see what I can do. I'll start right away by saying that the game is austere. It's impossibly grand and runs on the least powerful of all current platforms, so concessions were made. As you can see above, that means rudimentary graphics on tiny screens (check out IGN's image gallery to see more). It's also not a fast-paced game by any means. The battles are somewhat slow and not especially varied. But it's my favorite game on the NDS, and I own 44 NDS games so I think that means something.

I briefly mentioned the story earlier and I won't say more about it in order to avoid revealing too much, but I want to reiterate that it's not just an excuse to have space battles. The plot is well crafted and relatively complex (space politics!) and the characters, despite their young age, behave like you'd want them to most of the time. In other words it vastly outclasses most video games in that department. If you like Sci-Fi or just good stories in general you'll have a blast playing this.

Another thing I've been enjoying a lot is that the game doesn't hold your hand. It doesn't hammer plot points or tutorials on you; if you miss something the first time it shows up there's a chance you've missed it for good. And it also treats your wannabe character as he ought to be treated. The downside is that it can be unforgiving if you aren't quick to "get it". For example there's a very well done Help Menu, but it's up to you to go check it, as the game won't go over every little detail for you. I can get behind this philosophy myself but it might not be for everyone.

Now let's talk about the gameplay. You are the captain of a fleet of space ships. You'll start out with one, and over the course of the story come to command over a maximum of 5 ships at once. You'll fight enemy ships in battles involving a maximum of 5 enemies at once. If you look at the above screenshots, you'll see various aspects of the game. The first two screenshots were taken during a battle, the last two represent different aspects of the management of your fleet. The very first one represents the main screen(s) during a battle, and you can see that it makes good use of the dual screens.


COMBAT:

A quick description of what's in that picture: on the upper screen you have the position and attack range of each fleet at the top, the Command Gauge on the left which regulates what command you can issue (e.g. attack or evade), the shielding (HP) and crew availability of your ships (only 2 vessels in this case), whether each one of their weapon is in range (the small icons above the health bar, blue is OK, red is not), and of course your flagship and the currently selected enemy ship in the middle of the screen. Note that they're not just there for show: the halo around the enemy ship indicates the state of the enemy's Command Gauge, and if fighter "jets" are involved, the damage they deal is displayed there in real time. The number of available fighters is also displayed underneath the "HP". In the screenshot we can see that none of the ships carry any.

On the lower screen, we can see the class of each enemy ship (e.g. Destroyer, Cruiser, Battleship, Carrier, Other, etc.), their position within the fleet (Front, Middle, Rear), which is very important as ships on the rear are extremely hard to hit, and their "rank" (from 1 to 5, number 1 being the flagship). Below that, you have the commands you can issue (by tapping the touchscreen with the stylus). "Back" and "Forward" allow you to move your fleet in and out of Attack Range, with "Stand By" being self-explanatory. The two "Cam." button at the bottom right and left corner allow you to toggle the view of the fleets on the upper screen. Can either display both with a focus on your flagship or be centered on the enemy fleet. Worth mentioned is that the D-pad allows you to change the angle to see the other ships in the fleet.

Finally, in the center are the actual combat commands. "Normal" is a normal attack: one shot of each weapon from each ship that is within range (note that the fleet's Attack Range differs from each weapon's individual range). It can be used as soon as the bar hits yellow, and consumes a third of the Gauge's total length (so if you just hit the yellow section and launch it, you're back to zero). Barrage is a triple shot. You have to reach the red zone to use it (not picture on the screenshot), meaning the bar must be at least 2/3 filled. It consumes 2/3 of the bar. Dodge is a state you activate and stay in until you launch an attack. It consumes a little less than a third of the bar. It allows you to evade a Barrage, but makes you more susceptible to be hit by a Normal Attack.

Melee attacks take as much of the bar as a Barrage and require you to be in very close range of the enemy. When you launch one such attack your crew will board the enemy flagship and battle its own crew. Melee battles are fought using a system of Rock/Paper/Scissor. You have three options: Shoot, Slash, and Leader. It works like this: Shoot > Leader > Slash > Shoot. The size of your crew is determinant, as well as the characters you have assigned to take care of the fleet's "security" (will come back on this later). Depending on who's in charge, a special attack is also available during melee battles. If you win a melee battle you win the encounter, regardless of how many ships are left intact in the enemy fleet. Both parties can try to escape during a melee battle, which takes you back to the main battle. It's a risky tactic but it can be rewarding. Worth noting is that melee battles regularly occur while invading enemy bases as well.

Below the "Stand By" command on the screen is a greyed out "Spcl1" option. That's a special attack. Those are acquired through your characters' skills. Specifically those of the Captain and the First Officer. There can be up to three. Special attacks can be extremely powerful, and are not affected by weapon range (only by Attack Range). The two greyed out and empty places opposite Dodge and Normal are devoted to fighter combat (specifically the launch of fighters, and the activation of Anti-Air defenses against enemy fighters). It's a tactically very important part of combat, but it only comes into play after a while in the game and this section is already long enough, so I won't go over it in detail. Suffices to say that you can't move Forward or Backward if you're under fire from fighters, and that you can't Dodge and use Anti-Air countermeasures at the same time.

Well, that's all for that first screenshot. On the second one you can see what happens when you launch an attack. There's a sequence of cutscenes showing your ships firing and the enemy ships taking damage or vice versa. You also regularly hear some lengthy techno-military babble before the actual attacks, which is amusing but that you'll end up skipping almost continuously in order to shorten battles. A tap of the stylus is enough to skip a sequence so it's really not much of a bother. You can also select to permanently shorten these sequences in the options.

One last word about the combat: there are random battles. I hate random battles personally. But not in this game. Most of them are escapable, but I've gone through them all without problem. Make of this what you want, but I see it as a testimony to how addictive the game mechanics are.


MANAGEMENT

The second major part of the game is the management of your fleet and your crew, illustrated by the third and fourth screenshots. There are several aspects to this. Let's start with the fleet. First off you have to buy blueprints from a shop. Either for ships or for modules (equipment to place on the ship). Then you have to find a planet on which there is a shipyard to actually build the ship or install modules on it. Like I said earlier there are different classes of ships, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Additionally various models within each class can vary quite a bit in regard to what aspect they favor. Ships have all kinds of stats and they're all equally important, so you're bound to have to make hard choices.

Then come the modules. It's what the third screenshot is specifically about. Modules are shown as little Tetris-like blocks (you cannot rotate them) that you have to fit in the ship's available space as best as you can. You start out with few modules available but you quickly get to have way too many to choose from. More hard choices. There really is a lot of modules and each can affect various stats in various ways so the system's got a lot of depth. I have to say, equipping modules is really very fun, in the same way Sim City is. It's a mix between a puzzle and equipping a character but with an extreme potential for customization. You can fill a ship with cargo holds and just make money carrying merchandise from a port to another (automated, seamless process each time you dock), or you can cram in as many BEAM AMPLIFIERS and SHIELD GENERATORS as you can to make it into a monster.

In short, modules play a huge role in the game, ranging from how well you perform in battle (how fast you move, how well you dodge attacks, how big your attack range is, how hard certain weapons hit, how resistant you are, how fast your Command Gauge fills, how quickly your fighters get repaired, how well you do in melee battles, etc.) to how often your R&D department comes up with ship enhancements, how much money you earn or how little your crew tires while you travel (can have a drastic impact during battle if they're too tired). In parallel you also have to manage fighters. That means having a ship that can launch fighters, then buying hangar modules to house them, and finally buying the fighters themselves (first the blueprints, then you have them built).

There are various types of fighters: Strikers (Anti-Ship), Interceptors (Anti-Air) and Multi-role. Anti-Air means "Anti-Fighter", in case that's not instantly clear. They each have their own stats (speed, length of flight, attack power vs ships, attack power vs fighters, etc.) and specificities. Additionally their size can vary from single to triple depending on the model.

Now about the weapons. You have different types of weapons, placed in different parts of the ship. That influences their damage and their range. The big frontal cannon does more damage and has a bigger range than the small cannons at the back. First off, there are anti-ship weapons and anti-air weapons. That's right, they're different and if you only equip anti-ship weapons on all your ships you'll be a sitting duck as soon as fighters will enter the fray (unless you have high performance fighters yourself). Second, there are single attack and multi-attack weapons. Single attack means they only damage one ship, multi-attack means they'll damage multiple ships in the enemy fleet.

Third, you have beam-based weapons and solid ammo weapons. Beam weapons have a higher range and a better accuracy but their effectiveness can be reduced if the enemy has implemented shielding technology. Solid ammo weapons have a shorter range and a lower accuracy but they usually total more damage (e.g. 3 x 50 vs 1 x 120 for a beam) and cannot be dampened by shields. Worth mentioning is the fact that weapons have a maximum range AND a minimum range. If you're too close to the enemy some weapons might not be usable.

On the other hand of the spectrum we have the management of the crew, which is what the fourth screenshot is about. It's in Japanese but I don't think that matters much. On the upper screen you can see the character's name, his portrait, his affiliation, his age and gender, his stats and his special abilities. On the bottom screen are the lists of characters available (on the left) and positions within the crew (on the right). There are 35 positions in total and you can recruit over 60 different characters. Each section boosts certain characteristics of the ship (e.g. Fire Control will improve your attacks), and each position makes use of a certain stat from the character (e.g. the position of "Captain" and "First Officer" are based on "Leadership", while the position of "Nurse" is based on "Medicine"). All characters gain experience during battles and as they level up their stats grow depending on their affectation. They eventually can aquire special abilities as well, related to their area of expertise.

Characters can be recruited in many different ways. They can be hired for money, rescued and then recruited, fought and defeated then taken in, they can join your crew without asking you the permission, etc. Some are met through the main story, some through sidequests. Some join your crew temporarily, others permanently. It's quite varied overall. They also interact with you and with each other during talks in Taverns (that's right, space taverns in space villages!) or during story-related events. Depending on what you do it can have positive or negative consequences (e.g. gaining Leadership experience when properly handling a situation). Of course there's a main cast of "core" characters, but even the less important guys have something to say from time to time.


TRAVEL

And this brings me to the final part of the gameplay: the travel. You travel between planets in a 3D environment, by following starlanes. What this means is you basically have certain points in space you can visit, and to travel to these you have to follow certain routes (which can open or close depending on story-related events). While traveling along those starlanes you are vulnerable to (random) enemy attacks. Their frequency and probability of occurring can be increased or reduced depending on your ships' Cruise Speed stat. As you travel, your crew progressively gets tired (influenced by the livability stat of your ships) and so frequent stops are preferable. Each time you dock in a proper starport all your ships' durability (HPs) is replenished and your crew rests to the max.

You also gain access to the Save/Load menu, the Help menu and the CTA menu which allows you to Edit your Crew and Fleet parameters, see your Ranking as a spacefarer (currently I'm ranked ~3000), your Status (how many battles won, how many escapes, etc.) and so on. You cannot save the game or do anything but fight/escape while traveling in space. On certain planets you can also find shipyards or various shops as well as plot-related locations. And of course taverns! The perfect places to get jobs or just the latest galactic news. Going back to the Status part, I forgot to mention that it's something you earn alonside Experience and Money during battles. It's called Fame Points, appropriately abbreviated as FAP. Among other things, Fame is useful because certain characters you can recruit will require you to be famous enough to deserve having them on your team.

While traveling in space you'll also sometimes witness certain vistas (a super nova here, a nebula there) that will add to your Fame and will be added to a big database you can access from the main menu, regrouping information on characters, nations, planets, ship models and so on. Certain points that would usually be uninteresting, like groups of asteroids, will sometimes also contain resources that can be mined for money. Lastly, in order to travel from one region of space to another you'll have to go through Void Gates. Mysterious gates that link far-away places together and allow you to instantly Warp between them. They play an important role in the story.

That's about it for this brief introduction to the game. It currently has an average score of 76 on Metacritic, but I honestly believe it's not getting the recognition it deserves. For example IGN UK has a one page review of it that's just shameful and dismisses all of the game's amazing qualities on account of it being "boring". Well it's not been boring AT ALL to me, quite the contrary in fact, and I urge you guys to look into it because it's the kind of low-profile title that really needs all the love it can get. And you'll get a lot bang for your buck too, in total I must have spent about 30 hours on the game so far and as far as I can tell the ending is still a ways off. There is a multiplayer component, but unfortunately it's local only. On a side note, the soundtrack is competent but the sound effects are nothing special.

Buy the game on Amazon.com

56
Berserk Merchandise / ART OF WAR: "Repaint Contest"
« on: April 07, 2010, 08:25:54 AM »
Quote from: AOW
Dear Customers,

This time, we are holding a repaint contest, an event joined with our sales campaign.

If you are enjoying repainting ART OF WAR products, please send us your creative works by pictures. We would like to see any free contents, such as a simple and handwritten design, or an advanced garage kit that you assembled and colored by yourself.

Besides, we welcome all contents regardless of product size; even a small product (like Beherit) can be your source. Through how customers enjoy AOW products, we can gain some useful ideas for developing future products. We will also be glad if you start to repaint our products because of this project. We prepare presents for every participant. Please join this event!


1. Participation Prize (every participant)

Every participant, who sends us your creative work by pictures, can get 1,000 yen off when you purchase ART OF WAR items on the site. (You can also use this prize for next sales campaign.)


2. Special Prize (10 winners)

10 lucky winners, whose repaint ideas are great, will get a color figure (the resident of Qliphoth) as a special present.


3. Grand Prize (1 winner)

For the best repaint work, we will select one winner, and the grand prize will be BERSERK-commemoration statue of the 20th anniversary.


Attention:

(1) AOW may send repaint pictures by mail or announce repaint pictures on the official website anonymously. Moreover, any repaint ideas may be applied for developing future products.

(2) Please attach files no bigger than 500KB.

(3) Prize will be sent with next order together if possible.

Application Period: from 7th April until 21st April 18:00pm (Japanese time)

How to Apply: Please send your repaint works by attached pictures to assist@art-of-war.co.jp. And please write down your name and contact information when you send repaint pictures to us. (If there is no contact information, it is possible that we cannot send you the present.)

We will announce the Special Prize and the Grand Prize in the end of April.

Please feel free to access http://www.art-of-war.co.jp/english/index.php for more details.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,
ART OF WAR

Make me proud guys, I want at least 5 winners to be from here, including the winner of the grand prize. :SK:

57
Site & Forum News / [April Fools] SK.net Premium Membership
« on: April 01, 2010, 04:21:21 AM »



As most of you know, hosting and maintaining a website costs a lot of money. With server costs of OVER 300€ a month (30,000 USD), the SK.net administrative team has been left with no choice but to make certain changes to the site. Those changes include a limited access to our translation section of 5 thread views a month for regular users and the presence of advertisement on the site and forum.

However, those restrictions need not apply to any member choosing to support us by Becoming a SK.net Premium Member.


Advantages of our Premium Membership:


  • Unlimited access to our translation section.
  • Unlimited Search for posts and users by keywords and location.
  • Thread Creation Tool. Customize your thread titles with special emoticons and fancy fonts!
  • Broadcasts. Send a mass inbox PM to everyone who has listed you as a friend.
  • Maximum of 100 posts per day instead of the default 10 for standard members.
  • LAUNCH DEAL! Your own @skullknight.net email address! Get your own custom email now with 20MB of storage free of any additional charges!
  • Customize your avatar and signature with no size limit and host them directly on our server.
  • Ability to upload and post Adobe Flash® files.
  • Rate posts! You can now rate other people's posts and see who rated yours.
  • See your last 100 profile views. See a list of the last 100 people who viewed your profile.
  • Power Bombs. Like Samus Aran, you can help moderate the forum by helping to suspend unwanted users. Learn More
  • Upload and use your own smileys! (you can also allow your friends to use them)
  • Get featured on the Premium Users Page.
  • Get featured as a "Featured Premium". Your picture will be displayed on the main page, this only shows Premium Members and is updated with a new member every minute.
  • No Ads. Premium Members do not see ads on any page.
  • Make your profile only viewable by other SK.net Premium Members (not publicly accessible). When you turn on this feature, users you have blocked cannot access your profile.
  • By becoming a SK.net Premium Member, you are showing support for the site and helping to pay the hosting fees. You also get special recognition, with "[Premium Member]" as your account status, accompagnied by 5 golden-colored beherits.
  • You get any future premium features. More premium features will be added in the future. Any additional premium features that are added will be made available to existing SK.net Premium Members.



58
Video Games / Crysis 2
« on: March 13, 2010, 11:38:52 AM »
Coming to the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 at the end of the year. According to Crytek the game will be more beautiful yet have lower system requirements than the original.

http://www.gametrailers.com/video/gdc-10-crysis-2/63009

The setting this time is New York City, a big change from Far Cry and the first Crysis who both were on tropical islands. Crytek has promised that the urban environment would offer more freedom of choice, larger gameplay options and more tactical warfare, with for example the possibility to jump between floors and buildings and to destroy a lot of the environment.

Nomad returns as the protagonist and is now equipped with a new version of the nanosuit. Apparently he's not authorized to use it though, and will be hunted down by the government. That means more nanosuit-equipped enemies. :ubik:

Features of the new suit:

20% increase in energy storage
60x optical zoom
32% more strength
EMP shielding

Four modes:

Power mode - Enhanced speed and strength.
Armor mode - Energy is drained instead of health.
Infiltration mode - Footsteps are softened. An invisibility cloak can be activated (will drain energy).
Tactical mode - Weapons used by enemies identified, cause of death and names of corpses shown, items of interest highlighted.

Official Nanosuit 2.0 brochure: http://www.crynetsystems.com/files/NanoBrochure.pdf



They essentially merged the Maximum Strength and Maximum Speed modes together, which is simply fantastic. Guaranteed to be a LOT of fun. Let's see how Deus Ex 3 fares against this. :daiba:

59
Video Games / Metroid: Other M
« on: February 28, 2010, 03:04:15 PM »
With the game now slated for a June 27 release in the USA (and a few months later in Europe) I figured it was time for a thread. A new Metroid game is always worth noting, and this one more than any other considering the direction it's taking.


Basic information:

- The game is developed by Nintendo with the help of the Team Ninja (the people behind the recent Ninja Gaiden games).
- The only control scheme available is holding the Wiimote sideways, without the nunchuk. Old school NES style. One button to jump, one to shoot, and A for the morph ball.
- It's "2.5D", meaning it's in full 3D but you progress like in a classic sidescroller game most of the time. There's a slight auto-aim to adapt to the added 3D depth (those who played Shadow Complex will know what it's like).
- Sometimes the camera will move to an over-the-shoulder view à la RE4, and at any time during the game you can point the Wiimote at the screen and press B to inspect stuff in a first-person view. In that mode you can also shoot missiles, but can't move around.
- You can perform evasive moves, counterattacks and even finishing moves with the D-pad.
- The story takes place in-between Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion. It starts almost right where Super Metroid left. It also ties to Metroid Fusion's storyline, most notably by introducing the character of Adam (the guy the computer's personality is modeled after in Fusion).

Link to IGN's hands-on impressions (very detailed, recommended read)

Pictures gallery

The old E3 2009 trailer
Recent interview with some details (I love this guy for trying as hard as he can not to spoil stuff. Bioware should learn from him!) :azan:



I was skeptic about this game when it was first announced, but all the articles I've read are so enthusiastic about it that I'm now waiting to pre-order it. There's only talk of amazing gameplay, breathtaking action, phenomenal cut-scenes, superb atmosphere instantly reminiscent of the Metroid series (the feeling of isolation, among other things), old school platforming, huge focus on exploration with a labyrinthine complexity that will make it easy to get lost despite the very well done mini-map, incredible level design (deeper than Shadow Complex') that uses the 2.5D concept to the maximum. Most expansive plot in the story so far, tying all the different games together in a coherent fashion, and shining some light on Samus' past and present as well as on the Galactic Federation and the universe at large.

The only two complaints I've seen so far are about the voice acting for the NPCs in the demo and the gimmick for Samus not having all her powers right from the start (Adam has to authorize their use or something, haven't read all the spoilers). Nothing too dramatic I think.

So, the "true sequel" to Super Metroid at last. If that doesn't build up expectations, I don't know what else can. Still, I'm confident right now. Regardless of the shitty marketing, if the people who've seen and played the game say it's worthy of the title, I'm willing to believe them.

60
Current Episodes / Episode 312
« on: February 23, 2010, 09:34:17 AM »



There'll be a break after the next episode. Duration unknown.

61
Current Episodes / Episode 311
« on: February 08, 2010, 01:27:11 PM »

62
Current Episodes / Episode 309
« on: October 20, 2009, 09:29:34 AM »



It's some crazy shit! The captain certainly looks... different. :zodd: Check out those monsters. :magni:

The bad news: there'll be a break in the next issue.

63
Video Games / Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth
« on: October 13, 2009, 01:30:46 PM »

Confirmed to be a remake of the original Gameboy game. Will have new graphics, new enemies and traps, rearranged music plus changes to the gameplay and stages. Coming out at the end of this month in Japan for 1000 points on the WiiWare. I'll be getting it. :carcus:

64
Current Episodes / Episode 308
« on: October 06, 2009, 10:31:21 AM »



Looks like our friends the pirates are finally going to pay for their evil deeds... And give birth to a ghost ship in the process! :zodd: Other than that, I love the color illustration. The text on it seems to confirm that Guts was healed when the astral wave washed over him.

No break in the next issue, in case anyone wondered.

65
Current Episodes / Episode 307
« on: September 18, 2009, 07:19:20 AM »




In shops of the book company Yurindo, an exhibition of Miura's original works as well as some reproductions will take place from 9/25 to 10/25.



4 appendices:

- Alternate cover of volume 34 (done by Miura)
- Big poster 50 cm x 60 cm (Guts vs Zodd picture, click below to enlarge)
- Apostle-themed dice-based game (not featured)
- A separate booklet focusing on the characters and world of Berserk (with Guts on the cover)




 



Some other bonuses in limited numbers:



Berserk-themed book cover protection, available in Circle K Sunkus stores.



Some SUICA "seals" available from Book Express.



Fans available in Yurindo stores.

66
Video Games / Ōkami​den
« on: September 03, 2009, 01:39:56 PM »
A sequel to Ōkami​, the PS2 and Wii RPG based on Japanese mythology, is being developped for the Nintendo DS.

Fully titled Okamiden: Chisaki Taiyou, the followup to the critically acclaimed PS2 original puts players in control of what appears to be a new wolf character, Chibiterasu. Picture a baby version of Okami main character Amaterasu, right down to the red marks. We can't share the artwork with you until Capcom provides official online media, but one word comes to mind when seeing Chibiterasu: adorable.

Okamiden follows the events of the original Okami by a few months, in a world now restored to peace. Issun, Amaterasu' guide from the original, accompanies Chibiterasu to Sakuya, the girl who called Okami to the world in the original. Sakuya asks Chibiterasu for some form of help.

You take control of Chibiterasu in a game whose fundamentals appear rooted in the original Okami. Just as you did in the original, you'll be exploring the game's brilliantly colored (well, for the DS) world while combatting monsters and solving puzzles. Much of the gameplay is being kept under wraps at present, but the combat system does appear to resemble that of the original.

The switch to the DS brings about some major changes thanks to the stylus. Capcom will be letting you use the stylus to make direct drawings with your Celestial Brush. Your uses of the brush once again include such things as drawing circles to make trees spring to life with flowers and drawing lines to slash enemies.

Also new for Okamiden is the presence of partner characters for Chibiterasu. Chibiterasu has to work together with the partners in order to progress.

As an example, there's a section of the world where the two have to cross a crumbling bridge. They wouldn't be able to get across with the partner riding on Chibiterasu's back. To clear this part of the game, you'll have to make use of the stylus to draw out a path for the partner character to follow on his own. Once the partner crosses to the other side of the bridge, you can directly move Chibiterasu across the bridge.

Famitsu introduces one such partner character, the young Kuninushi, son of a swordsman named Susano who appeared in the original. As you play through Okamiden, you'll apparently find out why Susano is suddenly able to have a son despite there being only a few months gap from the original.

(We previously made it sound like Kuninushi is the only partner character. There are actually multiple partner characters, but Kuninushi is the only one introduced in this week's Famitsu).

The original Okami was the swan song for Clover Studio before key members of the studio went on to form Platinum Games. From what we can tell, Okamiden is being developed within Capcom. The game's producer is Motohide Eshiro, producer of Ace Attorney Investigations and director of Onimusha 2. The game's director is Kuniomi Matsushita, a planner on Dino Crisis who went on to direct the Wii version of Okami.

In an interview with Famitsu, the two revealed a surprising start for Okamiden. In December of last year, Matsushita approached Eshiro and said that he wanted to make a portable version of Okami. Not only that, but he'd already created an advanced prototype. After seeing the prototype, Eshiro decided to turn it into a full product.

The magazine asked Matsushita why he wanted to bring Okami to a portable system. His response was that he wanted to give as many people as possible a chance to know the charms of Okami's visuals and game systems.

We already know the charms of Okami (it was our game of the year in 2006), and now we look forward to getting another look at the game on the small screen. Okamiden isn't due out in Japan until 2010, but we'll hopefully get a sneak peak at the Tokyo Game Show later this month.

Some artwork is shown over there: http://kotaku.com/5351390/okamiden-kicks-cuteness-up-a-notch
http://kotaku.com/5352484/first-official-okamiden-screens-artwork/gallery/

http://tinycartridge.com/post/178740029/first-brief-look-at-okamiden-in-motion-capcom

Some people might have preferred a HD console game, but I actually think the NDS really fits the game, not only because of the stylus (which is perfect for the brush) but also because Ōkami​'s peculiar art style looks pretty good in smaller definitions. I really enjoyed the original game on PS2 when it first came out so I'm looking forward to this. Hopefully it doesn't disappoint (the first game's director has left Capcom since then).

67
News & Not News / Fires in Los Angeles
« on: August 31, 2009, 11:50:47 PM »
I'm surprised no one's made a thread considering we have members living either nearby or having family in the vicinity.

Fire burns 105,000 acres with no control in sight
August 31, 2009 |  3:43 pm

A voracious five-day-old wildfire that has churned through more than 105,000 acres of mountainous brush across northern Los Angeles County showed little sign of slowing down this afternoon as it threatened 12,000 homes in suburban tracts and desert communities, along with a historic observatory and major array of television and radio transmission towers.

With afternoon winds picking up, the Station fire, the largest of eight burning in the state, was plowing through dense hillside vegetation and steep terrain toward residential areas of Sunland and Santa Clarita on the west.

As billows of white and black smoke danced ominously close, Chuck Horn ushered his family and his two prized collectors' automobiles out of his home in the Sunland-Tujunga area.

"We took pictures, tax returns, insurance forms, the dog, the chicken, and that's it," Horn, 61, a retired L.A. County public works employee, said as he prepared to drive away in his baby blue 1931 Plymouth three-window coupe. Horn was next planning on moving his black 1911 Buick Model 33 away from the blaze.

To the east, firefighters were hoping that a concerted effort to cut fire breaks and lay down fire retardant would save the Mt. Wilson Observatory and a key complex of communications towers.

Because of the intensity and unpredictability of the blaze, which continued shifting directions, fire crews had to pull out of the mountaintop area today and wait for the firestorm to pass.
By 3 p.m. the southeastern edge of the Station fire had pushed south against the wind, into the upper west fork of the San Gabriel River drainage. This fire was near the base of Mt Wilson’s north side. Firefighters had begun back-burning brush at the juncture of California 2 and Mt. Wilson Road in order to protect structures, including an American Indian cultural center, from the advancing fire.

The drama of families having to flee their homes -- or risking all to try and defend their property -- played out repeatedly as searing heat and a generation of accumulated hillside growth fed the fires. In Gold Canyon, authorities scrambled to rescue five people who had refused to evacuate.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s helicopter was trying to locate the residents near Little Tujunga Road.  They pleaded for help after becoming trapped by back fires set by crews trying to fight the blaze.

Sixty-five firefighters withdrew from Chilao Flats near the Chilao ranger station.  "The intensity of the fire was too strong," said L.A. County Fire Capt. Henry Rodriguez. "They were pulled off the lines and drove away in their vehicles. They're safe and all OK."

Another fire in San Bernardino County was spreading completely out of control and threatening 2,000 homes near Yucaipa.

-- Rich Connell and Corina Knoll

I'm interested in hearing more from those concerned if anyone's up for it. I hope things will be fine...

68
Site & Forum News / Server instability
« on: June 26, 2009, 10:57:21 AM »
The server we're hosted on has been rather unstable recently. We're aware of the issue and will remedy it in the next few days. Sorry for the inconvenience.

69
Current Episodes / Episode 306
« on: June 23, 2009, 10:16:29 AM »



There will be a break after this episode; the serialization will resume on September 25 in YA #19.

70
Current Episodes / Episode 305
« on: June 09, 2009, 08:42:49 AM »



No break in the next YA (6/26), and there'll be additional Berserk pages! All fans rejoice! And now, some previews of episode 305:


A view of Berserk's Earth from the moon (SK's secret base?! :isidro: :troll:)! And now it's clear that the whole world is being covered in Ganishka's light.

71
Site & Forum News / Change in the post count policy
« on: June 05, 2009, 07:27:21 AM »
We've decided to end the embargo on Shootin' the Breeze as far as post counts go. That means that from now on, posting in StB and its child boards will add to your post count. Obviously, don't take this as an incentive to flood the place.

And to go along with this decision, we're going to add all past StB posts to people's post counts as well. Now as this process can't easily be automated, there may be some oversights. If you believe that your post count has not been revised yet, please send me a Personal Message and I'll look into it. Thanks.

72
Current Episodes / Episode 304
« on: May 19, 2009, 12:31:34 PM »



Summary's up:

Quote
第304話 亀裂  21P  見開き4つ 

グリ空間を歪め髑髏の一撃はガニさんへ
二度にわたる転生と更なる幽界の深きに達する一太刀で因果の実は結ばれ扉を開く
ガニ真っ二つに。登頂部から光が溢れ出る。
ガニは渇望した光になりその光は世界を包み込み新世界が現れる。 次回に続く

三浦 一番忙しく一番すすまなかった章がようやく終わる。

Rough translation: Basically, SK's strike hit Ganishka (and cut him in half) because Femto distorted space, using his powers to avoid the blow. There's something about the combination of causality with Ganishka's second transmutation that results in a "door" opening. Ganishka turns into light, which is what he longed for. Ganishka's light wraps the world, and a new world appears.

Miura says that the chapter that he was the busiest with and that progressed the slowest is finally finished! (He means the Chapter of Falconia, for those who still have trouble making the episode/chapter difference.) If we're lucky, that'll mean less extended breaks.


73
Video Games / Mass Effect 2
« on: May 18, 2009, 07:49:58 PM »
Alright, I've been expecting this game so much that I just have to make a thread about it. For those who don't know, Mass Effect 2 is the sequel to Mass Effect (no shit), a widely acclaimed Action-RPG by BioWare that came out on X360 and PC a couple of years ago. The game is set in a futuristic universe involving space travels, alien species and artificial intelligences in which you have to fight to save the galaxy. Its release is slated for Q1 2010. There isn't too much information available yet, but we should learn quite a bit about it during the coming E3. What we know so far is that the developers have been working on making this game better than the first (which was already awesome) in every way they could. Combat, graphics, story, it's all been ameliorated. And of course, the choices the player made in the first game will matter in the sequel, so for example if a character's dead, he or she will stay dead.

Obviously, to those who haven't yet played Mass Effect: do it now. It's available for cheap nowadays and is really worth looking into. And now, on to the videos:

- Early Teaser
- Leaked footage showing some gameplay
- A long interview: Part 1 | Part 2
- Prelude to E3 Trailer

Tons of cool wallpapers can be found here: http://masseffect.bioware.com/media/wallpapers

Official website: http://masseffect.bioware.com/

So, anyone else excited about this game? What are you guys expecting from it?

74
Current Episodes / Episode 302
« on: April 07, 2009, 12:33:28 PM »
Berserk's publication will resume in YA #9, to be released on April 24.





No preview






75
We've talked about this in the past, but never had a poll. Who do you think will first get what's coming to him? Who will do the deed, and how? Who will be the second or third? Don't hesitate to expose and develop your thoughts on the matter. :zodd:

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