Sunday, September 18, 2005

Nightshade redux


I am still at a loss at why I bothered to beat Nightshade the few more times required to unlock these extra costumes and character. The deed is done though, so enjoy the fruits of my labor.

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So the two pics above show off Hibana’s second unlockable outfit. I’m going to do something I rarely do and revise my earlier rating. It’s grown on me enough to bump it up one more point. So it now rates a 7 out of 10.

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Above is Hibana’s third unlockable costume. A sort of 70s throwback, high collar trench with slacks and accosutic guitar. It’s definitely different and the alternate guitar attack is neat. I say it’s a 6 out of 10.

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Hisui is the third unlockable character. Although her attacks are kind of fun, it was barely worth the trouble obtaining her. Her costume is just ugly, especially her goggles. It would not have been as bad if the in-game character wore the goggles on her head like the portrait. This is totally a 3 out of 10.

There is also a fourth unlockable character, the old school Shinobi Joe Musashi. I’m done with this game for a good long while so he’ll be forever locked away until the bug bites me again.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Old age is the new black


I was taken by surprise at the new images of Metal Gear 4 for PS3 that just hit the web, but the good vibes have sunk in really nice now. Aside from how great the visuals look, I’m quite excited about the much older Snake (or at least I think it’s Snake, haven’t read the details yet).

Snake reminds me of the old and craggy Batman from Dark Knight Returns. I can just imagine all the crazy game play gimmicks that could come into play like maybe the guards smell Ben Gay on him or something. Of course it’s ridiculous hoping for things that may not happen.

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It’s interesting how some game characters are allowed to age and others aren’t. Then again, how fun would a senile Mario who can no longer jump be. Wait a minute, the senile part would rock, just get the man an exoskeleton.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance

Beat Down has been getting roughed up in reviews and the slams are warranted for the most part. I’m about 2 hours into it and can confirm the voice acting is indeed terrible, game play is limited, and the PS2 version has horrendous load times. So it may come as a shock (or maybe not) when I say Beat Down could still end up being a must have for costume fans…when the price drops.

The concept, if executed better (and I mean a lot better), would have been great. Think Final Fight brawling action mixed with missions that are kind of like GTA, but far, far more linear. Beating up street hoods raises your police meter, so you need to change outfits to keep the heat off. Certainly a great excuse to try lots of new outfits.

At first, the clothing store has like 15 shirts/jackets/vest/bras, 12 pants/skirts/shorts, and 9 shoes/boots/sneakers (those numbers may not be exact). Everything can be bought in 6+ colors. I interrogated some thug and he told me the clothes store had new stuff. So odd that he would think that info would save him from a beat down. Anway, I head to the shop and there are like 10 new shirts, pants, etc. Awesome. Something in the thugs message indicated this was 1 of 7 clothes updates. There were some board messages that revealed the location of the six other thugs you need to find to unlock more updates. Very nice. .

Needless to say, matching outfit styles and colors then heading out to beat up gang members is pretty fun. Even so, I’m not sure if I’ll be motivated to play through Beat Down with all five characters.

Below are a few examples of what the game has to offer as modeled by Gina.

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The jacket and plaid skirt make her look like she’s going out for bowling night, but her gloves say she is going to take care of bidness.

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The open vest distracts horny thugs and the rugged camo pants offer decent leg protection from the abrasive street.

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I like Gina in suits because it makes her look like King from the Art of Fighting/King of Fighters series.

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This ensemble gives me Streets of Rage flashbacks. That’s a good thing. Any time you can match up a choker with gloves is good times.

This is just a really small taste of the variety possible. I haven't even found where the accessories store is yet. Look for another report on how Beat Down holds up as soon as I find time to get back to it.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Haunting Ground + Clock Tower 3 screen spectacular!

I captured some costume screens from Haunting Grounds with the intention of updating my previous review, but thought it might be more interesting if I presented them alongside the outfits in Clock Tower 3. Haunting Ground is the spiritual successor to Clock Tower 3, and it’s by mostly the same development team as far as I’ve been able to confirm. The similar approach to the types of costumes certainly bears that out.

I’ll start out with slightly revised text from the HG outfit review updated with pics and then dive right into the CT3 outfits.

Haunting Ground

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Main outfit - Fairly unique and loaded with intricate designs along the out edges of her top and dress. I'm a big fan of chokers and sharp looking boots.
Rating: 7 out of 10

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Alternate main outfit – The same as above except Fiona’s hair is down (fantastic), and she is barefoot (it doesn’t do anything for me).
Rating: 7 out of 10

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Surgical Gown – A short white smock with blood splatters. Hair is once again down and sans shoes. The disturbing elements of the outfit counteract any sex appeal.
Rating: 5 out of 10

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Texas Cowgirl – This is the outfit that had me playing a second time. At first glance, it may look as your run-of-the-mill sexy cowgirl outfit. Look closely at the detailed designs on her leather gloves, chaps, and boots as well as the textures on her hat. Someone worked really hard on everything she has on. On top of all that, her hair is down.
Rating: 10 out of 10

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Illegal in some states – Although this skimpy leather number also looks like it’s not some slapped together outfit, the overly titillating nature of it makes it hard to take seriously. Sure the Cowgirl outfit is sexy, but it strikes a better balance. Illegal is still fun, just not very inspired.
Rating: 7 out of 10

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Fiona the frog – Um, giant frog mascot suit. It’s neat for a laugh, but the killer panda suit from the Onimusha series is far cooler.
Rating: 5 out of 10

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Hewie/ Normal – What is there to say about Hewie’s normal coat. It’s nice.
Rating: 5 out of 10

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Hewie/ German Shepard – Nice variation, but again there’s not much to comment on.
Rating: 5 out of 10

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Hewie/ Stuffed Dog – Now we’re talking. I swear the game is so much funnier with a stuffed Hewie alongside you. Very cool and ultra cute at the same time.
Rating: 8 out of 10


Clock Tower 3

Making good-looking screen grabs for this older title was rather tough, so please excuse the rather bland color palette. Alyssa has five outfits: one default, four unlockables. It’s also fascinating to see how far the graphics have come in just two short years.

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Default School Uniform – Your standard school girl outfit. Nothing really special about it, but it looks nice enough.
Rating: 6 out of 10

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Toga – This is Alyssa’s costume from the end of the game. Very drab, I don’t like it very much.
Rating: 3 out of 10

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Roman Warrior – Not something you see everyday that’s for sure. I like the details in the armor although the jaggy graphics make it hard to fully appreciate.
Rating: 7 out of 10

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Cowgirl – It’s not fair to compare this to Fiona’s awesome outfit, but I’m going to anyway. Jeans, jacket, and a hat? So unoriginal. The attempt at sexiness with the exposed bra top is pathetic.
Rating: 2 out of 10

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Leather Queen – It’s not that I don’t like the leather, it’s just that it doesn’t look right on Alyssa. I don’t mean that Alyssa is too innocent, because you’re never too innocent for some leather. The fit is wrong and unflattering.
Rating: 3 out of 10