Friday, April 21, 2006

Costume quick hits

As if this writing, Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom is the only announced RPG-type game for the PlayStation 3. I’m a big fan of Diablo-style dungeon crawls and liked Champions of Norrath (though it’s not nearly as good as the Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance games).

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The first Untold Legends offshoot on the PSP followed the Champions mold, but the follow-up adopted a heavily stylized look. I hated it with a passion. There’s something about the proportions and character designs that just turned me the hell off. Was it a good game? Maybe. Played all of 5 minutes. The visuals disturbed me that much. It was trying to meld a form of anime super deforming with urban street style with a dash of dungeon flavor. Whatever the intent was, it didn’t work. Worse yet, this look seems to have made the jump to the PS3 as evidenced in the screen above. Nasty.

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In more encouraging next gen news, check out the mascot pic from the Xbox 360 version of NCAA Football 07. Now this is a great use of textures to convincingly convey the outfit’s material and bulk. It’s like you can almost feel that it’s a foamy, multi-part costume that someone is really wearing. It also has a photorealistic quality to it.

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Okami is another that falls more in art style/direction that straight up costume design. Just gorgeous. You can find some rad wallpapers from developer Clover’s site here. I can’t wait to play this one.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Keep on Rumbling

I certainly have my work cut out for me to unlock every available costume in Rumble Roses XX. I’m first trying to unlock all the character’s alternate personalities, then concentrate on specific costumes. It’s a bit tough because some outfits are still shrouded in mystery.

Here’s a quick general run-down:

In terms of a costume that is exclusively original to that character and alter ego, there are only two - their main outfit and original bikini. Each character has immediate access four general outfits – a space age body suit, bikini top/shorts combo, two piece bikini, and a one-piece bikini.

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I’m don’t have the game in front of me now, so from my recollection, I believe there are either 14 – 18 (I’ll update this once I turn the game on again. Updated: It's 17) outfits in the main costume selection. All characters have access to the same selection, which include the cheerleader, bunny girl, and school uniforms among many others.A few are obscured by “?” and one would guess they eventually become available like the special MGS 3 Eva and MGS 2 Olga outfit shown above. According to the official RR blog, the method of unlocking them could be different depending on the character. Hmmmmm.

There is a separate Bikini-only area of the shop that allows you to purchase the character specific bikinis. The catch is they only appear in the shop after that particular character has worn the bikini a few times in matches.

The Superstar personas of the characters and alter egos can’t change costumes. They always wear their specific outfit no matter what.

Counting the Superstar outfits, my rough estimate is 49 (again, to be updated later. Updated: Yes, 49...probably) possible outfits. More if you count that some outfits have interchangeable gloves, tops, bottoms, and shoes.
The interesting thing is that adjusting the size of the hips or other body parts slightly alters the look and fit of some costumes/bikinis.

I’ll try to show certain outfits off if I ever figure out a good way to capture shots from the 360.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Guild Wars Factions

Every time I walk by the PC aisle, the box art above never fails to catch my eye. Guild Wars is not really my kind of game though. Still, I always admired the art style.

So it’s no surprise that Guild Wars Factions box also looked appealing to me. But all is not well. You can’t really make it out in the box art, but a look at the art used in ads (the one above is from the back of a recent PC Gamer) reveals a major costume flaw. The chest/arm covering is cool, the heavy armor only on one arm is nice, and can’t really comment on the pants since they are cut off. The throwing knives on her arms are really sweet. I like how the ones on the forearms are different than the upper armor area ones. The right weapon for the right situation.

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Where it all falls apart are the two knives that also seem to serve as belt buckles (they may not, but that’s not the point). The little knobs at the tips are pointy and would scratch or puncture the hell out of her stomach. Not only are they a functional hazard, they also have a slapped on look. The more I look at them, the more they bother me. You can’t tell from this angle, but I’ve seen in another ad that her chain belt is also too jagged and flat.

It’s funny how something so minor can totally ruin everything.