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Join sisters NinJaSistah and Pandalicious and the rest of the ESH Crew each day as they discuss video games, tech gadgets, anime, manga... pretty much everything within the geek chic lifestyle.

From Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and PC game reviews, previews, news, and gushings to audience questions and rumor mill seeding galore you'll find it here at ESH!
First Nerdgasm of 2010: ESH@CES Las Vegas!

Goings On

Search through the goodness that is ESH. Want to see if we are writing and chit chatting about the crap you're interested in.





    CES Coverage

    We went to CES and here's what we saw and molested.

    E3 Coverages

    One stop shopping for all of the ESH E3 goodness.

    Xbox 360 Stuffs

    Check out crew rantings on the XB360 platform.

    PS3 Things

    Yeah, we've talked about Sony stuff too, check em out!

    Wii Little Bits

    Get your Nintendo bits and bobbles here.

    Oh Hai! Anime-niacs

    Peep the stuff we've written about on the anime tip.

    Manga Love

    We less than three manga as well, so peep the manga reviews.

    ESH Photo Galleries

    Check out the snapshots we've taken at events and more here...

    According to Bayonetta, Angels Enjoy Their Crotches

    posted @ 1/18/2010 08:05:00 AM by Ninjasistah
    The first full Monday after the CES recovery week brings with it a new episode of the Electric Sista Hood podcast and this one is focused on Platinum Games new title release Bayonetta.

    Both NinJaSistah and Pandalicious have played through the game and spend the bulk of the hour tripping through the awesome gameplay that is Bayonetta while spoiling the story ending, plot points and more. Did you know there was a music video at the end of the game? You do now!

    We even answer an audience question or two, touch on James Cameron's movie Avatar and start sharing some of the audio interviews Evermore and I conducted during CES 2010. Need more incentive to take a listen, check out some of the titles we came up with for this episode but didn't use:
    • Climaxes Are Different — We'll Get Back to Those
    • She's Wet — And It's Not Just Because She's Been At the Bottom of a Lake
    • and finally
    • The Last Naked Woman to Be Taken Seriously Was Eve

    Grab the beverage of your choice and enjoy Electric Sista Hood Podcast Episode 180: My Other Car Is a Pleasure Pony

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    Bayonetta Demo is SuperOMFGCrazyInsanity

    posted @ 12/11/2009 11:00:00 AM by Vichus Smith

    Have you played the Bayonetta demo yet? Well, HAVE YOU? The Bayonetta Demo is currently available for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

    The Creation

    Bayonetta is brought to you from the wacky mind of Hideki Kamiya and the fine folks at Sega. Kamiya is one of the creators behind the Devil May Cry series of games, which are also totally out there and insane. Bayonetta is more of the same, with a fresh current gen look.

    Bayonetta the Witch

    Your heroine, Bayonetta, is an outcast, born to a union that was deemed illegal. Bayonetta is not killed. Instead, she is kept alive, but unable to take part in society or perform magic. Well, obviously, she finds some way to escape her bonds and become a badass angel killing witch.

    Stylish Vengeance

    Bayonetta is an incredibly leggy, dark-haired, bespectacled woman who has a wide array of weapons at her disposal. Her basic weapons include a sword, double guns (of course) and guns on her feet! Using your handheld weapons is typical Devil May cry fare. When you pull off a certain command, you flip upside down and let off some shots with the guns on your feet, gun-kata style.

    What Bayonetta can also do is slow down time after successfully dodging attacks. Bayonetta gets even more nasty when she does punish moves, which are basically quick time events that give you an option of dealing more damage.

    When it comes to fighting bosses, that's an even better story. Once you beat a big enemy with an inch of its life, you can summon your witchy powers to call forth a demon- made of Bayonetta's hair. Now that's what I call witchcraft! This is the ultimate representation of Bayonetta's combo moves. It's a bit gruesome to watch, but it's also very cool.

    With ups, there are downs

    Bayonetta does have familiar problems. As a game that allows you to fly high in the air and attack as fast as lightning, the camera has an issue with keeping up with you. You can see the action just fine, but when you're faced with so much on the screen, it could have been good to have more camera angles at your command, sort of like when yu can change angles in the Grand Theft Auto games.

    In addition, a nitpick comes Bayonetta's way because Bayonetta has one of the weirdest stances ever in a game. When you let Bayonetta stand still, she looks incredibly unnatural.

    These gripes don't kill the fun at all. If you love the wild action spectacles that are the Devil May Cry games, Bayonetta is DMC's exotic cousin.

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    E3 Day 2: Bayonetta

    posted @ 6/03/2009 06:31:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    Click the image to check out the photo gallery I put together from the show floor, or hit the jump and find out what I think about the game, then look at the pretty pictures.

    The choice is yours.
    Either way works for me, but you better get this game when it releases kids. Bayonetta is just fun. I got hands-on with the game on the floor here at E3 after a private demo of the game which just prepared me for what I was going to play on the floor as I originally had no idea what I was in for.

    If you don't know much about Bayonetta you should head over to Platinum Games' website to bone up on your history. The lead character is a sleek and sexy witch with some incredible powers and guns in her shoes... which she does shoot from in battle. There hasn't been a lot released about her past or the main story in the game, and honestly I don't care. I know, I know, you may be saying to yourself, "...but Ninja is all about story, WTF?" Well, Bayonetta is just so damn fun I don't really give much of a crap about the story but I'm sure it's a good one.

    The gameplay is fast, furious, and fluid. During the loading screens, you get to practice Bayonetta's combo moves so you can better lay the smackdown on your enemies. Once you have downed an enemy you can pick up any weapon that they have dropped and use it against other opponents for a limited time. You can also charge up attacks and enter an overdrive type mode called "witch time" which essentially slows down your opponents giving you a vast advantage during the fight.

    There have been a lot of parallels drawn between Bayonetta and Capcoms' Devil May Cry series and though the lead developer on this title from Sega did work on the DMC title that is the only similarity that should be drawn. Bayonetta has her own swagger, style of movement, and use of weaponry than Dante and has yet to drop an out of place one liner.

    Strong, sexy, female action lead number one down... 15 to go.

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    SoulCalibur on XBLive

    posted @ 5/16/2008 09:17:00 AM by Ninjasistah
    Yeap, NamcoBandai confirmed that SoulCalibur the first will be hitting XBLive this summer. I even have some yummy screen shots for you, finish what you start to learn a bit more.

    Originally released in 1999 for the Sega Dreamcast, SoulCalibur remains one of the highest rated fighting game of all time.

    SoulCalibur will be back for a new group of souls to open ye olde can=o=whoop upon an unsuspecting online community! Prove you got skills against by laying down the smack old school style on the world with dozens of leaderboards spanning every character and mode.

    Seriously, prepare to make your thumbs ache, for a good reason. Visit the screens gallery here.

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    XBLive Demo Alert!

    posted @ 1/22/2008 02:24:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    SEGA of America announced a demo for their new shooter, The Club is now available via download across North America on XBLive and will be available via the PlayStation Network on Thursday, January 24.

    Developed by the fine folks over at Bizarre Creations, The Club mixes
    "cutting edge high definition visuals with hyper-addictive score based challenges to deliver the most intriguing and innovative shooter of early 2008."

    You play one of eight "misfit" gladiators and fight in a shadowy underground blood-sport a la, well, Bloodsport. Wanna know more? Click Here

    The final game will ship nationwide on Tuesday, February 19 for the Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3 and PC.

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    What Does An Invisible Ninja Look Like?

    posted @ 4/05/2007 08:50:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    It's been awhile, but I don't feel like there has been enough discussion about ninja on this site in a while and I 'recon to rectify that.

    Got the heads up with some screens for the forthcoming XB360 game Tenchu Z and I figured I'd share what I know about the game and what I don't.

    I could tell you about the new killing system, how you can now kill people from above and below not just head on, or how putting your weapon in it's sheath can aid you in committing some heinous kills. Given provocation I very well could spend a large chunk of this article on the graphics in the game, speak on the improvements over the last game... hell, I could [if my mind even focused on it] attempt to delve deeply into the custom ninja creation aspect of the game. Truly, there are all kinds of things I could share with you my awesome reader. But all you really need to know about Tenchu Z is: ONLINE CO-OP NINJA ASSASSINATION MAYHEM BITCHES!

    Yes, you can have up to four folks get down with you if you system link your machines together or you can put together a clan of up to four over the XBLive. Yes, you too can pretend to live the life of a shinobi, set up camp, devise plans of attack as far as how to go about killing the shit out of your targets [with honor, of course] and then commencing to open a can of Whoop de Ass like never before.

    I mean, you can be invisible man! Do you know how big of a deal it is to have the ability to actually be invisible as a ninja, not just move as if invisible? Do you have any idea how easy this ninja job would be if I never had to even think about my mark being able to see me? Man oh man, let's just hope this Tenchu game does suck like the last one.

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    Game Hardware Shopper

    posted @ 12/03/2006 11:43:00 PM by geekwoman
    Holiday Hardware Guide by Geek Woman

    If you are looking for some shopping advice on game hardware for the female, or male, gamer on your list then hopefully this article will help you understand it all. The location that is preferred for a game environment is an important choice to be aware of if you are shopping for games and accessories for your gamer. Games come in three basic types which are the PC, Console or Handheld. I'm going to try and give you the keys to the kingdom of the consoles.

    First of all "What is a game console?" These are a box like machine that you attach to a TV set. Games are played with a controller that is held in the hands and effects the action on the screen. These have indeed been around since Pong and Pac Man, and if that is where you left the game trail, then you might be glad to know that those old school or retro games are still offered, in game packs and collections. Sometimes they have been updated and upgraded. If you want to pick up something like that for a gift you need to know the brand name and the model of the console or game device that your gamer has. Write it down and take it with you when you go shopping.

    Some people opt for playing games on their PC rather than on the television. It seems that older people and women are the dominant demographic that enjoy using the PC for gaming. PC game - play are very popular for playing the massively multiplayer online games or MMOG's. Games such as World of Warcraft or Guild Wars are played on a PC with a keyboard and mouse. These games enable the player to interact with thousands of other players. Some of them also include the ability to talk to the other people while you are playing with them. Thought those features have been developing more slowly on PC. If your friend is playing an MMO there aren't many additional accessories for those. If they are a Guild Wars Player they may not have the new chapter called Nightfall which is a great game to add to the original Guild Wars or to buy it as a stand alone game. There are the Limited Edition Keyboards that are available for the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing) games that are good looking and work well which are sold by a company called Zboard. Zboards

    Perhaps the best way to determine what console to buy is to go by the age of the person who will be playing it. Right now there are three "next gen" consoles. Last year in November Microsoft upgraded their hardware and it is called the Xbox 360. It has mid - range graphics. There are over 100 games available for it at this time. The games are mainly of the first person shooter type or FPS and sports games. If you have heard of Halo 2 and Gears of War, or Oblivion those are titles for the Xbox 360. These games are for a mature crowd. The action is fast paced and bloody. Often the most popular games for the "360" carry a "T" for Teen or an "M" for Mature rating. Those ESRB ratings mean that Teens of 17 and 18 years old and above are the recommended age limit. These ratings can mean that there could be language or behaviors that some people would consider too crude for younger kids. It is no joke either. If you have a mix of older and younger kids in the house, the choice of games is crucial and requires your attention as much as monitoring what movies on DVD or cable that your younger kids could get into.

    With Xbox the online aspect is called Xbox Live. A paid subscription is required for this additional service. With the online feature more games and demos are available to download directly into the console. The console can be bought with one of a few choices of hard drive size for saving downloadable games and other functions. Xbox Live gives players access to playing with many other players at the same time. It isn't 'massively' multiplayer as it is with with PC. Although large groups of strangers can interact with each other in an open ended party - line conversation. There are over 4 million users on Xbox Live. Xbox Live has something of a reputation for "Trash -Talking" which in short, means that a player that is wearing the headphones is opening themselves up to the possibility of hearing unkind and curse word laced tirades about the flaws in their game from other players. There is no one monitoring these conversations and there is no one censoring what the others could be saying. Because of this tendency, I would not recommend the Xbox 360 for little girls or young women under 18.

    Costs for the annual subscription is approximately $50 US, its called Xbox Live Gold which includes voice chat, and Xbox Marketplace for gamers to buy and sell content. Sometimes original games, and old school arcade titles are downloadable. Xbox 360 works on HD TVs. They claim to have 250 old Xbox or "original Xbox" games that will play on the new console. Be careful to look up a list online for games that are called "backwards compatible" prior to inserting an old Xbox game into the Xbox 360. The digital media that it plays are DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, WMA CD, MP3 CD, JPEG Photo CD.

    Microsoft has two variations of Xbox 360 available for sale. One has the Xbox 360 faceplate, and a Silver Xbox Live package, $300 known as a core package, that comes with one wired controller, standard A/V cable, and the console. The Gold package is required to actually play online games. There is a $400 system with a 20 GB hard drive, Xbox 360 Remote Controller, High Definition TV component cables, Xbox 360 headset and a wireless controller.

    Next the Playstation 3 was released last week the manufacturer's suggested retail price is between $600 and $700 dollars US. It has been in the news and has gotten some bad press. Most of the incidents involved mismanagement of the long lines of people who were camping out to be able to get the very low quantity of these premium machines that were produced. One Massachusetts man was shot in a hold up of a line of customers waiting outside a store in Putnam Connecticut. The gunmen were attempting a hold up when this man refused to pay them. Because Sony was not able to make enough of these complicated advanced machines to fulfill the demands for them, it created chaos in several ways.

    In the past Playstation 2 has been the most popular gaming console in the US with the most millions sold. Perhaps Sony should have waited to launch the sale until they had more of them ready. The PS3 Platform plays a few more accessories peripherals than the 360. It also boasts to be the most graphically advanced system. The new Blu-Ray Disc™ is a type of High Definition disk for playing movies that is supposed to be the future of disk published media. The way that DVD's replaced VHS a few years ago. The PS3 has what is called a SIXAXIS™ wireless controller that interacts with the screen in a close to 3D experience. You can use your Playstation 3 with High-Definition displays as well as conventional or standard TVs. It comes with either a 20GB or 60GB removable hard disk drive (HDD). The thousands of PS One® and PS2 PlayStation®2 games as well as CDs and DVDs are useable on the PLAYSTATION®3. The thing supposedly plays just about everything including some digital photo cards.

    The PS3 has online capabilities including multiplayer gaming, text and video messaging, voice chat, downloading content and browsing the web. Even though the PS3 has impressive technical specifications, you may not be able to get one for the December holidays. It could be a moot point until sometime next Spring. There are over inflated PS3 prices on ebay, and buying those is not only exorbitantly expensive, but could be risky as well.

    The PLAYSTATION®3 is available in two configurations with either the 20GB hard disk drive or the 60GB HDD. Some PlayStation 2 or PlayStation format software titles may perform differently on the system than they do on the native systems for example the PS3 doesn't support a vibration controller.

    Then last Sunday the offering of the first Nintendo Wii consoles' launch was a 1960's "Love In" where the people in lines waiting were exchanging free hugs, ordering lunch for each other and playing games together. Something can be said about the two different types of people that were attending these launch parties. For the most part the Nintendo Wii draws a younger crowd and is most popular with younger kids and people that enjoy Nintendo's cute and quirky games.

    There are approximately 50 games for the Wii, and we are told that there will be enough of the consoles to go around. Nintendo and developers seem to be in a rush to create new games for this innovative new product. Nintendo wanted to bring gaming to everyone, and has many titles that are rated for all ages and for kids. They went one more step and made a controller that is supposed to be easier to pick up and play since it is designed to resemble a television remote controller. You play with two hands and the actions resemble the actual movements of slashing a sword or driving. The remote is used as a handheld pointing device and can detect motion and rotation in three dimensions . The controller set called the "nun-chucks and wii-mote" interact with a sensor strip that you placer near your TV for a realistic complete 3D experience. A one-handed controller that uses a combination of accelerometers and infrared detection in conjunction with the sensor bar to sense its position in 3D space. Some people have found the workout to be a bit strenuous

    The Nintendo Wii is not all things to all people the way that the other two consoles are attempting to be an all around media hub that takes the place of all the other components in your home entertainment center. What the Wii does do is add another level of fun and mirthfulness back into games. The unique controller has been a big hit so far and has gotten high marks from every reviewer. It is rare for something so gimmicky and unusual to get such a unanimous welcome from the jaded and snarky gaming community. People that have the 360 are getting the Wii too because it is like the apples and oranges in the PC world yet again.

    The Wii is an ideal choice for a household with older and younger kids, seniors, and for the homes that do not have a High Definition TV set. Those aren't interested in the more mature titles, and those chat capabilities that are for adults or older kids can have a fairly safe online experience with the privacy and Friend policies from Nintendo. The console also features its own online service WiiConnect24 , which enables it to receive messages and updates over the Internet. The Wii console won the Game Critics Awards for Best of Show and Best Hardware. The console has a few kid safety features such as parental controls to prohibit younger kids from playing the wrong games. It reads the content rating and won't play games that are not set to the right age level.

    The number of Wii consoles that will be available in the Americas during the launch rollout are expected to meet demand and sales of 4 million consoles worldwide by the end of 2006 are anticipated. The company affirmed that they "are working to ensure a plentiful supply and a consistent flow."

    The launch Wii package includes the console, a stand to allow the console to be placed vertically, a circular clear stabilizer for the main stand, one Wii Remote, one Nunchuk attachment, one Sensor Bar, a removable stand for the sensor bar, one external main power adapter, AV cables (component video and other type of cables will be available separately), and a copy of Wii Sports in the US and Canada. The Wii console is the smallest home console unit of the three contenders and the least expensive at $250. US. The front of the console features a slot-loading media drive lit up by a by distinct blue light and it accepts both Wii software and discs from Nintendo's prior console, the Game-Cube. They are telling us that it is fully backwards compatible with all the Previous Game Cube games.

    Additionally the interface for the console is designed around the concept of television channels, with a Wii Menu. Nintendo will not charge fees for playing games from the service. Channels are graphically displayed, and are navigated using the point of the Wii Remote. They are the Disc Channel, Mii Channel, News Channel, Forecast Channel, Photo Channel, Wii Shop Channel, Internet Channel. The Virtual Console Channel is basically an “online service, similar to Xbox Live Arcade. The Nintendo DS will be able to play game demos downloaded from the Wii console which gamers would receive from Nintendo, similar to a DS Download Station. Gamers can download retro games not only for the NES, Super NES, and Nintendo 64, but also Sega’s Genesis, NEC’s TurboGrafx-16 and others. The Wii has average graphics and only a 512 MB built-in flash memory, expansion is available via SD card memory, up to 2 GB max. It will take Game-Cube Memory Cards for saving GCN games only.

    In addition to the larger game consoles or PC games that you find at home, mobile games have become very popular. The Nintendo DS is a hand held, rechargeable dual screen portable game system. It comes in a variety of colors and it is pocket sized. It is the most popular handheld game console, which easily buried the competition, which were the Sony PSP and the N-Gage. it has continued to hold the record for the most units sold just as the Game Boy has for years. It comes in two sizes. The original unit that made its debut last year, is referred to as the 'NDS' and it can play both the library of Game Boy Advance games as well as games for the DS. The DS Lite is a smaller sleeker version of the same DS machine, but it smaller and does not have the additional slot for the GBA games. You can find several reviews and editorials about the DS right on this website. Nintendo DS and the Wii are expected to have a type of connectivity to use functions like the Nintendo DS's microphone and touch-screen as inputs for Wii games like Pokémon Battle Revolution. It is expected that all of Nintendo's huge repertoire of well known game franchises, such as Zelda, Metroid, Mario, Animal Crossing, and Pokémon will come to the Wii in some form.

    For very tiny kids and toddlers Leapster has the education interactive toys for under $100 Leapster

    For an easy comparison chart you can check out Gamefly. They have a chart showing the three consoles. The Nintendo Wii, the Xbox 360, and the Playstation 3. Renting games or giving a Gamefly subscription is a good gift idea.

    For a stocking stuffer I recommend Geek Woman's Game Guide 2006

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    So Notta Fanboy

    posted @ 11/08/2006 04:37:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    I have to say, I'm getting tired of being accused of being a MS fanboy. Seriously, I am really starting to take offense man.

    Allow me to explain why, with my top 5 reasons that I'm not a fanboy. [I'm too tired to come up with ten.]

    It seems like whenever we share an opinion that's pro-system, or pro-exclusive console title, we get labeled as a "fanboy" with that system. It would be cool if it was just being labeled as "a video game fanboy," that I could handle with minor objections, but the dismissal of the ideas and thoughts put together on the sole basis of being a mega fanatic, well, plain old pisses me off.

    So I've taken the time to compile this list of reasons why I'm not a fanboy to help those who like to use the "you're a fanboy, end of argument" clause know when it's appropriate and when it's not. It's a service I'm happy to provide you with so you can fight flame wars on a whole new level. Here goes.

    • No.05: All Consoles Are Welcomed
      I own or have owned at some time at least one hand held device or console from one of the major manufacturers. Sega Game Gear, Gamecube, Xbox, Playstation 2, Sega Genesis, owned em' all. In order to have the "fanboy" label stick, you have to be a console elitist.
    • No.04: I Read Many Gaming Mags, Not Just One.
      Yeah, you see that right, ok just wanna make sure. I do not have a paid subscription to any gaming magazine, but I do read many of them. EGM, OPM, OXM, CGM, Play, Game Informer, in addition to a few online mags. This means I hear about titles, games, and music from all the big [and small] development houses. To be worthy of the "fanboy" title, I'd have to pick one console and only read info about it... blocking out all other bits of info about other systems.
    • No.03: All System News Is News To Me
      New game releases on all systems are newsworthy or worthy of my attention. I'm going to be looking forward to Red Steel with the same amount of enthusiasm and curiosity levels that I have for Heavenly Sword and Halo 3. Not just the drawbacks or game glitches of other systems are worth noting or being aware of. I have to know a little bit about gaming in general in order to be able to form an opinion about it. If you haven't played Halo how can you honestly say it sucks? If you have never experienced the joy that is Amplitude, what is your basis for saying that your time is better spent kicking a dead squirrel? None, ya fanboy!
    • No.02: I Will Own All The "Next Gen" Consoles
      With very little need for thought I've already decided to own all of the next gen consoles. It may take some time due to lack of product on Sony or Nintendo's part, but as they become available I will buy them. I already own an XB360, but I'm already looking at ways to pick up the Nintendo and Sony boxes before the year is out. I like getting my hands on all the boxes so I can know what is fake and reality when it comes to each platforms ability, or lack there of. This way, when OPM says the graphics are 20 times better on the PS3 than XB360, I can fire up both systems and see for myself. I don't have to take the word of a possible "undercover fanboy" sway me one way or the other. It also keeps me from spouting off something I read as fact when it might just be wishful fiction.
    • and finally

    • No. I'm A Girl
      If you are going to accuse me of being a fanatic, get your terminology right. I can't be a "fanboy" as my physiology strictly contradicts this. I have boobs, and lady parts... that are all natural and if anything, would dictate the use of the term "fangirl" if you [after reading all of this list] still think the term applies.

    Now I'm not saying that "fanboys" exist, hell, some of my closest friends happen to be fanboys. They do lead [mostly] productive lives and are great members of society, but many of them do need to have much of what they say when it comes to their console "loyalty" kinda go in one ear and out the other. I had one of my friends swear before Bob that the new chip in the XB360 was a suped up secret chip that IBM developed for the government but as a personal favor to Bill Gates sold to them for use in the XB360 instead. If I'm lying, may Bob strike me down as I type.

    Well, I for one, feel better now. Enjoy your day... see you in Gears of War on XBLive bitches!

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    Wii Virtual Bummer?

    posted @ 11/01/2006 01:31:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    Thanks to one of our FRESHpeeps by the name of Ro, I got this link in my email box this morning and was slightly bummed.

    As you may know from many of my posts over the last month, I'm really looking forward to the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console. I really do miss my NES and SNES systems, as well as the old Sega Genesis. I used to play Altered Beast literally until my fingertips went numb... and don't even get me started on The Legend of Zelda or Shinobi [which by the way is why I am called NinJaSistah btw] So when I read the line up of VC titles, I was kinda bummed. I've created a table similar to the one posted in the link posted above but made it a bit easier to read. It's a long table, but you need to see it.
    Ice HockeyIce Hockey
    Urban ChampionUrban Champion
    Legend of KageNot Getting It
    GradiusNot Getting It
    Go-moku NarabeNot Getting It
    Super Mario Bros.Not Getting It
    Legend of ZeldaLegend of Zelda
    Solomon's KeySolomon's Key
    Donkey KongDonkey Kong
    Donky Kong Jr.Donky Kong Jr.
    Ninja Jajamaru-kunNot Getting It
    Mario Bros.Mario Bros.
    Wario's WoodsNot Getting It
    XeviousNot Getting It
    R-Type IIINot Getting It
    Super Castlevania IVNot Getting It
    Contra IIINot Getting It
    Sim CitySim City
    Street Fighter IINot Getting It
    Donkey Kong CountryNot Getting It
    Super Mario WorldNot Getting It
    Zelda: Link to the PastNot Getting It
    Fire Emblem: Monsho no NazoNot Getting It
    Super Mario PicrossNot Getting It
    Super Mario 64Super Mario 64
    Sega Genesis
    Ecco the DolphinEcco the Dolphin
    Gunstar HerosGunstar Heros
    Golden AxeGolden Axe
    Shadow DancerNot Getting It
    Altered BeastAltered Beast
    Space Harrier IISpace Harrier II
    Sonic the HedgehogSonic the Hedgehog
    Toejam and EarlToejam and Earl
    Puyo PuyoDr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
    Turbo Grafx 16
    Bonk's AdventureBonk's Adventure
    NecromancerNot Getting It
    Super Star SoldierSuper Star Soldier
    New Adventrue IslandNot Getting It
    Dungeon ExplorerDungeon Explorer
    Battle Lode RunnerNot Getting It
    Victory RunVictory Run
    Bomberman '94Bomberman '93

    Gotta say, I hope this us just a launch list and not a "forever" type list. By that I mean that I hope that this is just a list of what will be available in each country on launch day, with eminent roll out of the missing titles to follow. Not ever getting Gradius, Super Mario Bros., or Super Mario World is just plain unacceptable in my book. Having Space Harrier II does help my soul, but I'm still bumming about this list.

    If anyone out there has the scoop, or can clarify this grey area up for us, I'd appreciate it. Otherwise this will be the first dark spot on my painting of a perfect gaming system roll out.

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    Old School Anime: Sakura Wars

    posted @ 10/06/2006 05:27:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    Ok, I know that technically Sakura Wars isn't really all that old school, but it is the first mecha anime that I can recall watching... so that makes it old school in my book

    In all honesty it took me a few episodes to warm up to this series. I found the part of the story where the mechas are powered by a combination of steam and spirit power to be very interesting. I mean it is no stretch of the imagination to create a mecha that is powered by electricity, or some kind of radioactive powercell, but it takes a special kind of creative imagination to come up with quasi-steam powered robotic units. Awesomeness! While I could breakdown to you what the plotline of the series is, who all the major players are, I think it would better serve you instead share with you some little known facts about Sakura Wars and then explain why I think it's a series that every anime fan should have in their collection.

    Sakura Wars actually started out as a video game developed by Sega. It was originally called Sakura Taisen which caused some confusion in finding it when it was first licensed in the US. ADV Films licensed it here in the US as Sakura Wars and the confusion hilarity ensued. It took me a while to find any episodes on VHS [again, this was back in the day... circa late 1990's] because the video stores I would call didn't know what anime really was, and never had anything called Sakura Taisen in their store. No video game, no movies, and I should stop prank calling them... that's how all the calls ended for a few months. Then I realized I was looking in the wrong place for this stuff. I switched gears and started dogging my local comic stop and that was the ticket. But I digress.

    According to Wikipedia there is an official Sakura Taisen shop on the top floor of the Sega "GIGA" Amusement Center, located in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district. Called "Taisho Romando", the store sells only Sakura Taisen-related merchandise... so if you are in need of a Ri Kohran costume, toy models, artbooks, posters, wall scrolls, and even snack foods! [Sakura Taisen pocky anyone?] If you are a fan of collecting all kinds of knick knacks from your favorite series, Sakura Wars surely keeps you covered.

    The reason I think everyone should have this series in their collection is simple: Sakura Wars is simply the best version of the bashful but strong girl who, through physical and emotional trials, overcomes her own weakness to become a strong leader. It is a great series for young girls to watch and learn that being smart and strong
    are things to be valued, that the strength of real friendship is something to strive for in any relationship, and it's cool looking. [Plus the thin box set is under $30 bucks]

    So look into Sakura Wars, you just might like it.

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    Do the Math: Will Sony Go Broke?

    posted @ 9/25/2006 03:16:00 AM by evermore
    For video game players, the competition among the three game console manufacturers must seem like a Dead or Alive tournament. There's always a winner and a loser, but someone else is always lined up for another bout with the winner.

    Few tears were spilled when the No. 4 console maker, Sega, dropped out of the market a few years ago. But can you imagine if, in a year from now, there were only TWO console game makers?

    Not only COULD it happen, but we're going to tell you why it WILL happen.

    Can Video Games Bring Down a Multinational Corporation?

    Sony has a book value of $27 billion. It has nearly $9 billion in cash. Sony's not going anywhere. Or is it?

    Sony is looking at a potential for demise it has never faced before. With the failure of its TV and music electronics businesses and its up-and-down movie business, it has relied more and more on the video game business to keep profits up.

    But now even its video game business can't save the company. In fact, it's the video game business that could put the whole company right down the toilet.

    Here's a story of a company in trouble. Sure, you think you could help it by buying a new PS3 at the end of the year. But purchasing a PS3 this year could be the very thing that pushes Sony over the edge.

    The Seeds Are Sown

    Sony's troubles didn't just begin this year, but we all started to realize the wheels were falling off the train when Sony started delaying the release of the new PlayStation 3. The first excuse Sony made was that licensing issues were causing the delay from Spring 2006 to November 2006.

    Around the same time Sony was putting off the release, analysts released a disturbing story about the disparity in the cost of raw materials for the PS3, compared with the estimated purchase price.

    Analysts had predicted the PS3 cost would be in line with the cost of the Microsoft XBox 360 consoles.

    In a February story for CNet, it was estimated that the total cost of components for the PS3 would be in the neighborhood of $725 to $905 -- and that was before it was rumored that Sony would have to put PS2 components in the box because the new chip lacked the ability to emulate the earlier PSOne and PS2 games.

    The CNet story said, "The materials price estimates do not include marketing, software development, advertising or other costs, which will push Sony's total cost per console even higher."

    That there is such a disparity between the price of materials and the suggested retail price for a new console is not unusual because most new consoles are sold as loss-leaders, with the game maker making up the difference with the high margin of profit they get by selling games for the console.

    In contrast, the materials cost for the XBox 360 is estimated at only $501, and should continue to drop as the console ages. While Sony pays $200 to $300 for each raw Blu-ray drive, Microsoft pays only $20 for the simpler DVD drives.

    The Truth Hits Home

    With such estimates for raw materials, video game fans should have known that the new machine would need to cost a lot more. But a huge audience that was prepared to cheer the announced price of the PS3 instead sat in stunned silence when the suggested retail price was announced at the E3 conference: $499 for the basic system and $599 for the premium one.

    Of course, the single most costly item in the PS3 is the Blu-ray drive. Analysts originally figured Blu-ray would add at least another $200 or so to the price of the machine, but that figure has gone way up.

    First, there's more than just the mechanical equipment to figure in. Sony must also pay for all the codecs that must be licensed.

    Second, the slow adoption of high density DVD technology will keep prices high for years.

    Finally, all manufacturers of the blue lasers that are required for high density DVDs are having problems getting up to speed in creating the machines. This will result in low yields, further driving up the price of the drives.

    Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi was not ambivalent about the pricing of the console -- he kept saying it was a premium machine, sold at a premium price. Want a PS3? Work a little harder!

    "Our ideal," Kutaragi said, "is for consumers to think to themselves, 'OK, I'll work more hours and buy it.' We want people to feel that they want it, no matter what."

    But the consumer reaction was swift -- and harsh. Even the Official Playstation Magazine had a bold cover headline that asked, "Is It Worth $600?"

    In June, a month after Sony announced its price points for the PS3, analysts at Merrill Lynch estimated Sony would lose more than $1 billion in the console's first year of existence. By comparison, Sony lost only $458 million during the first year the PS2 was available. The company followed that with two strong years of profit -- $759 million in Year 2 and $1.3 billion in Year 3.

    But Merrill Lynch warned that this generation of consoles was not like the last. Microsoft beat Sony for the next generation consoles by a year and a price reduction for the XBox could result in additional losses for Sony -- $730 million in Year 2 and $457 million in Year 3. That's nearly $2 billion in losses over three years.

    The Cost of Doing Business

    Of course, analysts questioning Sony's moves is nothing new. More than 10 years ago, just six weeks before Sony introduced the original PlayStation, the head of the project team quit amid rumors of difficulties in getting the console out on time.

    Analysts at the time believed Sony could lose as much as $200 million on the project in the first year.

    Sony's answer at the time was to require retailers to bundle the packages with one or two games, which still left Sony underwater, but not as much as it would have been.

    This, of course, begs the question, "Will Sony pull the same thing this year?" It makes sense, especially considering that Sony will be charging a premium price for its games (above $59 and below $99, according to most sources).

    The bad news for Sony this year isn't restricted to video game competition. The company is also liable for a large share in the laptop battery recalls being conducted by Dell and Apple. Nearly 6 million batteries have been recalled in the past two months -- all of them manufactured by Sony.

    The battery fiasco alone could cost Sony as much as $500 million.

    "The most important thing for Sony is maintaining the No. 1 quality, whatever the category or area," Sony Marketing (Japan) Inc. Senior Vice President Kiyoshi Shikano told MarketWatch this month. "So in that sense, unfortunately, the recent happenings have caused some small damage for the business."

    In addition, Sony is far behind its competitors in the fast growing LCD flat-screen TV market and has lost its decades-long edge in portable music devices to Apple Computer's iPod players.

    Sony is also likely to face a fight in Europe over its partnership with Betlesmann AG. A European court ruled in July that the European Commission was wrong to approve the venture. The court decision means Sony and Bertelsmann will have to re-apply to win European Commission approval for their venture.

    At the movie box office, Sony has had great success with its Spiderman franchise, but must wait until May 2007 for the next installment to arrive. The company's biggest film this year has been Will Farrell's Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, which has made $145 million thus far, but lags far behind Disney's hit sequel for Pirates of the Caribbean, which has already made more than $1 billion worldwide this summer.

    The Market Leader Goes Into the Cellar

    Although the PS2 captured more than a 70 percent share of the previous generation of console sales, it is entering the next generation at a distant third, with Microsoft predicted to sell 10 million XBox 360 consoles and Nintendo selling 4 million of its new Wii consoles, while Sony will be able to push out only 2 million consoles to consumers by the end of this year.

    That fact alone has analysts betting that Sony will introduce price cuts quickly. But price cuts, in combination with the losses Sony takes on each machine it sells, are a double-edged sword.

    "By reducing the price, it appears that Sony may have prolonged its recouping period of initial investments on the PS3 by a few years," John Yang, a Tokyo-based analyst with Standard & Poor's, told the Wall Street Journal today. According to the Wall Street Journal article, Yang estimates the PlayStation 3 will be unprofitable for at least three years.

    The Journal story brings up another point that may draw the most fear in the ranks of Sony -- the PlayStation will no longer dominate game developers. When the original PlayStation and PS2 were introduced, Sony had an impressive lineup of developers who made games exclusively for its consoles. That won't be the case with the PS3.

    "We don't want the PlayStation 3 to be the overwhelming loser, so we want to support them," Michihiro Sasaki, senior vice president of Square Enix, told the Wall Street Journal. "But we don't want them to be the overwhelming winner either, so we can't support them too much."

    So the price cuts have already begun. On Friday Sony announced a price cut for Japanese buyers (about $410 in U.S. dollars for the low-end version), there was no indication that such a price cut would be given to American customers.

    In addition to lowering the price of the low-end model, Sony added an HDMI port to the machine, which further increases the price of raw materials. Sony will undoubtedly be losing even more money than ever before.

    Do the Math

    As a result, Sony is forecasting an $862 million operating loss for the current fiscal year. But that's going to seem like chicken feed, compared to the loss it's liable to see in 2007.

    How much will Sony lose in the next 12 months? Let's count it up.

    Sony plans on making 6 million PS3 units before April. Let's say that they sell every one of them at full retail price. With what we know about the materials price -- particularly the price of Blu-Ray players -- let's say that they will lose only $300 for every PS3 they sell.

         6,000,000 x
    = $1.8 billion

    That's the same amount that analysts figure the PS3 will cost the company over the first three years. Why the disparity?

    The analysts are counting on Sony making up the sales of machines with the sales of video games. But it's not going to be as easy for Sony this time. Few game developers are making games exclusively for the PS3.

    Also, Sony has already said that games would be at least $10 more than the games for the XBox 360 and at least $20 more than the games for the Nintendo Wii. With everything being the same, would you pay $10 or $20 more for the same game that you could play on your XBox 360 or Wii?

    In addition, Sony will be nickle-and-diming you at every opportunity -- particularly with the HDMI cable, which will likely cost between $99 and $129. (That's surely why they added an HDMI port for the low-end PS3. They'll make their money back on the cable for it.)

    Surely the discounts will come quickly, but they'll all be a drag on Sony's bottom line. Let's say Sony loses $400 on every box they sell. Here are the numbers:

         6,000,000 x
    = $2.4 billion

    That really starts taking a mammoth chunk out of Sony's cash. Add to that the half-billion dollars of free laptop batteries they've got to give out and the losses start approaching $3 billion.

    But a company like Sony can afford to lose $4 billion, can't it? Once upon a time, that might have been true, but Sony is a much different company today than it was just a few years ago.

    The Japanese people who owned shares in Sony could see the value in building for the future. But, with its purchase of Columbia Studios and Columbia Records, Sony has become much more of a multinational company. Today, for the first time in its history, less than half of the company is owned by Japanese investors. Investors in the West demand more short-term benefits.

    Devoting nearly half of its cash reserves to losses in the video game and computing sectors, with no guarantee of future profits for another two years, could send the company's stock into a tailspin, once its investors realize the full measure of the grave situation for the company.

    In such a situation, Sony could start selling off large chunks of the company. But even that would come at a large cost. For example, selling off the movie division would result in the loss of the Spiderman franchise for the PlayStation. Without an exclusive there, Microsoft and Nintendo would gain the edge in game sales, since their games cost less than Sony's.

    Sony has become a minor player in the music player and TV industries, so they wouldn't be able to make much money off selling their stake in the aging Walkman and Trinitron franchises.

    When things are all said and done, the most valuable piece of the pie at Sony is its video game division. They could very well put it up for sale. And who could be the potential buyer?


    That's right. I said it. Just think about it.

    Who could benefit the most by purchasing Sony's video game division?


    You might say there's no way the U.S. government would allow such a thing. Anti-trust, you say.

    Just remember who's running the government. A Microsoft takeover would be treated with the same kid gloves that created DaimlerChrysler.

    Who knows? This time next year you could be playing games on a PlayStation 360.

    Want a PS3? Work a Little Harder!

    So you want to save Sony. What can you do?

    Well, as Sony's Kutaragi says, you need to work a little harder and make a little more money.

    Stop complaining that the PS3 costs $600. It doesn't. In order to cut down on its losses, Sony is liable to do the same thing to consumers that it did 11 years ago at the original Playstation launch -- it'll require that you buy two games in order to get a machine. That'll boost the price for you to around $725 or so.

    But there's more! Want an HDMI cable? That'll be another $100 to $125. Now we're at $850 or so. You've got a Blu-ray player, so you'll want a few Blu-ray movies -- Sony titles only, of course. Buy six of them while you're at it! At an average list price of $25 each, we're talking another $150. That pushes our total price to an even $1,000.

    That'll go a long way to saving Sony.

    Now who's going to save you?

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    Finish what you start...

    2D Gaming: Why It Doesn't Go Away

    posted @ 9/12/2006 04:04:00 PM by Ninjasistah
    I got one of the last XBox titles in my game queue in this week called Samurai Showdown 5. I have been looking forward to this title being released because I'm still a 2D gamer girl at heart.

    I have been playing Samurai Showdown since the original in the arcade and on the Neo Geo system. I had one [count em, one] friend that had a Neo Geo system when it came out, and I don't want to say that I was friends with this person because they had a NG system...but, you know.

    The excitement that washed over me was palpable; I tore open that shipping envelope like a wrapped gift on Christmas morning. Bounding across the living room heading towards the XB360 I found myself smiling and gaining in anxiety at the thought of being able to play this game. Popped the disc into the system and, it wasn't compatible. Damn. My heart sank a little and would have dropped even more had I not already been in possession of an XBox system. TV video input changed, XBox started, game running, I darted back to my futon and assumed the game on position.

    The moment the game loaded and that oh so familiar BGM started playing I was immediately back in my Sega Genesis days. I was going to grab Nakaruru [the girl in red and white with the Hawk] and commence to perpetrating some ass whoopins, but the character select screen was all wrong. Who were all these faces that I did not recognize? Where had they come from, and why were they in my path to righteousness? I felt so alone and out of my element. But I couldn't let that get in my way, Nakaruru and I were on a mission...a mission from Bob. Round one Engage!

    The basic combos returned to me like the a-b-c's of riding a bike. On my third or forth match I was jumping, blocking, and commanding my hawk to attack with ease. Characters moved faster than I remember, and some how the visuals don't look as good either. I'm not sure how, but the movement of player characters just doesn't seem as fluid. My recollections of what transpired next are fuzzy at best, but I will try with all my might to report to you the events as I remember them.

    I lost. I lost bad. I lost bad with my girl Nakaruru. What. The. Fuck?

    I played for hours, getting better and better with each subsequent match, falling in love all over again with 2D gaming. Playing Samurai Showdown 5 with all it's faults and believe me there were plenty] was still enjoyable. To me, most 2D games are fun. Have you ever played Metal Slug? Holy crap is that thing fun. It's a traditional side scroller; kill all the enemies as you move horizontally across the level until you get to the final enemy and then take him out. You die, oh too bad fo u! You have to start the level over again from the beginning...they way Bob intended. What about King of Fighters? Personally, I feel this game is simplicity in it's entirety, and that's why I think 2D gaming refuses to die off in the 3D [wish it was 4D] era.

    We currently live in the Prey, Gears of War, and Assassin's Creed era of gaming where the emphasis in gameplay is being placed on realism and accuracy. And while these are promising and exciting times, there is something to be said for simple joys, and I think that's part of the reason why 2D games still have value in the market. The other reason is that 2D game instantly remind you of looking at a comic book. The colors and character design style make the player think and feel like they are "playing" a comic book. They are given a character with a very short back story and an open playground to explore with that character.

    So if you've never picked up a 2D game, I encourage you to go exploring. You might just find a new "go to game" for your permanent collection.

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