Kou_Leifoh (Level 10)

Needs to stop watching hentai.
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I don't like Dragon Ball Z Kai; there I said it. Some of you may disagree with me and say you like Dragon Ball Z Kai, but hey, don't care. I wasn't against the idea of Kai, a version of Dragon Ball Z that's edited in a way that takes care of the major problem of the series, which is the pacing. But I never would of thought that aspects of the series such as the dialogue would be completely change, which affects the personalities of some of the characters. Some of the voice actors weren't brought back and the ones that replaced them are just plain terrible. The voices of the original series was injected into our memories, it also became a standard of how the characters sounded. They weren't too good, they weren't too bad, they just sounded right. For us to have to hear Gohan's new voice when he ascend to the next level in the Cell Saga is just unacceptable. 
 
Toei Animations should of went into this with the awareness of the popularity of the American dub. The soundtrack of the US version was fantastic, it updated Dragon Ball Z for the time that it made its Western debut. The Japanese version sounded dated, but that's what's come to be expected for a series that's like what, twenty-years-old back then. Not hearing the original themes that I heard when first experiencing Dragon Ball Z defiantly takes away the experience. I don't know if this was in the original Japanese version, but the the new dub has this corny-ass opera song that plays when a dramatic scene occurs. There's also the lack of "Rock the Dragon." Dragon Ball Z is one thing, insane macho action. "Rock the Dragon" capitalizes that. The new theme, "Dragon Soul," seems like something targeted directly to kids, and not something that sounded older. 
 
The thing that surprise me the most, is that the Garlic Jr. Saga was removed. I knew that some scenes from the original would be cut in order to speed up the pacing, but I never would of thought that an entire Saga would be removed. I don't care what anybody says, but that was unnecessary. 
 
Dragon Ball Z Kai just seems like the opposite of FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood. Brotherhood added a lot more fiction to a retelling of FullMetal Alchemist, while Kai just strips down and dramatically alters a series in a bad way.   
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So it took me over a mouth, but I finally finished Dragon Quest: Adventures of Dai manga. I decided to read this when I found out that the Dragon Quest series was adapted into several manga series while I was looking through its Wikipedia page; that's when I took it upon myself to play through some of the Dragon Quest games. I was originally going to just read the first two chapters of the manga, but then my whole curiosity spiral into knowing how the series was going to conclude. 
 
Adventures of Dai is about a boy name Dai who was ship wreck as a baby, then raised by a monster on a island. Once he save a princess who visited the island for a ceremony gone wrong, Dai gains some popularity. But not long after, Hadlar, the king of the demon army, awakens and unleashes havoc throughout the world. That's when a legendary hero name Avan, whose outfit seems to be the inspiration for Angelo's outfit  from Dragon Quest VIII, comes to the island to train Dai into the next hero to fight the king of the demon army. Avan is then killed, so then Dai, along with a guy name Pop, go out into the world to avenge him.
 
Seeing how Akira Toriyama is the character designer for all the Dragon Quest games, you think he had involvement for the manga? Surprisingly no, it was written by Riku Sanjo and illustrated by Koji Inada. The Dragon Ball art-style is intact, despite no involvement from Toriyama. The manga also doesn't stop itself from making references from the Dragon Ball series in the Adventures of Dai manga. One of the characters was based off of Master Roshi, the character's name was Roushi, who was also the "god of martial arts." And I don't know if this was a direct reference to Dragon Ball, but one of the character's weapon was a black magic rod that can extend like the weapon that Goku had the Dragon Ball series. 
 
The series gets interesting as the characters start to develop. Lots of epic fights occur with some well design enemies, and some good plot twist and cliff-hangers kept me wanting to read more and more. The manga does start to show its weakness around about the last 1/3 of the series. It revolves around the heroes getting to the final villain, around when I got up to that part of the manga, I notice that I needed like over fifty chapters to go. . . . I honestly thought that some twist was going to happen and the story was going to take a different turn. But no, the heroes head to the fortress to fight the final boss, and the last several dozen chapters is about that; lots and lots of fights occur one after the other. Some of the fights defiantly dragged on a bit longer than it shouldn't. I was driven a bit frustrated in wanting to see how the fight was going to end. The ending was pretty lame, it was quick and some things were left up in the air.
 
Overall I ended up liking it. It was a good adaptation for the Dragon Quest series into the manga universe. The series was also adapted into an anime, and several movies were made based on the anime. I try catching an episode of it on YouTube, but all I can find was the Japanese dub version of one of the movies with no English text. And then I found and episode of the T.V show, but the dub was in Arab, I kid you not. 
 
This series is defiantly suitable for people that have some love for the Dragon Ball series. It has some traits that makes up the Dragon Ball series, and you'll also appreciate the Dragon Ball references that it makes.    
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Most anime games that come and go tend to be terrible cash-ins that contain gameplay that are below average and can never be as good as other games, because they sell well enough for developers to not give a carp about the quality within those games; you would not believe the amount of times I wanted a Dragon Ball Z fighting game that was good.

How long have games based on anime series existed? What are some of the games that anime fans do not know of? I decided to look for a couple of games that are unknown or at least forgotten among a crowd that are paying attention to games like the recent Dragon Ball Z/Naruto fighting games. . . Ugh. And of course, exposed them to the lime-light. Some of the anime series that got chosen to have a game based on will probably surprise you.

Astro Boy: Omega Factor

We all know Astro Boy, the legendary series that was created by the grandfather of anime/manga, Osamu Tezuka. The results for the Game Boy Advance iteration of Astro Boy surprise many when it first hit the scenes in 2004.  A game that's considered as one of the best games to owned for the Game Boy Advance. Sega enlisted well known 2-D developer, Treasure - the same people that are famous for cult hits such as GunStar Heroes and Bangai-O, to grace their talents on this well produce game.

The game is loosely based off the 2003 Astro Boy anime series that once aired on Toonami. Omega Factor does featured every character from the Astro Boy canon. The characters are organized in a octagon grid called the Omega Factor, each character's info about their appearance in the Astro Boy series can be viewed.

 One of the crazy bosses of the game.
 One of the crazy bosses of the game.
Dying is the central theme for this game, as Omega Factor will delver some challenging enemy/boss patterns for you to remember. You will be facing waves of enemies at your disposals  and it's up to take them down, beat'em up style; though it's not that simple. Punching enemies mindlessly will not progress you through the game, they will counter-attack while Astro is stuck in his attack animations. You need to pay attention to your enemies on screen to let you know when is the right moment to take it easy on the attacks and focus on dodging away. Astro does have a mid-air dash move that will make him invincible from enemy attacks for a short period of time.

Omega Factor is a hybrid of two genres, the one part is beat'em up, as mentioned early, and the second is shoot'em up. Astro will use his jets and his laser in Graduis style shoot'em up levels; bullet-hell is the key word for those levels. flying enemies and a hail storm of bullets will come towards your way while your using Astro laser to bring them down.

Omega Factor is the Ultimate Astro Boy to stick with if you're a die hard fan of the series, or it can be appealing to those who are not a fan.

8 Man

Okay, I'm a bit of a sucker for sub-par beat'em ups. 8 Man is a short beat'em up that was developed by SNK for the Neo Geo in 1991. The 8 Man series was created by Kazumasa Hirai and Jiro Kuwata in 1963. It was about a police officer that was murdered and brought to life as a cyborg to fight crime. Does that sound familiar? It should, because it was supposedly the inspiration for RoboCop. Since 8 Man's debut, the series would see another anime series and a live action film, I guess this game was released to coincide with the update for the 8 Man series.

8 Man is the pretty standard beat'em up, you move to the right and beat up bad robots, including the Predator. Like many other SNK games, this game presents itself with quite a challenge. Multiple enemies will come out of wood-works making sure you lose your extra life.

 The speed section.
 The speed section.
Like I said, an enemy that looks like the Predator is in the game. I don't know if that was a character from the 8 Man series, but I have read that the early Neo Geo games had pop culture references in their games, like a Hulk Hogan character appearing in the game Burning Fight.

One of 8 Man's powers is that he can run really fast, so there's some levels that involves 8 Man running fast while encountering enemies. Some nice effects are contained in the running levels, like some flashes of animations coming out of 8 Man, and you'll see enemies running in the background or appearing in front of the screen before they jump out and attack 8 Man.

A fondness for any type of beat'em ups is all it takes to have some fun with 8 Man, even if it's not the greatest. But if you're a fan of 8 Man, and wanted to try your hand at a 8 Man game, well pretty much this is your only option.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

Two of the few games to use Capcom's CPS III arcade hardware, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is one of those hidden gems from Capcom in the arcades in 1999. The series is strictly a manga series that started back in 1987 for Shonen Jump. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure was a series that wasn't well known in the States, so it was a bold move for Capcom bring the fighting game over from Japan.

Gameplay provides fast pace frantic action that is reminiscent of a Marvel vs. game, though it's not as simple to get into. Character's can summon out "stands," or a persona, out to perform abilities that a stand alone character can't do, such as double jump. Players mix up hits with the normal character with his or her stand, along with cancelable super moves of course, to perform lengthy devastating combos. Though it's not go to say that combos are easy to pull off like in a Marvel vs. game, they do have a strict timing process to execute. Capcom knows how to make a license fighting game with a good balance of accessibility and depth. The gameplay also includes "Blazing Fist Match," it's when the two personas collide and it's up both players to rapidly hit the attack button to out best one another. 

 An example of the visual style.
 An example of the visual style.
The graphic style is reminiscent of a DarkStalkers game as each of the characters are presented with bold black outlines. And seeing how this is a game based on a manga series, there are tons of comic book style visuals that burst out to capitalizes some of the over the top moments of the game; such as a image of a character that you are playing as will make a brief appearances when a super move is performed, or when a KO is done. To even reference the manga further, the character select screen is a bunch of comic book panels.

Capcom released the two games in one disk on the consoles for the PlayStation and Dreamcast. The copy that I own is the Dreamcast version. The game contains the first game and it's update, JoJo's Venture, and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. The second adds more moves and characters over the first game.

A third JoJo fighting game was released from Capcom for the PlayStation 2 in Japan, but never sought its release in the States. As for the first two games, they brought exposure for the JoJo Bizarre Adventure series for Western manga fans, and due to the fact that the game was well made, it gave it a bit of a following.
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This was made by a user over at YouTube a couple of years ago. It's a fan made promo of what Cowboy Bebop would be like if the show was on Toonami. 
 
When I saw this years ago, I was immediately impressed by how well the creator capture the tone of Toonami onto Cowboy Bebop. I must of watch this promo over dozens of times, I thought it would be best to show it to people whom haven't seen this yet.
 
 
 

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I finally decided to get myself into Resident Evil 5, a game that I am surprise at the fact that I've been shunning it for quite some time. I notice both the praise Resident Evil 5 got from critics, but also notice a couple of somewhat backlash from hardcore fans.

The whole introduction of Resident Evil for me all started with Resident Evil 2 on the PlayStation. I enjoyed the time I had with it, or watching my brother or his friend playing it, I was completely engage by the scary atmosphere and its compelling plot. Then later on I went and rented the original Resident Evil at a BlockBuster video store, the game had me in awed by the live-action cut scenes; it was not amazing, but it was weird to see that kind of content in the first game after playing the second. My playthrough's of the other main Resident Evils (Excluding Resident Evil Zero) followed suite.
 Resident Evil 2
 Resident Evil 2
Then came Resident Evil 4 on the GameCube, a great departure from its predecessors. First jumping into it I was growing a deep liking for the game's well constructed nature. Going into the woods with the foggy white skies and quite sounds seem reminiscence of a Silent Hill game, then the theme goes from forest areas fighting villagers to castle buildings fighting creepy monks. By the third act of the game I was thrown into a island filled with military assailants which kind of threw off the scary vibe of the game.

Looking back at the entire game, it had some problems that strayed it away from a regular Resident Evil game. First and foremost, Resident Evil is a action-adventure game, exploration and puzzle solving was the key essence of the series. Resident Evil 4 was barely that game, it was linear, more empathize on action, and lack of puzzles.  
 Resident Evil 4
 Resident Evil 4
During the development of Resident Evil 5, I was skeptical about where Capcom was taking the game. It seem like that Capcom got the wrong idea about aspects of Resident Evil 4's success, and as a result, you have what Resident Evil 5 is, a poor man's version of a third person shooter. I hoping that Resident Evil 5 would be more action-adventure game this time around, plenty of puzzle solving and exploring the envorment to progress the game. Instead, it follows the same trappings of Resident Evil 4 - linear progression and more emphasise on shooting.

But the most annoying element of Resident Evil 5 is the Co-Op. The character Sheva didn't ruin the game, it was just the fact that I had to play the game with a second character at all times, regardless of which character it is. The A.I does what I needed it to do, but in some situations, the A.I fails and I end up getting the game over.

Resident Evil 5 also had a cover mechanic, an element that is a natural evolution for third person shooters. Is Resident Evil trying to be a third person shooter? With the Co-Op and the cover mechanic, it put Resident Evil in a awkward spot. The controls of Resident Evil 4 is a great introduction for the series; switching genre on the other hand is not. 

Also, when did the series become the Matrix? In the action of the cut scenes, there was a lot of over the top acrobatic style action. As I think back, Resident Evil: Code Veronica showed early glimpses of what the action would be like in the cut scenes; like Clare Redfield running threw a hallway while dodging hails of gun fire or Steve jumping out of a window blasting one of the monsters and then kicking it as its final blow. At the time, it was a interest break from all the horror that goes on, but now there's too much of the over the topness in the cut scenes of Resident Evil 5; so much that it just feels spoiled.

Overall I enjoyed what Resident Evil 5 had to offer; the amount of content it has is a lot more than previous games. Graphically it's one of the better looking games of this generation, and supports some amazing animations, even though some of them were clearly recycled from Resident Evil 4. It was also nice to see the return of the Lickers, an enemy from Resident Evil 2. The surprising thing about that was the Lickers have the exact same death animation that they had in Resident Evil 2.

 Resident Evil 5
 Resident Evil 5
After this game, Capcom talks about another reboot for the series in half a decade or so. What I do want for the next game is a action-adventure game again. If they can't make it scary, well at least it has one essence that makes Resident Evil, Resident Evil.
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