Bad Platano Juega: Playerunknown's Battlegrounds by Randy Ortiz

Let me talk to you guys about my homie Bad Platano.
He's a dope Dominican graphic designer/photographer and is also completely hilarious in these Let's Play videos. El Matatan matando con su blamblam!
His content is in Spanish with english sprinkled around and is truly funny to watch regardless if a language barrier is present (pssst learn Spanish), his presentation is on point and continues to innovate. A good deal of gamers skimp on the level of quality in their content and gladly Bad Platano is the complete opposite. Sometimes he becomes part of the motion that's going on in the videos, side jokes galore and is definitely funny to hear him mess around.
In this Let's Play he shoots it up in Playerunknown's Battlegrounds and loots all he can while being a trip the entire time. Te jodiste Juan!

Keep an eye out here for more Bad Platano, I'll be posting all his upcoming videos and obviously be sure to subscribe to his channel!

Race Kings Got Me... by Randy Ortiz

Race Kings: Class C Clash - Subaru BRZ Chrome Edition
I've been playing a good deal of Hutch Games Race Kings lately, so far it's addicting and easy to pick up. Once you gain a decent amount of cash/cars, the fun factor goes up but also your winnings. Just bought this car to be able to add edge upgrades (makes you go faster) since my other Class C cars are maxed out.
Overall it's a great freemium game that looks pretty damn good and doesn't slam you in the face with a paywall (IMO), haven't spent any money yet and I have 5 cars so far. Download and let's race! You know the name.

Download iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/race-...
Download Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/de...

Metroid: The Sky Calls by Randy Ortiz

What Rainfall Films has created is what Nintendo should be looking towards or creating something of the like. It's what all us fans keep screaming and yelling about and some folks are listening, the right group listened this time around and it's one of the best I've seen. They worked with director Sam Balcomb and along with the talent of Jessica Chobot and America Young made it come alive. What will unfold before your eyes is a thing of beauty and wonder, playing into the exploration and isolation aspect of space movies like Alien and 2001 Space Odyssey that fit perfectly in the Metroid universe. Enjoy the short of 11+ minutes because it will leave you wanting more. 

You guys are seriously making me look into creating a videogame themed project with this, all the good elements came together and played beautifully. Looking forward to Rainfalls next project! 

Nintendon't Limit Yourself, Shine Get by Randy Ortiz

Super-Mario-3D-World-32So now that PS4 and Xbox One is out, many sites are recommending the WiiU due to the lacking launch titles on the other two systems and the new Mario game (excellent) recently released. This industry is such a flip-flop mess... Now that the other two had just ok launches which usually happens, folks are writing about how good the WiiU is and can be. Don't get me wrong, I love that a great system is getting more love but the fact that even the NY Times is reporting about PS4 and Xbox One having nothing worthy to play along with Polygon saying waiting is good reads funny to me. I'm mainly a Nintendo head but I'll play anything that's good and all the flack that Nintendo gets for being "weird" or stubborn and slow to adapt is largely exaggerated but now sites are seeing the awesome so they hop on. There are certain things that Sony gets correct and Microsoft as well but Nintendo is now billed as the old man trying to be hip and is portrayed out of touch 'cause it doesn't share everything and guards their IP's with their life no matter the costs. No one can however deny that they don't know how to make games, all their 1st party releases on the WiiU have been fun and a refreshing change from bloody bullet ridden strategic first persons calls to duty in space with effect and now Super Mario is starting to change the opinion of the lil U that could.

Don't doubt.

Video games are meant to be fun, exciting and escapes from life or something that can traverse you to different realms while centered around a coat of reality. Some folks wean away from bright colors and cheerful themes, some of us do not but no one is wrong for it because it's a preference. While preference can somewhat hurt the industry, it's what is perceived and labeled that truly hurts it and makes the industry that we all love a bit less fun and more like work. What the whole point of this? If something is good then support or try it, don't just support it because the "hardcore gamer" crowd doesn't you got let down with something else as it can limit a great deal of wonderful games you can enjoy.

Lune the Moon Game by Randy Ortiz

LUNEWe all love us some video games and when a game is announced that involves controlling what was thought to be impossible or not the run of the mill jumping/shooting/collecting tags, that's when our interest goes sky high. Enter Lune, a game being created by six students (including Dedale's Sergey Mojov) for the French game competition Hits Playtime where you control the moon, so you get to control gravity, light, and the tides... crazy right? The game revolves around an island in the middle of an ocean that doesn't get light and is occupied by a large ancient tower with Runic Guardians. Check out the trailer along with some concept art and the main character model below. Head over to their Facebook page **Like it** if ya do and watch it for more information on this awesome looking game... that I can't wait to play. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J68oqKBynkw[/youtube] Character CharacterConceptArt02 CharacterConceptArt03

If anybody needs me, I’ll be at Golfland by Randy Ortiz

Photo by Paul Kobayashi Growing up in the 80s and 90s was an amazing experience if you were into video games. The technology curve took a steep incline as Pong and other floating-dot favorites gave way to Super Mario Brothers in your own home and Street Fighter in the arcade in less than a decade. Video games were becoming a way of life for late-Gen X/early-Gen Y folks like myself. I was given my first gaming system by my parents at the tender age of six—a Colecovision. Kids from around the neighborhood would come to my home to sit in front an old, large wooden furniture-style television to play games like Donkey Kong, Zaxxon, Ladybug and Venture. It was a while before I jumped on the Nintendo train when they started appearing in homes in 1985. But eventually, when the price dropped a bit, my folks bought one, and any chance of me going anywhere in sports (or any outdoor activity) pretty much evaporated. I became enthralled with games like Baseball Stars, Tecmo Bowl and Captain Commando. For the sports games, I would create “seasons” in a notebook and keep statistics far before those modes existed in the actual games.

As far as home systems, I ascended the technological ladder as the systems were released: Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Playstation, Playstation 2, PSP and the Wii, which was the last system I actually purchased. But the home system games were really just the mistress to the wifey position arcade games held in my life. An arcade was a place you could lose all day inside. I lost about five years. From early memories of trips with my father to the arcade in the basement at Weberstown Mall in Stockton to the first time I walked through the doors at Milpitas Golfland, I have a lot of fond memories associated with arcades. But it wasn’t until 1990, when I moved across the street from Golfland, that I became a regular at one. I was a 14-year-old boy, living a two-minute walk from about 200 of the latest and greatest video games out at the time, plus pinball and pizza. It should come as no surprise that I became a fixture there.

It was when the first Street Fighter II machine arrived at Golfland, sometime in early-1991, that everything changed. Crowds would literally form around the game while people were playing, mesmerized by the characters, the music, the occasional special move, and the competition that was ongoing. When the game first arrived, I think there were two cabinets in Golfland: one in each building. I dedicated myself to learning more about the game. I’d show up when the arcade opened at 10 a.m. and play the computer by myself for an hour before people started to show up. I wanted to know all the special moves and master every combo.

It got to where I started noticing a lot of the same people at the arcade playing Street Fighter every day. I’d associate them with the characters they used, their demeanor at the controller, and their style of play. Walking in, I’d wonder who I’d see this time. Would it be Mike Knowles, the affable bearded white dude whose Blanka was tough competition? Or perhaps Ben Danabar, the older dude from my high school whose Chun Li still ranks as one of the best I ever saw? Maybe Max Castellanos, the always funny, short and flat-topped Ryu player? Or maybe Kevin Nguyen, the super-quiet Vietnamese dude with the massive underbite who drove a high-end BMW and always had some porcelain beauty standing beside him at the game? Since I lived across the street, I was there pretty much anytime I wasn’t at school or sleeping. I started to learn what times of the day people would be likely to come around. It got to be my Cheers. I knew that no matter the time, if I went to Golfland, I would see somebody I knew, and who knew me.

When the Street Fighter II tournaments started in the summer of 1991, I really met the great players. The tournaments, which I’ll cover extensively in my next piece, were a big deal. Everybody who thought they were the shit at SF II came to play in the tournaments. The first few months, we were all sorting out the Milpitas Golfland hierarchy. Then, outsiders began coming to Milpitas for competition. On weekends during the late summer and fall of 1991, there were always a couple of us regulars at each machine in Golfland. We’d play against each other, talking shit and trying out new moves, but the real fun was when newcomers would come to test their chops. A couple of us would start trading off rounds as we picked apart our opponents. It was commonplace for somebody to run up on me at a game and tell me about how some new dude was ripping through a few friends, and how I needed to come get a piece of it.

When outsiders came for a challenge, we’d line up to break their spirits. And we would laugh when they got fed up and left. The rare folks that came and gave us a challenge usually started coming around more often. They either were accepted into the group as one of us, or they served as capable adversaries … foils that would come around for the competition. I came to enjoy playing some of these Street Fighter mercenaries.

After the glow of the state tournament wore off, things changed dramatically at Milpitas Golfland. Many of the Street Fighter regulars stopped coming around. A number of top players were thrown out and 86’d from the arcade for a variety of reasons. It wasn’t long before I found myself as the only SF II top-tier tournament player even allowed in what was our home arcade. At 14 years old, I learned that sometimes magic moments end and there’s nothing you can do about it. You just put your head down and keep moving forward.

Of course, with all of my colleagues now gone, I was pretty much the best SF II player left. My ego grew exponentially. I used to write little slogans on my tournament IDs demanding the return of my banned compatriots. What a snotty, little fool I was. Audacious to the core. And now, I was the old man at the club.

A new generation of gamers came to Golfland. I refer to these guys as the second generation of Street Fighter. Many of them learned how to play by watching us (the first generation) play. I mentored some, treated the rest with derision and continued to hone my craft. I started working as a game tester for the first time with Atari Games at this point, in what is another path my life took as a result of my Street Fighter career. I’ll write on a later date all about my four years at Atari and getting paid to play video games.

The new generation got their chance to shine when Street Fighter II: Championship Edition was released. In what was really just a way to squeeze more money out of the franchise was pitched as an opportunity to play using the four boss characters, new special moves for existing characters (Chun Li’s fireball!), alternate character colors and the ability for both players to use the same character. My high school chum, Quy Nghiem, quickly rose to the top of the food chain with his double-dizzy combos using M. Bison. He had the juice now, yo! Alas, he got a big head about the whole thing, thus completing the cycle that we had started during our heyday. And Championship Edition never had the energy that SF II had. Even in the large tourney they had at Golfland, the feeling was subdued. I don’t remember who won, but it wasn’t me. I finished somewhere in the middle, not horribly destroyed but not at the top of the heap anymore.

Championship Edition turned into Hyper Fighting and SF III, then we moved on to Mortal Kombat 1, 2, and 3 and Killer Instinct. My reputation among fighting game players meant that most up and comers were looking to take me down. I really was the only one left from the First Generation. These fools were maybe a year or two younger than me, but I was the crafty, old vet. So silly. I was always competitive in the latest and greatest game. I may not have been the best at anything after Street Fighter, but I was among the top 10 players in all the games I listed above. I certainly didn’t have the super skills on a lot of the games, but I managed to stay competitive and relevant because of my experience playing fighting games.

Once you reach a certain level on anything, you get used to a world where the baseline skill level is higher than with the general population. So, as you got better at SF II or other games, you began to expect a certain level of play out of people. The people who didn’t really know what they were doing, folks who banged on buttons and never blocked—they gave you bigger fits than anybody else. More so than people who had skills at the game. I tried to take advantage of that idea. I taught myself to play with an unorthodox style. I got into my opponents’ heads, thought about what they were likely thinking and made my moves. I learned to play characters nobody liked and exploited their advantages while people tried to figure out their weaknesses. Simply put, I evolved my play to compensate for my shortcomings.

Once I started taking myself less seriously, my visits to Golfland were a more social sort than before. I’d go hang out with the people who worked there, folks who by that point I’d grown up with. We’d bullshit the night away and I’d play games here and there. By the time I was going to college, I still went to Golfland, but playing games was really only to pass the time.

These days, at 35 years old, the most I play video games is on my phone or the occasional Mario Kart session. Every once in a while, I’ll get a few games of Street Fighter II in at my friend’s house (where my machine lives). When I start playing, it’s almost like I never stopped. It takes about a round to shake off the rust and perhaps a couple games to get my timing right. And then, it’s magic again. My fingers dance to imaginary beats as I press buttons to routines and subroutines just as I did 21 years ago. And Guile performs the most beautifully devastating combos you’ve seen this side of 1991.

And nobody appreciates the beauty but me.

Jay Peeples placed fifth in Northern California and 17th in the state in Street Fighter II in 1992. He was the youngest competitor in the California State Finals. Look here for his reflections on the Golden Era of Street Fighter II in the months to come.

Street Fighter II: The beginning of an era by Randy Ortiz

JPSF2I was an awkward 14-year-old boy who lived across the street from an arcade. I wasn’t used to this kind of pressure. I tried to play it cool, but the sweat-soaked Chicago Bulls short set I was wearing screamed that this was, in fact, my first rodeo. I was sitting next to a friend—a guy at least 15 years my senior named Syrus. I was pretty sure he was better than me. No, I knew he was better than me. But here we were, tied at one match and one round each with less than five seconds to destiny in the Round of 32 at the Northern California Street Fighter II Finals.

Syrus was playing with Guile, the most powerful character in the game, and I was Dhalsim, the only true Achilles’ heel for a masterful Guile. The sound of Guile’s Sonic Boom still rings in my ears, eyes darting between that spinning projectile and a clock that wouldn’t tick fast enough. 3. Sonic Boom approaching and Guile following. 2. Decision made to hold out for an energy victory when time elapsed. 1. Impact. I block the Sonic Boom and at about the same time, Guile backdrops my character as time expires. The game is over. And yet, somehow, I am victorious. My young life is going to take an amazingly unexpected turn.

* * *

Released in 1991, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior was an instant arcade sensation. It literally revolutionized arcade gaming and set the stage for every fighting game that followed. SFII was the first game where you spent more time playing against other players than the artificial intelligence of the computer. Outside of sports games like Cyberball (a personal favorite) or Arch Rivals, this kind of virtual tête-à-tête was unheard of. Now, we could play with our friends and against our friends. It wasn’t long before we realized that this competition was not only entertaining, it was extremely addictive. Following the path of Ryu and Ken, the gi-wearing protagonists from the first Street Fighter—a somewhat clunky game that was fun to watch but a bitch to play—Street Fighter II featured an additional six characters to choose from: the super fast and leggy Chun Li, sumo wrestler E. Honda, Amazonian beast Blanka, Russian bear wrestler(!) Zangief, American soldier Guile, and the Indian yogi, Dhalsim. Much like its predecessor, SFII was simply a button masher with an occasional accidental special move for the first few months until we learned the strengths, weaknesses and special powers of each character.

Much like a first kiss, I still remember the first time I played the game that was to become a large part of my life. When I walked into the arcade, I saw a crowd of people around the machine. Arcade tokens had been placed along the cabinet signifying that somebody had next, and next after that, and next after that. When my turn finally came, I picked the character that looked the most ferocious: Zangief. Obviously, at this point I was unaware that he was likely the most difficult character to play as well. So after a short time of banging on buttons, my dear comrade was dispatched by the thousand hands of the rotund E. Honda. There are no drugs on this planet that can hook you as fast as I was hooked to that game. I had chased the proverbial dragon and I wanted more.

And I would get it … oh, would I get much more of that dear game. My life was a blur of sleep, school and Street Fighter for the next four years of my life. From mastering my first character (Blanka) to playing in local tournaments and rubbing elbows with a cast of unsavory characters to a trip in 1992 to La Jolla to play in the California Street Fighter II State Finals Tournament along with the 31 other best players in the state, it’s hard to think about my high school years without SFII entering my mind. Street Fighter became part of my existence, a universal constant. In retrospect, I have mixed feelings about that. But at the time, I was finally good at something that mattered (to me, anyway). I was living in the Silicon Valley—the epicenter of Street Fighter II competition in the United States—and I unexpectedly found myself in the middle of something monumental, something far bigger than I had ever experienced in my short life. And I was good. Oh damn, was I good.

* * *

When the match ended, Syrus and I sat and stared at the screen dumbfounded. Dhalsim lay in a crumpled heap on the ground, yet Guile stood holding his face in defeat. The crowd that had gathered around us was yelling and screaming, but it all faded into white noise. I’ve been told that in a viewing area outside the playing room where all the games were being streamed onto monitors, people were floored by the ending. I had two slivers more energy than Syrus with five seconds left. His Guile threw a Sonic Boom and I blocked it, taking off one sliver of energy, and he backdropped me. But the timer expired while the backdrop was occurring. So when my Dhalsim was smashed to his death on the ground, the match was already over. I had won by a single sliver of energy in the most unlikely of scenarios.

My head was spinning. I shook Syrus’ hand and high-fived some of my friends on the way out of the playing room. I stumbled into an unoccupied corner of a large room, put my head in my hands and cried. At the time, it was the most momentous occasion of my then-short life. Though I had not yet secured my place in the state finals (Top 8 finishers got plane tickets), I already knew it was going to happen. I haven’t thought about that moment in a long time, and I just realized it still gets me a little misty-eyed. I was 14 years old and I was on top of the Street Fighter world. Fucking mindboggling.

* * *

I’ll be writing here regularly over the next few months about my experiences during the Golden Era of Street Fighter II, from the major players and their quirks to the big tournaments, the pros and cons of liquor store gambling to my time working as a game tester for Atari, and SF II’s indelible impact on the gaming world.

Until next time, you must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.

 

Jay Peepz placed fifth in Northern California and 17th in the state in Street Fighter II in 1992. He was the youngest competitor in the California State Finals. Look here for his reflections on the Golden Era of Street Fighter II in the months to come. 

Street Fighter 2... Lest We Never Forget by Randy Ortiz

WGMSF2_ACIt was 1991 and video games was all that mattered, well that and comic books, baseball cards and Wizard magazine. I was on my way to J.H. school one morning but decided to stop by the local candy shop that sold gummy bears for a penny each and load up ($1.00) with that and caramel cubes. Instead I got sidetracked by a kid running into one of the bodegas screaming "Street Fighter!!", it was interesting enough to go check out whatever he was blabbing about with a friend of mine. We followed the kid to the back of the store and there were these indecipherable yells and screams by a glowing arcade cabinet, the only one in the bodega which made it even weirder. When we got to the machine all we saw were eyes glued to the screen and characters flying around an amazingly colorful palette, it was like our wildest kid battle reenactments come to pixel life. "What the hell is this?!" I thought and stayed until I got my 25¢ fireball fix then got instantly hooked, obviously late to school and not caring that's when I realized the arcades would never be the same again.

That year kids went nuts over the game and countless of hours were spent learning combos with quarter circles and how to "YOGA!", everyone wanted to kick ass and select few were glorified in the arcade tournaments. WGM is going to be posting the stories of Jay Peeps, the youngest player on the tournament in '91 and he's going to be sharing some of his fondest memories from the tournament circles he frequented. His first post will be going live in a few so F5 the site in 5 minutes.

He'll be here for a while so let's all sit back, reminisce, and remember the great Capcom creation that is... Street Fighter 2. Also if this does well we might just have more nostalgia video game postings from a few folks including myself.

You can now view his first post HERE.

Dédale Puzzler Preview #1 by Randy Ortiz

We had opportunity to play and preview the new puzzler Dédale coming out in June (iOS, PC, Mac) by Sergey Mohov, a special little puzzler mixed in with clean graphics and cheerful music. It consists of 100 levels and a Dédale-O-Matic (random puzzle generator) mode with a butterfly attracted to colors, music and tiles. Our experience so far with the game has been aspiring to say the least and I found it to be soothing to play while a good amount of fun, the controls are easy and the puzzles don't stay easy which is a good thing. It reminds me of the DS game Polarium but with a fun laid back vibe and has the potential to become a regularly played game in the Giant house. As you guide your arrow around the puzzle in a point A to point B style the butterfly follows your moves fluttering about, the goal is to mark all the tiles without going backwards unless you have a double move tile.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/41718816[/vimeo]

Puzzlers have been a recently growing genre in the industry thanks to mobile gaming but has had it's rough patches, so this is a good sign that indie developers are taking more chances on the beloved genre and creating something new for us. The music is unexpected and very delightful with accordions playing while you pick levels and when you solve a puzzle "Victoire!", while you touch tiles it plays piano keys and once solved it goes on to play a little jingle. I would classify this game as a great time chaser and fun experiment with gameplay music, it works great on PC and will be soon testing it on Mac and maybe iOS devices. I will make 1 or 2 more posts on this game to just update you guys on the gameplay and mac version as well so stay updated! Overall it has been a fun experience and wouldn't really change much of it besides the semi-generic buttons to select the levels.

Below are a few screenshots of the game and a video for it. Enjoy.

  

 

Chiptune Music That Doesn't Suck by Randy Ortiz

Let's face a few facts shall we? Videogame inspired sounds can sometimes strike a bad chord even amongst fans of the hobby/art form but there are a few shining thru with good sounds that don't sound too harsh and I wanted to share a couple of recent findings (old releases) I stumbled upon. Check them out and let me know what you think, also feel free to submit and share the ones you have or like.

Madcatz Unveils Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick V.S. by Randy Ortiz

Just recently unveiled at CES by Madcatz is the new PS3 and 360 product line for the upcoming Street Fighter X Tekken game (March 16) and it's looking better than your daddy's arcade joystick memories for sure... and at home which is even better. It also has a connecting kit so you can join both arcade sticks for a true arcade feel while trash talking obviously. Check below for more images and some info from Madcatz themselves. I never really preferred Tekken (Panda...pssssh!) so I'm going with Street Fighter characters in this game. What say you my Giants?

The Street Fighter X Tekken Arcade FightStick V.S. features genuine Sanwa Denshi™ arcade components. The unique chassis allows gamers to join two sticks together via the Arcade FightStick V.S. Connector Kit (sold separately) for a highly realistic arcade presentation.

The Street Fighter X Tekken FightPad SD features a 15% smaller chassis than previous FightPad designs, inspired by the gaming preferences of legendary Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono.

Additional information is available at the Madcatz site.

Zen Studios Reveal Pinball FX 2 Thor Table by Randy Ortiz

Zen Studios just released the last table in the 4 Pack Marvel: Vengeance and Virtue Table set, it's our friendly hammer wielding neighbor also known as Thor the God of Thunder. We have been enjoying Pinball FX 2 for a long time and it's one of the few pinball games that gets it, everything down to mechanics, physics and interaction with the table is spot on and tons of fun. Check the trailer below and be sure to download this for Xbox360 and PS3, it will be available for download on December 13 on PSN and December 14 on XBLA.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_T4ilJu7dc[/youtube]

Random's Mega Ran 10 Does Gamers Justice by Randy Ortiz

Video game rap hasn't really grown on me with the exception of a select few tracks here and there, but 'Mega Ran 10' is on a whole new level and strays FAR away from that awkward "Nerdcore" mess. Mega Ran aka Random's 'Mega Ran 10' carries the Giant approval stamp and shows that my video game hobby which I hold dear can co-exist in total harmony with Hip-Hop and not feel TOO geeky/out-of-place like that emcee in the G4 commercials... yikes! I've been following Random for quite some time now and for unknown reasons never bought any music from him until now, his whole presentation brings awesome nostalgic thoughts and looks dope thanks to the art of Thor Thorvaldson, Jr. The album which is inspired by the soundtrack of Mega Man 10 will be easily enjoyed by fans of the hobby/art and music genre, especially if you're fond of the lil blue wonder by Capcom or have strong nostalgic (guilty) memories. My favorites are Lookin' Up, A Hero's Lament, The Day The Robots Took Over, Pump It Up!, Now Hiring, Mega Man Forever, and The big Chill but I honestly rather listen to the album as a whole instead of picking and playing a few tracks. It's safe to say that I got no problem playing this album out and basking in its geekdom to folks that don't even like video games, usually you reserve that type of music for when you're driving alone haha. The track "Pump It Up" felt like a good Hip-Hop house party and I can see folks yelling "ohhh yes!!!" with that dance floor full o' people grooving to it... just wanted to say that. There was one track that bothered me a bit and it was "Ten," it started fantastic but that hi-hat'ish sound was way too loud and overpowered his lyrics because it made me focus in on that tsst, tsst, tssttst(!!) instead but that's my only complaint overall. Overall you can tell they enjoyed making this album (over a year) because it's flat-out fun and good Hip-Hop, who knew 8-Bit could be this nod-worthy in 2011?

Thanks for giving us gamers another artist to turn to and letting people know it isn't just about socially inept guys living inside their minds rhyming about WoW or (Insert sports game that uses licensed tracks), you guys created something awesome that anyone can enjoy. Random does a great service to gamers and emcees with 'Mega Ran 10' while feeding us sweet pixels of 8-Bit ear-candy that makes you wanna take out that NES for another blast or two. I will be looking forward to my signed poster and vinyl, let's just say I'm thanking God I got music and games to keep my mind off the waiting time.

Be sure to cop your digi album, CD, vinyl and poster below!

Pretty Lights Remix RUN-D.M.C.'s "It's Tricky" in SSX by Randy Ortiz

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_DPDnXMI5g[/youtube]EA just released a video for their upcoming snow boarding video game SSX that will feature a Pretty Lights in-game remix to RUN-D.M.C.'s forever iconic "It's Tricky." The game is set to be released on February 17th, 2012 on PS3 and Xbox 360, not sure why there isn't Wii or Wii U talk but that's another story hehe. Let me know what you guys think about this dubstep version, I'm not sure if I like it yet since it's such a drastic change from the original... so far it sounds like it can add good atmospheric qualities to the game.

Rockstar Games Preview of Max Payne 3 En Bom Estado by Randy Ortiz

Yesterday we sat down with the folks at Rockstar Games for a preview of their upcoming (March 2012) Max Payne 3 game, they showed us the new changes and a great looking gameplay demo. This series is responsible for all the games that have used bullet-time, a feature that has become one of the first mentioned features in most shooting games. In part 3 Max is now living in Hoboken as a washed up cop then he travels to São Paulo Brazil as private security for daughter of a friend. Sporting a beard and a baldy look time around, you can tell that all the past inner conflicts and problems have aged ol Max down a bit. The graphics are pretty amazing and felt near seamless from the transition of cutscenes to live gameplay, they mixed the old graphic novel style with the new models so gone are the painted stills in between levels. During the gameplay we talked about them choosing Brazil and the individual motion capture implementation for each and every (yes each) character in the game which was rather impressive. The transition from NY, NJ to Brazil was fitting since São Paulo is the worlds biggest urban setting in the western hemisphere (Thanks Rockstar), so Max still feels comfortable with his new environment even with the drastic distance from home. Bullet-time is back and has some new features added to the list, now you can control the speed of the bullet for that ultimate cinematic feel along with a slow-mo kill shot indicating that you have killed every man standing. When Max lands from bullet-time you will see him use his body as a real person would to soften the fall, he will also have what seems to be 360 degree control when shooting while in that mode and it looked fantastic. As far as the music is concerned they told me that unfortunately no details can be leaked yet but to expect what they've been doing from their recent games (very interested in this) to be present.

The graphics are looking really good (360 demo) so far and the motions are realistic, you can see Max use his body weight to shift running from one side to the other. The typical look in games this generation for humans is the shiny (kind of annoying) plastic models, I'm happy to report that it all looks pretty natural and Max's model looks lifelike without those nasty polygon issue connecting arms to shoulder that we've seen. The demo started in his apartment and ends with a frantic gun fight with a local mobster because Max recently killed his son, so lovers of that noir classic feel rest easy knowing you will see the grit here in full bloom or shall I say shadow. Overall it was a great experience and having the time to talk about the new location, features and changes was excellent, the game is shaping up to be a must buy from what I saw yesterday. I'd like to thank the Giants at Rockstar Games for taking the time out to show us the game and discussing what's going on, stay tuned for Max Payne 3 my people cause its gonna be a good one.

It was interesting to see where they were going to place Max since the life or lack of and family that he had is no where in sight, I feel the location and job setting is very fitting and coupled along with the impressive look. It's nice to see older franchises brought back with better original concepts and not just stick to cookie cutter storytelling... then again it's Rockstar we're talking about, they usually push those right buttons in the end. The game is scheduled to come out for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 on March 2011. I will be getting the 360 version myself after seeing it in action, also props to the folks at Rockstar for hooking it up with the swag and staying Giant.

For more information visit the Official Max Payne 3 site.

Happy 25th NES! by Randy Ortiz

Today marks the 25th anniversary of when Nintendo unleashed the beast that was and is the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), and the start of my glorious videogame addiction/craze/hobby/gamehead life. Released October 18, 1985 here in the United States it made kids go absolutely insane (or shall I say parents), and the way it took storm of the country was no small feat by revitalizing the videogame industry after the big crash. Kids went into a zombie like state seeing the 8-Bit pixels move about and wonder what they would've done if this never came out. I myself was totally mesmerized and soon became one of Nintendo's rabid fans (still am) that would defend the company like if they sent me a check! Your not here for white paper facts so I'm going to spare you the technicals and give it to ya '85 style from my eyes.

As I go nuts watching a Nintendo commercial on TV one day in '85, my sister passes by and goes "whoa what the heck is that?!" I proceed to my uberdork fanboy level 100 and give her all the explosive details anyway I could at 5yrs old... she leaves with a simple "ahh ok cool." Disappointed that she didn't see this as the second coming of Christ, I proceeded to plan how to approach my parents to tell them I wanted this fantasmical 'thing' AND get it. Totally strategical down to the time I was going to ask for the NES, I walk like a lil soldier to my mom and let her know the deal and then my dad walks in and I explain everything all over again. Slightly stone-faced as most old school latino parents would be with something electronic they leave it at a simple "we'll see."

I thought I was loosing it... was I really seeing the blah reactions of my sister and parents? Did they not think it was awesome-o like me, am I seeing something they are not? Regardless I pipe down and continued to eat my Beefaroni (used to love it) thinking how the hell am I going to get this NES I saw. I was only 5 so there was only soo much you can do and I tried the I might never get it so whatever attitude, it actually went well and I sort of moved on until next week. Now fast forward to school on Monday I couldn't escape it because now tons of kids had it, and I didn't so yeah school was a lot less fun than it already was.

The following day my sister randomly picks me up from school and takes me to Woolworth's on 181st and buys me the damn thing... holy crap I couldn't believe it. I actually had the magical box in my hand and proceeded to walk home with a skip in my step. As soon as I get home my mom said they acted like that because my sister already knew about it, said she was going to buy it for me and didn't want to give it away. I carefully opened the box marveling at the parts for a few and hooked that sucker up to the 13in TV I had in my room. Hyped like a mofo I played for 4 hours glued to my chair until it was time to go to bed (school night), funny enough I was woken up at 1AM to see my mom and sister playing it!!!! That day sparked something in me and is still lit to this day, forever a game head because of that one gray box... thanks Nintendo.

Tap the vein cause it feels soo good.