Archive for July, 2010

Ever had a Milo Dinosaur?

Ever had a Milo Dinosaur?, originally uploaded by mdelamerced.

Yes. What is pictured before you is a Milo Dinosaur. It’s a cold beverage made up of Milo chocolate with evaporated milk and bits of Milo on top. It’s the perfect beverage to order right next to the partially seen Char Kway Teow on the right.

You can try this at Shiok, a small Singaporean restaurant at the Fort.

Typhoon Aftermath

Typhoon Aftermath, originally uploaded by mdelamerced.

After being battered by strong winds last night, most of the main island is out of power. Good thing no big damage to my immediate surroundings but a lot of debris to clean up.

Xbox360 @ E3

I know these updates are coming pretty slow but they’re coming.

The Xbox360 had quite a showing at E3.

Project Natal is now Kinect
I knew there was something weird with the name Natal and apparently audiences did not warm up to the name which was announced to the public a year ago. It’s still pretty much the same and will still use the camera peripheral in order to track your movements. There’s no wand or wii mote to help the camera guide you so setting this up will be quite interesting. With that in mind, I’ll assume you can’t play this in a dimly lit room since the cameras need some light in order to track something it sees. The freedom in movement looks interesting with nothing in your hand to accidentally throw at your very expensive LCD TV. The list of games is pretty much the same as you would expect with motion control. You have your usual sports games but the dancing is a new thing for motion control since there is no floor pad. But is this new?

No, Sony had a similar device to this called the Eye Toy which was originally released on the PS2 and had it’s share of motion detection. Nothing new for Kinect other than the response time and the graphics. We’ll just have to wait and see when Kinect comes out in the fall.

Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360

Kinect Dance Central | E3 trailer XBox 360

There’s a new Xbox design

New XBOX 360 250GB E3 2010 [HD]

The new Xbox finally gets it right. Built in WiFi, 250 GB HD and Kinect ready. All wrapped up in a shiny black box. Doesn’t that remind you of another console?

But for most of us who might be buying this console, we already have one. How on Earth do we transfer all our stuff to the new console. You now can with this hard drive transfer kit for only $15 USD. You’d think they’d at least include it in the box.

Despite all of this the big question remains, has Microsoft fixed their dreaded red ring of death? I for one have gone through at least four consoles. Thankfully fixed by warranty but it’s the first time that a console actually died on me after all my years of gaming. Not to mention that it is the one console that all my friends and I share the same dilemma. It has died on us at least once.  It may have the most popular games but it is technically the worst console I have owned. Gone are the days where gaming consoles could take a beating. I try to limit moving the console from one place to another for fear of it getting broken. So have they fixed it? Reports say they have. Only time will tell. It’s available now for $299 USD.

But after all of their announcements, there’s still something missing in my opinion, the handheld. Yes the handheld. I’ve been waiting or clamoring for the Xbox team to come up with a portable gaming device to go up against Nintendo, Sony and of course Apple. It is the once space they haven’t made any inclinations of entering. Is it necessary for them to enter this space? Yes. Handhelds sell. Nintendo has sold more DS units than all the consoles sold by Sony and Microsoft together. I think it’s only a matter of time before they do. Maybe in five years, the same amount of time it took them to fix most of the Xbox 360.

More details about Dragon Age 2

Five Facts About Hawke In Dragon Age II – News –

As stated in my previous post, Dragon Age 2 is coming! Details are sketchy but details coming from’s exclusive access to Bioware is on the link above.

Backstory of the main character, you are named HAWKE. Yes that is your name. I assume this is designated to make the voice dialogue the same throughout the game. Hawke is a survivor of the blight, more importantly Lothering. Yes I did write Lothering. Lothering is the town where you meet Leliana and eventually gets decimated by the darkspawn. Hawke flees Ferelden and heads to the Free Marshes where be becomes the the Champion of Kirkwall. How you do that is up to you.

Now on to the dark side of the new game:

You will play an entirely new character in Dragon Age 2 unless this changes in the next few months. But the character that you can create is limited to the human race. Yes, no elves, no dwarves. Only human. Not being able to import your character is already sad, but this is even sadder for those who went through the first game with the other races.

On to the good side:

The main character is voiced. No more blank stares to your party members or to any other denizen on Thedas. No more empty remarks. Think Mass Effect conversations.

You can’t change the race but you can change the gender. Yes! Much like Commander Shepard you can either be female or male Hawke.

The game supposedly runs for 10 in-game years. Instead of the story revolving around a global incident like the Blight, the story is purely character driven. I’m expecting this to become like Mass Effect 2 but much much longer.

So will this be better than the first, it’s very hard to say. But if Mass Effect 2 was any sign, this should be a great game.

Dragon Age 2

BioWare | Dragon Age 2

From the initial site, you will create a new character to survive in Thedas. You start off as a refugee and slowly rise to power to become a hero! The character classes are still the same (warrior, mage, rogue) and the storyline supposedly spans for decades compared to a year in Dragon Age 1. There’s no mention on which characters from the original game will make it to Dragon Age 2.
I’m still hoping that I can import my character and equipment from the first game as well as the decisions I made . Please Bioware!!

Pre-orders start today. Main game trailer to be released on August 17. says the game will be released on February 1, 2011.

Leliana’s Song

The latest DLC from Dragon Age deals with the bard Leliana’s back story. SPOILER WARNING to those who haven’t completed the main game.


I believe it’s safe to assume that this was set way before the blight and the fall of the Grey Wardens but after the war with Orlais. You take the role of Leliana, bard by day and assassin by night. You arrive in Denerim with your mentor, Marjolaine and a small group of a mage and a dwarf to do a job that your were supposedly hired for.

If you have completed the game you would have known by now the events that led Leliana to join the chanrty. That is of course you completed her personal quest in the main game. Much of it is predictable but it’s still interesting to see how she changes through the events that follow.


It’s the first DLC which has recorded brand new dialogue. The add-on actually feels like a scene in Awakenings rather than a crappy expansion. But is this for everyone? If you like 100% completion, this adds 3 new trophies to you Playstation account or additional gamer points for the Xbox360. If you like Leliana, this is a good few hours of gameplay. There’s a new body armor for rogues and best of all, more game time with Dragon Age!! But as this places the game definitely in the past, I will still have to create a new game and see if there are any changes to the main game. I assume it does not much like the other DLCs do not carry over to Awakenings.

I think this is a good step for Bioware to release back story DLCs on the main characters as it gives a clearer explanation for their motivations in the main game. Unfortunately in doing so, the story becomes predictable and you just end up following A to B without any serious consequence to the main game. But from all the characters in Dragon Age, I’d like to see Morrigan done next.

So where does this stand among the others? This is much much better than the Darkspawn Chronicles which was just the Battle of Denerim but got the other side. A little longer than Warden’s Keep (but of course we only got that expansion for the storage chest), it’s not as character driven as The Stone Prisoner. I’d say this is on the same level as Return to Ostagar.

Available now on the Playstation Store ($6.99), Xbox Marketplace (560 MS Points) or on the PC (560 Bioware Points).

Yogurt of the Day

Yogurt of the Day, originally uploaded by mdelamerced.

Fling Yogurt
Tagaytay City

Php 85 with one topping in this case strawberry

Not as sour as other yogurts. Paired with strawberry, it tastes like strawberry yogurt ice cream. Additional flavors (such as lychee) available only on weekends.

I’ll believe it when I see it

It’s Official: Gran Turismo 5 Is Coming November 2, 2010! – PlayStation Blog

I’ll believe it when I see it. Back in January, Polyphony announced the delay of Gran Turismo to a later date. This was shortly after a 3D version hit the demo booths at CES. I blogged about the delay stating that 3D gaming must be the cause of the change of releas date. Apparently that is partially true.

I can’t believe they actually pushed the release date of a major franchise by nine months just to put 3D into it even though 98% of the people buying the game will not have necessary hardware to play it in 3D. Aside from 3D, they also added the famous BBC Top Gear test track among other things.

Sony will also be releasing a Collector’s Edition of the game which comes with a 300 page car guide, die-cast model of the 2009 Nissan GT-R, Gran Turismo key chain, voucher of in-game upgrades, certificate of authenticity and special collector’s packaging.

Will the delay be worth it? I think so. Will they earn the $60 Million they spent on developing the game? Over time probably. Have I preordered? Yes. Do I believe it will come out in November? I’ll believe it when I see it.

Endless Ocean: Blue World

Everyone wants to live green and clean and the latest incarnation of Endless Ocean just does that. The Endless Ocean series is based on diving into the ocean and literally swimming with the fishes. You set out to discover the ocean and what it has to offer. But this blue ocean is bigger and has lots more to do. In my review of the first game, all you can explore was the immediate water and apparently every living thing in the sea is in that one spot. It’s kinda hard to swallow which made Aquanauts in the PS3 more acceptable to reality.

Jump to 2010 and here comes Blue World. There are now more realistic places to go. You now get to dive in the Artic or Antartic, the Amazon river and various tropical seas all over the world. All the underwater wildlife as well as amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

Endless Ocean: Blue World – Trailer

The biggest difference with this game is that it also brings along the danger of diving. SHARKS!!

Endless Ocean 2: Blue World: Sharks part 2

I really hate sharks. Although the game tells you when danger is near, every hit you take saps more of your air. Once all your air is depleted, you automatically return back to the boat. This makes exploring very difficult and frustrating. In the first game, you get to explore all you want without any danger. Now, you have a pulsar gun to fend off every type of aggressive shark out there.

Endless Ocean 2 Danger Trailer

The pulsar has no effect on piranhas so you’ll need to feed them first in order for them to avoid feeding on you. The main game is as long as the first game and more. You now get to dive with new human diving partners as well as the dolphins you meet and train. Sometimes they may help you with some of the sharks.

There side quests are back such as guiding other divers and taking pictures of the fishes. They’ve added salvage requests along with the task of curating an aquarium. You can now decorate your island base or your coastal reef project. The side quests are actually longer than the main storyline and will certainly keep you busy. This game is about to be the longest game I’ve played on the Wii in a long time. If you missed out on the first game, this is a perfect opportunity to experience diving without getting your feet wet. The graphics are much improved from the last but sadly the music selection is not as free as before.

The first game gave you a chance to pick what music to dive with as the game loaded when you started diving. You also had the opportunity to load your own music into the game via the SD card slot on the Wii and swim to the tune of your choice. Now however, you dive to the preset music and will not get a chance to change the music until you’ve completed a number of side-quests to unlock that feature. Not to mention that the music changes from area to area and also when you are attacked. I wish they kept the music options of the first game. Instead this game has been more stressful.

Sure you get the heart pumping action of zapping sharks, crocs and whales. But the whole point of me buying this game was to relax and music is not helping. The improvements to the game such as the length of the game, storyline and areas to explore is great. The realism is good with “aggressive” aquatic life chasing you. But the only flaw I see here is that the music option should at least still have been optional and that there should be a way to experience it without being attacked. Much akin to the “no-fail” mode in Rock Band.

I doubt that this game will be ported to other consoles. As with all these aquatic games, I wish the characters talked. Bioware has poisoned my gaming experience that all onscreen main characters should have voices attached to them. I hope the creators of Aquanauts come up with a new game. And please, have someone talking, even if it is in Japanese.


Trauma Team

Atlus USA Trailer: Trauma Team

I did not go to medical school and for those who dream of being a surgeon, this is probably the closest thing most of us will ever get next to the classic game “Operation”

Operation Commercial from 1989

Trauma Team is the latest incarnation from Atlus. Currently the 5th in the series, two Nintendo DS games and two Wii games. I’ve played them all and this is the most polished one of them all. The first game came out for the DS on 2005 and it was hell to finish. At the easiest level, the game difficulty was set pretty high that once you reached a certain level, your patient will die. Frustration just came over me and I wanted to throw the DS right out the window. I gave up on the game until the Wii version was released.

The Wii version is a direct port of the DS game with some minor changes such an additional playable character and surgeries. The best part about is game is the lowered difficulty. Though it’s still challenging, it now allows you to reach until the last stage. The games focus on a terrorist organization using biochemical warfare to further their means. The first half of these trauma games is pretty straightforward with the usual tumors, gunshot wounds or pacemaker replacement. The second half is where the game starts to pull on reality. The terrorist pathogen does weird things to the patient with scenarios that doesn’t seem plausible. Add to the fact that you are gifted with the “healing touch”, this uncanny gift which slows down time and gives you extra time to work on the patient. But even with these unbelievable scenarios it’s still an enjoyable game.

Trauma Center: Healing Touch

Now comes Trauma Team. You don’t just play 2 characters. You now get to play five different characters with different specialties and brings a new angle to the world of videogame surgery. You get to work on different environments such as diagnostics, emergency, orthopedic surgery, endoscopy, investigation and of course general surgery. All the storylines will eventually unlock the final phase of the game and reveal the dark secret of the story. The wii remote is great especially for the endoscopic surgery due to the mapping of the controls. Orthopedics seems a bit too easy and the ER scenes are absolutely heart pounding where every second counts and patients keep coming. My favorite has to be the Dr. House situation in diagnosing the patients or the CSI situation where I find out what really happened as a forensic doctor. Come to think of it, it’s more Bones than CSI.

My diagnosis? This is the best Trauma Center game Atlus has every made. The story is believable. The surgical procedures is doable. I actually wish that the game was longer. Or at least could be extended with downloadable content. But since the Wii doesn’t have that. Maybe we can expect a port coming to the PlayStation Move? We can always wish for these things.