January 8, 2009

Rabbit Roundtable: First Annual Videogame Awards 2008 Edition - The Pleinnies


So here we are with our set of awards: The Respectable Rabbit Rewards...the Pleinnies. As always, our judgment bears hefty weight and surpasses all other critics by leaps and bounds. There ARE some notable exclusions that aren't even mentioned: LittleBigPlanet...and basically anything that was 360 only. None of the Thousand Rabbits have a 360. Deal with it. Some things we just didn't get a chance to play much...and the rest we just didn't give a fuck about. Again, deal. Anyways, let's set it off.


Most Fuckable Female; Not Love, but Fuck

edthefucker: That what's-that-bitch's-name from that ocean shit. Had that lifejacket. Definitely a fucking closet freak. Dolphin fucker fo sho. [Endless Ocean]

Kawaii Pattycakes: DR. NAOMI. DR. NAOMI. DR. NAOMI. [No More Heroes]

Killer Ink: Wouldn't know.

funny_bunny: ROSIE. God, I HEART YOU ROSIE! All that running around must give you SUCH a toned body! You can blitz me any day~ [Valkyria Chronicles]

Lavie Rhap: I assume we must choose new characters, or at the very least, re-imagining of old characters, making the cast of Super Smash Bros. Brawl disqualified by default. I'll have to go with Lea Nichols. But that makes me sound like some sort of creepy voyeur, doesn't it? [The Experiment]

nde: I don't know.

prettyprophet: Well, this is a hard choice purely because there's been so many games where you DO FUCK other characters: Tree of Tranquility, P4. Therefore they're obviously fuckable. I can't do the obvious; that's such a cop-out. Most fuckable of 2008: Sylvia Christel, that fucking loon. [No More Heroes]


1000 Rabbit Consensus: The ladies of No More Heroes.


Most Fuckable Male; Not Love, but Fuck

edthefucker: That fucking bitch cousin in GTA . Fuck him. [Grand Theft Auto IV]

Kawaii Pattycakes: TEDDIE. TEDDIE. TEDDIE. [Persona 4]

Killer Ink: Wouldn't know.

funny_bunny: I want to get inside Teddie and grope his stuffing out. [Persona 4]

Lavie Rhap: Kanji Tatsumi. While Teddie's winning charm is understandable and has consumed several Rabbits, I find Kanji's blending of embarrassment and bluster very endearing. Kanji, let's talk again in a few years, ok? [Persona 4]

nde: I don't know.

prettyprophet: Mao. That kid needs a good fucking. [Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice]


1000 Rabbit Consensus: The boys of Persona 4.


Most Fan-Fantasy Friendly


1000 Rabbit Consensus: Not only is there no argument but there's also no other alternatives. It's Persona-fucking-4. Does ANYTHING surpass the overall good will possessed by this semi-dating-sim? You've got Yosuke x Chie, Yukiko x Teddie, Kanji x Naoto, main character x anyone, schoolgirl idols, lolipop cousins (ain't that great, you incest-loving fucks?), rugged detective uncles (EVEN BETTER INCEST), neglected mothers, devilish nurses, the Strength threesome, the ever-hot Margaret, and MORE. It'd be easy to blame Pat, Ed, and Funny for infesting our minds with filth, but seriously, those developers? They fucking knew what they were doing. They knew.


Most Wanted to Drown in the Depths of Obscurity So We Don't Have to Hear Anymore Idiotic Fan Arguments/Masturbation Sessions

edthefucker: Persona 4. Jesus, shut the fuck up.

Kawaii Pattycakes: Fallout 3 is GROSS.

Killer Ink: Left 4 Dead.

funny_bunny: Persona 4! Like, get over it, YOU MEGATEN LOSERS.

Lavie Rhap: Frankly, no fanbase for specific games bothers me. Console discussion is more upsetting.

nde: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

prettyprophet: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Ew.


1000 Rabbit Consensus: Persona 4. Look Atlus, where's the fucking SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI IV? Don't go pulling a "let's wait until the next generation for the next core series release" shit. Oh also, MGS4 never ceases to piss us off.


Most Likely to Transplant Self Into

edthefucker: Valkyria Chronicles. Show you how to do a genocide right.

Kawaii Pattycakes: PERSONA 4 means LOTS OF SEXY SHOUNEN.

Killer Ink: I'd like to do paintings of sea life one day. So Endless Ocean.

funny_bunny: Siren: Blood Curse: so I can FIGHT ZOMBIES and EAT MEATLOAF.

Lavie Rhap: Farming in Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility. Ah, the pastoral life!

nde: Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility. City suffocates.

prettyprophet: Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI. I made myself in it and I'm a general of Wei. Fuck, if only I could do a coup...


1000 Rabbit Consensus: Technically the Thousand Rabbits have already been put into three games: Etrian Odyssey 2: Heroes of Lagaard, Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI, and Valhalla Knights 2. But for flavor's sake, we all would fit into Persona 4...probably even more than Persona 3. Funny's definitely Teddie, Pat's Rise, Ed's the TRUE KILLER, Ink's Naoto, Lavie's Margaret, nde's the main character again, and I, prophet, would probably end up taking Chie's role. You know, we've actually designated Funbuns' name as the main character's due to his hair, only for that idiot to have it cut. Funny, you fucked it up and now the main character LOOKS LIKE NOBODY.


Most Educational Game That Can Be Applied to Our Daily Lives

edthefucker: Spore shows that there's no god. Hey Christfuckers, suck on those nuts.

Kawaii Pattycakes: Persona 4 taught me to be smart and diligent and understanding and expressive and brave! Then everyone likes you and wants to CHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.

Killer Ink: As Persona 4 displays, even Shadows can gain souls.

funny_bunny: I learned to be responsible and family-ness in Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility. Then I learned that we must cross blades on the STAGE OF HISTORY. Then I learned that THE SHADOW SELF MUST BE ACCEPTED.

Lavie Rhap: I found through Left 4 Dead that our teamwork needs dire improving.

nde: Sharks and eels won't attack you in Endless Ocean.

prettyprophet: Valkyria Chronicles, as far as I can tell, is the only game to make a blatant comparison with the Holocaust. Guys, let's start making games that deal with racism in a less clumsy way.


1000 Rabbit Consensus: Persona 4. Who hasn't dealt with their dark side? Check this shit out, you face your other self and boom, you'll be able to summon demons, solve murder-mysteries, and score with a ton of people who barely know you.


Most Disappointing Game That We Knew Would Be Disappointing

edthefucker: Persona 4 is shit just like Persona 3. It's all mainstream bullshit. Fuck those bitches.

Kawaii Pattycakes: Fallout 3? THAT'S AN INSULT TO RPGS.

Killer Ink: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Epic, sure. Like Michael Bay.

funny_bunny: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King...WHY DID I EVEN BOTHER TO LISTEN TO PAT??? THAT FIEND.

Lavie Rhap: I was interested in Fallout 3 but at the same time quite wary. By the time I paid attention to it again, it had been released for a month. All in all, a lukewarm experience.

nde: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

prettyprophet: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Man, Hayter, you must have been pissed to deal with all that shit.


1000 Rabbit Consensus: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots sucked because it was an over-indulgent by-the-numbers wrap-up. Art? Fuck you. Oh ok, let us make some fifteen minute cutscenes of silted action where nothing really happens and when stuff does happen you feel so goddamn impotent, not because you're a decrepit geezer, but because the game just won't let you put a bullet in Ocelot's head since he has to keep talking and make stupid gestures. We had a feeling all this would happen and lo, it fucking did. Were any of us surprised? Hey, the ending sure was a surprise. They found a way to drag it out even longer and that was UNCANNY. Bravo.


Most Disappointing Game That Sucker Punched Us in the Solar Plexus

edthefucker: None. It's all shit.

Kawaii Pattycakes: Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice. MAO CANNOT COMPARE TO LAHARL. And I hate his glasses!

Killer Ink: Baroque. Too clumsy.


Lavie Rhap: I'd have to say Spore due to how simplistic everything before the space era felt. Things also become monotonous rather quickly if one does not develop non-in-game goals.

nde: Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. I wasn't really surprised though.

prettyprophet: Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness. Seriously could not play it. Fuck that stylus.


1000 Rabbit Consensus: Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Hey, none of us were expecting a new game; fighters are probably the least likely to go through any major changes. It's just that for all the delays...it wasn't enough. But it's still the group game of choice and the cutscenes in it beat the piss out of MGS4.


Most Awesome Game That We Knew Would be Awesome

edthefucker: None. It's all shit.

Kawaii Pattycakes: PERSONA 4.

Killer Ink: Persona 4.

funny_bunny: Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....................FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES: RING OF FATES.

Lavie Rhap: Personally, due to the sheer audience good-will, Persona 4 would be my choice. However, I simply cannot ignore Sins of a Solar Empire, which is my strategy, as well as overall, game of the year.

nde: I liked Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility but since there were bugs, I'm going Persona 4. But in truth, bugs were expected.

prettyprophet: Valkyria Chronicles. Yeah, I don't think I need to pimp out P4 anymore so here's to Squad 7.


1000 Rabbit Consensus: Valkyria Chronicles. Whoa, what the fuck? Not P4? Nah, fuck that, it's a sequel. We're going to reward some originality here; from SEGA, thank the fucking Moon Rabbit. C'mon guys, with HotD: Overkill and a SHINING SRPG...DON'T FUCK IT UP. Anyways, Valkyria. Persona. Get both or fuck off.


Most Awesome Game That Was Totally Inconceivable

edthefucker: None. It's all shit.

Kawaii Pattycakes: Left 4 Dead I really liked! BUT I DON'T PLAY FPS??

Killer Ink: Audiosurf. Addictive.

funny_bunny: Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core! Playing it was FUN. DIDN'T LIKE ANYTHING ELSE LIKE THAT BASTARD SEPHIROTH OR GACKT-FACE. Nonetheless, moi liked a FF game?? WORLD'S END IS NIGH.

Lavie Rhap: I didn't know a thing about Theresia and I'm very glad I didn't. Should be rather cheap compared to other DS titles; get it without reading any reviews!

nde: Prince of Persia. Reminds me of ICO.

prettyprophet: The World Ends With You...HOLY SHIT. A SQUARE GAME. Yeah, that's fucking right. No playa hate here, it's all about the games.


1000 Rabbit Consensus: Persona 4. To be completely honest, none of us expected this to be on par with P3. Rush-job to play off the fans. We were wrong and it made P3 look like crap. Props yo.


Blah blah, here's the usual list of awards:

Best Action: Prince of Persia
Best FPS: Left 4 Dead
Best Light-Gun: The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return
Best Shooter: (none of us played Space Invaders Get Even yet but let's just assume it's awesome)
Best Platformer: Bionic Commando Rearmed
Best Sandbox: Yakuza 2
Best Fighter: Soul Calibur IV
Best Adventure: A Vampyre Story
Best RTS: Sins of a Solar Empire
Best RPG: Persona 4
Best Turn-based: Valkyria Chronicles
Best MMO: Shin Megami Tensei: IMAGINE (default win due to none of us playing new MMOs)
Best Racer: Need for Speed: Undercover (default win, only one all of us played; PS: it's shit)
Best Sports: Wii Fit (default win, also shit)
Best Scary Shit: Theresia
Best Rhythm: Patapon
Best Sim: Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility
Best Visual Novel: (Funny: BOLLOCKS TO THAT)
Best Puzzle: Professor Layton and the Curious Village

Best Visuals: Valkyria Chronicles - Sega
Best Concept Art: Persona 4 - Shigenori Soejima <-head over to DOKUGANRYU
Best Music: Persona 4 - Shoji Meguro
Best Story: Persona 4 - Atlus
Best Portable: Newest DJ Max!
Best Co-op: Left 4 Dead - Valve
Best Co-hate: Super Smash Bros. Brawl - Nintendo
Best Zen: Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility - Natume
Best Fan-translation: Eternal Punishment 2: Innocent Sin

Best Character of 2008: Persona 4's Teddie, voiced by Dave Wittenberg


Best Game of 2008: Valkyria Chronicles


And there you have it. Feel free to argue with us all you want; we probably won't listen.

*Images from Be Your True Mind, Danbooru, and Google.


January 5, 2009

Rabbit Review: 2008


What's the 2008 verdict??

edthefucker: BEST FUCKING YEAR. Did 2007 have Twilight? Fuck no it didn't.

Kawaii Pattycakes: It had PERSONA 4, VALKYRIA, MOTHER 3 -- (and she went on listing a fuckload of stuff)

Killer Ink: I didn't get to travel as much. I wish I gone to Sydney.

Lavie Rhap: Well, I wouldn't say that 2008 had the best cap-off but since we're all sitting here together, I'd think of it as a good year.

prettyprophet: Fuck, I don't even remember anymore. Next year, just worrying about next year. It's gonna be FUCKING headaches.

nde: I could really go for some more champagne.

funny_bunny: HAVE A TANGY TWO-OH-OH-NINE!!!



Rabbit Review: Oxide 2x

Hyung-Tae Kim's Oxide 2x Cover

Title: Oxide 2x
Artist: Hyung-Tae Kim
ISBN: 4-7577-2095-5
Publisher: Enterbrain
First Published: January 2005
Format: Hardcover, 7.5 x 10.5 inches
Language: Japanese
Pages: 176
Purchase Price: $34 US
Purchased From: Yesasia
Extras: None

In November 2005, Magna Carta: Tears of Blood was released, published by Atlus. It was a spiritual sequel to Magna Carta: Phantom of Avalanche and may have had a successful run in Japan, since a PSP version was created and there have been rumors of an Xbox360 sequel. However, in the Western world, Tears of Blood wasn’t received as such, on the account of the banal graphics and awful voice acting. Ah, if I could stop there…but I continue. The Korean RPG played out like an unholy union of Shadow Hearts and Star Ocean, taking the best features from each series and throwing them out the window. The question we have to ask now is: what was the saving grace? The answer? There wasn’t any. But there was one mitigating factor: the artwork was done by Hyung-Tae Kim.

Tears of Blood Cast

Phantom of Avalanche's Adora

Recollect the mantra “sex sells”. If sales were based purely on that, anything done by Hyung-Tae Kim would fly off the shelves. It’s impossible to look at his art and not think impure thoughts. Eyes that would make you swoon, a trim figure, and skin-tight clothing that reveals ample thighs…bear in mind, this is the description of Calintz, the male protagonist of Tears of Blood. And as for Kim’s ladies? Voluptuous is the word. Masculinity, femininity, and androgyny; all blended together through the craft of Kim. Characters are poised and posed in the most captivating ways, as if being without flair would cause the collapse of the universe.

And so we have a book from Hyung-Tae Kim, an artist whose talents deserve better treatment than the aforementioned game. Just because a game is bad doesn’t mean all aspects follow suit, no?

War of Genesis III's Saladin and Beramode

War of Genesis III's Etudes Art

Oxide 2x is the Japanese print of Kim’s artwork from 1999-2004. There was previously a Korean release of OXIDE: The Art of Genesis, hence the ‘2x’ in this one’s title. It so happens that the Korean version of Oxide 2x, Oxide 2: Carta Numinous, has less pages than the Japanese since OXIDE covered Kim’s earlier work but contains extra art not seen in Oxide 2x. Slightly confusing, yes? Of course, that’s all irrelevant since the Korean books are no longer in print and the Japanese release is the only one we have before us.

Tears of Blood's Justina

Tears of Blood's Orha

The artwork isn’t in chronological order, with oldest to newest. Rather, it’s the opposite, starting with Magna Carta: Tears of Blood and ending at The War of Genesis III, with sketchwork to close. Magna Carta: Tears of Blood, known in the East as Magna Carta: Crimson Stigmata, totals 43 pages, with each page usually holding a single character. Exceptions would be the illustrations done for cover art, promotion, etc. This is understandably Kim’s most polished work in the book, as it is his latest. A wonderful addition is that for every character, their names, date drawn, resolution, and file size are included.

Phantom of Avalanche's Calintz

Phantom of Avalanche's Chelsea and Roffma

Chapter Two is 2001’s Magna Carta: The Phantom of Avalanche, released in South Korea and nowhere else. Curious to see how Tears of Blood’s Calintz contrasted Phantom of Avalanche’s. The 37 pages here are just like the preceding chapter, but also squeezing in a brief “How to Paint” guide. By ‘brief’, I mean that it is ‘exceedingly brief’. No words, just a series of small images showing the coloring of the character Chelsea. Not sure how helpful it is since I’m no expert on painting via CG. (funny_bunny: Look at the photo of Kim’s desk! I use the exact same pencil he does!)

War of Genesis III's Rien

War of Genesis III's Redhed

Pages 87 to 160, which are the next two chapters, consist of War of Genesis III and War of Genesis III: Part 2. Another series by Softmax; another series that I wouldn’t count on reaching stateside. Several of characters share the same page, possibly due to the amount of them. This is especially evident in the War of Genesis III section. It’s Kim’s most early work, but his technique isn’t all too different, so no worries there. Thankfully, Part 2 is mostly spared from that kind of formatting, as that’s my favored chapter. The remaining chapter, made up of 14 pages, is packed with various rough sketches, most of it from the Phantom of Avalanche section. Interestingly enough, the back cover of Oxide 2x advertises itself as having 50 sketches. I suppose that’s true in the sense that there are 50 individual sketches; they’re just spread out over 14 pages.

War of Genesis III's Judy

War of Genesis III's Embla

Oxide 2x is definitely an artbook to get. With the majority of it rich with Hyung-Tae Kim’s illustrations, what’s not to love? Hardcover, two-paged spreads; all of it very professional and clean. Really, all it boils down to is whether or not you’re fond of Kim’s art. As he’s stated in interviews, he is intentionally sensual and sexual. And I, for one, can applaud that.

Lavie Rhap is a freelance writer who contributes to a number of sites and zines using multiple pseudonyms. Once thought that Super Smash Bros. was a sequel to Super Mario Bros.

prettyprophet is hot-tempered hellion who is always right. Lead singer in a band that constantly changes names and only does secret shows (mainly because they suck).

Kawaii Pattycakes is a self-admitted otaku with thousands of dollars worth in figures. Bought all of “Planet Blood” because she hoped it would be done by THE Hyung-Tae Kim; was sadly mistaken.

funny_bunny is an aficionado of artbooks and craves sushi. Supplies artbooks and recipes to Lavie for reviewing and cooking.

War of Genesis III's Images

War of Genesis III's Etudes

War of Genesis III's Joan and Christian

Tears of Blood's Calintz and Reith

*Images from forgotten or unknown sources. May have been DGP or Hyung-taekim.org.