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Base Ball Bear

Music? Yep, let’s talk about music this time. Last week I started to watch the anime Toshokan Sensou. It is great (later I will do a post about it), but another thing caught my attention after the first episode: it was the ending theme song of the series, because it is exactly my style of sound. The song that I’m talking about is “Changes” from Base Ball Bear.

This group is a japanese rock band that presents some influence of the oldschool japanese indie rock band Supercar (disbanded in 2005). I like of Supercar and I’m really happy to have discovered another band that make the same kind of their sound. Even the formation of the two bands is similiar: three guys (guitar, guitar-vocal and drums) and one [cute] girl (bass-beck vocal). They have some influence of Numer Girl too; they are another alternative group from Japan disbanded in 2002. They had a pretty good and strong sound.

Actualy Base Ball Bear is doing a fantastic job and already is one of my favorite bands besides others japanese groups such as Garnet Crow, Do As Infinity, UVERworld and Spitz. They have songs that can touch you and making you feel great (at least, it happens with me). If you like good music, you need to know Base Ball Bear. Some recommendantions:

. Changes – My favorite BBB song. The lyric is interesting and the PV will make sense once you understand the lyric (google it to find the translation).

. Eletric Summer – I like the rhythm and the melody of this song. The refrain is quite good and the PV is… curious.

. Aishiteru – This PV is creative and the lyric (it is subbed) is just fantastic. But this translation is not so good. In the ending he don’t say “I love you, mostly probably… problaby” but “I love you, you… maybe”.

. Sayonara Nostalgia (live) – It’s all about Shouhei’s crazy dancing. Just watch it and believe it!

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I recently watched the newest film of Evangelion. As a hardcore fan of this franchise I think that’s is my obligation to talk about it here. But, first of all, for those who don’t know what is Evangelion, let me explain the basic in the next paragraph.

Neon Genesis Evangelion (Shin Seiki Evangelion in Japan) is one of the most influential anime/manga franchises in the history of the modern audiovisual art. It’s so important that, for me (and for many people) the timeline of the japanese animation and manga is divided in two parts: ‘before Evangelion’ and ‘after Evangelion’. Why? Because EVA is just freakin’ amazing! The TV series debuted in 1995 bringing a new level of complexity and inovation to the world of the contemporany art. For me, even now, in terms of art, there are few productions that can compared with Evangelion. That’s the reason why I feel obliged to talk about this movie here.

So, returning to the main topic, Rebuild of Evangelion 1.01 is the first movie from a series of four that has the objective to rebuild the original anime using the technology (and the money) that Gainax, the studio that produced the original, didn’t have in 1995. This film is an adaptation of episodes 1 through 6 of the TV series. While the most part of the scenes were similar to the original, fans will notice the change of some details – some sequences were completely rewrited, like the battle against the angel Ramiel. And, in the end os the movie, we wiil face a scene with a character that appeared only in the very end of the TV series. Because this I think that in the next film we are going to find a storyboard considerably different from the original; or so I hope (honestly, I don’t want to see the same story again).

As a conclusion what I have to say is: the movie is pretty decent and has some good material for EVAfans like me. I just can’t wait for the next one.

Today I completed Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, an on-rails shooter made by Capcom exclusively for The Wii. The console, unfortunately, will not receive Resident Evil 5, but, as a compensation, the Wii owners have the exclusivity of UC that, contrary to expectations, was launched as very good game; a high class title, in fact.

The game is incredibly fun and it was very well produced. It retell (with more details) the story of the past episodes of the series and add an extra episode, wich shows the end of the Umbrella Coorporation (something that was lost in Resident Evil 4). So, for those who appreciate the storyline of the franchise, I think that UC is extremely recommended.

In my case, I didn’t get the game for this motivation. I got it because I like on-rails shooters games. In beginning I was expecting something very simple but, for my surprise, I found a complex game with a big variety of scenarios, situations, weapons and enemies (the bosses are simply fantastic). We have 12 normal levels and 9 secrets ones; I completed the game in 4 hours and 38 minutes, but I still don’t beat 4 secret levels (I have some more fun ahead). In other words, Unbrella Chrocniles is an on-rails shooter game with a duration of some adventure games; and, most importantly, the title is fun from the beginning until the end. There is no moment where you feel tired of it because all the time the game is very exciting. To duplicate the fun factor you can play with a friend in a cooperative multiplayer mode.

So, that’s my recomendation. Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles is a competent game. It has good visuals, great challange and a semiperfect gameplay. The Wii owners may not receive their version of RE5 (what is a misfortune), but they still have great exclusive game from the series. So, if you have a Nintendo Wii, don’t miss the chance to play UC.

That’s right! Again I’m starting a new blog (the sixtieth, I think). Without presentations, I will start posting about a game that keep me occupied during this weekend. Yes, it’s based on a random american movie, but it’s not bad like almost all games based on this kind of film. In this case, believe it or not, the game is better than the movie.

The gameplay of Speed Racer is very interesting. It’s easy to learn how to control the car: just turn the Wiimote to the left or to the right. In addition you can do some movements against your adversaries (it’s called ‘car-fu’ in the game). It’s a pretty sweet idea that works fine here, making the title more fun e much more competitive. Yes, Speed Racer has a good level of challenge: the others racers are very active, using ‘cur-fu’ all the time – and sometimes it is annoying.

You will find a big quantity of circuits, but with similar visuals. There are only 5 variations of themes in this game (something like Excite Truck), and this is not a good point. On the other hand, there are a great variety of cars and pilots with diferent designs e characteristics. The one player mode is good, but if you want to play online, you can’t. The game has only an offline multiplayer mode, what is a shame.

In the technical department Speed Racer is pretty decent. The graphics are very well done: the stages has a fantastic draw distance with detailed enviroments; the cars has some great design and the game runs smooth, without slowdown. The sound is only generic, with generic songs and generic sound effects (but with a nice voice work).

Speed Racer is not a great title, but it has many good points and can offer some hours of entertainment for those who like racing games. It’s a good heating before the real big deal, the next F-zero game.