Sunday, December 20, 2009

ALL SYSTEMS GO! for Space Shuttle Max!

Sunday, December 20, 2009 View Comments
ALL SYSTEMS GO! Space Shuttle Max Guaranteed to Thrill Park Goers this Holiday Season!
Enchanted Kingdom (EK), the country’s first and only world-class theme park, continues to thrill Park goers this holiday season with the launch of its newest ride, the Space Shuttle Max.


Over the past 14 years, the Space Shuttle became an icon for Enchanted Kingdom. Countless guests have gone through its spine-tingling loops and jaw-dropping speed as it created unique and memorable experiences for the guests with every cycle. The number of years of operation, however, had taken its toll on the ride and by the end of last summer, the attraction necessitated a major upgrade so that it can be good as new and even better!

The whole train was replaced with the latest available model, the Vekoma Mark 1212 train and coaches from Holland. The new design will give riders a greater feeling of space, as the body is more open, affording a more exciting experience. It has a more comfortable ergonomic seating position and a state-of-the-art automated harness system.



The new system takes into consideration the size and body mass of the rider resulting in a more comfortable experience. Also, the hydraulically operated harness system is controlled by the ride operator and need not be lowered or lifted manually by the ride attendants. As a safety feature, the ride system will not function if any of the harnesses are not locked.


A smoother ride is expected of the Space Shuttle Max because of the way it is attached to the track with better-controlled movements. Vibration will be at a minimum, with the train and coaches having fewer welds and whose axles are milled from solid high-grade steel billets.

Adding to the smoother rides is an entirely new braking system that is an industry and world’s first. EK’s Space Shuttle Max is the first Boomerang-type roller coaster to be installed with a magnetic braking system, replacing the previous pneumatic one and should result in a more gentle experience of braking, reducing the sudden jerk passengers normally experience.

"We are proud to present the new Space Shuttle Max in time for the holidays. The
highly-awaited ride will be very much welcomed by the huge crowd we are
expecting this season. EK will be filled again with the sound of the ride and
the screams of delight from its riders,"
said Mario O. Mamon, EK’s President and Chairman.



Come to Enchanted Kingdom where the magic stays with you! From now to January 3, 2010, we are open daily from 10AM to 12MN Fireworks Display at 10PM.
Enchanted Kingdom is located at the City of Santa Rosa, Laguna. For more information you may visit http://www.enchantedkingdom.ph/ or call 843-6074 to 76 or 830-2111 to 16.

************************
For more details, contact:
MYLA MIRANDA-CAMMAYO
Manager – Corporate Communications
ENCHANTED KINGDOM
G/F The Biltmore Condominium,
102 Aguirre St. Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel. No. (632) 830-2111 to 16
Mobile: (63920) 9028475
mylacammayo@gmail.com

ZORB WATER BALL MAKES A SPLASH AT ENCHANTED KINGDOM

Guests have another reason to visit Enchanted Kingdom as the country’s first and only world-class theme park opens its latest attraction, the Zorb Water Ball.

During the 1980’s, a sports club from Auckland, New Zealand was inspired by a hamster ball to construct a giant sphere with a gimbal arrangement supporting two deck chairs inside. Human spheres have been depicted in mass media since 1990 when a reality show first aired the idea in the form of steel balls.

In 1994, Dwane van der Sluis and Andrew Akers conceived the idea for a type of sphere in Auckland, New Zealand, calling their invention the "Zorb"

Also known as walk-on-water-ball or WOW ball, it is a double-sectioned plastic sphere about 2.5 meters in diameter that can carry a flat weight of 150 lbs. The said ball is made from super resilient material called thermoplastic polyurethane that allows a human occupant to travel on shallow water.

Most of the balls have straps to hold the rider in place, while Zorb balls leave its rider free to walk the sphere around or be tossed about freely at a secluded part of the Rio Grande Rapids near the Eldar’s tent at Spaceport Zone. For only P50, you can enjoy this unique experience for 5 minutes!

Come to Enchanted Kingdom where the magic stays with you! From now to January 3, 2010, we are open daily from 10AM to 12MN Fireworks Display at 10PM.
Enchanted Kingdom is located at the City of Santa Rosa, Laguna. For more information you may visit http://www.enchantedkingdom.com.ph/ or call 843-6074 to 76 or 830-2111 to 16.
***********************************
Mikco B. Maiquez
Marketing Services Associate - Corporate Communications
ENCHANTED KINGDOM, INC.Unit 1B, The Biltmore Condominium
102 Aguirre St., Legaspi VillageMakati CityTel. No. 812-7232
Fax No. 812-7118Mobile No. +6391756-MIKCO / 091756-64526
Email: mikco.maiquez@gmail.com

ENCHANTED KINGDOM’S MAGICAL CHRISTMAS 2009

Enchanted Kingdom (EK), the Philippines' first and only world-class theme park, invites all young and young-at heart to be part of its dazzling Christmas celebration. Watch how days come more and more sparkling and joyous as the holidays come to unfold!

The holiday spirit will fill the air as celebrities Alfred Vargas (December 19), Dimples Romana (December 26) and Rez & Cai Cortez (December 27) narrate the story of the first Christmas entitled "Journey of Love and Hope". This walking Belen, coupled with choirs from various schools and churches, will surely captivate hearts with holiday carols and melodies.

Be wowed to see our 10ft. Santa on Stilts from December 19- 27!
Do not miss EnchantĂ© Christmas Musical where EK’s homegrown talents entertain park goers with Yuletide performances (all weekends starting December 12).

Feel the chill all weekends of December at Brooklyn Snow Village & Boulderville Ice Village and watch the Toy Christmas Parade conquer the streets of EK!.

EK will end the year with a blast as it launches the new Space Shuttle Max on December 19! This Christmas treat for park guests will make everyone’s 2009 visit extra memorable.

Good music will accompany the Park’s merriments with Aiza Seguerra (December 20), Session Road (December 21) and Tropical Depression (December 22) taking the stage.

Come to Enchanted Kingdom where the magic stays with you! From now to January 3, 2010, we are open daily from 10AM to 12MN Fireworks Display at 10PM.
For more details, you may visit http://www.enchantedkingdom.ph/.


*********************************
For more details, contact:
MATT ANJELO DE GUZMAN
Officer- Corporate Communications
ENCHANTED KINGDOM
G/F The Biltmore Condominium,
102 Aguirre St. Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel. No. (632) 830-2111 to 16
Mobile: (63906) 732-8100
mattanjelodeguzman@gmail.com

Sunday, November 15, 2009

2012 the Mother of all Disaster Movies!

Sunday, November 15, 2009 View Comments
2012... "You think you've seen end-of-the-world movies? This one ends the world, stomps on it, grinds it up and spits it out. The movie gives you your money's worth" quoted from Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.



The End-of-the-world has never looked so Good! Eiffel tower swallowed by an earthquake, the United State's White House sumberged by a tsunami and then crushed by one of their own Aircraft Carriers. A destruction so massive it even changed the earths axis giving it new north and south poles. Hey you'll even see live animals being airlifted via helicopters lol.. (nope animal droppings were not falling from the sky) okay that's enough spoilers, now go pick up yer *** and watch the movie! oh and did I mention the US president having a Lisp speech defect?

You should not expect much from the movie's story aside from it being the End of the world. Everything else just becomes enjoyable because of the effects and how Earth's destruction is visualized in the movie.

This one's worth seeing on the Big Screen! (even if you miss the first hour of the movie) I missed the start of the movie because I got stuck in traffic and it was a friday! so yeah I got caught in one of metro manila's famous living nightmares.

Main Cast:
John Cusack as Jackson Curtis,
Amanda Peet as Kate Curtis,
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Adrian Helmsley,
Thandie Newton as Laura Wilson,
Oliver Platt as Carl Anheuser,
Thomas McCarthy as Gordon Silberman,
Woody Harrelson as Charlie Frost,
Danny Glover as President Thomas Wilson

IMDB Rating: 7/10
Runtime: 158 mins (2 hrs 38 mins)


Special thanks to TV5's 5max movies (http://www.tv5.com.ph/) and Myk Cruz (http://mykapalaran.blogspot.com/) for the Movie Invite!

Water found on the Moon!

Upon starting to browse today for a fix for my corrupted windows installation, my Google Homepage showed a Google Doodle with the Earth's Moon as one of Google's letter O. Quickly, I moused over to the logo to see its description, and to my surprise, humans have reached another milestone in Outerspace Studies, "NASA has discovered that water exists on the moon!" Water being the second main source of life here on our Planet (Earth), this just leaves humans with the task of bringing a decent amount of oxygen to open up a Lunar Base on the Moon. It won't be long now until we see another chapter in Space History. (but will still be like a few more decades or so.) For the complete information, see article below from Yahoo News.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A "significant amount" of frozen water has been found on the moon, the US space agency said Friday heralding a giant leap forward in space exploration and boosting hopes of a permanent lunar base. Preliminary data from a dramatic experiment on the moon "indicates the mission successfully uncovered water in a permanently shadowed lunar crater," NASA said in a statement. "The discovery opens a new chapter in our understanding of the moon," it added, as ecstatic scientists celebrated the landmark discovery. "Yes indeed we found water and we did not find only a little bit but a significant amount," said Anthony Colaprete, project scientist and principal investigator for the 79-million-dollar LCROSS mission. The data was found after NASA sent two spacecraft crashing into the lunar surface last month in a dramatic experiment to probe Earth's nearest neighbor for water. One rocket slammed into the Cabeus crater, near the lunar southern pole, at around
5,600 miles (9,000 kilometers) per hour.

Moon holds key to solar system's secrets. The rocket was followed four minutes later by a spacecraft equipped with cameras to record the impact which sent a huge plume of material billowing up from the bottom of the crater, untouched by sunlight for billions of years. "In the 20 to 30 meter crater we found maybe about a dozen, at least, two-gallon buckets of water. This is an initial result," Colaprete told reporters. "We are ecstatic," he added in a statement.

"Multiple lines of evidence show water was present in both the high angle vapor plume and the ejecta curtain created by the LCROSS Centaur impact. "The concentration and distribution of water and other substances requires further analysis, but it is safe to say Cabeus holds water," Colaprete said. Scientists had previously theorized that, except for the possibility of ice at the bottom of craters, the moon was totally dry. Finding water on Earth's natural satellite is a major breakthrough in space exploration. "It's very exciting, it is painting a new image of the moon," said Gregory Deloy, from the University of California hailing it as "an extraordinary discovery." He theorized that "one of the possible source of water is a comet." "We're unlocking the mysteries of our nearest neighbor and, by extension, the solar system," said Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington.

"The full understanding of the LCROSS data may take some time. The data is that rich," Colaprete cautioned. "Along with the water in Cabeus, there are hints of other intriguing substances. The permanently shadowed regions of the moon are truly cold traps, collecting and preserving material over billions of years." Only 12 men, all Americans, have ever walked on the moon, and the last to set foot there were in 1972, at the end of the Apollo missions. But NASA's ambitious plans to put US astronauts back on the moon by 2020 to establish manned lunar bases for further exploration to Mars under the Constellation project are increasingly in doubt. NASA's budget is currently too small to pay for Constellation's Orion capsule, a more advanced and spacious version of the Apollo lunar module, as well as the Ares I and Ares V launchers needed to put the craft in orbit. A key review panel appointed by President Barack Obama said existing budgets are not large enough to fund a return mission before 2020.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Paranormal Activity "Most Profitable Movie Ever" with no Scary Parts and even no Ending Credits!

Saturday, October 31, 2009 View Comments
Movie "Paranormal Activity" surpasses the Blair Witch Project and is believed to become the most profitable movie ever!

Directed/Written by Oren Peli and starring Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat (bearing the same names the movie). The story begins with the couple moving into a suburban home, the couple then becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.

The movie's box office success has reaped a staggering 414,233 percent return on its initial investment. Reaching a Gross of 61.6m dollars on its first week!

Quote from IMDB.com
I finally saw it though (with the alternate ending, I have no clue what the real ending is. I saw the Spielberg suggested ending). This movie was amazing. They did pretty much everything right. The scenes were perfect for escalation, the length of the movie was just right. The way it was shot was very well done and everything seemed to have it's purpose.

One thing I loved about this movie is it pretty much proved to me that my scary movie theory is correct. That those scary moments in films make it all the less believable because it's trying to hard, but creepiness and suspense is really what gets at me and has a much lasting effect. This movie has NO SCARY PARTS. It's all just very very disturbing and creepy.

As you watch the movie you'll be wondering, "WTF, how did they shoot that?!" And as the nights continue in the movie, it just gets more and more disturbing. This movie is probably the best 'scary' movie I have seen in a long long time. You must go see this movie!
FAQs and Facts!
The director Oren Peli filmed the whole movie in his own home.

And no this movie isn't based on true to life videos/experiences. it was shot in a faux documentary style similar to the style of the Blair Witch Project movie.

The movie was just supposed to be released in 13 theaters in the US but because of the "Demand it" by Eventful.com, people were able to prove that it had to be released Nationwide boasting the "first ever major film release decided by you!".
Movie Details:
IMDB rating: 7.4/10
Runtime: 86 mins (1hr and 26mins)
Philippines' Release Date: TBD

This movie's a must for all Horror Movie fans and Intriguing enough for even those who hate Horror Films! I myself is very curious and would consider watching this film as well even if I really never enjoy watching Scary movies (don't like the side effect of having trouble sleeping at night) lol

Sources:
imdb.com
movies.yahoo.com

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Astro Boy, a Blast of Fun!

Thursday, October 29, 2009 View Comments
Last night, together with some blogger friends, I watched TV5's Special Movie Screening of Osamu Tezuka’s classic masterpiece, “Astro Boy” at Glorietta 4, Cinema 1.


Featuring the voices of Freddie Highmore (Toby/Astro), Nicolas Cage (Tenma), Samuel L. Jackson (Zog), Kristen Bell (Cora), Bill Nighy (Dr.Elefun) and Donald Sutherland (Gen. Stone)… “Astro Boy” is about a young robot (android) with incredible powers, made by a brilliant scientist named Tenma. Powered by a new technology called “positive blue energy”, Astro Boy is endowed with super strength, x-ray vision, unbelievable speed and the ability to fly. Embarking on a journey in search of acceptance, Astro Boy encounters many other colorful characters along the way and gains the strength to embrace his destiny. Upon learning his friends and family are in danger, Astro Boy marshals his super powers and returns to Metro City to save everything he cares about and understands what it takes to be a hero.


The 3D animation of IMAGI studios is superb, definitely at par with the movies of PIXAR. Matched with a light but still very interesting story, it was everything us Animated Movie fans and Astro Boy fans have hoped for. I surely wish this was released in digital 3D, but nonetheless, the movie is still an overall 10 for me. The story remains somewhat loyal to its Anime predecessor, which I believe is a good thing for the fans.

If you enjoyed Ice Age 3 and Up, I highly recommend watching this movie, I had as much fun watching this film as I did with those before mentioned ones.

Special thanks to Mike Cruz of TV5, and blogger friend Sire Arevalo for the Movie invite! =)

Movie Website: http://www.astroboy-themovie.com

TV5 Website: www.tv5.com.ph


Enjoy the Movie!

- Blitz

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tokyo Cafe (Modern Japanese Cuisine)

Monday, October 26, 2009 View Comments
"Koh-nih-chi-woh" or so the waitress says as she greeted us upon entering the Tokyo Cafe resto at SM North Edsa the BLOCK. I'm not really sure if it was part of the Modern Tokyo feel/theme of the place why she said Konichiwa at a different tone but at least it's better than the usual good afternoon. I wonder if they also say Ohayou during morning and Konbanwa at dinner time lol...

Anyway it was a day after our birthday, and after celebrating our birthdays with our own families last Sunday (September 6) we took our leave from work the following day and celebrated together. =)

We were planning to eat at Bubba Gump at Trinoma but it seems the place has closed down already, so our search for a new resto brought us to The Tokyo Cafe.

So what's on the Menu?! Well there's quite a mouthful, from Burgers to Pasta...

lololol

To Pizza and Parfait! They sure know how to define a "Cafe" tokyo style :)

lololol

They also have Soups, Salads, Smoogies and Crepes! The place is really worth visiting twice.
We asked for their best sellers and here's what we ended up ordering (most of which are labeled on the menu as "Must Try").

First we ordered the Creamy Ebiko Pasta P255 (Shrimp, Karashi Ebiko aka Fish Eggs in light cream). It was quite good, but was a tad bit bland for our tastebuds, probably because the cream was so light it doesnt really stick with the pasta noodles, shrimp is excellent just like what you'd expect from a japanese resto. The serving is also generous and is already good for Sharing.



Next we had burger steaks, Hamburg and Shrimp for P265, you have to add P30 for the rice though. The burger patties were good, its not that thick as how you'd see it on the menu, but still juicy. What sold me here are the deep fried black tiger prawns (tempura). It was great, juicy, fresh and tender. I also loved the Rice which turned out to be Jasmin, so that's why it was pricey lol.



Off to dessert! We ordered a Strawberry Parfait (P105) and a Japanese Cheesecake (P100), dessert here's quite cheap btw, costing around P90-105 including the crepes.



Life's full of surprises and so is their Parfait! Seeing the picture above, you might say, hey half of it is just cream, but once you get to taste it, you'd really wish half of the whole glass was indeed cream. The cream tasted like sweet icing but it has an ice-cream like texture instead of that of an icing. The ice cream was so delicious too, it has the flavor of natural strawberry, there's totally no taste of any artificial flavoring.

The Japanese cheesecake was very
different from its soft creamy western counterpart. Their Japanese version of cheesecake has a texture is similar to a sponge cake; soft, moist, and sweet but more firm and thick on the inside so it doesnt really get squished when you spoon it.

All in all the fruit parfait is the win! We would probably go back here just to order dessert and have our main course some place else lol. Well we still have many other things on the menu to try. :)

The Tokyo Cafe scores a 3/5: The food's prices are on the middle range but so is the quality of the food. So you basically just get what you pay for.

Estimated Budget:
P250-P300 /person

Branches:
Tokyo Cafe SM Mall of Asia (02) 556-0517
Tokyo Cafe SM North (The Block) (02) 441-0346

To check out the complete Menu please visit the High Resolution Pictures in multiply album. (Link provided below)

Tokyo Cafe Album: http://johnblitz.multiply.com/TokyoCafe

Happy Dining! Itadakimasu! ;)
~ Blitz

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

E.K. OK! - Enchanted Kingdom Otaku Kingdom!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 View Comments
Last sunday, October 18, 2009 we were invited to cover the Otaku Kingdom 2009 event at Enchanted Kingdom. Cosplayers were admitted to the Theme Park for free and so were some few bloggers! =)


The Enchanted Kingdom Office at Makati, near Greenbelt 2.

Us bloggers were picked up by a Van and left the EK Office at around 1:30pm.



Just after around 30mins or so, we arrived at Enchanted Kingdom, we were guided to the Guest Relations office to register and were given our Ride all you can Tags and Press Kits.


We were also given some Wizard Money! Horay! ^0^

Cosplayers were everywhere, enjoying the park rides and are always glad to pose for Photographers and Anime enthusiasts.


Group of cosplayers (left) and Eldar&Princess (right)

The weather was a bit crazy, with the alternating sun and rain every few mins or so. Nonetheless the Rides were still filled with people lining up all day.


Wheel of Fate and Space Shuttle (sadly it was closed for renovation).

After reaching the food court where live otaku bands were performing, I saw a familiar character from my line of favorite PSP games.. its Prinny! from Disgaea, a Slave Penguin from the Underworld lol...


And here he was, doing something naughty... well should you expect less from a creature of the underworld? lol


Asking Mr. Astronaut how to go to my favorite area in the Park "Brooklyn Place".

And here I was, in Brooklyn Place, where the Rialto ride is located. It's a ride where in you enter a movie-house like room, where seats move on all 4 directions (forward,backward,left,right), depending on how the characters in the movie are moving.



As always, the line was so long it will take you half an hour to be able to get inside the ride.



The video was quite disappointing though (Speed Racer), in my previous trips to EK, I really enjoyed this ride because the films that they were showing were in 1st Person view, making you really believe that you are the one in the movie, (ie: Piloting a spaceship etc.) but this time, what they had was just a race scene from the Speed Racer movie, it was like watching a Movie with your seats moving for no particular reason... (probably to keep you awake).

I really do hope they get a new Movie for this ride, or if not, just bring back the previous Movies that they offered in First Person View.


The Souvenir shop at Brooklyn Place (left) Flying Fiesta Ride (right)


Fountain in Front of the Theme Part where the Grand Carousel is.



After finishing our rounds at the park, we went to check whats available at the souvenir shops and then had a late lunch at the indoor canteen (Amazon Grill), I had Fried Chicken, Spag and mixed Veggies. Food here ranges from P70 to P140, they also have burritos!


Terminator&Robocop kids (left), Gundam Kyrios from Gundam00 (right)

Going back to the Space Shuttle area, the cosplayers were now asked to line up for the Group Photoshoot.



After the Cosplay awardings in the evening, we still had a few hours before the Van going back to Ayala would pick us up, so we continued wandering around the Theme Park, We went back to one of the souvenir shops to buy some stuffs.


Rialto Entrance at night

Our visit was just in time for the 4th day of the Sky Wizard Competition, where local Pyrotechnic Manufacturers vie for the title of EK Sky Wizard champion. (which where EK would probably order their fireworks from lol) Sad tho because they didn't mention the names of the Manufacturers. There were a total of 4 awesome fireworks display that night lasting for about 5 minutes each.


A surprising decent fireworks shot that I managed to take with my 7mp Olympus 790SW Cam. I wasn't really expecting I'd be able to take a fireworks picture with it that looks this nice.


Tada! And here are the stuffs that I got with the help of our free Wizard Money =)
A Wizard Pillow (P365) for my girlfriend Mich, and a Brooklyn Place shirt for me! (P300).

Many thanks to Gelo and Myla Cammayo, Head of Corporate Communications of Enchanted Kingdom for having us visit the theme park and cover the event. And also to Azrael for having us fellow bloggers join the event!

More Cosplayer Photos at my Multiply Album: http://johnblitz.multiply.com

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Final Fantasy XIII Trailer @ TGS 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 1
Thrilling combat, transforming hot rods, and enough drama to fill your average American high school, all in this Tokyo Game Show trailer for Final Fantasy XIII.




























































After the unwelcome real-time turn that Final Fantasy XII took and the fact that Final Fantasy XI completely doesn't count, I am more than ready for a return to more tradition FF values. This trailer is very encouraging. The battles look amazing, and there looks to be just the right amount of people screaming and reaching as their loved ones are ripped from their grasp. As an added plus, if all else fails, they've got Transformers! I can forgive a lot as long as there's something cool that changes into something even cooler included in the game.

Check out the video below for the full Trailer...

Final Fantasy XIII comes out in Japan on December 17, 2009.

Source: http://kotaku.com/5369386/the-epic-final-fantasy-xiii-tgs-trailer

The PSPGo! Sleek design, better gaming?

Smaller, easier to use and completely devoid of a disc drive of any sort, the PSPgo is powered only by digital media, a brave step into the future of gaming. But is it a future in which we want to live?

Loved
Pure Digital: The PSPgo is smaller, sleeker, better designed than its predecessors, but the thing that really separates it from all of the Playstation Portables that came before is its lack of a Universal Media Disc drive. Gamers will rely almost entirely on a WiFi connection to download pictures, movies, music and games to their system.

Granted, you can use the Media Go software and a computer. You can use the Playstation 3 and a cable. You can even use a Memory Stick Micro to put content on your PSPgo. But those are all safety nets. This device is meant for online purchases and play.

A gamer's main access point for buying content is the Playstation Store, a built-in option on the PSPgo's cross media bar. Once set-up, gamers can use a credit card or store-purchased redeemable cards, to get new content. The store, available on the Playstation Portable as well, is a well constructed digital shopping center that makes finding and grabbing the content you want a breeze.

Over the course of a week I purchased TV shows and games, rented a movie and downloaded demos from my home in the U.S., airports abroad and even the press room of the Tokyo Game Show. Getting content onto the device with a wireless connection from virtual anywhere was a breeze. And with five games, four demos, some music, pictures and a TV show and movie, I still had 9 of the 16 built-in gigs of memory free.

Accessing the content is also a breeze, with a folder for system storage and another for the Memory stick. Within each folder are icons for the games already installed.

The system of downloading, installing and playing full blown games is very similar to the iPhone, though the store is much better organized and the selection much more diverse and often of a higher quality than the iPhone's game section.

Feel: My more-than hour long sessions spent playing games on the PSPgo never ended in hand cramping, despite the device's smaller size. The portable has enough heft to keep it from feeling like a toy, but it's light enough to minimalize any hand fatigue.

The back of the features two slightly raised ridges which make clutching the go with your fingertips a bit easier while your thumbs dance across the front of the system.

The directional pad and face buttons aren't as raised and don't have as much give as the ones found on the PSP 3000, but that's something I adapted to fairly quickly. While the single analog stick is shifted over a bit, now down and to the right instead of below the d-pad, I got used to that quickly as well. The big issue will be with games that require gamers to switch quickly between that right d-pad and the thumbstick. The new location for the two will make that much harder to do. The shoulder buttons were far less clicky sounding and feeling than with the original Playstation Portable, but I felt that was a change for the better, not the worse.

The button changes that did bother me a bit were the Select, Start, Display and Volume buttons. All four have almost zero give when pressed. The volume buttons, tucked away behind the screen on the top edge of the system, were hard to find and use during play.

Overall, I found that for longer gaming sessions the PSPgo was a more comfortable system than the Playstation Portable. I do have relatively small hands, and thin fingers, so people with over-sized mitts may feel differently.

Look: Much sleeker than the Playstation Portable and both the DS and DSi, it is perhaps more apt to compare the go to the form factor of the iPhone. While the iPhone, unsheathed from any case, is about half as thick, both devices are roughly the same size. Both slip in a pants pocket almost unnoticed. In fact, I spent much of the Tokyo Game Show walking around with both my iPhone and PSPgo stacked in one pocket.

The PSPgo pops open to reveal a compact set of controls, but not too compact. While the screen is slightly smaller than the PSP 3000's (3.8 inches compared to 4.3) it wasn't something that stuck out to me. The only thing that I wasn't happy with was that the back of the screen reveals unfinished steel and a barcode when popped open to play games. The rest of the device is impressively slick.

Game Pause: During the course of any game you can bring up an option to permanently pause the title. This creates a save point exactly where you paused the game and allows you to turn off the system, watch movies and even play another game, without losing your place.

SIXAXIS Support: Using the PSPgo's built-in Bluetooth support, gamers can connect their Playstation 3 controller to the portable for full control in and out of all media and games on the system. While this may not seem very useful when on the go, it's a fantastic addition for those who plan to connect the device to their television when at home or to use the charging dock on their desk.

Bluetooth Support: The PSPgo's Bluetooth support means you can use wireless headphones, speaker systems and, yes, even the Playstation 3 controller with your portable.

Media Go: This software suite works with both the PSP and PSPgo, but it's a nice addition to a digital-only platform. Connecting your go to a computer with this software allows you to find movies, images and even your iTunes music to move to your PSPgo. You can also use the software to shop in the Playstation Store.

Hated
Compatibility: Almost nothing on your Playstation Portable will work with your PSPgo. That includes television cables, GPS, camera, TV adapter and of course your library of UMD discs. There is a hardware solution to get some of that to work, but it doesn't look very elegant.

The biggest let down of the system, and the biggest hindrance for those considering an upgrade from a Playstation Portable to the PSPgo, is the complete lack of support for getting all of those UMD games over to the new platform. While Sony initially said they were working hard to have a solution in place by launch, they recently told Kotaku that legal and technical issues prevented that from happening. They also seemed to indicate it may never happen.

While I understand there are a lot of obstacles to overcome in allowing gamers to transfer a physical disc to a digital-only platform, not doing so makes the PSPgo a very hard sell to current PSP owners. The PSPgo isn't not backwards compatible, it's not current game compatible for those nearly 60 million PSP owners considering an upgrade.

Price: At $250, the PSPgo is asking for a lot of cash for little more than aesthetic changes. The PSPgo's pure-digital approach to gaming is a big plus, but with Sony set to essentially cut retailers out of the game-selling formula, you'd think they'd be willing to subsidize the cost of doing that a little bit.

The Little Things: There are a lot of things going for the PSPgo, but there are also a few annoyances. The system, like the PSP and the DSi, is still virtually unplayable in direct bright sunlight: A big let down for a portable device.

The battery life is about the same as for the PSP and now, because the battery is stowed away inside the case beyond warranty-breaking seals, there's little chance you'll be able to buy an extended battery for it.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Sony also decided to change the memory stick type used in the PSPgo, opting for the smaller Memory Stick Micro, which means time to buy all new memory again. The good news is that you can get a 4GB one for as little as $12, though a 16GB one will run you $80.

The PSPgo, with an eye-popping redesign and no need for a UMD drive, is the sort of system I would love to see replace the current generation of Playstation Portables, but until Sony comes up with some system to transfer over all of those purchased UMD games I can't see current owners giving up their platform. The cost, both for the system and in terms of repurchasing games, is just too high.

For someone new to the Playstation Portable or even new to portable gaming, the PSPgo is an attractive option. With a price drop I could see the system flying off of shelves. The smaller, slicker design of the PSPgo is much more attractive and portable than the PSP and the promise of all future games landing digitally on the go is sure to eventually fuel the success of this portable.

If you're thinking of upgrading from PSP to PSPgo and have a lot of games, I'd say hold off. If you're new to the platform and don't mind the price, than definitely pick one up.

The PSPgo was designed by Sony Computer Entertainment and released on Oct. 1. Retails for $249.99 USD.

Source: http://kotaku.com/5369359/pspgo-review-a-peek-into-the-future-of-gaming

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The wrath of Ondoy (Ketsana); flood, rain and traffic everywhere!

Sunday, September 27, 2009 0
Major Cities in Metro Manila Philippines got wiped off the map as typhoon Ketsana/Ondoy brought down endless rain yesterday (Sept 26, 2009) which caused flash floods and rivers/dams to overflow. Here are some pictures of places around the Metro yesterday.

Cubao, in front of Araneta Coliseum... yep that's the roof of a car.


Loyola heights not really looking so high..


Makati Ayala, underground walkways become an "only swimming" zone..

more Photos/Videos at azraelsmerryland.blogspot.com

Two low pressure areas/impending typhoons headed for Philippine shores..



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