Tokyo Babe

On Vox: Scion: Hero -- Prologue

This is a story of our table-top RPG game in Scion in my character's POV. Scion was published by White Wolf Inc. and based on American Gods by Neil Gaiman. My character's name is Noir Valentine, an african-american mortal whose job is to assassinate people for living. She's 20 years old, lives in New Orleans and a Scion of Kalfu.

Scion: Hero
By Noir Valentine

New Orleans, Present Day

I’ve always been alone. Growing up in an orphanage makes you trust no one other than yourself. The teachers had praised my works and yet I didn’t let my intellectual talents grow. All through my high school life, I jumped from one trouble to another, joining in gangs and involve myself into their fights. I started holding a gun since I was 15, mastered removing and cleaning its parts at 16.

At 18, after my graduation, I ran away from the orphanage and drown myself in the on goings of the black market. There, I learned how to aim and shoot properly. Before long I was one of the best assassins that can be hired for a certain price.

I thought I know everything already in the realm of the living and the dead. It’s a dog-eat-dog world I’m living and I should be constantly moving from one place to another to prevent being killed by the same people who paid for my services. For two years, I’ve been living this kind of life until a mysterious job was sent to me.

The job was sent through an electronic mail, giving me the time and day of the hit. A picture of a man and the electronic receipt of transferred funds, including my airfare to the next state, are enclosed as well. This was the first time the client had paid me in full before I even finished the task. There was only one condition after killing the man, cut off his ear and deliver it to the client, the address will be given to me after I successfully killed the target.

With no questions asked, I replied with an approval and set off to the place where the job will be located. I arrived there 5 hours earlier than the specified time. I walked to the nearest abandoned building to stake my prey. I reached the rooftop via the stairs and positioned myself as I lay in wait.

Hours passed by and a lone car drove by and stopped right in front of the building. A man wearing a black suit with dark glasses and hat came out from the passenger side, and faced the empty lot across the building. The vacant lot barred with a wooden fence not higher than the man’s thighs and a “No Trespassing” sign was painted on it to warn intruders not to enter.

With the sniper scope of my gun, I got a close look at the man as he cross over the wooden fence, and identifying him as my target. His bronze skin covered his sweat as he assessed the place, maybe his 6th sense is working, and telling him something is off. I surveyed and noted that there is no other person with him. I went back to my target, and aimed for the head.

I hold my breath as my finger tingles at the sensation of the trigger.


A single bullet shot through the air and was the downfall of another man across the street. Packing my things, I immediately ran from the rooftop towards the dead body. No one is still in sight, but that does not mean that no one will pass by. As I cross the street, I grabbed the dagger lying in wait for my use for it inside my bag. Passing the car, I looked inside it, making sure that there is no one is hiding inside.

Walking towards the fence, I raised my left leg to get across the only barrier from me and my target. As soon as my foot landed on the ground, the surroundings changed into an underwater cavern.

In instinct, I held my breath, thinking that I might be drowning and my end has come. But as I let air enter my lungs again and again, I marveled at how I can breath underwater.

Examining the predicament I am in, I noticed that aside from the water and the fishes swimming around, the wooden fence disappeared as well replaced by the cavern wall surrounding the vicinity. The building where I shot my target has also disappeared.

The target!

I need to get his ear as the condition of the mission. I looked around but I fail to see the body of the man I killed a while ago. All in its place is a tall pillar with roughly 5 meters wide. Looking up, I didn’t see the ending of it and I don’t think there is any ending. Cautiously, I walked towards the structure; with my hand is still grasping the dagger in my bag ready for anything.

“You don’t need that, yet…” someone said, his voice sounded old and coming behind the pillar. I walked around it and saw a man, old enough to be my great grandfather, with a top hat and a cane to help him to move around. He was leaning at the structure, grinning like a cheshire cat and I noticed he was wearing dark glasses marked with symbols. His clothing consists of a jacket with matching pants that screamed fashionable several years ago.

“Where is the man?” I whispered.

“The man?” he asked without removing his grin. My eyes narrowed and searched frantically where he could’ve hidden my target. “You see him before you…”

My eyes widen in surprise as I look at him from head to foot. I remembered the targets skin, clothes and add to that the youthfulness that this old man is clearly without.

“Certainly you jest. You’re too old…” and that earned me a strike to the right shoulder with his cane. I didn’t even see him move away from the pillar, let alone striking me with his cane.

“What did you say?” an eyebrow was raised at this query.

“If you’re my target, I need your ear as proof.” With that, I grabbed the dagger that has been resting in my bag; its sharpen edge sparkle in the dimly lit cavern. Instead of trying to get away, the old man merely laughed at what I was about to do.

”You fool; you think you can defeat me? Hahaha”

“We’ll see about that!” I lunged towards him, intending to push him against the pillar and cut of his ear. That might teach him never to piss off an assassin. But as I reach the pillar, I pushed nothing but air and another strike delivered to the left shoulder, much harder than the first one. “I need the ear for the payment!” I growled.

“You don’t have to worry about it, you’ve been paid already.” He said, adjusting his glasses on the bridge of his nose.

“Just who are you?” I snarled, facing the old man, my target and my trophy.

“Is that how you greet your father? Very well, introductions should be made. I am Kalfu, the god of the malevolent spirits of the night.”

“What?” I exclaimed. I was an orphan, I was always alone and now someone or something is claiming to be my father. Kalfu was it? “Stop joking old man, I do not have a father, my parents died somewhere and left me alone to fend for myself.” I didn’t care if the heard the self-pity in my voice but it was the truth. I was utterly alone in the orphanage and after everything that has happened in my life, a person just strolls by and now telling me that he is my father.

“I am not old, not in a couple more centuries!” he said and delivered another strike, this time to my head. “I am here because I need of your… abilities. As you know now, you are a daughter of a god of Loa, a Scion. You have a part of my power, and because of this I need you to do things for me in this world. The Titans have escaped and there is but little time for you to be prepared and face their challenges. The war has already begun in our world and it would spread towards yours if you can’t do anything about it.”

“I am an assassin, not a savior.”

“You obviously don’t know the power that you have. Give me your gun.” He ordered. Without thought, I handed him the case. He whispered an incantation and the case glowed a bluish light which startled me. He handed me the case once again and smiled.

“That will bring your Chaos to you if you ever need it. And this,” he grabbed something from the insides of his jacket, another pair of glasses, with only one lens intact. On the lens, several markings are engraved. “…will ensure that the Darkness and the Moon is close by.”

Kalfu walked slowly towards the pillar, passing me the unique glasses. He then leaned against the cemented structure as if is strength is leaving him. Shuffling something from the neckline of his shirt, he produced a necklace made of string with a bone of chicken feet as the pendant. My eyebrows shot up as he motioned me to take it.

“This is the last relic that I’ll be giving of you. Shake it and a creature will be called and help you in your journey.”

I didn’t believe him so as soon as I grabbed the necklace, I shook the chicken feet. In my peripheral vision, I saw something red like blood. I look to my right and saw a bull, taller than any human being, with blood shot eyes and blood soaked horns that look very deadly to me. I instantly grabbed my dagger and prepare to kill it if necessary.

“I would like you to meet the Taureau-Trois-Graines, or commonly known as the bull with three testicles, he he he.” He said, laughing as if he just said an awesome joke. The bull just stared back at me as if made of stone, its eyes glowed like death waiting to kill.

“How do I un-summon it?”

“Rub its three testicles… It will return to where it’s kept.” Kalfu said and pointed at the back part of the bull.

“WHAT?!” His face doesn’t offer me any other choice and I can’t very well take the bull with me. With a resigned face, I walked behind the bull and rubbed his private parts, hoping that it would not kick me in the face for it.

“MOOooo” the bull’s response was and laughter was heard from the pillar. I glared at the old man as he was laughing as if there’s no tomorrow. “That’s… I didn’t… know that… you… would… actually do it… hahahaha…” Kalfu said in between his hysterical laughter.

I removed my hand from the bull’s private parts and stomped towards him, planning shake him until he tells me what I need to do. A hand stopped me from going to him and his face was suddenly devoid of laughter.

“Just shake the chicken bone again and he will leave.”

Following his direction, I shook the rattle-like pendant and watch the bull’s solid form disintegrate into thin air, as if no living creature was standing there in the first place.

“Go to San Francisco, they need you there.” Kalfu whispered.

“And how do you propose I get there?” I asked, a single eyebrow rose, challenging his power to do me a favor. The last thing I remember about him was his grin, and with a flick of his hand, everything blurred.

Originally posted on

Tokyo Babe

On Vox: The World Ends With You: A Game Review

At first glance, the name of Square Enix captures your eye and will probably say that it might be another run-of-the-mill RPG game like Final Fantasy XXX, but much to my surprise, the game is nowhere near it. When Square Enix and Jupiter, the group that created Kingdom Hearts for PS2 decided to create another game, they had created something that is an out-of-the-box experience that only the Nintendo DS console can pull off.

The World Ends With You may be one of the best games that came out this year, but it still has the elements of the memorable RPG out there. The loner protagonist, the bubbly love interest, another boy with a bad-ass image then add another mysterious person and a surprising ending. But what stands out from this game is the awesome gameplay that challenges your eye coordination and fashion sense.

The game starts with Neku Sakuraba, the protagonist who apparently hates everyone and prefers to be alone. He wakes up in a different Shibuya and monsters called Noise come out from nowhere to kill him. There he meets Shiki Misaki, a wannabe fashion designer and always trying Neku to open up to her. There he learned of all the player's objective in winning the Repears' game: to get a 2nd chance in life, failure is to be erased. The game is composed of 3 chapters: "Shiki Chapter", "Joshua Chapter" and "Beat Chapter". Each player in the Reapers' Game should have a partner or else they will perish.

The story might be shallow at the start as Neku is too introverted that might hinder the growth between him and his partner, but as the game progresses, you will see changes in him that you will appreciate everything that has happened.

The battle system of The World Ends With You is one-of-a-kind: a combination of d-pad (or the ABXY pad for left handed people) and the touch screen of the bottom; as these actions control both Neku and his active partner. A combo puck is being passed back and forth the 2 screens as Neku and his active partner juggle to achieve higher combo for a deadly finish, and more experience.

The battle system might be confusing at first as too much information might be given but nothing makes sense, but the game encourages players to take it one step at a time, until you're certain that you can take on the tougher and weird Noise. But one thing is for sure, this game is designed for hardcore players who will be able to follow through the gameplay quickly.

Battles consist of player-chosen encounters. The player may scan the area for fights at any time. While battling, Neku and his partner's HP is shared. Once both HP is depleted, the game is over and players have the option to try the battle again or flee.

Pins are also scattered throughout Shibuya and can be bought in shops. These can further enhance Neku's abilities and can be exchanged for Yen. Abilities range from healing a certain amount of depleted HP to bubbles that bounces from enemies and the wall or shouting at the microphone to release sound waves that can disorient enemies. Some of the pins can evolve (yes, like Pokemon -- gotta catch them all) and levels up after each fight. Food and Clothing are also available in the stores to add stats and synchronization between partners.

Fashion also plays a gigantic role in The World Ends With You, with each district in the game having preferred brands. Preferred brands in pins and clothing can double the stats and abilities of the characters, but if you do not pay attention to these little details, it might be your end as you know it.

In addition, a level slider is added in the menu that lets you boost the drop rate of pins after battling the Noise. The only sacrifice is that your HP will decrease as you battle but the pins are easily acquired after can be sold or are needed for a certain quest. Difficulty and the controls of your partner can also be changed to suit your game style.

Visually the game is extraordinary, making use of moving manga panels and dual-screen cinematic presentation. The only let down is that characters look like characters for Kingdom Hearts -- minus Disney of course. But still, the shifting of character portraits recreates the manga feel.

Sounds are also not in the normal context here, as it includes a wide variety of music with the influence of Hip Hop and Electronica genre. Additional music can be bought in the stores so the music is never the same when battling and moving around.

A mini-game called Tin Slammer is incorporated in the diverse world of The World Ends With You. You can challenge other players for the friendly battle of Pins. Another multiplayer asset is the Mingle Mode wherein you can setup a shop for other players to buy your merchandise and can see how far is the player already in the game. Although the multiplayer options are not the strong side for this, it's a welcomed addition to the game.

The World Ends With You boasts amazing creativity and challenges the preconception on what a RPG should be. The amazing factor of this game is the level of customization that a player can do. From battling the Noise to what to eat and wear for the day can be changed with a single flick in the touch screen. Not only Sqaure Enix and Jupiter created one of the best games for DS but one of the best RPG to date. It can stand at par with Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy series.

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Tokyo Babe

On Vox: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles - Rings of Fate: A Game Review

Phew. What a long name for a good game that can entice your creative mind juices with puzzles and a different type of gameplay. FFCC - Ring of Fates is the prequel to the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles that was created by Square-Enix for the gamecube platform which was released 5 years ago.

Immediately, the game have different modes to choose from; from the story to the multiplayer gameplays that enables you to play with 3 other players and join forces to finish quests that was given to you by the King of Rebena Te Ra; to the story mode where you can now experience first hand what really happened with the protagonists. FFCC - Ring of Fates also utilized the Nintendo DS' capability of Wi-Fi connection as players can trade customized Moogles.

The story itself was touching, as a player discovers the sibling-love between the fraternal twins, Yuri and Chelinka and their struggles as they try and put the world at peace. Aided by their friends Gnash, Meeth and Alhanalem, they fight the Lunites that threatens to destroy / conquer the world.

There are 4 races existing in the FFCC - Ring of Fates world: the peaceful Clavat, the magic-wielding Yukes, the magicite creating Lilties and the aggressive Selkie. Each of the four races has special abilities that will aid the players in dungeons and proceed with the story. All races have the ability to cast spells by collecting Magicites (orbs of mana) while battling monsters and opening chests.

The 3D rendering of the gameplay and movies are awesome, just like what Square-Enix did with Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings. The music is also good, very entertaining and portraying the emotion of the story as the protagonist progress.

Unfortunately, switching of camera angle was not supported, thus it is sometimes a pain whenever Yuri and the gang are fighting a monster. Also, switching from one character to another is a tedious task especially when you are pressed for time and fighting the current boss of the dungeon. And the AI system is not that effective in battles -- most of the time they are just standing on the side watching that character that the player is controlling fighting the monster. Although they sometimes serve as great decoys whenever a monster appears out of nowhere.

The multiplayer system might be a great addition to the game but with every player connecting to complete quests, lag issues were unraveled. But if players just disregard the lag, it would be a lot of fun completing and leveling up like playing a MMORPG.

Overall, even if the game was not the best game Square-Enix created, this is still one of the good games that was released in 2008. The graphics are still the best CG in all the games that was created for the DS and the art of story telling is still essential as the game progresses.

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Tokyo Babe

On Vox: Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney -- A Game Review

As a fan Gyakutan Saiban or also known as the Phoenix Wright trilogy, I was intrigued with the new game that was released which is Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Not only Phoenix Wright has been replaced as the protagonist, but most of the staff has disappeared as well. The only people who were included in the new game was of course Phoenix Wright, Ema Skye and the wonderful judge, who is still weird ever.

But I digress.

The game as also the same gameplay as the previous releases, but with additional powers / talents. With the help of his bracelet, Apollo Justice can sense the habits of the suspects and witnesses when they lie or nervous about a part of their testimonies -- this is called the Perceive System. Also, with the help of Trucy (adoptive daughter of Phoenix), she can perform magic tricks to help Apollo perform his job (not that he needed any help).

Other than that, players can also enjoy more time investigating using scientific methods like finger printing. This was a good addition to the game that it's previous releases lack. The graphics are improved compared to the previous releases, as some are in d format for good visualization. A simulation of the crime scene is also included for good visualization and finding more clues.

The cases that were presented in the game were unique which ranges from panty-snatching thief to a stolen noodle stand of a harmonica playing ex-surgeon. Thinking out of the box is still a key trait to use when playing this game, and with a little comprehension to the side, to understand what was the case all about.

While Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney might be the shortest game in the Gyakutan Saiban releases, it offers the same entertainment and mind boggling cases as it's predecessors. It also boasts hilarious lines that would make any player laugh while taking a testimony of a suspect. Overall, it's a great addition to the Gyakuten Saiban series.

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Tokyo Babe

On Vox: Professor Layton and the Curious Village: A Game Review

At first, I was a bit skeptical about playing the game and I was not that impressed with the graphics that I saw printed on the box. But I was curious about what the game can offer, considering it is the first part of the trilogy.

Professor Layton and the Curious Village is the first part of three that will be developed by Level-5 which is inspired by the games of Akira Tago's Mental Gymnastics. Apprently, Akiro Hino was a fan of the game and decided to make something like it for Level-5.

The game first talk about a Golden Apple that a late baron stated on his will. Whosoever solves the puzzle of the Golden Apple will have all his inheritance. Professor Layton and his assistant, Luke decided to solve and find the Golden Apple.

The game then brings the protagonists to the puzzle-loving town of the Baron and meet up with the Baron's wife, Lady Dahlia. After a murder or two and several kidnappings, it brings the Professor closer in solving the mystery.

Puzzles are the main idea of the game. Everywhere you go and everyone you decided to talk to in the game will either require you have a number of puzzle before they can give you information or solve a puzzle for them. Clues are from conversations and things you find on the floor.

Puzzle difficulty are determined by the picarat value. Penalties are awarded to wrong answers which subtracts the value of the picarats. Hint coins are also available to "buy" hints for the puzzle you need to solve. Although you have to search every nook and cranny of the village to obtain them. One of the villagers even hinted that there only limited number of hint coins, so it's best to reserve them for the tougher puzzles.

Graphic-wise, the graphics are superb, not as good as FF series, but good nonetheless. It is like watching an anime and playing a game, all at the same time. This also reminds me of the previous games of Touch Detective, but a little less running from one place to the other.

The music isn't bad either, although the music being used while solving a puzzle is a little serene, and might make you drowsy, but it's still a good sound. Another great feature is that you can connect to the WFC and download new puzzles if you have finished all the 100+ puzzles included in the game.

Overall, this is a very good game that will test your puzzle solving skills, verbal comprehension and even mathematical ability to solve puzzles that require computations. For those who love puzzles might as well acquire this game, you will not regret it.

Originally posted on

Tokyo Babe

On Vox: Still the same Mits

So last month, we had the pleasure to see Mits again after so long. Kila got to the restaurant first and chatted with him for awhile. When I got to the restaurant, I was so happy to see him again.

Although I was a bit surprised that he shaved his head, even if Mechiavillian Mecha Monster posted Mits' new 'do' in his livejournal before. But hair aside, he's still as funny as ever as he told us his stories of Taiwan, and his everyday adventures. He even invited us to go to his apartment when we go there -- hopefully this April to watch L'arc-en-ciel concert (crosses fingers).

As we were talking about anything under the sun, some people managed to show up. Mechiavillian Mecha Monster
showed up then Arnold; then there's Hazel. Then finally Robsano and Tash joined in as we were eating our dinner. We were trying to convince Mark-hori to go but knowing him, we might wait until wee hours of the morning before we get to see him.

After dinner, we then decided to go to Coffee Bean to have our coffee, that's when Sonia and Toby graced us with their presence. When Coffee Bean closed up, we moved to Gloria Jeans to continue our chismis, that's when battlechaser showed up. Mits was seated on the very corner of the table so as not to be kissed by Kuya Paul. We were joking about it ever since we ate dinner.

When midnight came, it's time to say our goodbye's since most of us have work the next day. As tradition, we had a group picture for us to remember the time when Mits came back even just for a little while:

For more pictures of the reunion, just view my collection.

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Tokyo Babe

On Vox: Lovely Day: The shoot

We were supposed to have our shooting last Saturday (11/10/2007) but it was postponed because the writer was sick. It was supposed to be an overnight thing, but we managed to finish all the things they have shoot last Sunday (11/11/2007).

So it all started when I woke up at 4 am in the morning to prepare my Mirror Queen costume and go to the GMA station. Grabbing the first cab I see, I asked the driver to drop me off at the Timog entrance. After waiting for 5 mins, Arlene let me enter the premises and gave me the script.

While reading the script, Jamir, Ryan, another Ryan and Lyron got to the venue as well. We were laughing our heads off at the script. Whoever the scriptwriter was, it was damn funny.

Anyways, we rode in a van, going to Laguna, the venue of the shooting. I slept half of the way, but most of the time, we were laughing and talking about cosplay.

We arrived at the location about 8:30 am, and we ate breakfast.Then we explored the resort. Too bad we did not bring any swim wear to try the pool. Then we changed into our costumes and got ready for a long day of shooting. I had the longest scenes but darn, it was so fun trying to act the "kontrabida" in the episode. Another shoot in another location would be the last stop of all my spiels x.x

After merienda and the shoot (which ended at approx 5:30 pm) we watch Love, Ryan, Jacob and other kids playing basketball in the court, while Gab and his brother swam in the swimming pool. I took several photos of the game, but I'm still too lazy to upload them.

We were officially going home at 7:30 pm and arrived in Manila at 9 pm. I was exhausted and didn't have the energy to change clothes. I took a SL in the office the next day because my body is aching from exhaustion -- but it was definitely worth it.

BTW, the episode will be aired on Dec 15 (great -- same date as the FC Xmas Party T-T), 8 or 9 am.

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Tokyo Babe

On Vox: A Basketball MMORPG

For the past few weeks/months, I've been hooked to this game called CyberDunk, an MMORPG -- much like the game of Fantasy Basketball for NBA fans. I'm not much of an NBA fan, but I do play basketball when I was in HS and College. So when a friend of mine told me about the game, I was quite skeptical because I prefer to play the game rather than play a "fantasy" game.

But, well, I decided to try and create a character. Meet Noir Valentine, very energetic Center. So, after lots of training and equipment buying, my character is now in top 15 of the division's MVP for the season and part of the top 10 of both Most Blocks and Most Offensive Rebounds.

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