Wednesday, December 28, 2016

DBZ Elsewhere: The Yamcha Side Story That Made Yamcha Cool Before It Was Cool

Comic Panels by RMK writer and artist of DBZ Elsewhere
Yamcha has always gotten a raw deal for as long as I can remember in the Dragon Ball community.  He's the butt of everyone's jokes and it's not difficult to see why with his huge loss record in the series.  You wouldn't believe it, but there is a sect of us who at one point or another thought Yamcha was pretty damn cool.  Most people who watched a ton of the original Dragon Ball series developed a liking for the character after watching him grow along with Goku, Krillin, Tien, and Chiaotzu.  This month, Yamcha's been getting a fair amount of attention with Dragon Ball Super's 70th episode, a fan favorite, giving him ample spotlight and comedic moments.  He even stole the show by winning the baseball game.  Now there's also a Yamcha Side Story series being planned and the 1st chapter is already out (  Yamcha has received a brief resurgence in popularity but before Toei and Shueisha put the spotlight on him, a sole fan decided to give us a glimpse into the past and the day to day worries of a man named Yamcha and that fan is RMK.

I stumbled upon DBZ Elsewhere recently, while searching for chapters of the latest Yamcha side story Dragon Ball Gaiden: Tensei-shitara Yamcha Datta Ken.  While I like the scenario of a fan being reincarnated as Yamcha and using his knowledge of Dragon Ball to make Yamcha great again, it's not really a Yamcha story because it's about another character using Yamcha's body.  RMK's DBZ Elsewhere all about Yamcha and brings up questions that many of us Yamcha fans think of such as who trained him and taught him the Wolf Fang Fist?  It also shows us how Yamcha acts when the Z Fighters aren't around.  RMK really goes in depth when it comes to Yamcha's feelings about being super strong yet parodoxically being weak.  RNK also explores what many would develop if placed in Yamcha's shoes, his failure complex.  Let's be honest, he's always had his share of bad luck and the writers simply blow it off or treat it as a gag, but RMK instead delves deeply into it and shows us how Yamcha might use it to better himself.

I was surprised to find that RMK both wrote and drew his fan comic and that he did so way back in 2003.  I found his writing to be well layered, but not so much that it doesn't resemble Dragon Ball and I found his art to be quite good.  It's not exactly professional quality near the beginning but it stays faithful to Toriyama's style throughout the parts that I read.  I noticed that RMK himself expressed disappointment in his earlier work but I thought it was well done, but I did skip ahead to his one of his later chapters to see if he'd improved and saw a drastic improvement in the fluidity of his style.  I stopped at chapter five so far and each chapter I read added something new to Yamcha's backstory which is something I've wanted from him and Tien for a really long time.

I highly recommend RMK's DBZ Elsewhere comic.  I'll be posting my review of the series once I get deeper into it and it looks like I'll have a ton of chapters to read.  If you want to check it out visit RMK's site at (

Well that's it for me.  If any of you have read either DBZ Elsewhere or Dragon Ball Gaiden: Tensei-shitara Yamcha Datta Ken let me know what you think of both.  Let me also know what part of Yamcha or Tien's backstory you'd like to know about the most.  Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

FromSoftware Should Make An Escaflowne-esque Game And Here's Why
Imagine a Dark Souls game with giant medieval mecha

Think about it.  The company behind titles like Dark Souls and Armored Core would be great at combining the sense of detail and scale needed for something like this.  For those of you who don't know, Escaflowne is an anime series about a fictional fantasy world called Fanelia that is now steeped in war.  In Escaflowne there are knights that pilot giant mechanized suits of armor called Guymelefs that seem to be powered by steam and dragon's blood via a dragon's magical heart.  Thanks to their knightly training guymelef pilots incorporate their swordsmanship into their piloting skills.  So just imagine playing a normal game of Dark Souls then stepping into a giant guymelef for fights on a larger scale.  Imagine having to face an opponent that's like 10x the size of the Gaping Dragon.  Or imagine actually getting to fairly challenge someone like The Dragon God from Demon's Souls.  Only something of the scale of a guymelef would allow you to do that in a non-game breaking manner.

The cool thing is I think Fromsoft is uniquely positioned to make a game like this, moreso than even than one of my other favorite studios Level 5 who had a similar premise with White Knight Chronicles.  I think making a game like this strictly action based with RPG elements like the Souls series would be a much more enticing and visceral way to go.

Also imagine something with the modification options of Armored Core, like the gear swapping I mean, and imagine being able to equip various gigantic swords, shields, axes, lances, mauls, and perhaps even side weapons like crossbows, cannons, etc.  That would be super frickin' neat!  Namco is also no stranger to handling games with a mixture of normal battle systems and mecha battle systems.  The Xenosaga series has also incorporated both, particularly in #3 where both were served up heartily.  FromSoftware has announced a new IP and so I can only hope that this is what that turns out to be, because it would truly be a dream project for a fan like myself who loves all the above creative properties.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

This Week In Gaming 11/27 - 12/4

Games Played: Urban Reign (PS2), Kinetica (PS2), Smackdown vs Raw 2006 (PS2), Borderlands Pre-Sequel (XBOne)

Had lots of fun with the games on this list, most of them favorites of mine for years.  The uptick in PS2 gaming is a direct result of sharing my HDTV with my nephew while I use the older CRT TV. It's been fun reconnecting with the console, especially these old favorites of mine. 2006 is still an incredibly fun game and as far as I understand is the last of those older faster paced wrestling titles.  The newer games are too slow for my tastes so SVR is always a fun game to go back to especially the laugh out loud hilarious Hell in a Cell matches where characters go into proverbial comas after falling from the top of the cell.  Me and my nephews have had a lot of fun with this one lately.
Recommendation: A really fun and solid wrestling game that has a timeless appeal in its core gameplay.  The quick pace is what I think is missing in many modern wrestling games.  Even if you like those, try this one and spend a whole day of your life creating characters and tossing them off the cell. played Urban Reign on a whim after playing some Tekken and wrestling games.  I'd never beaten Urban Reign before despite the many years its been in my possession, so I figured now would be the perfect time to do so.  Urban Reign is a 3D beat-em-up, a favorite genre of mine, that's made by Namco.  There is a heavy Tekken influence in the attacks and other animations of each of the game's fighters and there are even unlockable Tekken characters in the game. This time around, I had a lot of fun pulling an all-nighter to finally beat the game from start to finish.  It was tough, with some really unfair moments, but it was fun overall.
Recommendation: Solid mechanics and extra modes make this one a blast.  Too bad the characters were a little too generic to leave a lasting impression, otherwise this one would be remembered more fondly.  Still, I put this in the same vein as Def Jam: Fight For New York (which I hold in high esteem.)  So try it out if you like beat 'em ups like Streets of Rage, Final Fight, or The Warriors. nephew randomly fired Kinetica up one night and asked me to play it with him.  After completely annihilating him in each race I got the urge to unlock all the tracks and racers.  Surprisingly those few skills I learn while playing this game more than ten years ago have stuck with me along with the strategies.  It felt great to boost, siphon, stunt, drift, and collect my way to victory and the topsy turvy track design was still exhilarating after all these years.  Just today alt. racer Steyer took me to victory in all three season modes.  Now to unlock the three secret racers.
Recommendation: Not an ordinary racing game by any stretch.  I think I like Kinetica so much because winning relies as much if not more on strategy than it does superb piloting skills.  The sense of speed is only really there when you're boosting and sometimes the track design does work against you even when you know what's coming, but all in all this is one of my all time favorite racing games and I don't like too many.  So if strapping into motorized roller skates and going hundreds of miles per hour on stages that would give Sonic the Hedgehog a head rush while listening to trippy techo songs sounds like fun then you should definitely give this one a try. has been my favorite shooter series for the last two generations and playing through Pre-Sequel on the Xbox One has been a blast.  I purchased it digitally after my nephew was complaining about the lack of split screen games in modern gaming.  I, of course, remembered fondly playing through both BL 1 and 2 side by side with each of my best friends. After going out and buying an extra controller we started a new campaign, him with Nisha and me with Aurelia.  When he's not playing, I play as The Doppelganger.  There's not much I can say here about the game without going on at length about it, so I'll save it for a later post.  Just know that this installment is fun and unique.
Recommendation: Well worth the buy.  There's not as much content as BL2 but that game was just about perfect when it came to DLC.  Go get it now if you haven't.