Rooster Teeth Animator Monty Oum has Passed Away

Monty OumMonty Oum, one of Rooster Teeth’s most prolific animators, passed away Sunday, February 1, 2015.

Oum became hospitalized late last month after suffering a severe allergic reaction to medications that rendered him comatose. Oum was unable to recover and passed away ten days later, despite efforts from family, friends, colleagues and fans. A GoFundMe campaign was set up in his name to support his hospital care where the initial $50,000 goal was tripled over the span of 3 days. A goal that was tripled before news of his passing ever broke. The GoFundMe campaign is still accepting donations that will go towards his family, which include his wife, Sheena.

Oum became internet famous after creating his Haloid video on Game Trailers in 2007. Haloid featured character models of Halo’s Master Chief and Metroid’s Samus Aran, fighting in an all-out, sci-fi, martial arts battle. He figured out how to take the models from Halo 2 and Super Smash Bros. Melee to create the video and had a natural knack for visual flair and spectacle. Haloid would become Game Trailers’ most successful user created video with over 4 million views.

Oum would follow up his Haloid success by creating the multi-part Dead Fantasy series, which pitted Final Fantasy and Dead or Alive characters against each other, a true fanboy’s dream. Oum created five full episodes, two spin-off music videos and a preview for an eighth episode. While he always teased continuing the series as it grew, Oum would find success as a professional animator by working on major music videos for Mariah Carey and Girls Generation and eventually found employment at Rooster Teeth where he became lead animator and creator of RWBY, a series that he won a Streamie award for.Oum’s videos came back when I was working at my college’s newspaper and I remember being mesmerized by the quality of his work. Yes he was creating absolute fantasies, but they were incredibly well made fantasies. What guy in his 20s didn’t want to see Kasumi and Yuna go at it. Oum was very much a pioneer in the world of video creation, a man who was able to find success on an uncharted path.

Oum is survived by his wife Sheena, his father Mony, his brothers Woody, Sey, Chivy and Neat, and his sisters Thea and Theary. He was 33 years old.

GoFundMe – Monty Oum Medical & Family Support

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DOA5U’s Marie Rose to Join Console Roster in Spring

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate

Marie Rose, the Swedish Gothic Lolita wrestler created for Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate’s Japanese arcade release, will be making her debut sometime in the spring. Team Ninja studio head Yosuke Hayashi made the announcement at this past weekend’s official Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate tournament.

The addition of Marie Rose is a welcome one as DOA5U continues to grow. She has the potential to be something fresh, both stylistically and tactically. She is much smaller than any previous character (except for maybe Ayane) and uses a fighting style based on the Russian military martial art Systema. The whole concept of a slight framed brawler (not named Tina Armstrong) gets me a little hyped. It rounds out the roster that had previously added only Mila and Rig in DOA5 and Momiji and Rachel in DOA5U.

Hayashi also announced console versions of DOA5U will be patched to version 1.04 which will have all the balancing tweaks found in the arcade version, sans Marie Rose. The patch is scheduled to be released in February, with Marie Rose and DOA5U Arcade set to launch at the end of January.

Polygon – Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate receiving update in February, new fighter in spring

Meet Marie Rose, DOA5UA’s New Character

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Arcade

Tecmo Koei teased that a new character would be coming for their arcade release of Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate in a Siliconera report last month. In a new trailer highlighting the, now complete, roster, DOA5UA’s new character will be a girl by the name of Marie Rose.

Utilizing a Russian martial art dubbed Systema, Marie Rose has an absolute distinct look that sets her apart from the DOA/Ninja Gaiden/Virtua Fighter characters in the game. First off, she is younger and her design aesthetic is the complete antithesis against DOA’s reputation for busty, bouncy brawlers. While she certainly has the soft look that permeates throughout the female cast members, Marie Rose is modeled to be much slighter and clearly seen as less of a sex object.

Her gothic lolita stylings are a nice addition to the array of outfits the cast bears and I’m curious to see how she plays with what appears to be a pummeling grappler ala Mila. It might be that she is the long sought after defensive character that I can pick up to add to my repertoire of Hitomi (offense) and Hayate (balance).

Unfortunately, no word yet if she will make it to console releases, but I have my fingers crossed.

Top Ten Tuesday – Greatest Launch Games

Dead Rising 3

The funny thing about getting a launch day system is not about the fancy hardware, its about finding the right game to show off that fancy hardware. In hindsight, many launch games are fairly awful and even the once vaunted great titles look pale when compared to titles that come at the end of a console’s lifespan. The Xbox 360 in particular had a fairly weak launch which only produced one consensus hit, Call of Duty 2. There were other hits in the launch window but even Elder Scrolls IV has not aged well, and nobody is jumping at the chance to play Kameo and Perfect Dark Zero again.

Its no surprise that Nintendo is often the king of the launch classic as they seem to have mastered the art of crafting a game to showcase their hardware.

10. Lumines – Sony PlayStation Portable

Lumines

An under-rated title on an under-rated system, the UMD for Lumines lived in my PSP for much of the launch year (often swapping places with the PSP’s Ridge Racer). Q? Entertainment’s Lumines was a euphoric puzzle game that played with color combinations and used music to dictate the speed of the levels. Some levels would be fast, some would be slow, some would have a jarring off-tempo beat that would be make getting into a groove all the more difficult. It was a game that used the PSP’s big, bright screen to its fullest potential and a formula that has never quite been replicated for the franchise since. Continue reading

Dead or Alive 5 Review – Getting better with age

I have to disclaim: I love Dead or Alive. I’ve written about it before, but if there were ever a game that I consider myself competitively skilled at, it would be Dead or Alive. DoA to me has always been a perfect marriage of strategy, skill and speed. So I apologize in advance if I geek out a bit more than normal in this review.

Dead or Alive 5

image credit: teamninja-studio.com/doa5

I may have been looking through rose tinted glasses, but I always thought that there was something special about Team Ninja and Tecmo. To me, Team Ninja games highlighted tactical skill, speed and grace, living up to the developer’s moniker. But when development head Tomonobu Itagaki famously left in 2008, question marks began to swirl around Team Ninja projects. Looking at the Ninja Gaiden series is the best way to chronicle The studio’s history. The first Ninja Gaiden (reboot) was released as Tecmo’s exclusive relationship with Microsoft was peaking in 2004 to raving reviews. The following year, in addition to releasing Dead or Alive 4 as a Xbox 360 launch title, Itagaki and Team Ninja tightened up and released a director’s cut edition of the game in Ninja Gaiden Black, a game which plays well nearly a decade later. But just as Ninja Gaiden II launched in 2008, Itagaki and Tecmo had their painful divorce. Ninja Gaiden II was regarded as solid, but not to the same degree of excellence that its predecessor basked in. When Ninja Gaiden III finally released in 2012, the first core game without Itagaki at the helm, it was largely panned as a game that has lost its way.

Dead or Alive 5 is also the first game in the franchise without Itagaki. And while I adore this series, I definitely have my reservations.

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My Gaming Guilty Pleasure: Dead or Alive

When it comes to fighting games, everybody has their favorite title. Be it a classic 2D fighter like Street Fighter and The King of Fighters or a 3D fighter like Soul Calibur and Virtua Fighter, there are many flavors to choose from and a dedicated fanbase to each game.

I happen to be of the Dead or Alive fanbase, a series known for bouncy endowed women and spin-off titles featuring beach volleyball and bikinis. Because of this, it is my gaming guilty pleasure.¬†Yet unlike series creator and former Team Ninja head Tomonobu Itagaki and his infamous reputation as the Japanese gaming industry’s lothario, the inclusion of meagerly dressed femme fatale combatants is a bonus to what I perceive to be one of the top fighters (and forgotten fighters) on the market.

Dead or Alive 4

image credit: fightersgeneration.com

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Dead or Alive Dimensions GDC Trailer

One of the early titles for the 3DS that has garnered my interest has been Dead or Alive Dimensions (I see what they did there…Dimensions…3 Dimensions). Not because of the gratuitous “physics” engine built for the moderately dressed female cast members, but because I have been playing the fast paced fighter since DOA2 on the DreamCast and it has consistently been my forte in the world of fighters.

When Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden creator (and lothario) Tomonobu Itagaki left Team Ninja and Tecmo in 2008 over contract disputes and sexual harassment allegations, I was fearful that there would never be a Dead or Alive 5 or its production would not be the same without the shameless producer. Although Team Ninja has continued on well enough, releasing Ninja Gaiden Sigma II on the PS3 (a director’s cut of the original NGII) and confirmed that Ninja Gaiden III is coming, Dead or Alive hasn’t had much air around it besides the spin-off Dead or Alive Paradise and the fighter for the 3DS.

Sadly, Dimensions appears to be as advertised as a mix of DOA3 and DOA4, which isn’t a bad thing, it just lacks the ingenuity and flair that I was hoping for. As happy as I am that DOA will finally receive a portable version of itself, I am disappointed at the notion of having minimal additions. While the game appears to run smoothly, I will need to see it in action to solidify my opinion either way. DOA5 feels like a long way off.

G4TV – Dead or Alive Dimensions Trailer

UPDATE: G4TV’s embed is acting weird so the above link is a direct link to their site. Below I will post the debut trailer off of G4TV’s YouTube account.