Saturday, November 10, 2012

Forza Horizon: The star of the show!

The Star of Horizon is here!

Allons-y! As I knew, the all new 2013 SRT Viper GTS is the hero car of Forza Horizon. Reason why this is the hero car of Horizon? It's in the cover, get it? In the front cover!

Anyway, the reason why they picked the SRT Viper GTS is because the producers said that this car's a fitting take to the roads of Colorado. With legendary Forza DNA in free roam driving and incredibly fluidic graphics, it seems that this car never felt so alive. It really has the soul in motion within.

It's also BAD TO THE BONE because with the 8.4L V10 engine that generates 640HP, 0-60 in 3.3 seconds, and 220 mph top speed, the SRT Viper is one heck of a brutal sportscar which is great for show-offs. 

Overpowered, great on straight lines, dynamic and challenging handling, that's how I like most about the SRT Viper and this hero car is all about being the hero of the Horizon Festival.

"Bring Madyik into your life!"

On the November 9, 2012 episode of Bubble Gang...

- Gags at the office...

- Once again, our wise Tata Lino's back for quotes;

1) "Kung kasalanan ang maging maganda, huwag kang mag-alala. Malinis ang iyong konsensya"

2) "Huwag kang magkaporma-porma na parang magaling kung ang amoy mo ay parang galing-libing"

3) "Kung magkazombies man sa Pilipinas, hindi dapat mangamba ang barriong ito. Sa dami ng nagtatanong sa akin humihingi ng payo at naniniwala, tiyak mamamatay sa gutom ang mga zombies."

4) "Huwag kang masyadong kiligin. Pwedeng ang ibig siyang sabihin dahil ikaw ang droga, ikaw ang sisira sa buhay niya."

- Pickup Lines courtesy of Push Back, Bisugo, and Boy Pick Up!

- What will a man do to bring Magic into his life? Bubble Gang does Jack 'n Jill Magic Flakes by spoofing this ad as Jack 'n Poy Madyik Pleyks. Bring Madyik into your life!

- Brod Pete and pals are back in ANG BAGONG DATING DOON!

1) Meron po bang naisusulat diyan kung naiinlove ang mga alien?

From the books of Katy Perry's E.T. 123 - Kiss me, kiss me, infect me with your love and feel me with your poison. Take me in love, wanna be a victim, ready for abduction.

2) Betong Sumaya asks "may naisusulat po diyan tungkol sa mukha ni Diego"?

Nakasimangot ka na lang palagi, parang ikaw na lang ang nagmamay-ari ng sama ng loob. Pagmumukha mo ay hindi maipinta. Nakalimutang mo na bang tumawa? Eh, sumasayad na ang nguso mo sa lupa.

3) Someone who PM'ed the Facebook page (ibrodpete) said "bakit dito lang sa Pilipinas may mga manananggal?"

Why? Because they can't get this far. Even going to the airplane won't work, that's why manananggals stay in the Philippines.

4) Someone said "sino po ang robot na magaling kumanta?"

Michael Voltron

5) Someone from UP said "sino po ang active PBA player na pulitiko pa?"

Rico Mayor Harper - player pa, mayor pa! He he he....

6) Someone from Bulacan says "lahat po ba ang akala ay mali?"

No. Akala mo mali?

- Mr. Assimo encounters some promotions around the corners...

- Nakatikim ka na ba ng Pechay Baguio?

- Please stop taking pictures of yourself while you're on a picnic...

- IyoTube in It Might Be You...

What's in our Car Town Garage today? (November 10, 2012)

What's in our Car Town Garage today?

2013 Carbon Motors E7 Concept

This is what the future of America's cop cars would look like thanks to the E7. So what's it all about the Carbon E7? This next-generation law enforcement vehicle is powered by a more efficient clean diesel engine and fuel system that promises an estimated 40% improvement in fuel consumption compared to today's law enforcement vehicles. Also, it comes with the next-generation of high-tech gear fit for officers who want to take down criminals.

2013 Carbon Motors E7 Concept

1984 Toyota Indestructible Hilux

In one episode of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson tries to wreck the Toyota Hilux pickup using whatever means necessary; especially the tidals, wrecking balls, head-on collision, anything! However, despite numerous tortures, the Hilux's still standing! Not even when James May placed the Hilux to the top of the building set to be demolished! No one knows what's got into that Hilux but still, it's all part in the Top Gear Studio as of now.

1984 Toyota Indestructible Hilux

1989 BMW M3

The story of the BMW M3 begins in the E30 model. The first BMW M3 comes with the S14B23 2.3L engine, which was based on various BMW parts: basic block layout from the M10 4-cylinder (found in the 2002 and 320 series) overbored and reinforced to similar specifications of the BMW M88 inline-6. Pair this one with the current generation M3 and you can see how did this whole M3 began from the past and present.

1989 BMW M3

Friday, November 9, 2012

The DataBlitz Vs. X-Play Fiasco regarding NBA 2K13

NBA 2K13
NBA 2K13 (PS3)

Last month, the latest installment of the NBA 2K series, NBA 2K13, which was executive produced by JAY-Z, is one of the best NBA 2K games ever played because NBA fans love to play as one of their favorite teams, especially Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Charlotte Bobcats, Detroit Pistons, and many others.

However, there's been a trouble out here because a gaming retailer in the Philippines, DataBlitz, sold one of the NBA 2K13 copies (yes, they're original, not pirated like what you see on some shady stores in the malls) until DataBlitz has been raided by the CIDG for unauthorized distribution of copies of the hit game NBA 2K13. This was caused by X-Play Online Games, Inc.

X-Play Online Games is the exclusive distributor of BLIZZARD games (Diablo and World of Warcraft) and NBA video games in the Philippines and they said that DataBlitz's action of distributing the game is a violation.

Back then, DataBlitz and X-Play Online Games made a partnership regarding the NBA 2K13 sales but sadly, the whole partnership was nixed.

Here's the statement from X-Play Online Games:
It is unfortunate that businesses had to be disrupted by the incident that
transpired yesterday. While we sympathize with other individuals dragged on
by this issue, we stand by our ground to be vigilant in dealing with illegal
activities to protect our rights, our partners and our local gaming

This is not a knee-jerk reaction from X-Play. In fact, meetings were held
with Datablitz President, Winston Lim and his team to become X-Play's
primary partner for NBA 2K13. Datablitz key executives Sandra Lu and Orpha
Oambas even participated in X-Play's distributor conferences and got all the
marketing and distribution plans of the company.

Datablitz's decision to acquire and distribute NBA 2K13 through unauthorized
means despite these efforts, leaves X-Play no other option but to report
this to the proper authorities, in which CIDG and the Regional Trial Court
took immediate action on.

The action of Datablitz was not only detrimental to X-Play but also affected
other smaller retailers, game stores and entrepreneurs.
We hope nothing more but to resolve this predicament but will hold firm in
protecting the industry from smugglers and illegal operators.

Later on, DataBlitz stroke back with their press release:

To Our Beloved Gaming Community & Friends,

Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, will be remembered as a day of infamy and shame for the gaming industry with XPlay initiating a disgraceful harassment action against DataBlitz for alleged selling of "unauthorized" stocks of NBA 2K13.

Yesterday, XPlay released an official statement listing down various details of meetings between XPlay and DataBlitz in the weeks leading to the launch of NBA 2K13. In spite of all that's been said in their press release, they've conveniently omitted the most pertinent details:

1. All the meetings that took place between Xplay and DataBlitz were initiated at the request of XPlay. DataBlitz has never asked to meet with XPlay and were only asked to participate in meetings and/or to join XPlay's so-called "marketing programs" (which are really nothing more than just glamorized parlor game events). DataBlitz participated in the meetings and "marketing programs" out of courtesy to XPlay and no such thing as "primary partnership", whatsoever was ever discussed, offered, nor penned on paper, whatsoever.

2. Apart from just saying that they will be distributing NBA 2K13, XPlay has never indicated in any form of writing or communications whatsoever to DataBlitz that they are the exclusive distributor of the game.

3. Thirdly, and this is the most important and glaring omission in XPlay's press release: in spite of the above, the fact is that DataBlitz still went ahead and purchased a considerable quantity of NBA 2K13 stocks from XPlay as a gesture of goodwill towards XPlay, even knowing that they are still very new to the industry of console games, without any proven track record whatsoever to speak of along this front.

However, it is the understanding of DataBlitz that XPlay is just another reseller of the game, and as we still live in a free country the last time we checked, DataBlitz reserves its right to buy stocks of the game from other sources, apart from XPlay, so long as these are legitimate, genuine, brand-new, original games, that are and always have been the hallmark of our product offerings to our customers.

DataBlitz has been in the gaming industry for over 17 years now, and our record speaks for itself, we have always maintained a pristine reputation as the one reliable source for original and genuine games at reasonable prices. From the very beginning when piracy dominated the market 17 years ago and up to this day that we have been able to steadily educate our consumers (without harassing anyone) about buying and patronizing original games and software, we have remained steadfast in our core belief of looking after the welfare of the gaming public first and foremost.

If there suddenly are now parties out there who see the vibrancy of the gaming industry as a way to profit immensely by using sham claims of being the only party that possesses "authorized" stocks (whatever that means) in order to shove overpriced games down the throats of the gaming public, this kind of modus is just against the core principles of DataBlitz and something we just cannot and will not go along with.

At the end of the day, we have the welfare of our customers at heart, not the twisted desires of these opportunists. Even if it means this will be a lonely battle, as Monday's events have shown that we were very obviously the only one unjustly and unreasonably singled out, we shall always remain as the one beacon of light and hope for gamers everywhere and carry on the good fight to stop such forms of profiteering through harassment.

With all that fiasco, it seems that gamers in the Philippines are in favor with DataBlitz's because what X-Play did was wrong and unlawful, therefore boycotting the games offered by X-Play.

Renault Samsung SM5 Platinum

2013 Renault Samsung New SM5 Platinum

Now I have to admit it that this facelifted version of the Renault Samsung SM5 could give us a hint of what a facelifted Renault Latitude could look like but sadly, because of the Renault Fluence facelift gaining a Clio-styled nose rather than the one from the facelifted SM3, chances are that this kind of thing that we're talking about now won't be applied to the facelifted Latitude soon and instead go on with the Clio-style nose because this is the new trademark for Renault.

Anyway, this here is the New SM5 Platinum, the updated version of the SM5 executive midsize saloon car that has been around for two years since this generation was released in South Korea since January 2010. For this latest version, the New SM5 Platinum draws some inspiration from the All New SM7 so the exterior kinda looks like it, except the rear lamps which is still an SM5, only refined. I think that this facelifted version is getting more of a matured 25-year-old businessman who wants to stand out against his rivals.

2013 Renault Samsung New SM5 Platinum interior

On the inside though, it's not that desperately impractical and it's getting more matured to cater someone in a coat and tie. What's new here is the sat-nav that now checks your average fuel consumption and also, SMart Connect first applied on the latest version of the SM3. This feature allows this navigation system's firmware to be updated via Wi-Fi and not just that, it gets you access to SK Telecom's MelOn mobile music portal service. That name is familiar for K-POP fans many because of the MelOn Music Awards but for those, MelOn is SK Telecom's mobile music portal service which is the world's first wired and wireless interworking music service that allows you to enjoy your favorite tunes anytime and anywhere. It's legal, you are first to listen the world's best songs, and SK offers real-time streaming and downloads through its Music Rental Service.

Although, no mechanical changes were made on the 2.0L CVTC-II L4 engine capable of releasing 141PS of power, the new generation XTRONIC CVT helped propelled the New SM5 Platinum's fuel economy of 14.1km/L. That's an improvement from the previous 12.1km/L. Sadly, the 2.0L engine is the only engine available on the New SM5 Platinum. Period.

The New SM5 Platinum tries to keep it fresh during its two-year tenure and I think that now, it's becoming one of the best executive midsize sedans in South Korea. It maybe built to compete against the Malibu, the K5, and the Sonata but in every intangible way, the New SM5 Platinum shows who's the boss. It shows who's in charge of everything. It always tries to woo the crowd from Gangnam...Er, am I saying that loud am I?

Anyway, it's now well-mannered, well-tailored, and surprisingly elegant to drive if you are the kind of man who thinks that his life is like a Korean drama.

Available Colors: Black, Mars Gray, White, Ebony Brown, Ultra Silver, and Pearl White.


PE - 21,800,000 Won
SE - 23,070,000 Won
SE Plus - 24,650,000 Won
LE - 26,120,000 Won
RE - 27,590,000 Won

The Mitsubishi Delica family

For several years, the Delica name remains sacred to the Mitsubishi history because it's the series of vans coveted by Japanese families because of its practicality and versatility. It's the 21st Century, and the Delica story has been changed since the arrival of the Mitsubishi Delica D:5 in 2007. Yes, we had this around for five years but haven't aged a bit. Mitsubishi kept themselves busy to keep the Delica name alive and hey, in 2011, they have another Delica models only this time borrowed from other Japanese car manufacturers. The Delica D:2 is essentially a Suzuki Solio with a Mitsubishi badge on it while the Delica D:3 is a triple-diamond star version of the Nissan NV200 Vanette.

Question is, how does these Delica models compare?

Mitsubishi Delica D:5
Mitsubishi Delica D:5

2.0 M 8-seater - 2,330,000 Yen
2.0 G Power Package 7/8-seater - 2,661,000 Yen
2.4 M 8-seater 4WD - 2,772,000
2.4 G Power Package 7/8-seater 4WD - 3,072,000 Yen
2.4 G Premium 7/8-seater 4WD - 3,619,000 Yen

The Mitsubishi Delica D:5 may look stodgy and old, but still catching up in today's trends. 2WD variants come with the 2.0L 4J11 4-cylinder SOHC MIVEC engine that produces 150PS of power and 191Nm of torque while mated with a CVT. Fuel economy based on the JC08 cycle is 13.6km/L.

Meanwhile, 4WD models come with the 2.4L 4B11 DOHC MIVEC engine that generates 170PS of power and 226Nm of torque. Fuel economy is 11.2km/L based on the JC08 test cycle.

Mitsubishi Delica D:2

Mitsubishi Delica D:2

1.2 X - 1,542,000 Yen
1.2 S - 1,656,000 Yen
1.2 S AS&G - 1,747,000 Yen
1.2 X 4WD - 1,667,000 Yen
1.2 S 4WD - 1,779,000 Yen

The Delica D:2 is powered by a K12B engine that generates 91PS of power and 118Nm of torque. For 2WD models, it has a fuel economy of  20.6km/L but if you're opted with the Auto Stop & Go function, this will have the fuel economy raised to 21.8km/L. For 4WD variants of the D:2, this will get up to 18.8km/L.

Mitsubishi Delica D:3

Mitsubishi Delica D:3

1.6 M (5-seater) - 1,889,000 Yen
1.6 G (7-seater) - 1,984,000 Yen

The Delica D:3 is powered by a 1.6L HR16DE engine that produces 109PS of power and 152Nm of torque. 5-seater variants of the D:3 will have a fuel economy of 13.2km/L while the 7-seater D:3 has a fuel economy of 12.8km/L.


Well, the Delica D:5 is the top of the Delica family because not only it carries up to either 7 or 8 people but also it has tons of features that you are expecting for a minivan. Also, it has INVECS-III 6-speed Sport Mode CVT to make things a little bit smoother. The Delica D:3 and the D:2 are just borrowed from different carmakers. The D:2 maybe the baby of the Delica range while the D:3 is a workhorse suitable for a simple Japanese family. Sadly though, I don't need some more explanations because for me, I think that the Delica D:5 is the better bet because unlike the D:2 and D:3, it's the best Mitsubishi minivan for the average Japanese family. I may gonna say that the Delica D:5 is a Japan-only car but what I heard, it's available also in Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, and that's it.

Report: Land Rover to launch 16 new models in 8 years

2013 Land Rover Range Rover
2013 Land Rover Range Rover

Heh, this is just like Nissan's Power 88 plan but it's different. It seems that Land Rover plans to launch 16 new models for the next eight years. This will help sales of Land Rover to reach more than 600,000 cars a year.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Report: Lexus trademarks "RC 350" name

2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport

A couple of weeks ago, Lexus trademarked the "NX 200t" and "NX 300h" for their future crossovers. Now, that Toyota's luxury brand trademarked another name and this one's a bit too timey-wimey. I heard that they've trademarked the name that they'll be using on their future sports coupe based on the LF-CC concept car...wait for it...wait for it...wait for it...RC 350.

RC? 350? RC 350? Oh my gosh, this is too timey-wimey because it rhymes with the fictitious and hero car of Ridge Racer 7, the Kamata RC 410. That's a Ridge Racer name. RC. You know? RC 410. The aggressive Nissan GTR-esque star of RR7!

While this case is getting too timey-wimey, we'll leave you with a reaction of what might have been...

Sorry, that's just Ritsuko Akizuki startled...


Let's Do The News! (November 8, 2012)

River's Diary

Right, what's the news today you spoiler-laden TARDIS journal?

About Last Night...

Last night sees the US Election and I can't believe that the US President Barrack Obama won the battle against opponent Mitt Romney in the polls. It was a close thriller and hey, Obamalama won the battle, right? His position as US President has been defended for the next four years. Congrats...

Maserati Quattroporte Full Model Change

2013 Maserati Quattroporte

Surprisingly, Maserati unveiled the next generation Quattroporte, although details remain unknown for now. More details to be revealed in next year's NAIAS in Detroit.

Tuning galore for the 991 911 and the 981 Boxster

Those legitimate tuners from around the world sure know how to add some spices to the latest versions of the 911 and Boxster. Look at those!!!

Anibal Attack

TechArt 981

These tuned-up versions sure know how to make the best better. What can I say? Care to burn their rubbers? Nah, they can do it by themselves...Canadian tuning firm Anibal previews their latest tuning program for the 991 911 under the name Attack which will be made soon, while TechArt showcased their latest tuning program for the Porsche Boxster 981.


Cybermen returns next year...


The Cybermen, ruthless and emotionless cyborgs from Doctor Who, are making a comeback for next year's episode penned by Neil Gaiman. This was according to showrunner Steven Moffat. So, Series 7 Part 2 is coming in the spring of 2013, right? How exciting for The Doctor (Matt Smith) and his new partner (Jenna Louise-Coleman) to face those...

Mazda Carol Eco launched with 30.2km/L JC08 fuel economy

Mazda borrows Suzuki's Alto Eco so they can have their own version of it called Carol Eco, that accumulates a record-breaking fuel economy of 30.0km/L JC08 thanks to its R06A engine lifted from the third-generation Suzuki MR Wagon but with the improved CVT and Idling Stop system. You may remember that the Suzuki Alto Eco is the world's most fuel efficient car ever made. Nuff said...

2013 Mazda Carol Eco

Petron teams up with Porsche for some cool toy-car promo

Petron Passion for Porsche
Passion For Porsche

If you are a car enthusiast living in the Philippines, you might remember back in the 1990's that Shell partnered up with Ferrari for some cool limited-edition Ferrari toy cars for every fuel. Now that Shell's on the Lego Ferrari promo, Petron strikes back with some Porsche toy cars. For ever 1000 pesos worth of Petron fuel, you'll get a cool Porsche toy car for 180 pesos only. There are five Porsches to collect such as the 911 GT3 RSR, 911 Carrera, Panamera, Cayman, and Cayenne.

The question is, which do you like most? Shell's Lego Ferrari or Petron's Porsche toy car? I bet someone's getting confused...;-)

The Holiday issue of Playstation: The Official Magazine will be the last...

Back in 1997, there was an unofficial source for all things PlayStation called PlayStation Magazine but became the official publication of Sony's gaming platforms in 2007 when Ziff Davis ended its Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Sadly, the Holiday Issue of Playstation: The Official Magazine will be the last issue. It was confirmed by publisher Future US.

Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch is in the new Monty Python movie...

The famed actor for being Sherlock Holmes in BBC's Sherlock, who is Benedict Cumberbatch by the way, is on the upcoming Monty Python movie titled Absolutely Anything, which was co-written and directed by Terry Jones, with the help of Gavin Scott...Impressive, I wish Martin Freeman would love to hear his pal got on the groove...

Oh wait...Benedict's is in the talks of being the new villain for the Star Trek sequel movie...while Martin Freeman's the star of The Hobbit trilogy...What can I say?


Sorry for the GIF stuff on this diary entry...

Insignia VXR/OPC Supersport

Opel Insignia OPC SuperSport - 0
Vauxhall Insignia VXR SuperSport

The new Vauxhall Insignia VXR (Opel Insignia OPC) SuperSport looks kinda the same but what I heard, the 155mph speed limited has been removed and speed is limited to about 170mph. This is going to be the fastest midsize sedan money can buy...

Forza Horizon: The Jeep Wrangler accepted the invitation...

Trail-rated to enter the party

Our road-mauling friend, the Jeep Wrangler, just got an invitation to Forza Horizon courtesy of the November Bondurant Car Pack! Perfect, because some parts of Horizon involves on off-road, this is the perfect time to show how the Wrangler is capable of even though this has a Pentastar V6 engine on the front.

Glad that I drove one of these again...

What's in our Car Town garage today? (November 8, 2012)

What's in our Car Town garage today?

1967 Ford Mustang Fastback

This car needs no explanation because this is the kind of car as seen in Bullitt. It's the kind of car Steve McQueen drove in the movie and chasing a Dodge Charger in the film. By having the 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback, you had the ultimate movie car in the entire history and when you pair it with the 1969 Dodge Charger HEMI, you'll know that it feels like the real thing...

1967 Ford Mustang Fastback

1969 Dodge Charger R/T HEMI

This is also one of the most iconic muscle car heroes in history and that car deserves no explanation also because this is General Lee. It's the hero car from The Dukes of Hazzard, the one where the Duke boys leap this car to further heights. If this one's complete with the Confederate flag on top and the "01" vinyl on the sides, then you'll know that it really looks like the car that made the Duke boys yell "YEE-HAW!!!"

1969 Dodge Charger R/T HEMI

1969 Nissan Skyline GT-R

The Skyline GT-R story all began in this car that was built from 1969 to 1972 and famed for being called "Hakosuka," which is a combination of the Japanese word for box ("hako" or ハコ) and the pronounced abbreviation of skyline. It was powered by a 2.0 L DOHC S20 I6 producing 160 hp (120 kW) at 7000 rpm and 177 N·m (131 ft·lbf) of torque at 5600 rpm, mated with a 5-speed gearbox. This car is one of the most legendary classic tuners in Japan and when you pair it amongst other classic tuners, it looks good.

1969 Nissan Skyline GT-R

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Forza Horizon: Toying around with the new Gallardo Performante

The November Bondurant Car Pack has arrived on Forza Horizon and I am glad to try one of the latest creations from Lamborghini, its the painstakingly beautiful and aggressive Gallardo LP570-4 Spyder Performante.

Watch it! This roadster's crazy!

Anyway, about the Performante, this is the exact opposite of the hardtop Superleggera, well anyway it's the Superleggera with the cloth roof if you know what I mean. However, even though it has the same 5.2L V10 engine that generates 570PS of power, I'm sorry to say that it's almost 200 kilos heavier than the Superleggera hardtop but still, 3605lbs for a convertible like this is more than enough to say that this is the lightest roadster Lamborghini has ever made. Kudos to the CFRP materials used to create the Performante for that.

Outta my way, punks! This is my territory!

I know, it maybe kilos heavier than the Superleggera but what surprised me is the way it misbehaves. It's another one of the supercars you would love to crash someone else's party and here in Horizon, it's a balls-out wrecking ball, perfect enough to ruin someone else's reputation. When you set foot, the sound of the 5.2L V10 engine really feels like it's being fueled with some endless rage on it. It feels like you're gone mad and you want to take revenge on someone who beat you! He he he....Nah just kidding. I really love that noise.

The stunningly handsome front view of the Performante

This car captures my heart more than my favorite Lamborghini, the Aventador LP700-4. Even though both of them came from very different classes, the Performante tries to make me smile even more than the LP700-4. Yeah, it's trying to show me that I am the master of this car. Well, every weapon needs a master, right? It's a Lamborghini thing; EVERY WEAPON NEEDS A MASTER.

The Performante showcases its insane cornering skills

Choose your enemy well...

You know what? This is the third time I played the game that featured the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Spyder Performante. I first drove one in Asphalt: Injection in my PSVita, then NFSMW, and now this! Thanks for featuring that car, Forza Horizon. I'm starting to like it even more or becoming my new favorite open-top supercar in the world...

I think I'm starting to like it more than the 458 Spider or even the Audi R8 GT Spyder.

The IDOLM@STER ANIM@TION MASTER Namassuka Special 05

This is it then, for your everyday delectation, the would-be last installment of THE IDOLM@STER ANIM@TION MASTER series features Chihaya Kisaragi and Yukiho Hagiwara for some series of challenges offered. Not only that, it seems that Kotori's present as well.

Sure, just like the past Namassuka Special installments, we might be expecting our favorite characters duke out their own versions of some of Japan's greatest hits. This volume though, is going to be a big one because not only we can expect Chihaya, Yukiho, and Kotori serving up their own versions of one of the greatest hits from Japan such as 風の魔法, 以心伝心しよう, and Shangri-La, but also we are expecting the M@STER VERSION of one of my personal favorite iM@S songs, titled Little Match Girl. Reason why is because it was composed and arranged by South Korea's ESTi. If you don't know ESTi, he was one of the very few people responsible for composing the BGMs from Playstation3's Ridge Racer 7. That's Supercruiser and Kaleidoscope. Which means that this iDOLM@STER song has the genes of the Ridge Racer bloodline, therefore it's a thrill to listen that song. Little Match Girl...I like that...I wanna listen to that...

So, Little Match Girl, an iDOLM@STER song infused with the fiery red-hot Ridge Racer bloodline, is included in Namassuka Special 05 and sung by Chihaya Kisaragi and Yukiho Hagiwara. If you have that CD, then feel free to enjoy listening to that song while tearing down some races because this is ESTi's work of genius.

And that concludes the Namassuka Special range. If you have them all, which Namassuka Special volume is your pick? For me, I would choose the fifth one because of Little Match Girl...


01 生っすか第五部OPトーク
02 Little Match Girl(M@STER VERSION)
03 小鳥チャレンジのコーナー
04 風の魔法
05 以心伝心しよう
06 Shangri-La
07 雪歩チャレンジのコーナー
08 小さきもの
09 アムリタ
10 ありがとう・・・
11 千早チャレンジのコーナー
12 初恋 〜五章 永遠のクリスマス〜
13 アンコール!!
14 Little Match Girl(M@STER VERSION) オリジナル・カラオケ

For English-speaking customers:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Let's Do The News! (November 6, 2012)

Today, we're not doing some stupid stuff like we normally do all the time because what we have here is this...

River's Diary

What we have here is River Song's Diary and what we're going to do now is read what's inside River's Diary. We promise not to tell spoilers because what we do here instead is alter it with the news. The River's Diary. Let's read it one-by-one...

A Russian teen committed suicide because of the death of his favorite character:

I just heard that somewhere in Russia, there was a 14-year old boy committed suicide after witnessing a death of his favorite anime character. Really? Does this kid had the guts to finish his life just because he witnessed his favorite anime character died? Maybe the father of the deceased kid said that he's spent too much time watching TV and can't tell if it's real or fiction. That teenage Russian, whose name was Leonid Hmelev, leapt more than 100ft to hisdeath from the top of an apartment block after witnessing an episode of Naruto Shippuden where the one when Itachi Uchiha died. Tsk...tsk...tsk...Can't believe his favorite Naruto character was the bad guy. Itachi's death was showcased at the manga four years ago. Maybe he should better off reading that manga. Oh wait, do they have some Naruto manga volumes in Russia? I don't know...


2013 Seat Ibiza Cupra Minor Change:

A couple of months ago, while in Beijing, SEAT showcased a facelifted version of the hotter Ibiza Cupra, which was based on the facelifted 2013 SEAT Ibiza range. Sadly though, it's just a pre-production concept car. Now, SEAT, the Spanish subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, has just unveiled the finished product, which will go on sale next year. Nuevo Ibiza Cupra...the one with the state-of-the-art 1.4 TSI twincharger that can go from zero to 100 km/h in just 6.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 228 km/h - and yet exceptionally efficient, with average fuel consumption of just 5.9 litres/100 km. Huh, seems that the TSi twincharger engine still has some life around here...

2013 Seat Ibiza Cupra

Full Story:

Blacktop Editions for every Dodge models:

Dodge tries to boost their lineup with the addition of special edition Blacktop models on 2013MY Avenger, Challenger R/T and Charger R/T. These models come with the gloss-black wheels, gloss-black grilles, black headlight surrounds and body-colored spoilers.

2013 Dodge Avenger Blacktop Edition


Renault will bring Alpine back with Caterham's help:

Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept appears that the Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept car really sparked some interest to make sure Renault can bring the legendary Alpine brand back in the future. However, having the Renault-Nissan Alliance bringing the legendary Alpine brand back takes some help from British racing-car company Caterham Cars. Wow, quite a coincidence there and it says that they will collaborate with the costs of designing, developing and manufacturing a family of sports cars that would be available in about four years. How exciting...


Suzuki bids sayonara to the US Car Industry:

Another one bites the rust, well metaphorically. It seems that the US Subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corporation has filed for bankruptcy. What does this mean? Well, we won't be expecting new Suzuki cars and trucks in the United States once current supplies run out because of low sales volumes, a limited number of models in its lineup, unfavorable foreign exchange rates, the high costs associated with growing and maintaining an automotive distribution system in the continental US and the disproportionally high and increasing costs associated with stringent state and federal regulatory requirements unique to the US market.

Instead, Suzuki USA will be focusing on motorcycles, ATVs, and watercraft. Those who own existing Suzuki cars got themselves covered with honored warranties, and parts will reportedly be made available. Suzuki will continue to sell automobiles in other countries, naturally, including its home market of Japan.


Philippine Volcanoes qualify for Rugby World Cup:

Ah, Philippine Volcanoes...Nope. Not the big scary ones that has Taal or Mayon on it. It's those big, brawny rugby players known as the Philippine Volcanoes. When I said brawny, I mean look at their muscles, their biceps. They look like something big....something meaty...something...oh dear...Why I am writing that? Anyway, these big brawny Volcanoes landed themselves a qualifying rank of 3rd place to the Rugby World Cup Sevens! Team captain, Harry Morris, just said that they are fantastic to be in the Rugby World Cup. This is the first time these guys made it to the world cup! Let's hope these big brawny volcanoes erupt their true potential to the world....


Are Toyota dealers in the Philippines illicitly selling the 86?:

There was some haka-haka going around here that some Toyota dealers in the Philippines are illicitly selling the ultra-popular 86 coupe with some sales representatives supposedly pushing prospective customers to purchase additional accessories for the car in exchange for a guaranteed spot on the car's lengthy waiting list. Well, the truth is that...well, here's what the explanation done by Toyota Motor Philippines;

"There have been cases where a customer who placed an order for the 86 along with its matching accessories would back out on the accessories ordered once it arrives at the dealers," said one source. "Left with the accessories, it's understandable that some of our dealers would offer them to another buyer of the 86. It may have happened a few times where they'd push the accessories to a buyer of the 86, but we'd like to assure our customers that forcing them to buy the accessories just to be able to buy the 86 is not a standard business practice we condone."


Is the 40MPG claim from Hyundai and Kia a big fat lie?:

I just picked up something that the US subsidiary of Hyundai and Kia are on the issue regarding the incorrect 40MPG. It seems that they've initiated a voluntary campaign to re-evaluate economy ratings for about 350,000 vehicles sold between 2010 and 2012, re-label all affected vehicles currently in North American showrooms, and provide monetary reimbursement to all affected current and former customers. It's ashamed that the US EPA are addressing some complaints to the Korean automotive giant regarding fuel economy. Tough luck...


Cars that are fighting to vie the crown as 2012-2013 Japan Car of the Year:

You may remember that in the 2012-2013 Japan Automotive Hall of Fame (JAHFA) Car of the Year, the Honda N BOX+ won while the VW up! became 2012-2013 JAHFA Import Car of The Year and Design of the Year, and Mazda CX-5 SKYACTIV-D 2.2L won the 2012-2013 JAHFA Technology of the Year. Now, let us introduce to some of the top 10 cars fighting to become the 2012-2013 JCOTY:

1) Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S - The Toyobaru collaboration really made these sport coupes the must have for 2012 but will it be the one?

2) Nissan Note - HR12DDR Supercharged 1.2L engine is very fuel efficient but is it good to be on that spot?

3) Honda N BOX/N BOX+ - Sure the N BOX+ won the 2012-2013 JAHFA Car of the Year, but can lightning strike twice for this kei car?

4) Mazda CX-5 - the SKYACTIV-D 2.2L clean diesel engine really revolutionized the world and hey, it won the 2012-2013 JAHFA Technology of the Year, but is there a chance to redeem itself?

5) Suzuki Wagon R/Wagon R Stingray - Kudos to its Suzuki ENECHARGE mild-hybrid system that propelled this kei car to a TNP27 Move-killing 28.8km/L fuel economy. Can this new Suzuki Green Technology be number one?

6) Volkswagen up! - It maybe imported but this is Japan's best selling import car. Can the up! shines through the 2012-2013 Japan Import Car of the Year? I hope it is...

7) BMW 3-Series Sedan/Touring - The new model might be more civilized than the old one but...can it impress the Japanese motoring press?

8) Citroen DS5 - The flagship of the Citroen DS range...Is there chance for the DS5 to redeem itself?

9) Alfa Romeo Giulietta - The most beautiful Italian hatchback in the world but can the Giulietta's beauty be the winner?

10) Range Rover Evoque - With its crossover looks and Victoria Beckham-influenced design, the Evoque is all about the POWER OF PRESENCE...but is it enough to be the IMPORT CAR OF THE YEAR?


Forza Horizon: Cowboys and Grand Cherokees...

This ranch sure knows how to tame this!

By the moment I drive the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, I feel like I'm the sort of idiot who wears a stetson and some racing overalls, ready for some bullriding at the bar. Better yet, this is like an Irish bar fight! Wait, am I saying that loud, am I? Never mind...

Gotcha my little beauty!

...but still, I'm more than happy to take the wheel of the all new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. It maybe the heaviest of the SRT family, probably because this is a crossover made for those who are living in a western ranch and wearing stetsons for everyday lives but with the 6.4L HEMI V8 you get from the Charger SRT8, it packs a punch. It would be perfect enough to make some trouble in Colorado, if you are engaging in a playground game in Horizon. With the added weight, that makes it perfect to ram your rivals while you're shouting "get out of the way!" and makes you want to play dirty thanks to its 4WD layout.

Grand Cherokees are made for tackling any type of terrain whether if its asphalt or dirt and this, the SRT8, does really want to pull everything it got to have the massive V8 engine do the work for itself. This was made for the hairy-chested drivers, those who are brave enough to get down and dirty with this one and if you are noob for this one, well I'm sorry. You'd better off with an everyday car.

The out-of-towner

I drove the previous model in FM3 and FM4 and I gotta say that the SRT8 version of Jeep's flagship Grand Cherokee kinda sacrificed its handling for the sake of added acceleration and power. This is somewhat a muscle car in a SUV's clothing, if you know what I mean. Now, with this new version I'm driving, I'm getting a totally new difference. This is "riding cowboy" to a whole new level. Better get my stetsons on because this new Jeep SRT8 is a bulky high-performance crossover that sure loves to wrestle anyone that stands on its way.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Forza Horizon: This must be the GT-R I was expecting to drive!!!!

Looks good when it's nighttime

Yes, I know. Even though the hopes of FM4 bringing the 2012 Nissan GT-R has been nixed due to some "various circumstances", this kind of GT-R is truly the one we really want if I want to duel it out against the Jaguar XKR-S on the straights.

And now, due to numerous circumstances, Forza Horizon (finally) brought the current version of the Nissan GT-R. The 2012 (US 2013MY) Nissan GT-R Black Edition! The one we saw beating up the Ferrari 458, Lexus LFA, Mustang Boss 302, and others in 2011's World's Greatest Drag Race! Sadly this year, it's been beaten by the McLaren MP4-12C and the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4. But still, it's a quick car. Quicker on the straights, and quicker on the corners.

Attacking through the Finley Dam

One of the things I find it peculiar about the latest version was that it was made from a hermetically sealed factory, most of its components are heated to the same temperature before assembly, and how the tires are filled in nitrogen because it's more stable than air. All those parts; the body, the brakes, the 3.8L twin-turbo V6 engine, the steering, the new dual-clutch gearbox, all linked to sing the song of speed in perfect harmony.

Speaking of which, thanks to such adjustments, I can say that it's getting a bit more easier to handle and faster to outrun any sportscar of its class. Also, the launch control rigged on the GT-R gets me through a quick rocket start, so when there goes the starting signal, the launch control gets the GT-R ahead of its rivals and with all of its might, it can outturn, outpace, and outrun everyone of its class. I mean, how happy am I driving this kind of GT-R anyway? (laughing)

Moonlight Serenade

It maybe a JDM supercar that behaves normally in Colorado and better on straight lines against sportscars that are five times the GT-R's pricing but with great respect comes great responsibility. This car was not made for show-offing against your pals. You need to show how much of a driver you are while driving this improved GT-R. You need to show how worthy and how capable to master this 4WD monster and if you do, the results will be more rewarding but that's okay. It doesn't matter if you're not concentrating because this is an incredibly easy car. It's not mild, it's not dynamic, it's well-balanced in every single aspect and no matter how good or bad your driving is, the GT-R is always respecting your agenda.

So what can I say? This is the best GT-R ever driven in Horizon. No wonder this car got the respect it deserved...

Forza Horizon: How ALIVE am I in the XKR-S?

A big Jag up against a shiny new Beamer in Beaumont

When I first drive the new Jaguar XKR-S in FM4 a couple of months ago, I was impressed to meet up with the Jag that once said that this is the most powerful model they've ever made, probably because of its 300kph top speed, 5.0L Supercharged V8 engine, or probably because this is the only Jag I like. It should have been a fantastic Jag for track-day use...but it let me down probably because it's not enough to tackle against others, especially the GT-R I sure wish to want...

To ease all of the stress, I decided to drive the XKR-S on Horizon and hey, all that sojourn payed off to make me happy. Happy enough to drive the XKR-S all over Colorado. This Jag made me ALIVE to drive it.

Horizon players who drove a Jag like this made them feel alive to take part in various Horizon races and with such respect, this Jaguar XKR-S is truly a fun car built to do all sorts of fun stuff all over Colorado, except to some parts that the XKR-S isn't capable of, like for instance the golf course which is nearby the Media Center where you can make your car jump and make trouble with your friends at the game of King. I tried putting my XKR-S in a game of King at some golf course nearby the Media Center and it's a disaster, I can't keep up catching the King but never mind. At least, it's well-played for my Jag.

I love this Jag. It has all of the grunt, the power, and the style to woo the crowd and make some trouble in Horizon. And wherever I want this Jag go, it not only made me staying alive but feel alive.



Formula One 2012 Abu Dhabi GP Update

F1: 2012
F1 2012

In a scale of unfortunate events occurred in the entire F1 2012 history, this year's Abu Dhabi GP race sees the win of Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen even though this race is all drama and all thrills. As of now, the team standings led by Red Bull Racing in 442 points, Ferrari in 340 points, and McLaren in 318 points. Driver standings as of now Vettel in 255 points, Fernando Alonso in 245 points, and Kimi Raikkonen in 198 points.


Race - Raikkonen wins for Lotus in Abu Dhabi thriller 04 Nov 2012
Kimi Raikkonen held Ferrari's Fernando Alonso at bay in a super-dramatic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in Yas Marina on Sunday evening, to score Lotus's long overdue first 2012 victory in great style. But a blend of great driving, superb strategic work and pure luck with safety-car interventions saw Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel retain his championship lead with a strong third place after starting on medium tyres from the pit lane.

For the first 19 laps it seemed like Lewis Hamilton's race, even after an early safety car between Laps Nine and 14 after Mercedes' Nico Rosberg flew spectacularly over the rear of Narain Karthikeyan's HRT on Lap Nine as the Indian was slowing with hydraulic problems. Hamilton soon pulled away again at the restart, and was 3.4s ahead of fast-starting Raikkonen when his McLaren lost power and he pulled off at Turn 14 on the 20th lap.

The first safety car helped Vettel to recover from his pit-lane start and a brush with Williams' Bruno Senna which damaged his front wing. There was an unusual moment when Daniel Ricciardo seemed to brake suddenly whilst behind the safety car and in avoiding his Red Bull stable mate, Vettel further damaged his wing on a DRS marker board by the side of the track. A subsequent early pit stop for used soft tyres and a new nose and wing on the 13th lap dropped him back again.

At that stage the focus was on the way Raikkonen pulled away as Alonso put increasing pressure on Williams' Pastor Maldonado for second place as Red Bull's Mark Webber and McLaren's Jenson Button gave chase. Vettel was 12th.

Maldonado succumbed to Alonso on Lap 21, but on the 23rd lap Webber was involved in an incident when trying to pass Maldonado which saw the Red Bull half spin and lose places to Button, Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Sauber's Sergio Perez. Three laps later Webber had an incident with Massa, which saw the Brazilian spin.

By the time the pit stops had been made, from the 27th to the 31st laps, Raikkonen was only 1.4s clear of Vettel, and it had now became a matter of whether he could get through the remaining 23 laps on the same rubber as Alonso and Button battled in his wake. 

The answer was that he couldn't, but a superbly timed stop on the 37th lap saw him take a set of fresh softs and drop only to fourth, crucially keeping ahead of a frenetic battle between Grosjean (who had been hit early on by Rosberg), Paul di Resta (who had been involved in a first-corner collision with Force India team mate Nico Hulkenberg and Senna), a recovering Perez and Webber.

Di Resta and Grosjean had both had to pit on the first lap, and now the Scot found a way by the Frenchman on the 38th lap, but as Perez attempted to pass both of them he hit Grosjean and spun, and Webber was left with nowhere to go. The safety car was deployed again from Laps 38 to 42 as the wreckage of Grosjean's and Webber's cars was cleared away, and Perez was subsequently given a 10s stop and go penalty.

In the closing laps Raikkonen controlled things perfectly, as Alonso launched a massive challenge for the victory with a flurry of fastest laps which reduced the gap from 3.2s on the 46th lap to 0.8s by the finish. Vettel went from being 29.8s down on Raikkonen to just 3.3s thanks to the second safety car deployment, after which he hounded Button until he was able to slip by on the 52nd lap before slashing the deficit to his two title rivals.

Button took a lonely fourth, with Maldonado surviving all his dramas to bring home 10 crucial points for Williams as Kamui Kobayashi made the best of a relatively quiet race to take sixth for Sauber. Massa was seventh, chased hard by Senna and Di Resta, as Ricciardo took the final point for Toro Rosso after overhauling team mate Jean-Eric Vergne. The Frenchman was also overtaken by Mercedes' Michael Schumacher, whose chance of points was ended late on by a right-rear puncture.

Heikki Kovalainen had a strong run for Caterham to 13th ahead of Marussia's Timo Glock, who just fended off Perez by two-tenths of a second by the flag, with Vitaly Petrov taking 16th for Caterham ahead of HRT survivor Pedro de la Rosa.

The result leaves Vettel 10 points ahead of Alonso, 255 to 245, with Raikkonen retaining third with 198. In the constructors' stakes, Red Bull have 422 points from Ferrari on 340, McLaren on 318 and Lotus on 288.


This is it! Two more races left for this season and the semi-finals will be in November 18, 2012 in the USA. Can S. Vettel keep the lead in the standings till the very end? We'll find that answer to this question soon.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

New Skoda Rapid and New Seat Toledo

This is the first of one of today's offerings. It's the new age of Skoda, the first of its kind, a compact sedan. The Skoda Rapid. It maybe essentially a production version of the MissionL concept car as seen on 2011 Frankfurt International Motor Show but this one though is a bit more clever than that...

2013 Skoda Rapid

Now, if you're from India, then to you, your India's Rapid is different from our Rapid. As I want to say, the real Skoda Rapid we'll talk about is the new one. The real one. The made-in-Mladá Boleslav one. The one from the Paris Motor Show. Not the poor man's Rapid which was made in Pune. Indian Rapids had the old Skoda badge on it while the Rapid that was made in Mlada Boleslav, Czech, has the new Skoda trademark front as well as the new Skoda logo. See the difference? Yep, it stays true to its brand slogan; "Simply Clever".

Hopefully, I don't want anyone from India reading this article or searching for it. Anyway, this new Rapid is coming back fighting and the most powerful version as of now is the 1.4 TSi model that produces 122PS of power, 0-100kph time of 9.5 seconds, and top speed of 206kph. Most fuel efficient is the one with the 1.6 TDi engine mated with the 5-speed manual that promises combined consumption of 23.8km/L (4.2l/100km). There are other engine types available such as the 1.2 MPi, 1.2 TSi, and a 1.6 TDi with 105PS power output and whichever engine you're on, transmission offerings will be a 5-speed MT, 6-speed MT, or a 7-speed DSG.

Prices start at about 289,000 Koruna or about an estimated 11,500 Euros for the basic Skoda Rapid Active 1.2 MPi 5MT varnat up to 459,900 Koruna or about an estimated 18,210 Euros for the top of the line Skoda Rapid Elegance 1.4 TSi 7-speed DSG model.

2013 Skoda Rapid interior

It looks nice though and somewhat practical because what's underneath the Rapid is a chassis from the current generation Volkswagen Polo, which means there's a bit of cleverness going on. Sure, Skoda is the Czech subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, the Germans have done it again to keep the new Rapid well-made for the developing markets, even China's going to get one of these soon.

2013 Skoda Rapid

It may look like a saloon car but it is essentially a 5-door liftback promising a luggage capacity of 550 litres. That makes it a good compact car all-round for everyday use and I think the all new Rapid could claim to be Czech's first of its kind.

However, it must now face this. A car that seems to be the identical twin of the Skoda Rapid...

2013 Seat Toledo

The se habla español SEAT Toledo. It's back. The compact saloon is back and now it uses the same aesthetics from the Skoda Rapid. It might be more of the production version of the concept version as seen from the 2012 Geneva Motor Show but by the looks of it, the Seat Toledo's dramatic design blows the Rapid out of the water. It looks even more premium and stylish unlike any other compact saloons in this category.

2013 Seat Toledo interior

Even though the new Toledo, like the new Rapid, comes with the same engine choices such as the 1.2 MPi, 1.2 TSi, 1.4 TSi, and the 1.6 TDi engine but when it comes to dimensions, the Toledo is longer than the Rapid thanks to its long wheelbase.

2013 Seat Toledo

However, there are a couple of chinks behind the Toledo's elegance; while the Rapid costs about an estimated 11,500 Euros for the entry-level grade, the entry-level grade for the Toledo will cost you 13.990 Euros, that's more than the Rapid even though they are made at the same line and they used the same A05+ platform. Also, the Toledo's less wider than the Rapid. You really can't tell which one has a wide stance.

But still, the Toledo is much more better looking than the Rapid because while the Rapid is focused to be more simple but the new Toledo is very stylish, very practical, and very emotional in every corner. These two compact saloons is what the Czech and the Spanish are capable of in the midst of the Euro Debt Crisis that hampering European carmakers for days but would they work in today's economy? You'll have to find that out soon...

Photo: Skoda Auto, SEAT
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