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Anime Roundup: Summer 2015

Man, this season really crept up on me. Then again, with all the previous seasons anime finishing at different times, the shows this season had really staggered starts, which made planning awkward. They’ll need to sort that out sometime soon, otherwise the shows starting dates will just keep drifting apart!

But I digress, there are a few shows which I’m a little excited about but we’ll be looking at the previous seasons shows first as always!

Best Show

Plastic Memories

I’m not sure why but this show really grabbed me. It was both happy and sad but it handled things very well, especially with the inevitability of the ending hanging over it all the time. Other shows had me more entertained but plastic memories was the one I looked forward to the most!

Continue reading Anime Roundup: Summer 2015

Project: True Sonic Fate (Part 2)

Hurrah!! A modelling update! Well, it is true that I have been slacking considerably on the building side of things but I’ve gotten back into the groove a little recently (though losing internet for a week helped!). I blame the good video games which have been released recently.

In any case, considerably progress has been made on Fate but we’ve still got a ways to go before we hit the fun stuff (i.e. the painting). It also didn’t help that I found out that I had no primer so I had to get some before I could continue and man, primer is freaking expensive!!!

In any case, after priming, all the nasty pinholes became visible so it’s a matter of fixing all those first before we can proceed…

Yup, not too pretty. The body took the brunt of the problems but there are a number of noticeable dents on the legs and head as well. Luckily, they aren’t as annoying to fix as some other kits I could mention but they still need work. I’ve sanded down and filled the holes twice now so most of the pinholes are gone but I still need to do it a few more times to make things smooth.

It’s not a quick process either. Just look at how much liquid putty I need to put on for the body!

Luckily, the legs were pretty straight forward. Here’s a pic from just after I had sanded the leg down for the second time. The problem is that, even if it looks smooth during the sanding, once you prime it again, you see just how bad the imperfections are.

Still, they do look much better now than they did before. I still need to go through the cycle at least once more to be sure but hopefully, I can get to the fun bits soon!

E3 2015 Keynote speech battle

I skipped this post last year as there really wasn’t much to talk about. no Killer announcements or big megaton news pieces from the three to get excited for. Guess they were saving themselves for this year…

E3

 

None of the big 3 really fumbled (though microsoft did put the foot in their mouth a couple of times) but judging from the internet, there was one clear “winner” this year.

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Mini Review: Splatoon

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This review is a bit late but, due to stuff, I was away from my wii U for pretty much the whole week after the game was released so I haven’t been able to put it through its paces properly until now. It also didn’t help that many features and a new game mode was locked until you reach a certain level, which meant that some grinding was required but I’ve unlocked the core stuff now so I’m in a better position to share some thoughts about the game.

Splatoon is the first new 1st party IP from nintendo since pikmin and it’s been getting quite the coverage. The basics of the game are those for an online 3rd person multiplayer shooter but nintendo like to do things differently so the aesthetics are far more colourful and cartoon-y than most shooters and the objective is to cover as much area of the stage as you can in the ink of your colour instead of simply earning points by killing members of the opposite team. Your character is called an inkling, a young kid character who is able to turn into a squid at the press of a button. Initially, you choose the gender and eye colour of your chosen inkling and are pretty much instantly thrust into the game while being pushed into joining the online multiplayer to get your level up in order to purchase new weapons and clothing to customise and augment your inkling. Changing to squid form allows you to swim quickly through ink of your teams colour but touching the ink of the opposing team will hurt you. Swimming in your team colour ink is also the only way to refill your ammo while only inklings in human form can use weapons.

As you level up, you gain access to new weapons which fit 3 basic molds, the roller (which has very little range and is rather slow but covers a large area quickly and is quite powerful if you find yourself in close range with an opponent), the charger (effectively a sniper rifle. Powerful and has long range but doesn’t cover much area per shot and has very slow rate of fire) and the splattershot (the middle ground. A machine gun like weapon with high rate of fire and middling range.). Initially, you only get the weakest splattershot for a weapon and you need to level up to level 4 before you can buy into the other weapon types. On the other hand, you do get one of the most useful subweapons in the game in the form of the bubbler, a shield which makes you temporarily invincible and also protects any team members close by!). Extra weapons and clothing can be purchased as you level up with the money you earn in battles and clothes have special boosts, such as faster run speed or less ink usage from your main or sub weapon and more expensive clothing have space for more perks. All clothes start off with a specific perk but can get up to 3 more (depending on the rarity of the clothing) as you use it and level up. These extra perks seem to be random so you may end up with a dud combination though.

In online, the only game mode available is turf war where 2 teams of 4 try to colour as much of the stage as they can. Once you reach level 10, you unlock ranked mode, which comes with a second game mode called splatt zone, where the 2 teams vie for control over certain areas of the map to score points, much like domination matches in other team shooters. And that’s it for now. For the most part, much of your time will be spent in turf war. Nintendo have promised more game modes later but for now, these 2 are all you get. To compound issues, there are currently only 5 maps to play on and the game restricts you to playing in just 2 per mode. After an hour, the maps cycle through but there will always only be 2 maps to choose from at any give time.
Away from the multiplayer, there is a single player element which actually doesn’t play much like the main game at all. Feeling more like a puzzle game or perhaps something akin to mario sunshine stages crossed with mario galaxy, the single player can be beaten in a few hours. If you have the splatoon amiibos, using those will unlock specific challenges for certain stages and completing them will unlock special amiibo gear, weapons and mini-games. The squidgirl amiibo gives challenges where you need to finish stages using a charger instead of the usual splattershot weapon, the squidboy does the same for the roller and the squid amiibo gives time trials and limited ink challenges. Overall, the single player mode provides a simple enough distraction from the main game but there’s no doubt where the main timesink lies.

That’s pretty much the game in a nutshell. How is it?

Continue reading Mini Review: Splatoon

the 8th Birthday

Yeah, I needed to sit down for that too. This blog has been going for EIGHT years!! It’s been a weird 12 months and blogging has slowed but it’s not dead yet! But, as it is tradition, the last week of May will host my annual anniversary post where I look back at all my purchases and completed kits of the past year… Well, most of them!

Now this is FAR from everything. Not pictured are my Nu-12 (due to lack of space), several gunpla including my PG Full Armour Unicorn Gundam (as they’re in Wales) and my 4th Dollfie Dream. Yes, my fourth one…

In any case, lets take a look at them all, shall we?

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Mini Review: Damascus Gear Operation Tokyo

It’s been a while since I did a game review on this blog, mostly because I’ve been playing mostly bit AAA titles and there’s no real need to throw one more voice into the pile, but then there was a somewhat interesting PS Vita release last week which I picked up.

Damascus Gear is a small Vita title which was published by Arc System Works, which probably explains why the US got it over a month ago. ASW doesn’t seem to care about Europe at all, but I digress.

The game can be most easily described as a really simplified Armoured Core. The plot involves fighting a war against machines which went skynet and have started to wipe out mankind. That’s pretty much the backstory and don’t expect much in terms of plot. The game has you piloting your mecha and completing missions, most of which are either search-and-destroy missions or get-to-point-B ones. As you progress and destroy enemies, you unlock extra mecha parts which can be purchased at the store in your base or picked up in the battlefield. You can customise your unit by changing the body, legs arms, head and armaments to try take on missions.

The game is played in an isometric view with 3 of the face buttons mapped to weapons and you can have up to 3 equipped at a time. The X button is used for evasive boost, which uses a bar on the bottom left of the screen. L is used for healing items (assuming you have some) and R is used for extended boost to get you around the map quicker but it uses up the same bar as the evasion boost. Weapons are broadly categorised into rifles, close range weapons and powerful back weapons which require charging, use a lot of energy but does a lot of damage. Your parts and weapons are limited by the amount of energy used as it cannot exceed the amount which your body can generate. In that respect, it’s similar to the weight limit for AC.

In terms of gameplay, movement is controlled by the left analogue stick. when you face an enemy, you auto-lock on and will remain locked on so long as you are using a weapon. You can’t switch targets once locked (unless you stop attacking) and it can be difficult to lock onto a specific enemy at times. it would seem that using the right stick for targeting would have been a good idea but it wasn’t implemented. the evasive dash also seems to invoke some invincibility as well so it’s easy to avoid damage by dashing around so long as you have boost to use.

other than that, there’s not much to say about the game. It’s fairly simple and has a budget price so we are’t expecting a huge amount of depth but it’s pretty effective for a budget title. but if you want to go into more detail…

Continue reading Mini Review: Damascus Gear Operation Tokyo

Anime roundup: Spring 2015

This post was meant to be up last week but the press Start concert bumped it down a week so this is a little late. Having said that, this season hasn’t really set me alight though there are some definite must watch shows…

In any case, lets look at least seasons shows first and then we’ll look at the new stuff.

Best Show

Yoru no Yatterman

This was a tough call. There were a few shows which I enjoyed a fair but but Yoru no Yatterman ultimately wins it because it was such an interesting take on the the original show, which was first shown back in the 70s. The good guys are now bad and the descendants of the original bad guys now rise up against them? And it’s a complete tone reversal as well. The original show was very bright and colourful while this one is very dark. The show did lose its way near the end with the cop-out resolution but it was still a strong show overall.

Continue reading Anime roundup: Spring 2015

Press Start to continue.

Long time readers may remember that I have a Love/Hate relationship with the city of Paris, in that I hate it but it loves to do events which I would enjoy and go an extra mile to attend. The last time I did something so drastic as to go to Paris for an event was back in September 2012, where I got to see May’n live as part of her world tour. And last weekend, I did something stupid again. This time I was to attend the Press Start Concert at the Maison de la Mutualité. Why would I do this? Well, it was mostly because of the special guests in attendance. Some guy named Nobuo Uematsu was there but I’ve met him almost half a dozen times already so that wasn’t that big a pull. There was also Yoko Shimomura. She’s done music for a lot of great games (like streetfighter 2 and Parasite Eve) but she’s best known for the music in the kingdom hearts series… a series I have little interest in…

Nope, the sole reason I braved Paris was for the third guest. Yasunori Mitsuda. Hands down, my favourite video game music composer. He gave us the xenogears OST so he’s legendary!

And here’s what I got from the event. I paid for a VIP ticket to get me into a meet-and-greet where I could get some items signed. It was meant to be 1 item per person but I managed to get Mitsuda-san to sign both my Xenogears and Xenosaga Episode 1 copies. The event also gave us a free program, T-Shirt and Dancing Dads CD!

Continue reading Press Start to continue.

Day of the Unicorn

Sorry for the delay in post but I was travelling after spending the long weekend away from my usual tools. But as an offshoot, I had some time to finish off my unbuilt gunpla! Even better (or worse), right at the end of my time off, a parcel arrived from my friend Q in Hong Kong and it contained something which I have been waiting for since January!

Actually, only the Full Armour Unit was in the parcel, the PG Unicorn (and lighting parts) were completed back in January. But seriously, how big did they need to make the box? The damn thing is almost as big as the Unicorn (and around 2/3rds of the depth). A large chunk of the space was taken up by the fuel pods but still…

But I also had some time to build other kits which had yet to be assembled. I now have the MG Gundam X and 1/144 HGBF Try Burning and Star Winning Gundam! (The Build burning and Winning gundam were completed a while back). The Gundam X was very impressive and made me appreciate the design of the mecha more, with the way everything can be stored as well as the beam rifle/shield combo. Star Winning gundam was a little disappointing though. Both it and the Winning Gundam desperately need a proper paint job but I didn’t have the necessary tools. The Real Mode of Star winning was also a little disappointing. Winning Gundam was just more… fun!

Anyway, let’s go back to the FA parts!

Continue reading Day of the Unicorn

Project: True Sonic Fate (Part 1)

Just a brief update this time (again), but I’ve finished preliminary cleaning on the parts of my next project and also managed to pin the larger parts to give readers a better idea on how she looks!

There’s still a fair bit of work to do with regards to cleaning up the parts. More bits need to be sanded down to a smooth finish and I keep coming across more pinholes which need to be filled. Having said that, the parts fit is pretty good so there’s not much work needed to make sure everything stays in their right places.

The only (slightly) annoying thing about the kit so far is the scale. When I bought her, she was said to be 1/6 scale, same as my Nanoha which I’ve already completed! But when I put the 2 together…

Looks like there’s quite a difference in perception of scale between builders…

Also, the swords for Fate are really REALLY large!

In fact, the one held vertically will need to be positioned at an angle in order to ensure that it fits, otherwise, it won’t let Fate Stand as it’s actually taller than she is! Well, I guess stability shouldn’t be a problem!