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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!

…and for my next trick!

Apologies for the lack of posting, things have been pretty hectic around here. Still, I was able to decide on my next project and while it’s still a long way from being completed it’s pretty fun and the build quality is decent enough. There are pinholes but the parts fit is good and I’ve been meaning to do her for a while since I was going to partner her with a previously completed kit. Who is it? It’s Fate!

fate

 

I actually bought her first and then bought Nanoha afterwards but Nanoha was done before Fate here. Another slight miscalculation is that she’s not the same scale as Nanoha. I think Fate is a 1/6 or possibly 1/5 scale kit while Nanoha is one size below so Fate is going to stand over her when she’s finally done. I’ll do a quick size comparison when I get around to pin the parts but for now, it’s all about sanding and finding the pinholes. On a completely separate (tho not completely unrelated) note, Resident Evil Revelations 2 Raid mode is really fun!!

 

Winter Wonder Festival 2015 kits

Sorry about the delay in post this week guys, I’ve been collating the GK stuff for tomopop so the personal list went on the back burner for a while. That and the simple fact is that there weren’t really any new kits which really grabbed my attention. There were some which caught my eye but none which gave me a “must get” response other than ones we have seen at previous events… speaking of which…

It’s 2 kits from past events which really go to the top of my list this time around. Cecilia and Noire still look fantastic and I really want to get my act together to buy them both at a later date. The rest of my picks will be after the jump but if you want a more detailed look at the kits at WF, check out the tomopop coverage!

Continue reading Winter Wonder Festival 2015 kits

First Loot of 2015! (And a look at Asagi!)

Confession: I’ve been pretty lazy with my hobby projects after the new year. Since I finished my PG Unicorn (no pics here I’m afraid, but there are a few on my twitter feed), I’ve been mostly hitting my gaming backlog (nearly finished Dai-2-Ji Super Robot Taisen OG after 2 YEARS!!) but I’ve also had a few AmiAmi orders come in as well. I just need to pick a new project to start work on but I’m still debating on which one to tackle…

In the meantime, I was hit with several items being delivered in rapid succession…

Not pictured is the Soul of Chogokin GaoGaiGar but I got that too! Noel was an oddity because I missed the initial pre-order window and ordered via Yokatta Japan. I think they placed an order with another shop so I had to pay a little more than the standard rate, which was OK. What was less OK was the fact that I wasn’t notified that it had arrived and even when I paid for the shipping, it took almost a month for Yokatta to get off their asses and actually ship the damn thing! Their service has gone way down since I last used them…

Figures wise, Noel is just as good as the first Hobby Japan figure, except this time, they gave her a gorgeous gloss finish for her clothes (the blue parts at least). I was considering doing a separate post for her but she gave less of an impact this time around due to the similarity with the first figure. Takao was a really pleasant surprise from Ques Q, a relative newcomer to the PVC market. They’ve bought up popular garage kits and made them into PVC figures. They got their hands on the Grizzry Panda Busou Shinki kits and they are seeing a release now so I should be getting mine soon. Takao was also reasonably priced, unlike the busou shinki girls, who are more expensive in PVC form than the original GK!! Tiki is just really fun and I’m mulling over the idea of putting her on my monitor alongsite Eas! And finally, I got Igawa Asagi from Taimanin Asagi 3. Despite her origin, this one is pretty SFW. for the most part anyway and since I didn’t hear much about her on the interwebs, I think we’ll take a closer look now, though this falls short of being a full review…

Continue reading First Loot of 2015! (And a look at Asagi!)

Anime Roundup: Winter 2015

And no sooner does the year start, the new anime season comes and joins in! Not sure why, but I found the autumn season to be rather unmemorable. Nothing really jumped out. Still, there were some really entertaining shows so it wasn’t a bust and there were good shows but mostly sequels, which really dulls the excitement (especially when you know what’s going to happen. I’m looking at you UBW!!). Still, lets do the usual and take a look back at the season just finished and look towards the new shows!

Best Show

Hi-School SeHa Girls

In terms of pure consistency (and massive nostalgia value) SeHa girls was probably the show I enjoyed the most but watching them in 10 minute bursts (as opposed to 3 eps stuck together into a 30 min episode like Robot Girls Z) made it hard to really get into. It works much better if you just marathon the whole thing but it’s still very fun. Otherwise, I guess my best full show of last season would be…

ShiroBako

Aside from True Tears, I think if P.A. works does an original show, it needs to be 24 eps long to be good as they can’t seem to fit a decent story in 12 episodes. Luckily, ShiroBako is a 24 ep season so it’s one of the good ones (along with Hanasaku Iroha & NagiAsu). You really want to punch some of the support characters tho!

Runner up: Denkigai no Honya-san, Ore Twintail ni narimasu

Continue reading Anime Roundup: Winter 2015

Moving along…

And so, we wave goodbye to 2014. And as such, here’s a look back at the anime, movies and video games for the year (well, what I can remember of it!). After 2013, 2014 was much more stable and with more to look forward to. Plus, I was able to see Q again in Hong Kong, which is always a good thing! Wish I saw the others too but our calendars didn’t align. But enough about that, lets get on with the retrospective.

Best Shows

 

Gundam Build Fighters

  log horizon  

Nagi no Asukara

Hitsugi no Chaika

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

First of all though, I’m putting a disclaimer in here. I deliberately did not put in any of the really short shows in this top 5. Otherwise, I’m sure Robot Girls Z and Seha Girls would be in here but they’re so short, it didn’t quite sit right putting them in a list with full 20 minute 12/24 episode shows.

Build fighters was just great. After the duds that were Gundam 00 and Gundam Age, it felt really good to have a show which was not only entertaining but also just fun! And they did it by jettisoning all the usual stuff like space wars and social commentary! Build fighters was a breath of fresh air to the whole franchise and it did a better job than the last 2 shows and even its newer stablemate, Recongusta in G!

Log Horizon was basically SAO done right! It avoided all the pitfalls that SAO fell into and it also had a rocking OP theme! Season 2 is having a rougher time as part of the lure of S1 was how it had to explain how the world worked. S2 doesn’t have that luxury but it’s still pretty good.

Nagi no Asukara was one of the better offerings from PA Works. A longer story which was given time to be told and done very well. Some of the other offerings from PA Works can lack direction and/or structure (Glasslip, I’m looking at you). some of that can be attributed to the 12 episode structure of the season but with a 24 ep show, PA works showed what they can really do with an original story!

As for Hitsugi no Chaika, the show itself was decent but not really outstanding. But Chaika was!

And then there’s Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. One of the funniest shows of the year, beating out Seitokai Yakuindomo and several others into my top 5. And there’s always room for more Chiyo!

nozaki

Continue reading Moving along…