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Mini Review: Touhou Genso Rondo Bullet Ballet

Firstly, apologies for the lack of posts for the past couple of months. Real life stuff at work hit pretty hard and I’m still trying to pick up all the pieces but here’s to me trying to get things back onto track.

And for the first post back, I felt that a recent purchase deserved a mini review for a little more exposure simply because it won’t otherwise. It’s that damn niche!! And that purchase is the first Touhou game to come to a playstation console officially, Genso Rondo! Now, there’s another reason why I wanted to write this up but I’ll get to that a little later.

Now, for the completely uninitiated, Touhou is a series of doujin (basically, japanese indie) games which have been around for a while. They’re mostly bullet hell shmup games but they have diversified into a number of other genres as well. Each character has also been given their own fairly intricate back story and personalities so the Touhou universe is actually quite expansive. But that’s enough about Touhou in general. There’s a whole wiki dedicated to it so you can check that out for more info but lets go into Genso Rondo a little bit more.

Continue reading Mini Review: Touhou Genso Rondo Bullet Ballet

Quick Look: Cat Ear Headphones by AxentWear

I’ve actually had this pair of headphones for a while but didn’t really think about posting anything about them but since a bonafide UK dealer has picked it up and you can now purchase these things locally instead of going through the intense pain of importing, I figured that some people would be interested in grabbing a pair, but I do have to temper any enthusiasm first.

Well, at least the box is pretty stylish! and I was also able to find a seller of 1/3 scale replicas for my Dollfies too, as modelled by Alisa here!

Continue reading Quick Look: Cat Ear Headphones by AxentWear

Wonder Festival 2015 Summer Garage Kits

Wonder Festival was a couple of weeks ago but I was sadly caught up in writing up the Tomopop coverage so I haven’t been able to write about it until now.  You can still go over to Tomopop for a more full coverage but I’m just going to focus on the kits which I liked the looks of in this post (as usual).

Vispo really came back with a BANG at this event with 2 new kits of Rin and Sakura with scooters! Ages ago, he did one of Rider and I thought it looked decent but these 2 are something else. I particularly like the Rin kit tho.

And if that wasn’t enough, Vispo also did this great original number! The lady is named Ruka and I really like this kit! Think I will be trying to get one in the future!

Continue reading Wonder Festival 2015 Summer Garage Kits

Anime Roundup: Summer 2016

And once again, the new anime season is upon us and, to be honest, not many of the shows really interest me this time around but there are a couple I will definitely be watching and some which I am curious about so my viewing habits are not likely to change. But, as always, lets take a look at the previous season and what worked and what didn’t.

Best Show

Joker Game

 

This is mostly due to my personal tastes in entertainment as I really like mysteries and thrillers with a logical structure and allows you to work things out without the show having to explain every little detail to you so this was right up my alley. Not as great as Gosick or (more recently) Hyouka but still very solidly put together and keeps your interest.

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(commission): Deep Rising!

Sorry for the late post but I’m just putting in a brief one because this kit kinda deserves a post. I finished U-511 from KanColle a while back and she is now with her new owner but I still wanted to post a little bit of her but waited for a while.

Continue reading (commission): Deep Rising!

E3 2016 Keynote speech battle

Theoretically, this should be a pretty quick post about what we were shown by the major console makers just before E3 started. Much of it was very standard with some crowd pleasing games and some new hardware announcements but this still managed to be one heck of an odd E3… Much of this was due to the knowledge of new systems from all 3 major console makers were coming and yet none of them would make a splash at this years event… well, mostly. And the one which did make a showing, managed to just confuse and muddle peoples minds.

So lets take a look at the keynotes in order.

Microsoft

And we start off with the weirdest one of the lot! Microsoft started their keynote with the announcement of a new SKU for consumers and ended it with a teaser for another one coming next year (according to them). So they announced the new Xbox One S at the start, a smaller and cheaper Xbone with a slight upgrade in specs and coming to shops soon. That would have been fine except the last thing they showed was what they were calling project Scorpio, a major update to the Xbox One in terms of specs and one which pushes the system into a more incremental update pattern akin to PCs… So in one move, they sewed seeds of doubt into potential buyers of the Xbox One S and muddled their own ecosystem at the same time. Much effort was made to say that early Xbox One buyers would not be left out by this new update but if their specs are to be believed, they kinda have to leave the early adopters behind if they are going to make full use of the systems capabilities. This isn’t a little boost to make the system 4k compatible like the Playstation Neo. It looks like Scorpio is capable of much more but they are saying they are going to hamper themselves to ensure early adoptors “don’t get left behind”? I’m not buying it. I think the Scorpio will be like the New 3DS by nintendo. So far, the only things which are unique to the new 3DS is Xenoblade chronicles and SNES virtual Console games. Otherwise, the old 3DS is just as capable so the new model would languish if it was sold side by side with the old model cos there’s no reason to upgrade. I fear that will be the fate of project Scorpio.

Not that it really matters since throughout the whole conference, Microsoft went to pains to show that their games were now Xbox One AND Windows 10 “exclusive”. which basically means that you don’t need to buy an Xbone at all if you want to play their games, you just need a decent PC… which is what I have in front of me now. So there’s no reason at all for me to now buy an Xbone unless I really REALLY need to have a physical copy of the game.

Elsewhere, there was some good stuff shown on the games side. We got some Gears of War 4, which is very much more of the same as well as scalebound by platinum games (which, I admit, isn’t really on my radar at present), an announcement of Dead rising 4 & state of Decay 2 as well as a look at the new Rare pirate game, Sea of Thieves.

Ultimately though, it felt to me, personally, that Microsoft was basically trying to kill their own Xbox Brand. I now have no reason to buy their console and those who have will likely just be confused by all these upgrades… Games wise, the conference was pretty strong. But the overall message is sending mixed signals…

 

Sony

Lets face it, there was no way that Sony was going to come even close to matching their show last year but they did get a decent one out. In start contrast to Microsoft, there was absolutely no talk of the new Playstation 4 Neo at the event, which was focused almost entirely on the games. There was a bit about PSVR which was more just to give a solid release date and price before showing off the VR titles. There was also relatively little host presence. A brief introduction of the game was given but Sony mostly left the gameplay to speak for itself.

And we got a few surprises along the way, such as an announcement of Resident Evil 7, with a really clever title trick and a massive departure from the more recent games in the series, eschewing action for more tension in the gameplay but it’s still very early days. A brief demo was released after the event but it has proven divisive so far and it has been said that it’s not a true reflection of what the game will be but rather the atmosphere capcom are trying to make. A total remastered Crash Bandicoot trilogy was also announced which tickled more nostalgic gamers and Hideo Kojima got a massive welcome when coming to announce his new game after his split with Konami, Death Stranding. The trailer made no sense at all but I guess that’s par the course for Kojima. There was also a lot of gameplay from Horizon: Zero dawn, a game which looks interesting but hasn’t really grabbed me and a solid release date for the last guardian. FINALLY! And lets not forget the announcement of a new spider-man game from Insomniac games. I don’t like the new costume but I’m very interested to see what they have planned for that game.

Overall, I enjoyed the Sony conference the most. It was the most lean and simple to follow, with no new console variants to confuse things and a laser focus on the games they have planned. A good effort, even if they didn’t really have announcements that raised the roof this year.

 

Nintendo

With Ninty already saying that there won’t be any NX talk at E3, you knew that this was going to be a bare showing, and it proved to be thus. Nintendo treehouse basically padded their 2 or so hrs with just Pokemon Sun/Moon and the new Legend of Zelda game – Breath of the wild. If you are a fan of the series, then I guess you have something to fawn over but neither series has ever really grabbed me. I played Pokemon blue back on the old Game Boy but that’s it and I’ve never really been a fan of the 3D zelda games. So yeah, Nintendo was a bust for me.

 

And that’s it for this year. If the internet is anything to go by, it looks like Sony have once again maxed out on approval ratings from gamers and many are just as confused as I am with regards to the Microsoft Xbox Strategy… Well, we’ll see what happens in 12 months. By then, we will at least know what NX is and probably have a solid idea on what Sony is planning with their Playstation 4 Neo and we’ll also have PSVR in the wild. Could be very interesting…

(not so) Wild 9

Bit of a delay on this years anniversary post, primarily because I wasn’t sure if I should do one and the reason is pretty apparent…

Yup, that is the entirety of my purchases for this year. It’s considerably smaller than previous years and it lacks the single painted kit I did, which was for someone else. Still, I guess it would best to just put in a single photo.

Out of the above, I have to say that Matsuri is my fave figure, in spite of the very adult nature of the kit. The Nendo Sega Saturn is adorable too. In any case, lets see if the situation improves over the next 12 months and I’ll have more to collate next year.  I already have one on her way.

Commission(?) 1: U-511 (KanKolle) (part 3)

Another very quick update this week as I’m reaching the endgame which basically means that the bulk of the work should be completed by the end of this weekend if I want to finish this kit in time for MCM at the end of the month.

The basic colours have now been set (not pictured are the head and hair pieces which have also been painted). So the majority of what needs to be done are just the eyes and trying to get a good, even look for the hair, which may prove to be difficult. I’m not sure if it’s due to the lighting in the sample photo but the hair comes off as almost the same colour as her skin… Well, I’ll see what I can work out…

On another note, I also did a slight modification to the connector between the ship armaments and the figure by adding a magnet next to 2 support beams. This should allow the figure to be supported without needing to be permanently attached to the ship arms… In theory. In practice, the magnets aren’t quite strong enough so there’s a slight lean between the 2 parts but I think I’ll keep them as is simply because it makes the overall figure much easier to store and transport. This is pretty much crunch time if I want to try and hit my personal deadline so this weekend should be interesting…

Commission(?) 1: U-511 (KanKolle) (part 2)

Just a brief post this week but it’s kind of a big deal as, due to some unexplained randomness, I have picked up my old model kit projects and started working on them again! There might be a chance that I finish this little project before the MCM expo at the end of the month! I had originally hoped to complete both kits which were handed over to me but that definitely isn’t happening now. Well, 1 out of 2 ain’t bad.

The actual ship parts have been painted, though I may redo them depending on how well the colour meshes with the actual figure when all is said and done. The current shade may be a little too dark…

As for the figure herself, the parts fit is excellent and I didn’t see any major faults or pinholes in the parts after priming so I can pretty much jump straight to painting. A few leg parts do need a little cleanup but nothing major.

Similar story with the head. Just a few bits which may require cleaning up but the parts are all good and, if I manage to keep the momentum going and not get distracted by shiny new things (Uncharted 4), I suspect the painting will go by rather smoothly. but I will need to research more into the colour palette for this unit, just got lots of grey at the moment… Displaying the full kit will also likely prove to be awkward.

Mini Review & series retrospective – Dead or Alive Xtreme 3

Oh boy… Well, this one is going to be a little tricky. Not much needs to be said about DoA Xtreme 3. It’s development history is pretty much well known with the publishers quickly saying that they won’t publish it in the west and a few high profile people basically saying it’s due to “the current social climate” but that hasn’t stopped people from getting a copy and the whole thing just thrust the game into the limelight.

Then the reviews came out and they have been pretty savage. BUT the thing is, the game isn’t that bad! Sure it’s not good, but there are far worse games out there. Reviews have basically fallen roughly into 2 camps, those where the reviewer has claimed to have played previous games and then do their utmost to blast the game because “it’s the cool thing to do” and first timers who really didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. I have sympathies for the first timers as the game is basically from a different time and transplanted into the current environment which is basically hostile to everything because everything offends everyone. They were probably also stung by import taxes which raise the price of the game higher than is comfortable for many. I acquired mine by other means so I don’t feel particularly hard done by it but others may not be so lucky.

Still, in the interest of fairness (And to remind me what I was getting myself into), I actually went back and dug out my copies of the previous 2 games and played them before Xtreme 3 arrived for me. so, let’s take a look back at the earlier ones in the series…

Continue reading Mini Review & series retrospective – Dead or Alive Xtreme 3