Wednesday 10 December 2014

Raiden's BIG Guns : Great Gaming Moments Episode 5

This episode has a look at Virtual On and Raiden's lasers of death and destruction!  Note the snazzy new intro.  Oh I say! I've gone all classy!

Saturday 29 November 2014

Hello Mr Bumblebee

I wonder how many people will get that reference.
Masterpiece Bumblebee arrived today at my residence.  Yay.  Previously I had spent a good half hour typing up and editing this post, then the programme crashed and now I have to start again as I hadn’t saved.  Gawdamit.
I think in the design process, Bumblebee presents a lot of challenges.  The first is his original vehicle mode, being the Choro-Q deformed beetle.  The next, would be making his robot mode scaled for the other MPs, but then the vehicle mode won’t scale well. 
What to do?  As a bonus, Bumblebee also comes with Spike in an Exo Suit!  YAY!  Finally after all these years we have and Exo Suit.  I don’t know why it took so long….  After all M.A.S.K managed to give us Scott and T-Bob right from the get-go.
So, how is the end result?  Read on to find out!

Friday 28 November 2014

But wait! There’s more!

Transformers, Transformers Animated, Everybody Loves Raymond.  Strange combination, but Animated Swindle was voiced by Fred Willard, who has many roles, one of which was as Raymond Barone’s Father-in-law.  An odd choice I first thought when watching TFA, but as a comedian it suited Swindle very nicely.  Well, Swindle isn’t a comedian as such, but he is a very smooth fellow and shouldn’t be trusted.

There’s a lot to like about Swindle’s design and the figure came out looking very nice and rather close to his on-screen self.  Let’s take a look!

Tuesday 11 November 2014

American Saturn Software package review. Albert Odyssey

I’d been eyeing off this game on and off for a while, umming and arr-ing about actually getting it or not.  I finally dropped the cash and ended up with my very first American Sega Saturn game.  Odd really since I have had the facilities to play them for a while but have just never bought any.  So now I own the highly regarded Albert Odyssey. 

While I am excited about Albert Odyssey, I am not so excited at the style of packaging the American games come in.  I thought the PAL (Australian/European) cases were annoying, but these US ones appear to be worse.

Monday 27 October 2014

Flame Effect by Bandai

Very excited and a little annoyed at this.  I had this guy ordered from HLJ as well as figuarts Nobita and was patiently awaiting the release of the super sexy Matoi Ruko from Kill La Kill.  However, the best laid plans of mice and men and all that, the flame effect was getting close to it’s 60 day limit.  I thought that ordering something would renew the 60 day on everything in the private warehouse, but apparently this is not the case.  Oh well.  So I cancelled Ryuko (boo) and shipped Nobita and Flame effect.  Then I ordered Ryuko off of Amazon (yay).  The flame effect arrived this morning.  Much excitement was in my eyes.  I had to open t up right away.
Does it live up to expectations?

Sunday 19 October 2014

The new Shredder TMNT 2012

In my review of the 2012 version of Ninja Turtles main enemy I gave him quite a bagging due to lack of articulation and loose holding of weapons….  I did manage to completely leave out his lack of Cape…

Luckily for my TMNT collection, I discovered a release of the SDCC 2013 special edition of Shredder hanging about on local stores.  This one I could not refuse to buy!  Why?  CHROME! 

Does the chrome and new sculpt make previous Shredder redundant?

Monday 13 October 2014

Pen Black Convoy, or Penesis Prime

Erm, WOT?
NemesisPrimePen (26)
Oh My, what a gloriously horrid pun this one makes.  That’s right Ladies and Gentlemen While I battle a crippled computer and a passing typhoon, I while away my time taking pictures and typing on a horrible little USB keyboard as my crippled computer’s keyboard has given up on life.  Oh well.

Today I present a review of the Transformers Black Convoy Pen, licensed by TakaraTomy and created by Sentinel toys.   They’ve been pretty busy lately I see and have managed to take my money on a number of occasions now.  Panty, Stocking, Gurren Lagann and Blodia (which I will get to one day) have all been nice pieces, well Panty and Stocking could’ve done with stronger wrists, but Sentinel’s robot designing has been fantastic.

And Expensive.

As is this guy.  So, is he worth the effort and cash?

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Amiami Random Grab Box

Grabbox (1)
Here’s a little story of the day I was convinced to buy a ‘small’ grab box from amiami.  The cost of the grab box was just 1000 yen, super cheap, but since it is a lucky dip style thing of stuff they need to get rid of, you never know what your going to get.

Turns out for me, postage ended up at 3200 yen…..  Let’s hope there’s some good stuff in there.

Friday 3 October 2014

Great Gaming Moments Episode 4: Fun with Puny Humans

In this Episode I check out the Incredible Hulk, Ultimate Destruction on the Playstation 2.  I could do at least  a couple f GGMs on this as I played the absolute bajingoes out of this game.  This episode looks at the Human element and the fun that can be gained from abducting them and just being Hulk-like!

Did you play this game and enjoy it?  What off-track amusement did you get?  Drop a comment below so I can check it out.

Sunday 13 July 2014

Classics Optimus Prime

Going back a few years (2007) for this one as I go through my toys I am rediscovering how cool some of them are.  One of the figures that I thought was the bee’s knees was this Optimus Prime from the Classics line.  The line that reimagined the original G1 characters and toys with the technology available today.

Optimus Prime here is of the Voyager class size and packaged as such.  Sadly he wasn’t at all near to the size of Voyagers that we were used to, in fact he only looked a little more bulkier than a deluxe sized toy of the time. My how things have changed.  Although some of the Classics line have dated a little, I still rather like this Optimus toy and he is my leader of the contemporary Autobots for my little collection.

Wednesday 2 July 2014

AOA Weapon X, aka Wolverine

Marvel Legends AOA Wolverine
With the Age of Extinction Transformers movie coming up soon,  thought I would make that a very loose connection to the one series of comics that make me accidentally call the new movie (AOE) AOA instead, leading to much confusion with those involved in the discussion.

Of course it’s the X-Men series Age of Apocalypse.  I covered Sabretooth from this series a while back and quite liked the figure, despite the simplicity of his design.  How will Wolverine pull up?  Actually, that should read “How will Weapon X pull up” as I am led to believe he never dropped the Weapon X moniker in the AOA universe.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Great Gaming Moments Episode 3 : Transformers PS2

Episode 3 of Great Gaming Moments involves the cool little PS2 video game of Transformers, once again named only Transformers, but made by Melbourne House.  It's a general cracker of a game and I am really very fond of it.  Interestingly it was subtitled "Prelude to Energon," but that was dropped.  Which is a relief as "Transformers Armada: Prelude to Energon" is a long name and not terribly catchy.

One of the things that this game did really well was the concept art and things that could be unlocked.  It was changed quite a bit from the very first footage released which I hunted down a while ago for prosperity.

Sunday 22 June 2014

Excellent Model Risty

I have a soft spot for Queen’s Blade.  I suspect that it’s entirely due to the ridiculousness of the idea.  Aside from that though, it ha brought up some nice statues for the characters and this is one I have known about and wanted for a while, Risty the bandit.  I found out about it after it’s initial release and it grew rather expensive on the after market um market…  Luckily a re-release was done with slightly different colours and so I snapped one up. 

Thursday 12 June 2014

Let’s Play! Super Mario! Figuarts that is!

Boo boo boo bo boo boop!
Super Mario.  The Chubby Brooklyn plumber from Platforming days of yore.  And now I guess.  He has somehow managed to lack rather nice action figure, which is fine as I need a fat guy to launch an assault on the poor animal/plant kingdom of Marioland and now I have one.  Hmm, makes me wonder what Marioworld was called before Mario invaded actually.

Anyway, slightly drunken musings out of the way, I have in sights my newly arrived Figuarts Super Mario figure made by the good people at Bandai.  I picked this guy from my Post box today and yesterday being a public holiday over east, my work was a little slow coming in and as a result, I had time to play.  Sadly I didn’t have my good camera, so here I have a special Work Desk Dodgy Busy Background and Phone Pictures Review! ™

Thursday 5 June 2014

Fall of Cybertron Starscream


Going through some of my older photos, I see I still have this guy on my harddrive.  So with the intention of lightening the load on my computer, I now give you, a  review of Fall of Cybertron Starscream (and by the way of default, War for Cybertron Starscream).

Most of the Fall of Cybertron deluxe figures I have looked at have been less than inspiring.  The Combaticons were cheap feeling, as was Optimus.  Kickback suffered from dodgy alternate mode, but very nice robot mode and Grimlock was just cheap and nasty. 

Luckily Starscream managed to come out looking all right.

Sunday 1 June 2014

Generations Scoop


Oh how I love me some TargetMasters.  Or any masters.  As a result I really wanted this figure, less so for the character or the G1-nes since I never had the original toy, but more so for his TargetMasters and that he actually came with them.  How nice!


But how nice is the toy?

Thursday 29 May 2014

C64 goodness–package look Turrican 2

Oh the Commodore 64.  I spent many an hour blasting bad guys in games that were good and many that were not very good at all.  Here I am going to have a look at one that was very good.  I actually bought it and on top of that managed to keep the box all these years! 

It’s the scrolling, platforming shootemup extraordinaire, Turrican 2!!

Thursday 22 May 2014

Masterpiece Red Alert

The Paranoid character of Transformers ends up being a winner in my books for mainly one reason.  He is a Lamborghini.  Having already covered Sideswipe, but still in the mood for  more Lambo love, I have here a fairly quick look at Red Alert, or Alert as he is called in Japan.  Most of my comments for the design and sculpt of Alert are exactly the same as Sideswipe, so I’ll keep my comments short.

Thursday 15 May 2014

Unboxing My Black Rock Shooter Insane Part 1 and 2

So, after actually going through the terror of getting this, I finally decided to open it up.  Part one of a two part series.  This video covers the Blu Ray and outer package.  The next will cover the figma.

Part two, checking out the figma is here:

Saturday 10 May 2014

The problem with Childhood Association or…

…how I stopped worrying and bought a Masterpiece Ratbat…
First a little story.
When I was a young un’ I had Soundwave, Buzzsaw and along the way acquired a Frenzy and Ratbat.  Somewhere along the lines I misplaced/traded/lost my Soundwave and friends, all except for Ratbat.

Then, with Ratbat as my only Cassette bot left and in high demand from my Transformer owning friends, I had my best mate’s younger brother come around for a Transformers play.  After he left, Ratbat was strangely absent.  A thorough search around my house did not reveal my little purple cassette.  A short bike ride later and it turns out that Ratbat was in need of a rescuing.  And  a little brother in need of a scolding…

I suspect that due to those circumstances, I am rather fond of not only my original Ratbat (still have him, complete with ears), I am also rather fond of his character.

This therefore led me down the road of desperately after the Masterpiece SoundBlaster figure, for the very reason of getting Ratbat.  *****sigh*****

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Going as south east as I have ever been.

Generally every February/Marchish time of year I try and take the better half for a little getaway.  We’d been to Busselton a number of times and this time decided for a change.  We settled on going to Esperance as neither of us had been there before.

Thursday 17 April 2014

Miracle Works Vehicle Voltron

I remember seeing prototype images of this guy years and years ago.  Almost at about the same time I got my first interest in Chogokin figures.  At the time, I assumed it was a Chogokin figure from Bandai but it then stagnated and the only information I could find was that very same image.  A few years later a listing on a web site advertising this figure got some people excited, sadly though the listing was a year or so too early and from an unknown (to me at the very least) web shop.  The temptation was too much for some and from what I have read on the net it did not work out too well for many of them.

I managed to avoid that however and after hearing good things about this bad boy from a good friend, I decided that I would like a nice Vehicle Voltron in my collection.  So here we have the updated from my Blocky original, Vehicle Voltron by Miracle Works.

Thursday 10 April 2014

Great Gaming Moments Episode 2: Sonic 3d Flickies' Island

So, onward and upward.  In the intervening time, I managed to cobble together some footage and so I present the next episode in my Great Gaming Moments, Sonic 3D, Flickies' Island on the Sega Saturn.

Thursday 3 April 2014

Great gaming Moments Part 1 - Streets of Rage 2

Part One of a hopefully ongoing series of video features, cleverly called Great Gaming Moments.  This time I look at the one aspect of Streets of Rage 2 that I really loved and why.

Saturday 29 March 2014

Super Car! Super duper robot!

As a young ‘un, I have ALWAYS had a crush on the sleek sharp lines of the Lamborghini Contach.  For me it was the ultimate car.  Sadly, like many other people in the world, I am unlikely to ever own one.  But as it turns out, through the good people at Takaratomy and if I remember correctly designed by Shogo Hasui I now have a very nice sample in my collection.

So what if it isn’t a REAL Lamborghini.

Sunday 23 March 2014

Quick And dodgy review. Trailbreaker and Hoist

I love these two characters.  Then I heard about their Generations Upgrade and was excited.  Then I saw the wave 2 of Beast Hunters refill local shelves and pretty much gave up on Australian Transformers distribution and imported the two pack of these guys from Japan.

One slow day at work and some happy snaps with my phone camera result in this quick post today.  Both Trailbreaker and Hoist are the same toy, just with different face sculpts and accessories.

Tuesday 18 March 2014

WFC Soundwave–Revisited

In my Madness, I ended up getting some of the WFC characters from Japan as well.  Megatron was a great improvement.  So is Optimus (probably to come on the blog much later), but howsabout Soundwave?  Can a new paint job make him that much sexier than his cross-the-ocean counterpart?

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Marvel Legends Dr. Doom

You gotta love a guy who has an initial on their belt buckle don’t you?  You know, I always wondered whether Victor VonDoom felt that he got a raw deal in life.  Named doom right from the start.

Moving on to the toy though, I got this guy from the rebooted Marvel Legends line and later found out that he is actually a recolour of Dr Doom from one of the movie lines.  Wow.  Impressive, considering how naff Dr Doom was in the FF movie.  This figure has its drawbacks, but overall I think it’ pretty good.

Thursday 20 February 2014

Wreck-Gar - A-Rama!

You know when you go a little crazy… and you end up with 4 of essentially the same figure…..  well, I justify it by explaining they are Junkions. And awesome.  Then I swapped their heads around to make them just that little bit more different.  The I went and bought the E-hobby set, just for the new Junkion head of Scrapheap.  THEN I bought the Hasbro release of Scrapheap called Junkheap.  Sounds like a heap of…

Sunday 16 February 2014

Free mobile gaming forces bad game design.

With the rise of mobile gaming on phones and tablets, there is a very strong market for games that contain microtranactions. A ‘microtransaction’, is when a player buys a virtual product to be used within the game. It could be anything from a continue, a new character to play as, or even passing the time quicker (as in the case with some farming games).
This stems from the marketing technique of providing the game for free, or for very little and the company makes their profit from people buying things within the game for the game.
Continuing on from some of the criticisms I levelled at Sonic Dash, I am going to aim my sights at Activision.  I know, I know, it’s a pretty easy target, but here it provides a pretty good example of what I see as a rather significant fault in the microtransaction model of gaming which I think is having a detrimental effect on mobile game design and to a lesser extent home gaming.
Note the blacked out continueFor the purpose of this argument, I am going to focus on mobile gaming. I first encountered this problem when I started playing the endless runner version of Pitfall! I enjoyed the game quite a bit with its simple controls, nice music and casual gameplay. However since I have been playing it for a while, I have encountered an odd situation.
As the game progressed, it naturally gets a bit harder and when you fail at a challenge and ‘die’, you either have to continue by using a ‘macaw token’ or start from the very beginning of the game. Now when I first started playing, I had access to some tokens and was also able to gather some during gameplay. Naturally being new to the game I was a bit bad at playing it and therefore used my tokens up.
Which brings me to an odd situation now. I am able to get quite far into the game, but have not been able to acquire anymore tokens to continue at all through the game itself. In fact whenever I die I am reminded by the game that to continue, I should go to the store to buy some. I am therefore stuck with having to start the game from scratch every single time I play.

Shopping death Screen

Which then brings me to the point I wish to make, have we started seeing games that are designed to unfairly hinder the players to the point that they are forced to purchase items for the game? Sonic Dash in particular had a terribly bad setup of obstacles that just seemed impossible to predict or react to, thereby guaranteeing failure at that point. If this Pitfall! game had the same impassable setup, one would be forced to buy the Macaw tokens to pass that section. Unscrupulous game design. As it is in Pitfall! the section I often get to has an obstacle that I often never pick up on. In fact I believe I have yet to pass this obstacle as my attempts to pass it have failed, from either not seeing it, or my swipes were not correct. It is not obvious what the motion to do to pass is and that is part of the problem as well as the obstacle being hard to see.
In this type of simple game, everything should be easily recognizable and the solution obvious. After all mobile gaming is aiming for the casual user. Easy pick up and play is the key to this demographic.

DuckJump (it's all in the mind)
In this case success is not and I wouldn't be surprised if it was designed to be this way, just like the “dot-point-death-combo” of Sonic Dash, it could well be to coerce the player into buying tokens to pass a deliberately impossible section.

The shop Screen for Pitfall! Note how expensive the Macaw tokens are.
If this is the case then that equates to bad game design, which I think will hurt gaming in the long run if it catches on as it will turn people away from games, or even worse, become the norm resulting in having to pay for the game as well as having to pay to finish the game.

Gameplay should be challenging, but it should also be able to be passed without external aid. Once a player has succumbed to buying ‘items’ to pass a section that can only be passed with the aid of those items, then the game becomes pointless as skill is no longer needed and lacks the most important ingredient, fun.

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Saturn Game Pack Gallery–Metal Slug

In an odd move, I am going to do a little review on the packaging of Metal Slug for the Saturn.  I had been looking for this game for years.  Most importantly at a good price.  It is known to be rather expensive at times.  I mainly wanted it as it’s a good game and it requires an SNK 1 Meg Ram cartridge expansion for the Saturn to play it.  I already had the 4meg Ram cart that Capcom produced for Xmen Vs Streetfighter and friends, as well as another one for Waku Waku 7.  Oddly though, none of the carts work for other games.  You can’t use the 4meg cart for Metal Slug.

As a result, finding a complete Metal Slug was the most important factor for me.

Saturday 8 February 2014

Sonic Dash review

Sonic Dash is a member of the ‘endless runner’ genre of games which has become popular with mobile gaming (and by mobile gaming, I mean gaming on mobile phones/tablets etc).  Sonic is perfectly suited to this style of game and it makes sense for the character, win and win right?
The way it works is Sonic always runs into the screen and you have to swipe up, down left and right to avoid obstacles and collect rings, occasionally having to tap the screen to attack enemies.

Simple and enjoyable.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Beast Machines Longhorn.

So it’s 40 degrees Celsius today so what does one with a plastic crack addiction do to relieve the oppressive feeling of heat?  One grabs a tasty beverage, heads outside to a convenient balcony that happens to be within reach of a cooling breeze and takes some pictures of toys of course.

Today I have my newly acquire Longhorn from the curious Beast Machines line.  I kind of like and hate the Beast Machines line at the same time.  Generally the Maximals are rather ugly.  The Vehicons are also rather ugly, but less so and it’s in this ugliness that I garner some enjoyment. 

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Japanese Generations TG25 Part 2 – Orion Pax.

After having covered Megatronus, a rather nice little figure, here is Orion Pax; the figure I really wanted.  I specifically awaited for Orion Pax…  In all his super sexy painted glory.  The Japanese version has an infinitely nicer paint job over his Hasbro brother’s plastic colouration.  Let’s check him out and see how he goes!

Monday 13 January 2014

Japanese Generations TG25 Part one –Megatronus.

I remember seeing the prototype images of this Orion Pax when there was a toyfare and have been quite excited for him ever since.  Later I saw the TakaraTomy colours, which featured some SUPER sexy paint on him and decided to wait for the Japanese version.

Megatronus (or IDW Megatron as he is called by Hasbro) I couldn’t have cared less for.  Stealth bomber Megs?  Meh, who cares.  However Pax would only come in a twin pack with Megatronus.  Now that I have them, I don’t mind Megatronus that much. 

Bumblebee  didn’t exactly fill me with joy when I beheld his plastic form.  Can two Pre-War Cybertronian Transformers sway my scepticism towards the new deluxes?

Sunday 5 January 2014

Gokaiger DX Key Set

Wow, interesting.  As I sit here whiling away some time at home, I notice that the photos for this review I took on Boxing Day 2012.  Pretty much a year ago give or take 2 days of me typing this.  Funny old world.

These are some Ranger Keys, which when combined with the Mobirates allows members of the Super Sentai team to change into their super powered modes.  These keys interact with the toy Mobirates so after getting the Legends phone for the better half as a Christmas present last year (and some keys to go with it), I got a little excited and thought that a collection of Ranger Keys would be cool.  And cheap.

Sadly I haven’t gotten too far as it turns out they are not that cheap after all.  One day I will get the members of Battle Fever!  I swear it!  I did manage to get the Gokaigers (must have of course) and Himitsu Sentai Goranger as well as some odds and ends,  since they aren’t all grouped together in teams.

Incidentally, I just discovered that the Gokaigers are going to be ther powered up forms for the Power Rangers Megaforce, well, when it starts in Feb 2014 anyway.  Cleverly called Power Rangers Super Megaforce, I might actually watch it.  It seems they are making a different type of Ranger key too.  Oooooooh!

Let’s have a looksee at the Gokaiger in key form then shall we?