BLOGTASTIC

 

30/January/2008

Oh yes, new Transformers Classics revealed!

Sunstreaker looks nice, but I admit I share Walky's feelings on the matter; he's just rather plain looking, and it's not like he hasn't got many figures over the years. Personally, I'm disappointed his engines aren't so over exaggerated. That's what I liked about the G1 toy, but here they just seem added on as an afterthought. Knowing me I'll probably get him anyway, just so I won't have to get the Alternators one and have him towering over all my figures.

 

PROWL OH GOD YES. I have been dying for a new figure of this bastard, but the very first one was the only one that looked good. This looks to just be an expansion upon that with articulation and not much else, but regardless I love the looks of this. I really hope they don't screw up his palette. How can you mess up black and white?

 

Tankor, or Octane as his less stupid name is, looks decent. His two vehicular modes look mighty swell, and I can't help but love those tiny propellers, but it almost feels like the G1-styled head is all that's preventing him from looking from a Movie character. Of course, some colour could possibly fix that nag of mine, and I admit it's mostly because I'm a big G1 fag hag who wants everything blocky and barely recognisable, but his vehicles look rad.

 

It's absolutely awesome to see Powerglide being remade, as I feel the Mini Vehicles are woefully neglected in the modern Transformers fiction, and Bumblebee and Cliffjumper seem to be the only ones with constant new versions, excluding the homage to Beachcomber in Energon. I mean, the Legends version of Barricade could make for a beautiful version of Huffer if retooled a fair bit. It's also great to see him remaining close in design to the original, but... he's redesigned. It's expected, but he's tall now. And he's brawny. What was great about the Mini Vehicles was that they were miniature and stumpy and loveable. That's why I love Cosmos! Then they tried to remake him for Classics and he became tall and brawny. It's nice seeing Powerglide back, but he was great because he was just this stumpy little person that barely reached Starscream's chest, let alone the chest of anyone else. Also not a big fan of how he'll apparently be mostly silver, but again, it's just a matter of seeing how it's done.

 

And finally, Onslaught. He's the sole Combaticon I always forget about, and I admit the first colour image I saw of him I wasn't that impressed, but here he actually looks pretty great. I may actually be severely tempted to get him, maybe!

All in all, I'm very relieved to finally know that there's a new figure of Prowl that's worth getting, and at least two of the others may be worth getting. But knowing me, I'll probably take an interest in them all at some point or another. Hurf.

 

And another oh yes, I'm spending money like a really bad money spender! I'm not sure if that's worth an exclamation mark because it's not exactly a positive quality!

After seeing it for years in Forbidden Planet, I finally got myself a Sakura Street Fighter figure. She'd been kicking around forever at the low low price of 1.99, so I got two, one for me and one for Galvatron. But knowing me I'll probably up the charges simply because he beats me silly in Street Fighter II. I never said being fair was a positive quality either.

After looking in Woolworths and such places for any possible chance of finding a Titanium Ultra Magnus (no dice, it's all Movie figures, unsurprisingly), I popped into Toys 'R' Us. More of the same, except with more diversity, and a hideous amount of Doctor Who stuff. I almost wish I cared for it, but I don't.

What I did care for was the very awesome selection of Marvel action figures! There was a twelve inch Daredevil figure with 27 points of articulation (and mighty fine paint) for 4! My dad swiped that one up while I nabbed myself a similarly sized Iron Man figure for 15. I meant to leave it until another time, as I've still got some figures to arrive in the mail and a few more I'm intent on buying, but he persuaded me. And he was paying, so I could at least wallow in glee before paying him off later.

And I swagged myself another THE CORPS! figure, who looked a disturbing amount like Chuck Norris. He comes with four guns and cost 99p, so ding ding. It also only took one minute to get out of the box, but Sakura took half an hour. The cheaper it is, the less protected it is? Who knows.

And the Transformers Armada game arrived today, but I haven't played it so I've no idea how bad it is. Here's hoping it isn't!

All this toy buying and I still haven't made a new Motorbike Man episode yet. I suppose it'd held to know if anyone cared, but yeah I'd like to get around to showing my figure collection getting crushed by cars and falling off cliffs and such like.

 

Today's question: Every time a toy has individually moveable fingers, I always make them give the middle finger. Am I crude or is there really just very little one can do with that articulation?


 

29/January/2008

So how about that Cloverfield, you guys?

I haven't seen it.

I just wanted to be cool and mention it because that's what all the blogs are doing. =(

(Then again, I didn't talk about Trivium when somehow it became the focus of everyone's attention ever, but better late than never)


 

26/January/2008

So I got playing a fair bit of Tokobot Plus: Mysteries of the Karakuri, finally getting to the second chapter, and like Haven, I'm really hoping it picks up soon and consistently.

The gimmick of the game is interesting enough; you explore ruins to gather things with your six Tokobots, who you can organise and use in varying ways, whether as a ladder, a ground pound and a spinny move thing. Presumably you gain more abilities along the way, but so far all I've got is the ability to summon a samurai robot and some kind of crane thing where you connect lines and achieve nothing. The game makes it obvious to point out repeatedly that an enemy if approaching or how to open a door, but doesn't tell me what the hell you're supposed to do with the crane thing.

I'm not exactly enjoying it. The basic gameplay and quickness to adapt makes me feel it could've been something at least slightly hardcore or tough, but it's just so slow and monotonous! The frequent conversations from your supervisors to point out everything just drains any sense of achievement or exploration from the game, and the fact you move so slow and the levels are so big just makes plodding through a total drag.

I really hope it picks up along the way, as I miss playing good games.


 

23/January/2008

Alternators Swindle arrived today, and boy am I pleased! I would do a full General Writings review of him, but I wouldn't really have a lot to say. Plus, it's about time the blog got some long stuff.

His vehicular mode is obviously the highlight of the figure, and the entire toy line, bursting with realism and all kinds of new details every time I look. He's got the side view mirrors (with real mirrors!), a steering wheel, gear stick, collapsible seats, a bonnet that opens, doors that open, and his wheels roll! Groundbreaking stuff said with a sarcastic tone.

Sadly, it's easy to convert him to robot from vehicle mode, but hard to get him back into it properly. These photos have his back end unconnected so if I were to lift him up it would droop down and become his legs.

His robot mode is also fairly incredible, blatantly featuring the aesthetics of his car mode that create the look that got me hooked on Transformers in the first place. That's why the characters with Cybertronian alt-modes don't really appeal to me; since they form alien vehicles, they can just turn into any old ass, put headlights on it and claim it's an extraterrestrial tank. The Alternators line avoids this and gets real good lookin' robots, which pleases me severely, not to mention Swindle has pinched Trailbreaker's head. The dirty swine!

The leg articulation is great, and the big clown feet he has add to his charm, but his arms leave something to be desired. His hands can rotate and all four fingers move separately, but the rest of his arm can only bend. If you try and make his arm stick outward, his bonnet pops up, as his arms are stored in there in car mode, so poor Swindle is forced to aim only down or at a slight angle. Considering how dynamic his legs allow him to be posed, it's a shame he can't pull all kinds of crazy hand moves, not to mention how his fingers don't hold his gun as well as they could, but can't win 'em all.

In car mode he's about 3.5 inches tall and 6 inches long, while robot mode makes him a bit more than 7 inches tall, just a little bigger than Classics Jetfire. For 13.50, I got a pretty good deal, especially since it's a high quality figure and the conversion from car to robot isn't too laborious, even if finishing it completely can leave you baffled for a bit. Recommended!

I end a lot of reviews with recommendations, except when it comes to video games. I smell an unconscious conspiracy.

 

In the video game realm (not where Captain N takes place), I've been playing a lot of Haven: Call of the King lately. I've made a fair bit of progress, having defeated the overlord and gotten myself in a desert landscape with a quad buggy where I'm supposed to destroy tanks and collect cogs. Or more accurately, got myself into a boring segment.

There are a lot of those in the game.

I'm finding it hard to like the game, but at the same time, I'm having difficulty being hateful towards it. It's got great controls and a mostly-okay camera for a 3D platformer, and when the action is provided, it's provided in healthy portions that actually crack a smile from me, which with today's gaming is actually a rare feat! The problem is that it submits to the tired standard of every 3D platformer having to be about collecting items to proceed, and that's where the game blunders severely.

The game starts off with what's more or less a tutorial, wherein you explore the titular character's village and learn how to use his skills, making use of them to gather cogs for a platform out of there. The village is large and split into two parts, so it actually took me several plays before I found where everything was. Not a good start. Then the platform out of there features high pressure water bursting from pipes, falling boulders and all kinds of hazards, almost creating a hectic feeling reminiscent of Donkey Kong Country, and more than makes up for the sloppy beginning.

Then your next area is a lava-filled mining ground where you need to gather cogs to get the elevator out of there, with sinking-and-rising platforms and harmful workers standing in your way. It tempts you to turn the game off, as once again, the surroundings are pretty looking but are so very repetitive that finding your way around is cumbersome, especially with the items respawning so you can't quite be sure if you've explored an area or not.

Take the elevator, and you're up against a large mining machine that wants you dead for whatever reason. Looks like it's picking up!

But, no, it's not. The collision detection of the boss means that it'll strike a platform to collapse, but instead takes down one far from it's striking location and sends you in the drink. Not to mention that the character's horrendous aim becomes obvious by how it's hard to hit the machine's weak spot with his gun power-up before it turns around again. At best, it's a mildly amusing fight, but the fact death can come so suddenly and unfairly it gets grating, and still at this point I'm not sure if I'm having fun.

Then it's followed up by an unnecessarily long rail shooter segment, wherein I'm not even sure if your character can be hurt, as missiles seemed to hit me a bunch of times yet my health never went down. The boss of it is similarly annoying, as it fires projectiles at you that multiple and increase in speed when shot, and it's only when those projectiles are out of the way that it's vulnerability closes up temporarily, meaning it takes way longer than it should.

Yet another "find this shit" segment follows afterwards, now with panicking villagers screaming the whole time. Even when you do collect the items and don a jetpack to put out the fires of burning buildings with a water cannon, it still feels like a huge joke.

Only now do things get entertaining, with the chance to crash into sentry towers on a jet ski, followed up with a brief segment of collecting items on platforms that dip into lava. There's a few low points from then on, such as the "tilt with the rhythm" moment on a swinging platform to reach the entrance, but the castle is actually surprisingly entertaining. It's just a shame that it takes so long for the game to remain good for a long span of time, and I hope it picks up later, but the sheer fluctuation of quality in it's moments keep throwing me off.

Here's hoping it won't suck.


 

19/January/2008

It's three weeks into the new year yet it feels like nothing special. It's like the world is actually lying to me about what a wonderful event it is! I barely even remember it is a new year!

So this is one of those times where the main site is ignored and I don't bother talking about anything while Random Action Hour gets the attention, with four episodes waiting to be put up. I could talk about something, but what is there to say? Personal activities are still more or less the same, I'm still hounding over nerdy things and I want to get working on a new walkthrough or something, but general laziness and simultaneous busyness hinder that plan.

You know what'd be awesome at a dull moment like this? Feedback. I've no idea who my audience are! (Enlighten me)


 

07/January/2008

Oh God, I've gotten back into Bomberman Fantasy Race lately after having gotten to the mirror races and then moving onto other things, and all it seems to be doing now is making me a more bitter and surly individual. I've gotten to the final race without the perfect steeds - which require 100,000 monies to buy when the most I can easily and consistently win is 3000 per race - and am determined to complete it without them.

This, of course, forces me to rely an unhealthy amount on the item box, which has a whopping two items that don't require you to aim at an opponent to stop them: The clock, which freezes all enemies, is the best item in the game and is naturally very rare and cannot be bought in the store; and the homing bomb. Of course, that depends on what your definition of "homing" is. The game defines it as "sometimes hitting what you want, but mostly flying past them and into a wall. Good luck hitting anyone when they're not in sight!" And since the opponents have ludicrously unrealistic speeds and are halfway through the second lap when I just reach that one, that forces me to pray for a clock.

Did I mention that the item boxes also contain curses, like the traditional Bomberman games? It's true! And they contain such lovely things as mindless bomb throwing, slowed speed, a forced potty stop (seriously, the creature stops, takes a dump and breathes a sigh of relief, leaving a pink smiling turd behind) and most lovely of all, reversed controls. Considering the game takes five precious seconds to get you back on the course if you fall off, and steering is kind of an important part of racing games, this is marvellous.

And the course has lots of pits and mines and sharp turns and a wall boost that'll smack you straight into a wall if you don't brake, which is incredibly touchy in the game. The game is fun, but it absolutely loves to kick your ass and prevent you from winning, and the heavy random element when it comes to winning is rather dickheaded, really. But I love it so.

Someone save me. =(


 

04/January/2008

Looks like there's a Mega Man movie, you guys! You know what this calls for!

A bastardisation.


 

02/January/2008

You know what I never see anymore? New year's resolutions. It's like they vanish for more than just 364 days of the year now. Then again, considering I always reply "I'll see" when I'm asked if I'd like to go somewhere or do something on a certain date, that's probably why I don't hear of them anymore or make them myself.

If anything, I'd like to think I'll take more interest in gaming this year, but what's new just bores me, y'know? Motion sensing and virtual reality or whatever's going on is all fine and well, but I just don't care, to be honest. I'm content playing Rayman, and that's all I need.

So, uh, hope you like toy reviews everybody!