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Friday, July 29, 2011

Why collect?

Yeah, my room looks like Toy K*ngdom :D
 Why not?

It's a typical otaku urge. Whether it's is brought about by love for a certain show, hobby or celebrity, otaku just like you and me feel compeled to own a piece of what we adore no matter how mundane or bizaare it is.

Collectors can be of varied degrees. They are usually classified into the 'completist', the 'casual/chance' or a mix of both. 'Completist' tend to be the hardcore ones, completing the last action figure in a series or the last existing cel for an anime or cartoon show, movie or anime.  A number of completists go as far as collecthe the whole line of merchandise or items related to his interest. And usually he/she does not go for a certain theme or genre for his/her collection. He/she just wants each and every little thing that goes out with the show's/character's/celebrity's name on it. And thus, many find it difficult to be a completist unless said collector is not financially hindered.

Messy don't you think?
One otaku's junk is another one's treasure.
On the other side of the fence, we have the 'Casual' or 'Chance' collectors. This type collects whatever is available. He/she never cares to complete an entire line of merchandise as long as he/she has at least an item at his/her possesion. Or in the case of 'chance' collector, stumbling upon an item that fits into his/her collection is all it takes.  An action figure of his favorite character, a ball-jointed doll of her faveorite J-pop idol, a signed copy of a manga is all that a casual collector wants. Typicaly, their collections are random and may or may not have a focus on a certain theme.

In my case, I find myself as a mix of  the 'completist' and 'casual' type. Sure I have a complete set of the first 5 Autobots (and soon the first 8 Decepticons) Transformers toys from the first movie, but I still have a few 'bots lying around the house from other TF lines. I collected the first 4 Celestial Being Gundams from the 1st season of Gundam 00 but I won't go as far as collecting the whole line-up. To sum it up, yes I do have a lot of my  collection completed but then there's many more that a)I'm not able to complete or b) not planning to complete for one reasonon another.

So then, I shall leave you with this question: 'What kind of collector are you?'



Monday, July 11, 2011

3.. 2.. 1.. Henshin! / Kamen Rider Fourze is on its way!

We still have around 2 months before the official showing of the next Kamen Rider series yet everybody are already talking about it. Its actually been a usual thing whenever the current series is going to end and transcends to the new one coming.

But this time around, it’s quite a bit interesting because of the theme that the next series will going to take and even the motif of the next rider is really something that you can't really apprehend at first.

he's kinda like a marshmallow, heheh

The new rider is name Kamen Rider Fourze or with a play-word of 40 or 4-0 though not entirely sure if it’s going to be the official play-word for his name but his official name is indeed Fourze. Fourze's motif is an Astronaut (no kidding). And many have pointed out about the rider's look is terrible or something, let alone that the given motif is somewhat a bit weird in the sense and thinking how will that work in the series.

rocket punch!!!
I'm always feels skeptic on something at first but I always ended up accepting it on the long run. Fourze is no exception. I'm as skeptic as ever when I first see it because of his head design (Rocket Head!) and his body is somewhat chubby (he's like a mascot!). Plus both his arms and legs have a Playstation button design on each and I'm still wondering what are those for. Though it’s not been clear on Fourze's features but some were already assuming (including me) that he will also be like W and OOO having combo forms. I'd also thought it because so far it’s been a running concept that started from W. Base on one of the screenshot, Fourze has some sort of rocket at his arm. Many dubbed it as his Rocket Punch. So I guess this is his Rider Punch.

There's no further info about how the setting of the story of Fourze will make except for the fact that it will be more like a school-themed since most of the official casts are portraying students or teacher. The main hero is somewhat like a typical bad boy-kind-of a student though not entirely sure how the character will really play in the series for it’s not been totally revealed yet.

But as I said it's just me being skeptic at first but I don't entirely judging the series just because of the looks of the rider. I love the Kamen Rider series so I will still dig it whatever is going to offer. Whatever you think about the new rider whether good or bad, everybody would probably agree that it’s so far the unique rider you could ever see. Besides, for a Kamen Rider fan (like me) you will still watch it anyway despite however or whatever it goes. “It's Our Duty” to watch it! For now we'll just have to wait see.

Kamen Rider Fourze will start on September 2011. For sure there will still be more information will span before it. At the moment, these are the basic things about the new upcoming Kamen Rider series. Hope it helps.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

It's... still... ALIVE!!!


Yup, you read the title right up there. Jima-san here, reporting that the HobbyBox is still very much alive and well. It went on temporary hiatus due to real life duties butting in...

Pictured: real life.

...and then it soon overwhelmed me a bit...

Pictured: real life overwhelming me.

Anyway, that's all done and gone. The HobbyBox is being revived, slowly but surely, so to all who still stuck with us despite the dreary time you had waiting for something new... KATAJIKENAI.

As for everyone else who've just stumbled onto this blog, and all those who are yet to stumble onto it, Stay tuned to us here, as we bring you more of the things you love, we love, and, most importantly, I LOVE.


That's definitely something to cheer about, Tako-Mugi...


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

God Eater Burst Review

It's been a year since I tackle my First Impression review of God Eater, Namco Bandai's very own Action RPG that everybody thought of it is pretty much resembles Capcom's Monster Hunter in terms of its “monster slaying” kind-of style. GE never reached the light of day outside Japan but it was bound to be release for the US with an improved version. More than 8 months after the release of the first game, they release an updated version of it and titled God Eater Burst where they expand more of the story and improved some gameplay elements. It took another 5 months passing a new year before the game was finally hit the US. The game is renamed again to Gods Eater Burst (with an S) for the reason to be less chance heated by religious concerns (because of the use of the word God).

Now that I finally understand the game at full, It's time to re-analyze everything and see if my impression would still be the same. Is the fast-phase, slash-shooting and monster-devouring enough to make this game worth of a playtime? Or would it just forever be labeled as a second-rate Monster Hunter game?

God Eater Burst (Yeah I insist to call it without an S) sets on a post apocalyptic Earth that has caused by creatures known as Aragami. Mankind's only way of survival is from the hands of an anti-Aragami organization called Fenrir deploying super human beings who wields the only weapon that can fight off Aragami's called God Arcs. People who are using the power of the God Arcs are called - "God Eaters". In the story, you are a newly appointed “New-type” God Eater. The premise of the story is focused on 6 main characters (including you) as they protect mankind against Aragami and soon unfolds a conspiracy going on behind the organization they’re serving.

If you're familiar with Monster Hunter, the basic drill of the gameplay is kinda the same. You choose missions to engage, complete the mission by its given condition (which usually slaying specific Aragami's), collect materials from slain Aragami's and craft stronger weapons out from it as you progresses. Although the basic routines are similar but the overall gameplay experience is totally different. GE's battle system emphasize in much fast-phase action and versatile movements.

You are only equip with one weapon -- the God Arc, that can do both melee (sword form), range (gun form) attacks by switching them anytime in battle. You can also perform what they called the Predator form where it is use to “devour” Aragami's to be able to temporarily power-up (which they called Burst mode) and adapt the Aragami's power as consumable bullets. Predator is also use to collect materials from slain Aragami's. God Arcs are customizable. Each aspects of the weapon has its own different types and skills. Each types have its own pros and cons but all are basically useful to any kind of situation. It all comes down to player's preference.

At first, battles seems okay without any strategy applied. You can actually hack-and-slash (or shoot) your way at most missions. But as you progresses, things would be more frantic especially when facing multiple boss Aragami's in one mission. Dealing with multiple enemies at GE is actually hard. If you don’t know what you’re supposed to do, you would constantly be frustrated by it.

But the difficultly can be compromise by making use of NPC's in battle. You can bring up to 3 NPCs to aid you in battle. NPCs can help you either in attacking, healing or even reviving you whenever you're down. You can also able to use certain party commands to point them on what to do. This is actually useful for strategic purposes especially when dealing multiple Aragami's. For some, the use of NPC's is a cheap way to make the game easier. Its true that having companions (whether player or non-player) will make the gameplay a lot easier than solo effort but in actuality, even with NPC's, there's no sure-fire in the game for sometimes a number of or even large-size Aragami's can still get the best of you. In my opinion, GE is most likely meant to play as team-based action. Whether you're playing with your friends or rely on NPC, that's how the challenge works at GE.

"But now I reliaze that it's such an easy thing
to accomplish. I just have to become that haven
myself... and I'm ready to fight... to create it"
GE has an actual story to follow. The very story is actually interesting and pretty much decent. For players who love some story-telling drama or anything, then you might probably appreciate it though the voice dubbing is not that top-notch and you would constantly see some flaws like off sync of voice and lips of the character, and the delivered emotions might get way off sometimes. It's honestly bad if you would be blunt about it. You would probably wish that its better that they just retain the Japanese voices and just put on English subtitles. But if you are to able to past that, then its not half-bad if you think about it. For me, its pretty much tolerable in the sense.

Unfortunately, GE doesn't have much varieties to offer in terms of gameplay modes. You may try repeating missions to have a best rank recorded in your Player's card but it easily gets boring and it doesn't quite rewarding in the sense.

Other than customizing your weapon, there are few customizable features in the game that are somewhat unique and interesting enough to make a fun out of it. GE has a wide variety of outfits you can put on to your character for your cosplay galore since it doesn't affect your character's DEF status at all, you're freely to make fun of your character's looks.

And another customizable feature is the bullet customization where other than buying bullets, you can actually able to create your own. It's one of the neatest features in the game, in my opinion and I was kinda overwhelm by it at first. It's not easy to create a bullet especially if you're attempting to create a really fancy one. There's a wide array of options to use for custom bullets ranging from attributes, angles, types, and so on. The stronger the bullet you're creating, the higher OP (Oracle Points for gun form) is required to use it.

To wrap things up, God Eater Burst may not be the best Action RPG there is BUT its still something that is worth of experiencing it. There were few complains here and there but if you able to past those and understand how the game works (not to compare it with another game that we knew) then you will probably come to appreciate it. Let me say again: God Eater Burst may not be original, TRUE. BUT its still a good game, nonetheless!

For those players who loves an Action RPG kind-of gameplay in a much different phase then I would recommend trying God Eater Burst.