Monday, February 6, 2012

My Top 20 of 2011

This is just my top 20 based upon my enjoyment/experience with them, this isn't set in stone or anything or what I think are the actual best games of  2011. Obviously this is based upon bias and it isn't going to follow any strict score system.

Portal 2: Portal 1, was an unexpected enjoyment for me. Not anticipating very much I popped it in after staring at tf2 for a while. What began as indifference ended in lots of fun and I ended up finishing it all in 1 sitting in at around 2 am. Portal 2 brought out new story and gameplay elements not found in the first. The difficulty was increased and I got stuck four or five times, but part of the fun about Portal 2 and puzzle games in general is outwitting the puzzle and figuring it out by yourself. The co-op experience was astounding and there still remains a lot of user generated content that impresses me to this day.
Catherine: I learned about Catherine through its wacky pre-order bonus including the main character's boxers and other goodies. After watching a few trailers I was hooked on any new content that came out about it. I do not get hyped about games because of many disappointments in the past but it was hard for me to not get excited for Catherine, and Catherine didn't let me down. Combining incredibly challenging puzzle segments and compelling story this game easily makes it to my top 3.
The Elder Scrolls:Skyrim
Minecraft 1.0 release: Yes I know Minecraft didn't get created this year, but it was formally "released" which I think should count. 1.0 brought with it a lot of new content including creative mode which has really gotten me back into the game. Hopefully this release doesn't mean a lack of additional free content to be released by Mohjang in the coming year.
Payday The Heist: I usually don't pay full price for games but I took the plunge with Payday and I was pleasantly surprised. Although bare bones at first, with the lack of many key features, it was still a great co-op experience one I haven't experienced since my first time playing L4D. Four player bank robbing is just epic, and with new heists coming out eventually there's plenty of re playability.
Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad: The first Red Orchestra was a hyper realistic fps which frankly was balls to the walls hard. The Red Orchestra series loses a little realism (you don't die in 1 shot to the leg anymore) in its newest addition, but it adds a lot of mechanic improvements that make it more fun for me than the original. The realism that's still there meshes well with the improved movement and new squad based/commander revolving combat.
Total War: Shogun 2: Ever since I was a kid I've loved medieval combat and the feudal wars of Japan are no exception. Once I heard that they were releasing a new Sengoku themed total war game I couldn't help but go "Aww yeaah." Much of the HUD clutter found in total war games has been cleaned up and pathing issues that plague the series are drastically improved from previous games as well a much more balanced unit roster.
SSFIV: Arcade Edition: Adding four new characters and rebalancing the old ones doesn't sound like much, but for a newcomer to the Street Fighter scene this equals a lot of content. Although many might not be happy with the relatively small changes between titles, speaking as someone who waits for a few editions to buy you really get a good product. I don't agree with Capcom's business model of adding 1 or 2 new things and reselling for full price but I won't let that impact my enjoyment of a good game.
Rock of Ages: Another game by Atlus, but this one totally different. This game plays out like a Tower Defense style game with you taking turns rolling your giant bolder to reach the enemies gate and building up your defenses while your boulder is out of commission. With 2 player online and local it really is a blast to play.
Melty Blood Actress Again CC: I'm a big fan of Tsukihime so when I heard there was a fighting game series of it I was exstatic. Fast forward a couple years later and tight controls and a big roster have helped keep my love alive. Current Codes adds 2 new characters and made the game available on PC, finally adding online play to the most recent edition.
Worms Ultimate Mayhem
The Binding of Isaac
No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise
Arcana Hearts 3
Mount and Blade: With Fire and Sword

Friday, January 27, 2012

Stocking Unboxing

As I passed the front window, to my surprise I spied not just one but two small packages this afternoon. I had hardly expected them to arrive at the same time, one coming from California and the other from Georgia of all places. I quickly snatched them up and brought them into my room, as the day progressed I decided instead of opening them immediately, I would update my blog with what will be my very first un-boxing.

I decided to go with the large white box first, and low and behold it turned out to be Panty. After that I knew what must be in the smaller brown package:



Almost as much stuff as Panty, it looks like the size of her hair kept them from giving her as many arms as Panty, but she comes with this little cake and fork which is epic.


Pretty detailed, multiple faces, and hair that moves? Cool! Two sets of legs with and without stockings (and underwear,) and you can mix and match the individual legs to have her only with one stocking. Her swords even have this transparent blue plastic quality to them for the stripes (much like the lace on Panty's guns which I forgot to point out.) Speaking of her swords I managed to break one of them in the first 5 minutes of the figure, not a good start at all. I was attempting to insert her sword into her hand and suddenly it snaps backwards at the hilt and the blade and hand guard separated from the grip. I was shocked, and sat there looking at my broken sword going "Well what the hell? Why is it so hard to put the sword in her hoof if the sword is so brittle?" I quickly looked at the booklet and realized you were supposed to separate the blade from the hilt in the first place? Wtf? The last thing somebody is going to want to do is pull apart tiny plastic things that don't look separable.Ultimately it was my fault for neglecting to look at the little paper booklet that came with her but you cant really blame me. Panty's wasn't important at all so I didn't expect Stocking's to be so paramount. Stocking seems to be covered in some kind of weird dust that I'm guessing was to keep the rubber from getting stuck to the plastic or something? But it just feels weird to the touch and makes it look dirty a. These are tiny complaints but Panty was so outstanding its hard not to notice things like this.

That weird dust shit is barely visible here
Barely noticeable sword diagram


Only one sword pose, look how straight those arms are

Dat shot


Stocking's hair is a defining part of her character but it seems to limit the movement of the figure a lot, her rubber hair isn't ever able to go down all the way because of another issue: LACK OF LIMB VARIETY. Stocking only has one set of 2 arms that can hold the sword, her left and her right. The other 3 sets she has are just variations of her arms being folded. What makes matters worse is the set of arms that can hold the sword are just awkwardly straight, not bent at all or battle ready. Weirdly her arms and hands were actually mismatched in the box and I had to swap them with each other otherwise she would have been holding her swords backwards.  Not nearly as action pose-able as Panty, but luckily she still has a few cute poses to be made.

Watching you fap

Movable rubber hair, reminds me of those things at the car wash

Stocking also has the magnetic thing found on Panty, but shes even harder to stand without it (I couldn't even get her to stand even once and I tried for 10 minutes)

Detail: 10 (I'm giving this a 10 for otherwise outstanding quality but some of the inside of her joints are smudged a little and there's weird cut lines on her hair)
Pose-ability: 8 (Severely limited by her hair, and only ONE set of STRAIGHT arms for her swords? Wtf?)
Fun-ness: 8 (Like panty she's hard to stand up without her stand but Stocking is impossible to pose without it. Lack of "actiony" poses makes her less enjoyable and she feels ALOT more brittle making it hard to enjoy posing her without fear of breaking something (Especially those swords which come off every time I move her arms.)
Likeableness: 10 (Stocking is an interesting character, and the addition of cool little things like her Angel Mort cake and cat makes the figure very personable. As with Panty, Stocking looks very good as a Nendoroid her large hair almost as big as her body is somehow fitting for the size of the figure.)

Panty and Stocking look cool alone but they are a duo, and coupled together (with or without Chuck) these contrasting figures just look awesome.

Like last time those interested can find the rest of the pictures here

Panty Unboxing

I've been looking at the Panty Nendoroid figure on the net for a while, and I've been meaning to capture some merchandise from this pretty awesome series. For those of you who don't know Panty and Stocking is an anime focused around two sister angels who defeat "ghosts" which were previously pony souls which cannot find peace and so cause havoc in Daten City. Sounds pretty stereotypical for an anime plot. But Panty and Stocking is done in such a way that just quirky and oozes originality. The animation style is the first thing you'll notice, it looks very similar to something you'd find in Amareica, but with shameless fan service, and an exceptionally good soundtrack it's really a gem expect to on Adult Swim.

Now on to the unboxing and review:

This afternoon I walked out to see a package greeting me at my front gate. I found it lying in a pile of dirt. as custom of the mailman to toss things over the wall nonchalantly wherever it may fall. Low and behold it turned out to be Panty.

Damn, she comes with alot of stuff, several different faces and arms, even a crotch with and without panties (with a little bow on them.) As per common with Nendoroids she comes with a little diagram thing.

Her pose out of the box is interesting, "Wheres my bits, bitch?" She's so top heavy it's almost impossible to stand her up, it took me almost 5 minutes to take this shot.

The level of detail is excellent, this arm has removable bracelets (shown in photo below), but none of her other arms has this. O_o? She also has earrings that can be taken on and off. The square fingers are a really nice touch.

She posses pretty well, there's a feature I'll talk about in a sec that makes her one of the easiest to pose figures I've ever worked with (despite my first impressions.) All of her hooves are interchangeable and limbs pop in and out fairly easily, but not loosely.

Panty's stand has this magnet thing, which is the single coolest feature I have ever seen ever. I swear to god. My previous complaint of her being hard to stand up was instantly made irrelevant. What looked like a weird large pink thing was actually a strong magnet that connects to a magnet found in the inside of her hair making poses much easier to make.

The figure actually comes with a tiny Chuck, Panty and Stocking's pet...thing.

Detail: 10 (Many parts and high quality craftsmanship. Excellent facial expressions and modeling)
Poseability:10 (Stallion that magnet thing is amazing, tons of moving parts and some that even move in unexpected ways, and epic poses)
Fun-ness: 9 (Its sturdy which is great considering how many bits and pieces there are, although she can be posed well with her stand its pretty hard to get her to stand up without it and can be aggravating)
Likeableness: 10 (The figure has ALOT of personality, the relatively small size of the Nendoroid series figures suits her well, with blindingly yellow hair it stands out well amongst other figures)

For those who want to see more, I've provided a link to the rest of my photos from the un-boxing here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

First Post

So this is my first post, I'm mainly going to be using this blog as an image, news, project, story dump, and also to review material I've experienced.

About half way through winter break now,

What I've been playing: Payday the Heist, Red Orchestra 2, Worms Reloaded, and more recently Skyward Sword.

What I've been watching: Panty and Stocking (Revisited), Howls Moving Castle (Revisited), Castle in the Sky (Revisited), Fate/Zero,Tales from Earthsea, Soul Eater

What I've been reading: Umineko 8

What I'm looking forward to: Melty Blood Actress Again Current Codes is coming out on December 31st with netcode being added by february. No idea whats taking them so long to add netcode considering their demo that's been out for 2 weeks has it in there. I've been off of Actress Again for a while so I could start on Current Codes with a blank slate. Judging from the balance notes Kohaku underwent some pretty dramatic changes as well as Yumizuka and Ciel, and I'm anxious to try out Powered Ciel. Overall looks pretty promising, too bad I wasn't able to get the Bluray bundle with Melty Blood, way too expensive. Guess I'll have to support Typemoon some other way.

Fate/Zero left off climatically before its return in Spring. I'm anxious to see if my predictions were correct regarding the boat scene described in Fate/Stay Night. By her own account Saber destroyed a servant and a boat with her noble phantasm in the fourth war and I have a feeling that servant mentioned isn't going to be Caster.

Banjo Tooie is one of my all time favorite games and I finally decided to replay it on the xbox 360. I got 1600 Microsoft points from a good friend as a Christmas gift which I spent on it a couple days ago. I already burned through the re-release of the first game on xbox and I can't wait to check out the new Stop N Swap features that were shrouded by Rare since the original. Stop n Swop was a feature in which you collected secret eggs in Banjo Kazooie that resulted in unlockables in Banjo Tooie. Theoretically this was made possible by quickly swapping cartridges between Kazooie and Tooie but Nintendo lowered the available memory that would allow this swapping and thus ended Rare's idea. Their plan was finally made possible with the hard drives used for Xbox 360s, and they implemented it into the re-release giving the game a whole new reason to be replayed.

That's all I can think of for now, thanks for reading. I'll start doing individual reviews and picture postings soon enough. So I'll leave you with this: