Monday, July 28, 2014

Most Important Thing I Did This Weekend!

The most important thing I did this weekend was find a Coke bottle that had my name on it. Oh, for those of you who didn't know, my name is James. I mention that because while long time readers already know that, I haven't mentioned it in a while. I guess it would be kind of strange for me to be proud of finding a Coke bottle with some other person's name on it, but whatever.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Great Games I Never Played - Lost Worlds Game Books

So Fabulously Harryhausen
Ok, so I had actually seen a little bit of this around back in the day, and had no idea what it was. So Lost Worlds (and the Subsequent Queen's Blade, Queen's Gate, and Queen's Blade Grimoires from Japan) are a series of character books that you use to fight a duel against a similarly equipped buddy with another character. It winds up being something rather like a CCG, in that you can pick and choose what parts you wish to invest in.

And who doesn't love Manticores?
Unlike (most) Collectible Card Games, however, the neatest thing about the Lost World and descendant series is that they are compatible. Mostly, anyway, as some series like the Battletech mechs don't work with the other series. This allows players to fight some fun, anachronistic battles across genres. Especially when you consider the Queen's Gate series has so many licensed video game and anime characters. Want to fight a dragon with Taki from Soul Calibur? There are books for that. Really

I wish they'd used her Light Novel look rather than the anime, so she'd at least have a longer skirt. Sigh.
Seriously, my mind is boggled that no one let me know about this before. Incidentally, I found out about this because I kept seeing "Queen's Gate" come up when I was looking for stuff on one of my favorite anime heroines, Hattori Junko from Ichiban Ushiro No Daimao. Sadly, almost everything that can be found for her online is fan service-y or worse. But it did make me stumble upon this, and for that I am pretty glad.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Megahouse One Piece Kuja Pirates Bank

The next step in our trip through strange merchandise from the One Piece franchise is this Pirate ship coin bank from Megahouse. These are actually strange but fun little playsets, which come with a multi-part (if super deformed) ship, and a few figures from the associated pirate band. In this case, we have the serpentine ship of Boa Hancock and the Kuja pirates.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Weekly Update - Too Lazy For Regular Posting

Sadly, that about sums it up. I'm tired and disgruntled. There's serious family illnesses. My company ripped me off again/still. I'm joining the Coast Guard Auxiliary. That last one's not bad, it's something I have wanted to do for a while, but the process is more time consuming than you would think. I have not bought any toys because of the temporary financial hardship induced by my company screwing me over for the...well, I've lost count of how many times.

Even so, I do have some posting tricks up my sleeves, so to speak.
  • Examiner. Yes, I have a huge backlog of anime stuff to post, and even a small backlog of Halo stuff to post. If only I were not feeling so lazy and disgruntled...
  • Gaming. I know, gaming friends, it seems like I have do practically no tabletop or RPG gaming. Well, it more than seems that way, I haven't been doing much lately. This is bound to change as the fortunes of war, (and my company, which amounts to the same thing) shift back in my favor.
  • Coast Guard. Like I said, getting in the Auxiliary should have me doing some interesting stuff. Might take some pictures of cutters and what not (the white boats, not the emo kids).
Anyway, that's about it for now. Thanks for bearing with me folks!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Obscure Video Game Review - Bravely Default

Hey all, Counterfett here. Sorry for the big gap in posting, but I managed to score myself a three day weekend in a work contest, and it made me pretty lazy. In any event, I wanted to take a look at a game that is not especially obscure, though it does meet the criteria for this series by being more well known overseas than here in the states, though a full English version is out. I speak of course, of Bravely Default.

While at first blush, this strikes me as a retelling of Final Fantasy IV ( I think that was the one with the world crystals, right?), also by Square Enix, what really sets Bravely Default apart from the jRPG genre in general and the FF series in particular is the titular mechanic. During a round of combat, rather than simply picking an action to do on your turn and hope it works right, the player has the option of 'Default' which reduces received damage, or conversely, the Brave stance, which gives an extra action. Bravely can be stored like mana, which allows certain party member/class combos the do some incredibly abusive mutli attacks or actions. Using Default increases the Brave meter, which means defending for longer lets you charge more moves.

There's also a feature called 'Sleep Points,' which let you stop time, so to speak, in the game, but that depends on the player leaving BD in sleep mode. You get one SP for 8 hours of sleep mode. Of course, there are micro transactions which allow players to spend real world money for SP. That's why I completely ignore SP.

The story is good, while uninspired (as I mentioned, it seems so far to be lifted whole cloth from one of the FF games), and the characters are less annoying to me than the majority of Final Fantasy characters. It's a pretty cool game, and worth a look if you spend a lot of time with a portable system (it's out on 3DS and PSP I believe).

Thursday, July 17, 2014

One Piece PVC Figure Set

Oh that Boa Hancock. She sure knows how to handle a...snake.
One Piece is a juggernaut of the anime world, with nearly 700 episodes in subtitled format, and about half of that dubbed in English. Most anime viewers are at least passing familiar with the story of Monkey D. Luffy, and his crew of Straw Hat pirates. It stands to reason that there would be a fair amount of merchandise associated with the franchise. Perhaps surprisingly, most of it is in the format of figurines and collectibles rather than action figures. In fact, aside from a very small selection of characters put out in the Bandai Tamashii Nations line, no real 'action figures' have been made from the series.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Articulated Monster Podcast - Episode 96

Hey all, Counterfett here with a quick update. Episode 96 of the Articulated Monster Podcast is now live. It is entitled "The One Where Mario Hosts." And it is indeed. Mario is Other James in this episode, and because of fatigue, I am Mario. It's a juxtaposition of the whole genre!