Review: Arcade 1Up’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade Cabinet

Defeat Shredder and Krang in two classic games in this arcade cabinet from Arcade 1Up

Growing up in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, arcades were a big draw from me. The lights, the sound and the variety of games was unlike anything on the Colecovision I had at home. Some of the arcade machines were amazing with their sit-down cabinet and multi-player control decks. There were even games based on popular characters and shows, such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The Turtles arcade machine was unlike anything I had ever seen up to that point. Boasting 4 player simultaneous gameplay and sound effects and voices straight from the cartoon, I would play that game any chance I got, blowing my allowance at an arcade after school. I once pumped in $20 worth of quarters to finally beat the game. I remember the feel of the joy sticks and the buttons on the machine. I especially remember the artwork on the side of the cabinet, not so much for the Turtles, but for the model they had posing as April O’Neil. This was a arcade machine that I would have loved to own.

Enter Arcade 1Up, a company that has been producing replica arcade cabinets at 3/4 of the original side. With emulation technology, they can produce arcade accurate games without huge arcade circuit boards. The cabinets themselves try to replicate the overall look and feel of the original arcade machine, from the cabinet art to the layout and feel of the joysticks. Each cabinet comes with multiple games build in, usually games in the same series or genre, that can use the setup of the arcade machine.

Got to have my coffee before I build something

Arcade 1Up’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade machine includes both of Konami’s TMNT arcade games: the Original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game and Turtles in Time. The cabinet has four joystick layout like on the original machines, with a controller assigned to each turtle.

The included riser bring the cabinet to a full arcade size.

The cabinet comes unassembled but is easy to build with two people. The panels are make from high quality pressboard. All the panels are labels as in the instruction manual as are the various bolts and screws. The TMNT machine also comes with an arcade riser, which adds height to make it the same size as the original cabinet.

Cabinet successfully assembled.

Once it is assembled you can turn on the game with the on switch. You can choose which game you with to play (original arcade of Turtles in Time) with the 1 player joystick. From there, pick your turtle and go forth to kick shell. There is no coin slot like in the arcade so just press your start button to get more lives.

The game select screen

As for the game themselves, they really play like the original arcade games. The first game has all the sound effects and gameplay that I loved in the arcade. The controls are responsive and really have that arcade feel. the games cut scenes can vary depending on how many players you have and rewards the player that got the final blow against Bebop and Rocksteady with a cinematic of April thanking your turtle for rescuing her with a kiss. For Turtles in Time, I didn’t play that one as much, though the whole time travel part reminded my of one of my favourite issues of the Mirage series. I did beat the remastered version that was on the XBox 360 10 or so years ago. A lot of the level designs and bosses were reused for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : The Hyperstone Heist on the Sega Genesis as well.

The Turtles on screen depend on how many are playing and which Turtle are they using

With a price tag of about $599 CAD, you have to wonder if this is worth the price. Many of Arcade 1Up’s games are priced from $549 to $599 and a lot of cheaper cabinets have more the two games. But with LCD screens being cheap and the emulation of 20 to 30 year old games being easy, the real cost is the control deck. The Turtles games have the four player control deck and that is recreated faithfully here. If you even bought a decent arcade stick for you home PC or console, you know there are not cheap. It is easy to see how that factors into the price.

Enjoy that kiss. You still have half the game to go through.

Another thing one has to ponder is, if you can get the game on a home console, why would you need the arcade machine. Well, I have played both of these TMNT games on my Xbox 360, with the first being almost arcade accurate (I think there were issues with the voice rights) and the aforementioned Turtles in Time Remastered, using voices from the Turtle cartoon that ran in the 2000’s. But that was almost two console generation ago. I cannot download and play those games on my Xbox One and if my 360 goes, I don’t know if I could redownload it, even if I get another 360.

End Screen

But the main draw of the Arcade 1Up cabinets is the nostalgia. The arcade cabinet looks lays and feels like the original arcade machine. With the riser that was include with the machine, the controls are at the same level as the one I played at the arcade (though I am a bit taller.) With Arcade 1 Up releasing many was the most nostalgic. TMNT was my game. Even though the marque doesn’t light up (though you can order one that does), the sound and art and the games themselves brings me back to the arcades of my youth. Only problem now is that I want more.

Arcade 1Up’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade cabinet and other Arcade 1Up products are available in various retailers in store or online.

This Review is for entertainment purposes only. I have not received anything from Arcade 1Up, Konami,or anyone else for this review. The items were purchased by myself with my own money. All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me and are for review purposes only.

Review: Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. Darvold, Elven Swordmaster (Megalopolis Exclusive)

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I just finished a move to a new city and am pretty much settled in, so I wanted to do a review of a figure that I got back in June, but was too busy to do a review. Here we go!

Darvold, the Elven Swordmaster is from the Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S line from Bossfight Studios. He is a 1:18 scale (4 Inch) highly articulated action figure exclusive to the Megalopolis: City of Collectors webstore.

According to his bio, Darvold is an elven ranger who comes home to discover his home town destroyed by a mad god, which is a thing that happens, I guess. Darvold leads the survivors in the rebuilding of his city while protecting them from those who wish to loot the ashes of this once great city.

Figure with accessories

The Darvold figure is pretty much a recolouring of the Q’Al Varis figure that was released last year. With the exception of the bare arms, the figure is exactly the same, just recolored. The purple cape and hood, the white skin and even the black mask is meant to pay homage Megalopolis’ mascot, Toy Overlord. Even though it is an exclusive, Bossfight Studios did not neglect the packaging as it features new art of the Darvold character and even the bio that I referenced above. As with all Bossifght Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. figures, the package is collector friendly and resealable.

Darvold with mask on, hood up and sword ready.

For accessories, Darvold is similar to Q’Al Varis. In addition to the main head (with removable hair), Darvold comes with a purple hood and the same mask as Q’al, but in black with red eyes. The hood can be used with the masked head or the unmasked head, with the hair removed. He come with the same sword (with a silver blade and gold and purple accents on the hilt and handle) and the bedroll backpack. Darvold differs, however by including two hand axes in place of a bow, arrow and quiver. Sadly, there is no place to store the sword or axes on the figure or backpack accessory.

Backpack goes on easier than with Q’Al Varis

Articulation wise, there is no surprise with the figure. He has all the same articulation as in the other Bossfight Studios figures. The figure feels solid and the heads swap out easily. The accessories are well done and have great paint apps. I will say that the backpack/bedroll is not a rubbery with this figure as it was with Q’Al Varis. It still pops out too easily, but is sure goes in better.

Dual-wielding axes

Overall, I like this figure. Exclusives like this are fine as it uses existing figures and part to make a new character, but allows completists to skip the figure without missing out on a new sculpted or design. Bossfight studio did a great job with the figure and the packaging, putting a great deal of effort in the overall presentation .

Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S Darvold the Elven ranger is available online at Megalopolis: City of Collectors. The figures retails for about $27.99 USD ($36.83 CAD)

This Review is for entertainment purposes only. I have not received anything from Bossfight Studio, Megalopolis: City of Collectors or anyone else for this review. The item was purchased by myself with my own money. All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me and are for review purposes only.

Review: G.I. Joe Classified Series: Snake Eyes and Scarlett

There aren’t too many toy lines in the world that have as much of a storied history as G.I. Joe. First produced by Hasbro back in 1964, G.I. Joe was originally 12 inch dolls- er, ACTION FIGURES, with removable outfits and accessories. The original lineup paid homage to the Armed forces by having a soldier, sailor and a pilot. The political climate of the 1960’s and 70’s let G.I. Joe to change from a military focus to an “Adventure Team” with flocked beards and kung-fu grip. Eventually 12 inch “Action Figures” waned in popularity with the rise of 3 3/4 inch figures such as Star Wars. This the G.I. Joe brand went dormant.

Then in 1982, Hasbro revived the franchise. Enlisting comic writer Larry Hama and partnering with Marvel Comics, G.I. Joe became G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (ARAH). The military theme was back and this time there were actual characters with unique skills and backstories. They also have an actual enemy to fight; the terrorist organization Cobra. With a comic book and cartoon to support the line, the toy were on shelves for 12 years, with sporadic returns up until 2012, with the G.I. Joe: Retaliation movie. But by then, the hot format was at the 1:12 Scale (6 inch). Hasbro had success with their Marvel Legends and Star Wars Black in this format and it was hoped G.I. Joe would return in this scale.

Finally in 2020 we get the first wave of G.I. Joe Classified Series. This 1:12 scale line is revamping characters from the ARAH days with a modern twist. These figures have been turning up on online retailers and are expected to hit stores in June 2020. I managed to get two of these figures from Megalopolis Toys, but many are sold out and not expected in stock until June. This review will be for the Snake Eyes (retail version) and Scarlett figures.

Figures in packaging
Each figure has custom art.

Both figures come in a mostly blue box. Each figure has there own themed packaging with box art and decals individualized for each figure. The back shows promotional art showcasing some of the more iconic figures in the Joe franchise, though Storm Shadow in conspicuous in his absence.

Back art is the same as shown at Toy Fair 2020.

The Snake Eyes figure is mostly black in colour, with a mixture of glossy and flat black. His colouring is slightly different from the one in the collector’s edition sold on the Hasbro pulse online store. The figure comes with a bandoleer, belt, holster and knife sheathe which are separate pieces that come on the figure.

Snake Eyes and acccessories
Snake Eyes has room for all of his kit.

For accessories and weapons, he comes with two guns; a futuristic sun-machine gun and pistol. There is a silencer included for the pistol. He also has a knife and a sword with a scabbard, Lastly, he has a backpack which attaches to his back. The scabbard can attach to the backpack or plug into the same hole as the backpack. Alternatively, the large gun can attach to the back pack in the same hole as the scabbard.

Scarlett with her signature crossbow and lot of knives, for some reason.

Scarlett’s outfit is more futuristic than her classic look, but the beats are there from the original figure. She has a blue top and grey and red pants on with yellow, gold and red armour parts over top. She comes with a quiver slung over her shoulder for her signature weapon. Her hair is red, much like her code name implies, but it is a lighter red, much like how she was portrayed in G.I. Joe Renegades. Her face is a nice sculpt though she skews a bit young than we usually see her portrayed. I don’t mind it; this seems to be a reboot of the franchise and she doesn’t look too young to seem out of place.

Crossbow fits well in her hand
Her quarrel can some two knives in the back and the smaller one in front.

Articulation-wise, is seems that Hasbro combined the best part of their Marvel Legends line with G.I. Joe sensibilities, but with a few bad habits put in. Snake Eyes is as possible as any Marvel Legends figure. Double jointed elbows and knees, ab crunch and a good range of motion ensures you can do some dynamic poses. Scarlett is good as well, but falls short with only single joint elbows and torso swivel. The torso I am fine with; I remember the ugly torso cuts from Marvel Legends’ Toy Biz days. The elbows, however, well there is no reason it wouldn’t work. Double jointed elbows would improve the figure as much as the bicep swivel did on the classic 3 3/4″ G.I. Joes. Still, what we have works and works well.

Articulation is on par with the Marvel Legends series.

The main sticking point that I have seen online about the figures is that the line strays into Sci-Fi territory. Things like Scarlett’s armour or Snake Eyes guns stray from the realism some want from their Joes. GI Joe has always had a fantastical element to it. It had Ninjas, mysticism and weird vehicles like the Terrordrome and the Trouble Bubble. The cartoon had things like the Weather Dominator, and the MASS Device, and everyone was shooting lasers. Sure, there was military equipment at the core but it was more than that. G.I Joe has change in the past to try to remain relevant. Maybe a small band of special operatives up against a terror organization who employ ninjas will attract a new generation of fans.

Scarlett looks younger than we are used to seeing her, but she is sure cute.

I hope this line does well and we get more waves. I want a Baroness, a Flint and a Storm Shadow at this scale to name a few. Besides, who wouldn’t want some Cobra Ninjas to surround their Wolverine figure with? The figures might have been updated but this is classic ARAH era Joes in a new scale. If you get a chance, check some of them out and after having them in hand, I am sure you will want more of theses figures.

Figures scale well with Star Wars Black figures

G.I. Joe Classified figures are available to order online and should be hitting stores soon. They retail for $21.99 USD at online retailer Megalopolis and may be priced similar elsewhere.

Figures fit well alongside Marvel Legends figures, though may be a bit short.

This Review is for entertainment purposes only. I have not received anything from Hasbro, Megalopolis or anyone else for this review. The items were purchased by myself with my own money. All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me and are for review purposes only.

Review: Hasbro’s Marvel Legends X-Men: Stepford Cuckoos

Today we will be looking at Hasbro’s Marvel Legends X-Men Stepford Cuckoos. This figure is exclusive to Walgreen’s in the United States and EB Games in Canada. It was released around February/March 2020 and ret ails for about $29.99 CAD.

For those unfamiliar with the Stepford Cuckoos, they are a group of girls who are all cloned daughters of the mutant Emma Frost. First introduced in Grant Morrison’s run of X-Men, there were originally five girls; Sophie, Phoebe, Mindee, Celeste and Esme, they are all psionically gifted like Emma, but were psychically linked with Esme controlling the others. Both Sophie and Esme were killed and the remaining three started to express their individuality; Phoebe dyed her hair red and Mindee cut and dyed her hair black as well as changed her name to Irma (as was originally intended by Grant Morrison.) Whether or not this is current, I don’t know. Mutants in Marvel Comics don’t tend to stay dead.

The Stepford Cuckoo figure with the default Celeste head.
The jacket and the skirt are soft, pliable plastic.

Anyways, this figure is a representation of the Stepford Cuckoos in their New Xavier School uniform. The figure comes with the default blond head (Celeste) on the body but includes alternate heads for Phoebe (red hair) and Mindee/Irma (Black hair.) The head is removable and is on a ball joint and pin which gives it a good range of motion. The arm is attached to a ball joint at the shoulder, with a single joint elbow and hinged wrists.. The figure has a mid torso joint that is covered by her jacket. Her skirt is soft plastic and does not hinder the ball joint on the leg. She has double-jointed knees and had good motion in her ankles.

Mindee (or Irma, depending on the writer) with two of the effect pieces. Fun fact: Grant Morrison intended her name to be Irma so the first initial of all the Cuckoos spell SPICE, as a nod to the Spice Girls.

Besides the head, the only other accessories she come with is two translucent effects pieces and a Cerebro helmet. the effect pieces can fit on her arm and can simulate her using telekinesis. The Cerebro helmet fits the best on the Mindee head, due to her hair. The figure uses the teen girl buck that Hasbro developed, so she fits in scale the most of Hasbro’s modern X-Men figures.

Phoebe dyed her hair red as a way to express herself . All three heads have the same white eyes with red tinge.

I like this figure. Admittedly I was not up to speed with Cuckoos since New X-Men, but I was still interested in the character. Of course, to get the full effect, you have to get two more to display all three heads (or five, if you prefer them all looking the same, though the uniform would be off.) Since it is a retailler exclusive, you should not see too many of these warming pegs, but with a version of the character showing on the show The Gifted, the Stepford Cuckoos should not be too obscure.

The Three-In-One together.

Marfvel Legends X-Men Stepford Cuckoos is a Walgreens (US) and EB Games (Canada) exclusive and retails for about $29.99 CAD. Figures may be available in other regions and online.

The Stepford Cuckoos with Emma Frost (back)

This Review is for entertainment purposes only. I have not received anything from Hasbro, Marvel, EB Games or anyone else for this review. The item was purchased by myself with my own money. All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me and are for review purposes only.

Review: A.I. Shoujo (PC/Steam)

Steam gets another Illusion game! Live on a deserted island with up to four Waifus! But is it any good?

Note: This review is of a game that is meant for Adults Only. Although there will not be any adult images with this review, I will be talking about adult content. Those who would be offended or are under 18 should stop reading now. All characters in this game are considered 18 years old or older.

A.I. Shoujo is a “3D Life Simulator” and customizable romance/hentai game developed by the Japanese studio Illusion and available on Steam. It is a translated version of the original build of the game with the menus and interfaces translated into English. The game has Japanese voice acting with English subtitles for the conversations.

Create your Waifu then create your player.

The game starts you off by having you create your protagonist, who can be male or female (or something in between) and a female companion. You start off on a deserted island, with no memory of how you got there. You are awoken by a girl (the one you created/chose) who is just as in the dark on how she got there. She relies on you heavily, having you craft a fishing rod, catch a fish, set up a cooking spot and cook dinner. Afterwards she gets sleepy and you turn in for the night.

Your first day together is on the beach. Behave yourself.

The next day you go out in the forest and explore the island. You find a ruined house and meet Shan, a treasure hunter. She reluctantly explains that the island holds a ruined city on it and she is looking for its secrets. She agree to work with you to explore the island, even helping to build a bridge over a chasm. As you explore further, you get to know the girl more, find stray cas and wild chickens, find the remains of an abandon city, and, most importantly, find a mysterious pod which contains yet another girl…

This is Shan, the explorer/item trader. Repeat business turns her on.

A.I. Shoujo plays like similar Illusion games. with the control scheme to navigate the island being similar to Koikatsu Party. There is somewhat of a narrative as you explore the island as there are certain story points you have to go to in order to progress. The way through is unlocked by improving your relationship with the girls. So, interacting with them, talking, cooking, exploring and even flirting can raise the points.

Talking to the girls and caring for them improves your relationship to them.

You will also have to scavenge on the island. Besides food (you don’t need to eat, but it helps to improve your relationship with the girls if you give them food), you can find scrap metal, oil, ropes and other items to help rebuild the island and progress through the game. You can even use the items to craft building material to build shelter for you and your girls.

Build a house with all the moderne amenities.

That is another unique feature to this game; the ability to build a house. As you craft the materials, they become unlocked in the build mode. You can craft beds, furniture appliances and bondage items (of course) to create your ideal set up. Or you can just go online and download one that someone else built (more on that later).

The Character creator is what one would expect for an Illusion game. It is more similar to what was in Honey Select (and Honey Select Unlimited) than Koikatsu Party. The characters are more realistic, not photo real by any means, but not as cartoony as Koikatsu. Pretty much everything is customizable, from height to bust size, body dimensions to hair color, just to name a few. You can even adjust the back hair side and bangs separately. Like other Illusion games, the female customization has more options than for the males, but you can create some unique characters. There is even an option to create a futanari character, a girl packing little more in her panties. Whatever floats your boat.

There are al lot of options in the Creation mode

The girls don’t just sit round and do nothing. They act in accordance to which of the 6 personality types you assigned them: Robotic deadpan (emotionless), gentle, confident, narcissist, listless deadpan and cheerful optimist. When you interact with them, you can choose from Chat, Give Advice, Give Item, Give Medicine, Follow Me, or Let’s Have Sex. Through these interaction you can influence how they will react to you. The more they like you, the more they will take your advise or agree to sex. Get them horny enough and they will initiate sex. If there sociability stat is high enough, they will hang with the other girls (even with Shan) and might even have sex with each other.

Sometimes you will catch the girls fooling around with each other. That includes Shan.

Then, there is the sex. While the ability to have either a male or female PC, there is both regular (hetero) and lesbian sex. Regular sex has three types: Caress (think groping or fingering), Receive (girl pleasures you manually or orally) and Insert (vaginal and anal sex) If there is a piece of furniture that could be used (bondage rack, stockade or saw horse), there will be an option for that. Lesbian sex only has the Caress option, in which you can rub or scissor your partner. Just so you know, both player male on futa and player futa on female will act like regular sex. Player female on futa will act as lesbian sex. If the girls like each other enough, you can even initiate a threesome if you talk to a girl with another one following you, but there is only one position.

Sex works just like Koikatsu. Available positons depend on your location
Lesbian Sex give you only two options
Sometimes an option for a threesome comes up.

I should note that the sex scenes are unlocked if you download the A.I. Shoujo Ecstasy patch from the official Illusion website: http://aisteam.illusion.jp/index_en.php

Lastly there is the ability to share or download character cards. The game uses .PNG files for its characters and its outfit sets, must like other Illusion games. You can also share the houses you build in the same manner. This makes it easy for people sites or message boards to share their creations. You can also do this in the Upload menu in the game. Much like the Steam version of Koikatsu Party, there is a server for sharing cards in the Western.

Character card for Becky

Unoffically, there are quite a few mods for this game and there are a few sites that offer HF (Have Fun) packs with the most updated versions of the mods or just a torrent with all the mod files. Personally, I used ManlyMarco’s HF patch, mostly because of the installer so I can choose not to include the machine translation (the official translation is much better.) The other option is using ScrewThisNoise’s mod pack, with is just drag an drop into your AI Shojou folder. Again it has the fan translation files so you will have to find them to not install them and turn your game into the Japanese one. I think that this one has a few mods and useful tools (like Studio Get, in which you can extract characters from Studio screenshots) so both are good to have.

There are three other pods on the island. Can you find them all?

The game, while the exploring a ruined island and building new structures is a nice hook, feels kind of hollow. Sure, you can have up to four girl running around and you can affect their behaviour by buying traits from Shan, they mostly wander around doing their own thing, except when they want you for food, company or sex. Even Shan, who the game uses to move ahead the narrative, is mostly two dimensional. All you can do with her is trade her items, though trade her 500 items and she becomes open for a sexual relationship. Besides the setting there isn’t much new for players of previous Illusion games.

Shan’s Customer Loyalty program is one of a kind.

The sex controls haven’t change much since the Sexy Beach days. The lack of more postions for lesbian sex, especially with the option of have a female playable character is both unfortunate and baffling as Honey Select and Koikatsu had more even without the option of playing as a female. Same goes for the threesomes. Illusion has yet to include male-on-male (or futa-on-male) in any of there games (you could romance male as a male in Artificial Academy 2, but there was no sex mini-game.) While not my thing, there is definitely those who would want it, judging from some message boards on modding sites.

Explore the Island to find more Story locations

Overall, A.I. Shoujo is a bit hard to recommend. The main reason I bought it is because I think these type of games are interesting (or science!) and I would love to see more Illusion games get a Western release. While Illusion offered the Ecstasy patch free of charge on it’s website, it is unfortunate that we most likely won’t see any updates that the Japanese version got (though I believe the HF patch might apply them.) There is also DLC but they apparently do not work with the Steam version. Much like Koikatsu Party, the Steam version omits the Studio mode (again, the HF patch has you covered.). At $82CAD, the game is also a bit pricy. Buy it only if you are fans of Illusions games and want to support the company. The mod scene will help to improve the game.

A.I. Shoujo is available in the Adults Only section of Steam. You must be 18 years or older to purchase or play. The game cost $82 CAD. Links to the Official patch and HF patch can be found at the Steam Community page for this game.

3/5

This Review is for entertainment purposes only.  I have not received anything from Illusion, Valve, or any other corporation or entity for this review.  This game and any additional content was bought by me using my own funds.  All opinions are mine and any screenshot used were taken by me and are for Review purposes only.

Review: Daemon X Machina (Steam and Nintendo Switch)

Daemon X Machina Review @Xseed @marvelous_games

Note:  Although this is not a paid review, I did win a free copy of the game I am about to review for Steam.  I bought the Switch version with my own money though.

Daemon X Machina is a third person action shooter.  It was developed by Marvelous First Studio.  It was first published for the Nintendo Switch by Nintendo.  A PC port was released on Steam by XSeed Games in early 2020.  The development team included former members of From Software, known for their Armor Core series on PS2.

Daemon X Machina

The game takes place sometime in the future.  Some time ago, the moon fragmented and pieces fell to Earth (at least I assume its Earth,) annihilating most of civilization.  This event is referred to as Moonfall.  The moon fragments released a particle called Femto into the atmosphere.  This causes all Artificial Life (AI) to become sentient and rebel against the remaining humans.  These AI called Immortals, continue to corrupt other AIs and plague humanity.

Mercenaries called Outers stand between the Immortals and the end of Humanity.

Femto also had an effect on humans.  Some were born with sharper minds and quicker reflexes.  Called Outers, these men and women were equipped with robots called Arsenals, which they pilot to fight the Immortals and other corrupt AI.  Now, they are mostly mercenaries, hired by one of the four Factions vying over control of a ruined land.

In the game you start out as the Rookie, a recent addition to the mercenary ranks of Orbital, a corporation that organizes contracts for the other factions.  You character is fully customizable from the gender to the hair to the facial features.  Once you arrive at Orbital, you get assigned you own Arsenal by your coordinator AI, Four, and go on a training mission.  The Arsenal is customizable (colour, patterns and decals can be chosen) but the main was to improve you Arsenal to is take parts and weapons from other Arsenals you defeat.  This can change the look of your Arsenal.

You get briefed before each mission and meet your allies in the fight.

Your character be improved too.  A body modification shop is available almost from the start in which you can spend your hard earned credits on various implants.  They could either improve you Arsenal buy allowing faster movements or less energy consumption or improve your Outer, giving your pilot better vision, cybernetic legs for faster running or jumping, a built in laser sword in your arm or even a built in jet pack.  Some mods will drastically alter your appearance and you can even go full cyborg, if you like.

The lab offers body modification that will make you more than human.

Game play is a third person mech shooter.  Enemies come at you from all angles and you can attack on the ground or in the air.  Usually you have allies to help you in the battle, but, like all games, don’t expect too much from them.  The mission’s success is all on you.  You can even leave your mech and fight on foot.  There are even missions in which you are without your Arsenal.  Unless your Outer is fully modified, I would avoid taking on mission outside your Arsenal.  Even them, it would be a challenge.

Some mods will let you fly through the air without your Arsenal
The Immortals are usually large.

Enemies vary by mission.  Mostly you fight off corrupted AI drones, tanks and cannons.  You also face off against AI controlled Arsenals. This is where you get new weapons and parts for your mech.  Then there are the Immortals.  They can vary in size and shape but they are usually large and very, very tough.  But, maybe the tougher enemies are your own fellow Outers.  You will find yourself on mission in which two rival factions ordered mission with opposing goals.  You can be working with one group one mission and be fighting them in the next.  Most Outers see this as merely business and will gladly do the mission, but it does not go unnoticed when each mercenary group is increasingly pitted against each other.

Teamwork will be required to take it down.
The other mercenaires are a strange bunch. You have to go up against a few of them.

The game is reminiscent of From Software’s Armoured Core series, which is also a mech game.  But Daemon X Machina is more arcade like.  If Armoured Core was skewed more towards Mech Warrior fans, Daemon X Machina is trying to attract fans of anime like Mobile Suit Gundam and its numerous spin-offs.  Like Gundam, the mech designs are more fanciful, being more sleek and lithe than the bulky tank-like mechs from Armour Core or Mech Warrior, The move faster and fly higher that they should be able to.  Like Gundam, however, there are still limits.  Power levels, ammo count and armour all can go down.  You can still recover stamina, find ammo or repair your ship with pickups from downed enemies or items on the battlefield.

The game, from the character design to the mechs, and the story have an anime feel to them

The PC and Nintendo Switch versions are similar.  They both play the same and the graphic are the same on the PC as on a docked Switch.  The only real difference is the DLC.  Both versions offer additional hairstyles outfits and customization pieces for your Outer.  There are also additional skins for your Arsenal, which will let your mech have a certain design no matter what parts are used.  The only difference is that the Switch version have a free download that gives you edit parts to make your character look like either Geralt or Ciri from the Witcher (the Japanese Switch version has outfit and mechs from anime like Eureka Seven and Code Geass.)

Nintendo Switch exclusive Ciri outfit..

Overall, I liked the game.  I haven’t played a Armor Code game in years and always wished the Gundam games we did have allowed for some customization.  This games allows you crate your character, pilot a mech and improve it.  There is even online so you can take on mission in a group or fight against other players.  Fans of the Armored Core series, the Gundam series or mecha anime in general should check it out.

Daemon X Machina is available for Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam.

4/5

This Review is for entertainment purposes only.  I have not received anything in exchange for this review.  The item was purchased (or won in an unrelated giveaway) by myself with my own money.  All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me and are for review purposes only.

Review: Marvel Legends Series Alpha Flight box set

Review of Amazon Exclusive Hasbro Marvel Legends Series Alpha Flight box set. @amazonca @Hasbro @Marvel

For the second largest country in the world, Canada doesn’t seem to get any love from the superhro genre.  Sure, during the Second World War, Canadian publishers came up with their own heroes, such as Nelvana of the Northern Lights, Commander Steel (no, not that one) and Ironman (not that one either).  After the war, however, when the ban on importing magazines was lifted, the American publishers put the smaller Canadian ones out of business.  It wasn’t until the 1970’s with the rise of independent, smaller publishers, did we see any Canadain comics, but with the exception of Captain Canuck and a few others like him, we did not see many superheros defending the True North.

Even the big two publishers, Marvel and DC rarely set any stories in Canada, let alone create a character from there.  When Canada was featured, it was as a snowy wilderness, devoid of civilization.  But when Marvel had the Hulk rampage his way through the forests of Northern Quebec, it introduced its first Canadian hero, Wolverine.  Little was known about the character, only that he was a mutant and worked for the Canadian government.  It wasn’t until he joined the X-Men the following year that his back story began to be filled in.  Under writer John Byrne, Wolvie’s past with the Canadian government was explained and it introduced Marvel’s Canadian superhero team, Alpha Flight.

Box Front

Lead by James Macdonald Hudson, who goes by Guardian, Alpha Flight is a government sponsored superhero team. Originally one of three team, Alpha Flight was the top tier team, with Beta and Gamma Flight serving below them. Guardian’s costume, a battle suit with a red and white design with a maple leaf on it, leave no doubt that he is a Canadian superhero.. The rest of the team’s code names, costumes or power sets also heavily reference the Canadian origins.

Open the front flap to see the figures. The inside cover has each characters” name, secret identity and place of birth.

The Marvel Legends Series Alpha Flight box set draws its characters from the classic mid 80’s/early 90’s line up.  With Guardian being released in stores earlier this year and Sasquatch being a recent Build a Figure, Hasbro chose other iconic members that haven’t had a figure released in the Legends format and one that needed a bit of an adjustment.

Vindicator, co-leader of Alpha Flight

First, we have Heather Hudson, a.k.a. Vindicator, Guardian’s wife and sometimes leader of Alpha Flight whenever Guardian is busy being dead (it happens.) The figure is in her classic red and white outfit with the stylized maple leaf (she has a green, yellow and white one as well) The figure is well proportioned, using the standard adult female buck. The paintwork on my figure is good and overall, the red is better on her than on the Guardian figure. Just as a side note; at different points in their publication history, Vindicator has been called Guardian and Guardian called Vindicator. I believe the figures follow the current naming convention.

Pictured: Snowbird. Not pictured: tickets to Jacksonville.

Next is Narya, code named Snowbird, and not because she likes to vacation in Florida during the winter. The daughter of a Northern god, Snowbird is a shapeshifter and can change into most animals found in the North as well as fly. Her figure is done well, with the shiny blue of her costume really popping ou. Her face is also well done, with the character’s signature black eyes captured well. The cape is soft plastic and does not hinder articulation.

Shaman. Effect piece is from the Infamous Iron Man figure.

Next is Shaman, born Michael Twoyoungmen. A mystic, he can call upon the magic of his First Nation ancestors and draws items from his medicine bag to aid those in need. The figure is in the classic green and yellow costume with his medicine bag molded onto his belt. His hands are open, posed as if he was casting a spell. The sculpt is done well, with good articulation for possibility. He is a plainest character of the set, but still well done.

Aurora and NorthStar. Yes, they are wearing matching onesies. No, the are not a couple. They are brother and sister.

Now we get to Aurora and NorthStar. Born Jeanne-Marie and Jean-Paul Beaubier, respectively, these twins are mutants, born with the ability to flight as high speed and generate burst of light, which are more powerful if they are holding hands. Their figures are in their matching black and white outfit with the star motif, which hare on opposite sides for each figure. They both use the standard buck for the sex of the character and have no hinderance to their articulation, which the exception of Aurora hair getting in the way of the neck. It is a shame they did not do something which the hands to allow them to hold each other’s.

Bring out the…Puck.

Lastly we have Puck, one of the few characters that Wolverine can call “shorty.” Eugene Judd was cursed by a sorcerer in an ill conceived heist over 100 years ago, The curse shrink him form 6’6″ to about 3’9″ but increased his strength, durability and extended his life. His skills as a fighter are what got him into Alpha Flight. The figure is the only reissue in this pack, and barely qualifies as a figure. Puck was originally a Build a Figure a few years back. The one in the Alpha Flight set is the same figure but with a less shiny paint job and a newer head sculpt. For a smaller figure, his articulation is still good, only missing the wrist articulation of the larger figures.

Alpha Flight together with Hasbro’s Guardian and the Toy Biz Marvel Legends Sasquatch from 2005

Overall, I really liked this set and all the figures. I was a Fan Expo Canada at the Hasbro Marvel Legends panel when they announced this set (they have been pretty good announcing Canada-themed releases at Fan Expo, with Guardian and Weapon X Wolverine being the reveal in 2018). I preorder it the day it went up for sale at Amazon. $179.99CDN is a bit steep for about 5 and a half figures (and half is generous for Puck). but since it is an exclusive, the figures are great and the box art was well done, it was worth it. It is nice when companies like Hasbro give us characters that might not jump off of shelves in a normal wave a chance in these sets. It makes be wonder what Hasbro will announce at next year’s Fan Expo as this would be tough to beat.

This Review is for entertainment purposes only. I have not received anything from Hasbro, Marvel, Amazon or anyone else for this review. The item was purchased by myself with my own money. All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me and are for review purposes only.

Review: Koikatsu Party (PC Steam)

Note: This review is of a game that is meant for Adults Only. Although there will not be any adult images with this review, I will be talking about adult content. Those who would be offended or are under 18 should stop reading now. All characters in this game are considered 18 years old or older.

Koikatsu Party is a 3D customizable romance simulator developed but the Japanese studio Illusion and available on Steam. It is a translated version of Illusion’s game Koikatsu with all the menus translated into English. It is unrated, but is labelled as an “Adults Only’ game on Steam.

Customize your ideal “waifu” with various clothing and settings

What’s is Koikatsu party? Well Steam is calling it “the Ultimate Anime Character Maker.” With over 300 adjustable settings, including height, hair and breast size, you can create an anime character to your liking. While the male player character has only a few options for clothing, the female characters you create have various customizable outfits to choose from. From school uniforms and dresses to swimsuits and underwear, you can create a girl to your liking. With enough practice and patience, you could even create characters resembling ones from your favourite anime or cartoon.

Create your favourite character from comic books or anime. Or check online to see if someone already did it.

Don’t have the patience for that? The game even has a character card sharing service, where you can upload you creation or download someone else’s. The selection can vary and is only limited by the creator’s imagination. There are characters from anime and manga (Rin Tohsaka from the Fate series), American cartoons (the mom from Dexter’s Lab, seriously), comic books (Wonder Woman), and video games (Tifa from Final Fantasy 7.) If you can’t find then on the server, there are some card sharing sites online (Google it.) Some cards may require mods or add-ons (more on that later.)

The game is more than creating characters. In the Events menu, you’ll find the option “Have Sex.” You will be brought to a menu in which you can choose between Standard (Boy-girl sex), masturbation (female), or Lesbian. You will them choose the girl you want for all modes. You would choose just the girl for Masturbation and two girls for Lesbian. You can see what the girl’s personality and preferences are, such as if she likes anal or is okay with no condoms (which is chosen in creation mode.) You can choose her experience level (First Time, Amateur, Pro, or Lewd) and whether it is a risky day. This will determine her reactions in the Sex game. You then choose where you will have sex, with choices ranging from your room, to a classroom, school gym, Nurses’ Office, school entrances and grounds, and washrooms to name a few.

The menu for Have Sex mode

While you are just an observer for Masturbation and Lesbian modes, you do control the action in Standard. Starting from the upper left corner, you see a picture of the girl, with her sexual experience level displayed above and a emoji face below, depicting of it is a safe day (blue) or risky day (red). The bars on the side are the girls arousal level (pink) and the male arousal level (blue). If the girls bar fills up, she will orgasm; the male orgasm can be controlled once the bar is three-quarters full, but both will climax if the girl’s bar fills and the male bar is at least three-quarters full. Next, the Shirt icon lets you set the level of dress for the girl or change her outfit completely. Next is the move icon where you can adjust were the characters are in the scene. The one next to it move your character to a pre-determined pint in the room, such as a bed, desk, wall or the floor. This will have an effect on what sex positions will be available. The final two buttons lets you adjust the colours and the game options, respectively.

In Caress, use your hands, tongue and toys to bring her to orgasm.
The box in the lower right corner allows you to control the action.

On the right side are the sex options. First you have Caress, in which you use your hands, tongue or sex toys on the girl (indicated by the three boxes in the upper right corner) on various points on her body like her breasts, nipples, vagina, ass or asshole . You can choose what position the girl is in by pressing the Caress button; the position available are determined by where she is (i.e. bed, floor, etc.). Next is Receive, in which the girls pleasures you, using either her hands, mouth or chest. Again the actions available are determined by where you are. Lastly is Insert, in which you have sex with her. Both characters can climax in this mode. Some positions give you the option of vaginal or anal, you also get the option of telling the girls you are putting it in or just to go for it. The girls may chastise you for going too quickly (depending on her experience level) but it doesn’t affect the game. The box in the corner is where you control the sex. You either move the mouse, roll the mouse real or click fast, depending on the sex act. You can also choose whether to wear a condom (some girls will insist on one) and whether to cum inside or out. The gameplay can continue indefinitely until you exit the mode.

Elizabeth Bathory (from the Fate series) in Concert mode. She always wanted to be a pop idol, so it fits.

The other mode is the Concert mode, in which you can load up one of your girls and watch her sing a song…in Japanese. You can choose her outfit or use the default pop idol one and enough the one song. Over and over.

You might be thinking that, while the creation mode is great, the Have Sex mode is pretty nifty and the Concert mode is…kind of out of left field, there seems to be something missing. Well, you are right. Due to some decision by Valve, Illusion was not allowed to add the story mode from the game for the version sold on Steam. Some say it was because it was set in a high school, despite there being many adult movies featuring sex in high schools. Despite this, Illusion has you covered. On their website for Koikatsu Party (http://koikatsuparty.illusion.jp/) you can download the Special Patch, which unlocks the full story mode, completely translated.

The story mode has you as a young man (one of the male characters you created) who finds himself living alone after his parents move overseas. Your aunt has agreed to keep an eye on you by having you go to the school where she is the principal. The only this is that it’s an all girls school. Your aunt believes the girls are at a disadvantage in life by not having boys to interact with. She wants you to go to the school and start a club, a romance or “Koikatsu” club in which you teach them how to interact with boys. This can range from just talking to holding hands, to kissing, dating and even sex!

You wander the school talking to girls and convincing them to join your club

Your teachers are incredibly on board with the principal’s plan. This includes the homeroom teacher, Nonoka Sakurai, a kind woman who doesn’t have much experience with boys herself; Math teacher Reina Hashimoto, who is interested in your performance in school and with the girls; and Rina Labelle, a foreign-born nurse (i.e. not Japanese) who is very interested in the health and well-being of the student body.

Reina, the Math teacher is on board with the Koikatsu program. She’s not normally dressed as a nun. I did that

For the gameplay, you populate the school with girls you have created and proceed to interact with them. You try to raise their favor, romance and lewdness levels by talking, listening and touching them. Once they like you enough you can ask them to join your club, go on a date, become your girlfriend or have sex. Once part of the Koikatsu Club, you can do club activities with the girls, such as talk, hold hands or just make out. All these activities gives you club points, which unlock more sex positions and toys and improves you rank. If you have move than six club members and your rank is A or higher, you can unlock more conversations with the teacher characters. This will eventually lead to them wanting to “check your progress,” in which you will have sex with them right where they are, be it in a classroom, by the pool or out in the front entrance.

Nonoka is a very hand-on teacher. You can really tell she cares.

Besides the teachers, there are 4 story characters to interact with. There is the helpful Ai, who concern for others often comes at the expense of her own needs; cheerleader Sakura, who drive for perfection masks her own insecurities; pop idol-in-training Mai, who sings about love but has not have a chance to experience it herself; and Konomi, a girl whose bold cosplay masks her shy nature. All four girls romance storylines unfold simultaneously but do not affect each other, nor do any of the romances with the other girls. Each storyline will cumulate in you having sex with the girl and their declaration of love to you. They are not available outside their particular storylines in the game.

Mai is following her dream to be a pop idol, but it is a lonely life.
Sakura is driven to be the best at cheerleading.

While the game is translated for an English audience, there is still the censorship like in the original Japanese version (the penis and vaginas are censored) and the dialog in the sex scenes are not translated, but the mod scene has got your back. There are various mod packs out there, but I would recommend the one from ManlyMarco’s Patreon (HF version 2.8) which will give you uncensored penises and vagina, translated subtitles for the sex scenes, plus other useful mods and cheats. It works for both the original Koikatsu and Koikatsu Party and will even translate the add-ons for the Japanese games.

With the After School DLC, other girls may want to join in when you have sex. (heart added for modesty)

Yes the Japanese add-ons work with the game. Currently there are two; a Personality pack with adds 4 new personality types with character cards, and the After School pack, which expands weekend dates, allowing you to choose where to go and adding a chance for sex. It also allows for FFM threesomes in both the main game and Have Sex modes. They can be purchased at the DMM site (the site auto translate oddly translates the game title into “A Carp Cutlet.”). Google it in you are interested.

This is not a game for everyone. Illusion has been making Eroge games like is for over a decade but none have had a Western release until recently. Back in 2009 there was some controversy when some company tried to resell the Illusion game, RapeLay on the British Amazon site, causing a bit of a moral panic. This caused many eroge publishers from Japan to ban foreign IPs from accessing their sites. Recently, though, Illusion has tried to bring some games to a foreign audience, with some being rejected by Steam before their change of face about Adult content. About a year and a half ago, Illusion partnered with Hentai site Fakku to release a English version of their “Brothel Simulator,” Honey Select, called Honey Select Unlimited. They later released an add-on to bring it closer to the full Japanese version, but there was still portions missing and some of the mods did not work on the Unlimited version. Koikatsu Party seems to have avoided this or at least the modding community is more accepting of it.

Koikatsu Party is not like Illusion’s Play series (the successors of RapeLay) as all sex depicted is consensual. It is more cartoony than Honey Select Unlimited and its story mode, while an optional, non-advertised component, gives it more depth. Sure the school setting might give one pause, but it is not like erotica set in school, in both mainstream and adult media is unheard of. The characters are not real anyways, and the fact that you can create who you interact with puts any impropriety on the player. Create who you want looking how you want, but remember they are over 18. The game even says so when you start the program.

Koikatsu Party is available in the Adults Only section of Steam. You must be 18 years or older to purchase or play. The game cost $70 CAD. Links to the Official patch and HF patch can be found at the Steam Community page for this game.

This Review is for entertainment purposes only.  I have not received anything from Illusion, Valve, or any other corporation or entity for this review.  This game and any additional content was bought by me using my own funds.  All opinions are mine and any screenshot used were taken by me and are for Review purposes only.

THE END!

Review: Marvel Legends -Infamous Iron Man

Review of Marvel Legends Infamous Iron Man @Hasbro

With over 80 years of stories, there has been a lot of interesting turns for characters in the Marvel Universe. In recent stories, Doctor Doom, after gaining the power of a god and nearly destroying the Marvel Multiverse, sought to atone for his actions. When Tony Stark was put in a coma after the events of Civil War 2, Doom took on the mantle of Iron Man, which was covered in the series Infamous Iron Man. This figure is based on that iteration of the character.

The figures is a Walgreens exclusive in the US and EB Games exclusive in Canada.. The base figures is gun metal gray with green accents and three whitish green circles on his chest. His head has some silver paint on the face plate. The over all look screams “Iron Man” but the colour scheme is all Doom. He has a green hood on his head and he has a green plastic cape that goes over his shoulders. The hood is not removable from the helmeted head and the cape does not attach in any way.

Figure out of package.
Blast effects

For accessories, the figures comes with a unmasked Victor Von Doom head. Doom’s face was healed by Reed Richards at the end of Secret Wars (the extend of his injuries have varied over the years.) He also comes with left and right open hand, in which you can plug in the included blast effects. Lastly, he comes with two energy effects. which you couls place over his arms or legs.

Unmasked head

Overall, it is a decent figure. The loose cape and attached hood distracts a bit and it is mostly repainted parts, but that can be said about a lot of figures. It is an exclusive so at least there is no BAF (Build a Figure) parts for a figure you’ll never build. Hasbro has hit is stride with Marvel Legends as of late and this is a good figure of a character from a specific storyline.

Marvel Legends: Infamous Iron Man is a Walgreens (US) and EB Games (Canada) exclusive and retails for about $29.99 CAD. Figures may be available in other regions and online.

This Review is for entertainment purposes only. I have not received anything from Hasbro, Marvel, EB Games or anyone else for this review. The item was purchased by myself with my own money. All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me and are for review purposes only.

Mini Reviews: Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S Series 2 Cerisier, King Lance Steelblade, and Lacuna

A quick review of three figures from Vitvian H.A.C.K.S. from @BossFightStudio

I got three more figures from Bossfight Studio’s web store (had a buy 2 get a 3rd for half off deal) and I want to just do some quick reviews since they are similar to one I’ve reviewed before, with one having a unique feature. SO, here we go with some Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S. mini reviews!

Cerisier, Sakura Elven Assasin

Cerisier is a Bossfight Studio web store exclusive. Sakura Elves are trained assassins for the Elf Queen who dye their skin in ink and have their voices magically removed. Cerisier has a unique head sculpt but the rest of her are reissued parts from the other elves. Her outfit, in pink, white and brownish red, is the same as Aspen and Aiyana as is the two daggers she comes with. Her crossbow, quarrels and quiver are from Narissa of the Withered Branch. The only new piece (though it came it the Elven accessory pack) is a piece to attach to the quiver so it can hook into the loop on her skirt.

Cerisier is armed with a crossbow and daggers.

Still the whole figure works well and looks great. The quarrels get lost way too easily, but are a nice touch. She is a good addition to my collection of elves

Her quiver hooks onto the back of her skirt.

King Lance Steelblade, King of Accord

The leader of the Knights of Accord, Lance was a orphan inducted into their ranks. He proved his skill as a knight and a commander and ended up becoming King when most of the high-borne knights and the King were killed. The figure is the same as the regular Knight of Accord, but with white armour and gold trim. His pants and undershirt are black and his loin cloth is purple. he has a purple caplet that you can swap out with another pauldron. Like the knight, he comes with an axe, sword with scabbard and a shield. with a purple design, instead of blue. He also comes with a Royal standard for the Knight of Accord.

Lance is sporting a royal white and gold ensemble with at purple cape so you know he’s king. THe crown helps, too.

The main head has removable hair so you can put on a helmet on the figure. The hair stays on better than Q’Al Varis’ and the helmet fits well. He has two helmets, one open and one with a visor. Rounding out, he has two spare heads so you can army build more knights. Once again, the figure is great and the accessories add so much to the figure.

With helmet on.
The Royal standard.

Lacuna – Cavern Faerie

Launa matata!

Deviating from the tiny, dragon fly-winged creatures we know from fables, Cavern faeries are human-sized magical creatures with bat wings who live in caverns. According to the Bio, Lacuna was driven out of her home by invading monsters, probably the Knights of Asperity. Distrustful of humans, Lacuna still seeks their help to aid them against the undead horde that invaded her land.

Here, Lacuna is armed with a…stick.

Lacuna features a different body type for the line: winged bodies. She has removable wings that you can swap for more open ones. He skin is light purple and she has white hair. Her two piece outfit is purple, silver and black and she has molded on goggles on her head. Her weapons are a wand with a crystal on it and a club/larger wand again sporting crystals.

Wings are on ball joints and attach to the back.

This figure shows the innovation of this line. The body type is used again with a gargoyle figure and there is a male winged demon in the newest wave. Lacuna is a excellent figure and I can’t wait for winged blanks to come out.

She has a pair of open wings, too. She is holding the wand.

So there are my three latest Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S figures. I pays to follow Bossfight studio on their Twitter as they occasionally have flash sales on their figures. I really like this line and I am looking forward to see what they do next. These figures can be found at the Bossfight Studio webstore and various resellers online and on eBay.

This Review is for entertainment purposes only. I have not received anything from Bossfight Studio, Kokomo Toys, eBay or anyone else for this review. The item was purchased by myself with my own money. All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me and are for review purposes only.