Unboxing- Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star Noble Phantasm Edition

The physical copy of Fate/EXTELLA comes in a special edition called the Noble Phantasm Edition.  Lets take a look at what you get in this set.

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The special edition comes in a sturdy box.  The North American version from XSEED Games doesn’t have a fancy box like the European  version (called  the Moon Crux edition) but the content is the same.

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Inside we get this cloth poster featuring Tamamo (left) fighting Nero (right).  The art looks nice and it is very colourful.

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You also get 16 art cards featuring the characters in the game.  The cards are of a sturdy plastic.

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Finally you get an art book/source book for Fate/EXTELLA.  Featuring character designs, concept art and a glossary of terms, this will help you learn more about the Fate/EXTELLA universe.  It is a pretty good read. and is in English.

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Of course you get the game, reviewed in my last post.  The PS Vita and the PS4 version of the Noble Phantasm edition are the same beside the version of the game you get.  Costing $79.99 for the PS Vita or $89.99 for PS4 (all prices Canadian), it is not that much more than just the game.  I think the book makes this set worth it.  The game is available physically without the set as well.

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Rock Band Bandmates

During the hype and build-up towards the release of Rock Band 2, it was revealed that, through the revised Rockband.com web site, you would be able to create actual merchandise of your band.  That meant T-shirts, bumper stickers, mouse pads and figures.  Yes, figures, though they are more like statues, but of your created characters in your Rock Band band.  This seems like a great marketing tie-in;  those who want to show off their love for all things Rock Band can do so in style.

But, like all good things, there is a bit of a snag if you don’t live in the good old U.S. of A.  You cannot order most item in the Make a Merch section if you don’t live in the States.  So as a Canadian, I’m SOL if I wanted a "the Meeloo Experience" T-shirt, key chain or bumper sticker (the Meeloo Experience is the name of my band in the game.)  What I could get, though, was the Bandmates statue (if you are outside USA or Canada, you can’t get even this!)  So, with this in mind and totally ignoring the fact that I need to put less on my credit card, I ponied up the USD69.99 for a figure of my guitarist character, Helen.  That was on the 22nd of November.

Today, 3 Dec 08, I got my figure!  Not even 2 weeks and I got my custom made figure delivered to my door (with a $20.79 border fee attached).  The detail is incredible, right down to the Bad Religion symbol on her guitar and the "Meeloo X" symbol on her cami.  The texture is a bit rough, but considering that it was created from a 3D printer, this is just a observation, not a complaint.  The only real complaint I have is that the guitar symbol base that the figure is attached to is in turn attached to a large while plastic base, which is part of the display packaging.  As room on my shelves is minimum, it leave me not choice but to clear room for it.

Still, is a nice piece of video game related merchandise and a figure that is truly your own to design, through your in game Rock Band 2 characters.

 

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The packaging

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The figure of Helen

 

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Close-up.  Need a better camera

 

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Detail- Guitar w/ BR symbol and Meeloo X symbol on her shirt

 

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Back

 

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Right Side

 

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Left Side

Catch Up part deux

Continuing my list of recent game I bought.

Saints Row 2 (Xbox 360)- Like GTA IV, but without all the pretentiousness.  SR2 follows up the events of the first game with your character waking up 5 years later.  The Saints are gone, new gangs have moved in and a corporation now owns the Row.  You begin your rise back up the underworld, taking on various jobs and missions.  The missions are fun and the side missions (called diversions) are inventive (like FUZZ in which you impersonate a cop for a Reality TV show) without being too heavy like GTAIV.  And no cousins calling every 15 minutes.

Little Big Planet(PS3)-  While it looks cute (and it is), LBP is a challenging game.  You go through different levels, unlocking new costumes, items and settings which you can use in your own created levels.  This is where this game shines.  The level creator is only limited by your imagination, patience and what you’ve have unlocked.  You can create rockets, car and creatures.  Then you can post it online and others can play it.

Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360)-  Gears 2 promises more action, shooting and using Chainsaw Bayonets ( guess the Geneva Convention does not apply).  Plays great, and your AI teammates can heal you.  To tell you the truth, though, I like played it for like two days then went back to Saint’s Row 2 and LBP.  Then I got this game

Fallout 3(PS3)  A post-apocalyptic RPG from the creators of Oblivion, your character was raised in Vault 101, a community in a nuclear fallout shelter.  Your dad has left the Vault and you have to do the same.  You traverse the nuclear ravaged Washington D.C. helping or hurts as you see fit and looking for you Dad.  The problem I have with the PS3 version is when the system tells you when someone logs in and out, the game freezes for a few seconds.  Annoying as hell.  And Bethesda has screwed over PS3 owners as there will be no DLC for this version.

 

Anyway, not much else has happened.  Took Chantale to a Function at my old Reserve unit.  We had a good time.  Bought tickets to the Canucks/Senators game in Vancouver in December.  Can’t wait for that.

 

Here as some Rock Band 2 pictures of my band, the Meeloo Experience.

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Playing Catch up

Wow, July 21st?  That’s the last time I posted?  Well, I can’t say anything important happened since them, although I am pleased to say I will be in Victoria until at least 2010!  I hope I can get a tasking on the Mainland for the 2010 games.  That would be sweet.

So, what else can I talk about?  Oh, games!  Here is a quick rundown of the games I bought in the last 5 or so months and my thoughts on them.  I’ll indicate which system I got it for.

Soulcalibur 4 (PS3)  Definitely my favourite fighting game on the PS3.  As with every new game, the action gets faster, the challenge greater, and Ivy’s costume gets more flimsy (I mean seriously, why IS she going around dressed like that?  It’s not like she doesn’t take care of herself.  Obviously she shaves, especially since she doesn’t wear much.  Are her breast getting so big that her outfit can hardly contain them?  Her 2P costume looks rather modest compared to it.)  The Create-a-Soul returns from SC3 and while there are a lot of parts there are no extra weapon disciplines like in SC3.  But the created characters look great as does the rest of the game.  Destructible armour and Finishers are new to the series and add a extra bit to the game.  The special guest of Darth Vader, Yoda (via DLC) and the Secret Apprentice are interesting choices, but no worse than, say Spawn or Link

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (PS3):  The game Hugo Chavez wanted stopped (much like Korea with the first one), it takes place in Venezuela.  You, as one of three Mercs (Matthias, Chris or Jen), take a job from a businessman named  Solano to rescue his general friend. Afterwards, instead of paying you, Solano tries to kill you and shoots you in the ass.  He then takes over Venezuela, staring a civil war.  You must find Solano, working for various factions to get information and supplies to hunt down Solano and make him pay.  Because everybody pays.  A fun game, but it has a few bugs such as touchy aiming and animation problems that crop up once and a while.

Rock Band 2(Xbox 360)- Second verse, same as the first.  I like the new songs and the fact that you can create a band even in 1 player mode (you can assign you own character to play in your band instead of a random group like in the first one.)  DLC also tends to rule the day but they can be used for either game.  The best part is the linking of the game to Rockband.com, Where you can create pics of you in-game band and create a statue of you character for $70US.  You can also make T-Shirts, buttons and bumper stickers but they only ship to the States for that.  Bummer.  I did order a statue so I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed(PS3)-  It’s Star Wars.  It’s Jedi.  It can be frustrating at times, but once you are done, it will seem like it ended too soon.  But it DOES end.  A must for Star Wars fans.

Fable 2(Xbox 360)-  Basically a hack and slash with a morality engine in which you actions affect the way you look and the world around you.  Forget all that you read about it;  like Fable 1, it doesn’t live up to its own hype.  On it’s own merits, it is a great and there are some rather interesting moral choices to make.  Just be careful if your character has more the one spouse.  It can catch up with you.

More later as this has gotten large.

Review- The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight, sequel to Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, definitely lives up to the hype that surrounds this type of action movie.  With Batman Begins helping to wash away the memories of the horrible Joel Schumacher films (Batman Forever, Batman and Robin) and with comic-based movies in general taking a more respectful approach to the material, The Dark Knight looks to raise the bar for movies featuring costume clad heroes.  It keeps the dark tone of the previous movie, yet does not venture into the weirdness the was in the Tim Burton films.

The movie finds Batman (Christian Bale) tying up some loose ends from the previous film (remember, the Scarecrow was still on the loose.)  The Gotham Underworld is on the  defensive, being hit hard by Batman, Major Crimes Unit’s Captain Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and the new District Attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart).  With their money being tied up, the mobsters get a visit from the Joker (Heath Ledger), a psychotic criminal with a penchant for anarchy.  He offers to get rid of their problems, including the Batman for half their money.  The Joker and his followers assassinate a Judge, the police commissioner and invade a party being held for Harvey Dent, being held at Bruce Wayne’s penthouse.  Of course Batman intervenes and confronts the Joker.  Here Joker makes his demand on Batman: Unmask or every night, people will die.

The movie is well written and paced and develops all the major characters well.  The Joker, whose origin is never seem on screen (in fact, he offers at least two different accounts of it) is menacing, yet believable.  He is portrayed as a master manipulator playing the mob against the police, playing the people of Gotham against each other and trying to get Batman to cross the line and kill.  He also plays with Harvey Dent. seeding doubts that he can make a difference within the law, within his own moral code.  Harvey’s two headed silver coin shows how he makes his own luck, but when he survives an attempt on his life by luck, a 50-50 chance, it leaves enough doubt that the Joker could exploit.  To go into any more would spoil things, but if you know the comic, you know what to expect.

This movie is, in my opinion, the best of the four comic based movies this summer (Iron Man, Hellboy, the Incredible Hulk are the other three).  It is a shame that Heath Ledger’s death will cast a shadow over this movie, but this movie shows what a terrific actor he was and that Hollywood truly lost a great talent.  If this is the last completed movie he is remembered for, there is no shame in it as it’s one of the best in it’s genre and a great movie overall.  5/5