Archive for June, 2010

Dragon Punch Is, Like, So 90’s

Posted in Video Games with tags , , on June 30, 2010 by Justinzero

Those hip to what’s cool nowadays (Monster Hunter Tri!!!!) know and understand how important Dragon weapons are. For a gunner, who’s job involves constant pummeling with proper ammo, the right kind of element can sometimes chew off minutes from a normally drawn out fight.

Take Dragon ammo for example:

O_o

Talk about getting bent over. Just a few more rares and I’ll own that gun – Simple to say, excruciating to achieve.

Meeeeow – Ishtar Arrives

Posted in Anime, On A Personal Note with tags , , , , on June 29, 2010 by Justinzero

She finally found time to get off her rump! Obviously, her leg is in good working order, which is a wonder after what I pulled today. I almost, and I mean by a hair, drilled through her leg this morning. While prepping for the leg>base pin, I pushed on the dremel a tad harder than I should have. Crisis averted though, as the bit length wasn’t enough to puncture through the outer layer of her boot. In other words, “Thank Fooking God!”

I’m still not done though (sigh). I made some nasty scratch marks on the base while trying to pull out a stuck, and very crooked, nail. There is also some minor paint touch ups along the edges of the black that need fine tuning. I’m sure I forgot to do it before last winter, which is when I first started the kit. The color scheme has totally grown on me, lending more weight to the future possibility of custom work on later kits. I used to be a stickler for being completely loyal to any characters original color scheme, admittedly, in snobby traditional fashion. In the end though, I’m glad I made the color choices I did, and hope you like them too.

Apart from putting the finishing touches on my Guyver III, my geek-ridden life is somewhat put to a halt today due to the final entrance exam that I’m planning on tackling. Once the exam is out of the way, I’ll have 2 months of heat, relaxation, and free time before having to trek to school on a daily basis. Expect the nerdery to kick into high gear Goobs, because once September hits, chiming life’s beckon call, the free time available for cool stuff will be a fraction compared to what I have now.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that a new project is on the horizon. One that some very old school Sega CD fans will appreciate. The one clue I can offer (apart from the one I just dropped 😛 duuur) is that I owe its discovery to the Waxing Sage, who was thoughtful enough to know I’d go bat-shit crazy once it became available.

Excited?

Mecha Battle Overload

Posted in Video Games with tags , , on June 28, 2010 by Justinzero

Take a gander at this:

And then explain to me why this isn’t here in NA yet. Really, I wish we still had a vibrant arcade scene, because this game looks amazing. It’s like VOOT, except bigger, brighter, cooler and much higher on the awesome scale. Ten VS Ten, fast paced robot action is exactly how I want to spend the next 50 weekends of my life, yet, sadly, I’ve got an overplayed HD version of VOOT to contend with, and I’m sure as hell not shelling out a bizzillion dollars on Steel Battalion for Xbox. Please Sega, throw us a bone here. Demo it for PC, or at the very least, port it to PS3 or 360.

Brush up on the game here and be sure to stop by Arcade Heroes for the original story.

Pressing Plastic Patience

Posted in Anime, Video Games with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2010 by Justinzero

The softened, unused callouses on my thumbs are taking quite a beating today. Between overlapping cuts from my knife and residual glue caking in my pours, I’ve managed to work on 4 different kits today. With the overdue completion of the plastic assembly, Unicorn Gundam MG Ver Ka finally hit the 2nd last stage of construction, bringing this kit closer to the 100% point, with only the bemoaning process of decal application left to carry out.

Unicorn looks pretty damn cool in almost any position you put it in. The kit doesn’t feel as sturdy as others I’ve worked on in the past, leaving few options for certain poses that the kit could be left in. The special finish that the plastic comes pre-sprayed in looks really pleasing to the eye, especially when the light bounces off of the glossy surface. I could paint, which would remedy the glaring nub marks left from the tree cutting process, but I’d lose the nice finish that I paid extra for. A minor annoyance to be sure, one that Bandai could fix had they included a small vial of touch up coat for the modeler to use. I may pick up some “metallic” white paint to try and fix the spots, although, my only worry, which happens to be the biggest challenge, is finding a color that matches when dry; Impossible at best. The kit itself doesn’t seem to be down in spirits though and has quickly adjusted to his new found home by finding himself a new friend.

Using the Unicorn Gundam’s obvious joy as motivation to continue on, I turned my attention to my Ishtar kit that was in need of a re-attached leg. This kit is somewhat hard to work with, as the only point that touches the ground is the tip of her right foot. I have to drill a hole up her leg to fill with a steel nail if I want it to stand on its own. The problem is making sure the entire kit is solid, sturdy and able to support itself. A bad leg is not going to work well for this cause. Making matters worse, her leg blew off the body after a spill from a high shelf. The pin, which isn’t supposed to break (it’s metal.. so duh?) broke in half on both sides, conveniently throwing the option to re-pin out the window. My carpet strikes again!

My last option, one that I hope works, is to lap on epoxy glue. I choose to use the Tamiya quick set version, as it only takes six hours to set, saving me more time to do multiple glue jobs in one day. Alternatively, I can use the 24 hour stuff, which is much stronger, but demands far more patience than I’m willing to give out. Well, for today anyways.

The epoxy comes separated and needs to be mixed before application. This is where most people run into problems though, once again, ignoring the #1 rule of modeling: Patience and consistency is key. Kneading the glue to a “marble” state is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

It should be one solid color, or at the very least, no white areas visible in the finished… uh, glob. I made sure to spread the epoxy wide, also scraping the insides of both pieces. Doing this creates a rough surface for the glue to bond to, making it easier for the glue to grasp, thus leading to a stronger, solid piece.

Once again, Ishtar ends up spending the rest of her day laying in wait. 6 hours goes by fast, and hopefully (my fingers are crossed), I’ll be able to rip the dremel into her by the end of the night. Nothing would make me happier than to see this kit finally repaired and finished. If you haven’t noticed, or you have and are ready to kill me, I changed the color scheme of Ishtar’s outfit. Can you spot the inspired reference?

*AHEM*

Spending more time on a “lady” today than I have any other day, I picked up a profound sense for how to apply female accessories to my hobby. Guyver III and Squall were both in need of a torso re-attachment job, once again requiring the application of epoxy, and a firm grip while the drying process took place. One problem: I’m not holding my damn kits for 6 hours while the epoxy cures. I have a life. Really, I’m not kidding. I manage to keep quite busy these days… doing stuff… lots of stuff.

With a tough predicament ahead of me, and a very arduous outcome looming over my head, I had but one chance to find a solution. It wasn’t in any tool box though, nor was it something to be found on a “pro-modelers” website FAQ. The answer came from my fiancee’s (4 weeks till W-Day – wOOt) drawer in the bathroom. A lowly hair tie, thankfully black in color, ended up being the perfect “tool” (let me call it that! I need to feel like a man!) to hold my kits together while the glue set. Had I not found them, I wouldn’t have had the time to type this post out, ruining both your and my evening in one fail swoop.

I hate to do this on a Sunday, but this long story has a sad ending. The Squall kit, which has been a nightmare x3 to assemble, took another dive and broke again. This time, ironically, it broke in an even worse manner than what I had originally started with. Yay for really bad injection mold joints! I’ll throw up some process pics on it’s 3rd re-assembly soon. Mark my words: If this stupid kit takes another dive, I’m not fixing it. Garbage, or some stale plastic container is where it’ll end up. I’m washing my hands of it…. and I used to like Final Fantasy 8 too.

Grumble – Grumble – Grumble

Video Game Track – It’s good for the Skies

Posted in On A Personal Note, Video Games with tags , , , , on June 26, 2010 by Justinzero

Title: Battle 2
Game: Skies of Arcadia
Composed by: Yutaka Minobe & Takayuki Maeda

Out of every game I’ve played, I can honestly say, Skies of Arcadia is one of the best games that I’ve had the chance to run through. Everything about the game, and I mean everything, came together flawlessly to make up 2 of the best weeks in video gaming I’ve ever had the grace of experiencing. Of course, my thoughts on this game are completely relative to my personal preferences, and an admitted case of “playing in the right time, at the right place”. Instead of further Fan-Gushing my thoughts all over this post, I thought I’d link to a recent play-through review that sidebar buddy, Kog, put up a few weeks back. If you haven’t played Skies, you need to stop reading, head to ebay, and snag yourself a copy. At the very least, track the music down and spend an evening “geeking” out to some of the best RPG music the house of Sega built.

The Skies are Endless – KOG Fan-Ram Review

It’s Alive – Reviving my Blitz Gundam

Posted in Anime with tags , , , on June 25, 2010 by Justinzero

127 hours after first plugging Monster Hunter Tri in and I think I’ve finally felt the first pang of boredom with the game. Leaving me with some actual free time to delve into other hobbies, I’ve taken on the task of finally (it’s been a few months, I know) fixing up those broken kits I posted a while back. The first kit, and by far the easiest to fix, was the Blitz Gundam. Only needing a slight drop of glue to reassemble the head piece, Blitz was back in standing (har har) order in no time.

Still in pieces, Guyver III is drying off on my counter after a much needed “liquid dust removal” process, and my Ishtar is laying in wait, seductively of course, while her new glue applications dry.

Check back tomorrow (I mean it!) for, what I hope, is the tail end of this repair job.

Megaman Zero, Times Four…. and then some

Posted in Video Games with tags , , , , , on June 24, 2010 by Justinzero

Did you miss out on snagging the Megaman Zero games? Maybe sold off your GBA to take advantage of current, oft-updated, and more powerful hand held machines?

If so, make sure you pass Capcom a thumbs up for stuffing 4 of the best games from the GBA into one DS cart. For about $30 and a trip to Walmart (which usually involves a bonus stop at McRonnies), you can snag yourself a hefty cart, chock full of quick dashing, wall scaling, laser sword swinging, Megaman Zero action.

Veteran players can select any MMZ title upon first play, while those new to the series have the option to play through “easy mode”, which has players run through each title in order, with all upgrades achieved and infinite continues. The trade off of course here is the removal of the difficulty and item finding, that ironically, are signature features setting the Megaman Zero series apart from other games under the panoramic scope of the Blue Bomber’s library.

Other perks include artwork displayed on the bottom screen, usually coinciding with what level, character or boss is currently taking center stage in-game. Character and mod cards are also unlocked while running through each title, leaving players with something extra to peruse while not enjoying the main game. Most of the art featured in the game was also included in the now expensive, and equally rare, official Capcom artbook – a fantastic alternative to shelling out cash better spent on other games.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time with the game over the last week, never once feeling a wave of tedium, and eventually gaining a new respect for the series in general. It looks fantastic on a back-lit DS screen, especially (and you’ve heard me say this before) when paired with the XL’s bigger screen. Making a transfer to a “snes” style button layout, the controls still manage to feel natural and very simple to use. Those who find the control change somewhat cumbersome will be happy to know that the buttons are fully customizable in the options menu.

There’s little room for excuses when considering whether to pick this collection up or not. While catering to new fans or those with a passing interest, Capcom has managed to encapsulate some of its best GBA work into one cart; Much to the benefit of long time Megaman fans. The only feature this collection is missing is a jukebox or some form of unlockable music. The lightning pace and tone that Megaman Zero has is due in no small part to its soundtrack, which I personally believe features some of the best work a Megaman game has to offer. The soundtracks, including the later arrange albums, are kind of a pain to get a hold of. It would have been really nice to be able to play through each game with the arrange tracks, or at the very least, had the ability to park your DS within close proximity to enjoy some of the rockin’ tunes these games offer.

Nitpicking aside, this is a very nice package that should appeal to almost all DS owners. The hours and hours of fine tuned 2d gameplay more than makes up the cheap asking price that the collection is being retailed for. Spending the cash on each game separately with the expensive art book could easily work out to a full months rent. You really owe it to yourself, as a Megaman fan or DS enthusiast, to pick this collection up ASAP. Who knows, if sales are good enough, we may end up seeing that illusive and highly sought after Gameboy Megaman Collection.


Image by ~CATLQE

Pick the game up from Ebay

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