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Archive for augustus 2011

Far Side Newsletter issue #2

By : Tomsche69
Musings of a traditional summer burn out...

Summer season. The months Belgium is soaked in rains, work goes from extremely busy to extremely calm overnight, and I suffer from the traditional summer burn out in the hobby. Don`t ask me why, it`s a yearly thing on all three accounts.

I guess it has a tat to do with most opponents being away on exotic holidays, forums falling quiet, summer festivals and more of the likes, but it also a good period for me to finally clear out Lead Mountain and stuff everything in big boxes for the Crisis bring and buy, only to be promptly forgotten about when that time comes. Don`t ask me why, it`s a yearly thing.

Sooo, what`s happening in the meantime in our little corner of the clubhouse, where `brave, yet slightly deranged` souls game around and launch crazy ideas. Some get picked up, some dwindle down, some never take off...

Djoef 4: Allaaah Ahkbar

The yearly Babylon 5 competition is suffering this year. Most people seem to just be `gamed out` in the venerable ACTA system, being unable to muster the mojo for throwing themselves in for a longer period of time.
This doesn`t only happen with the ACTA clubcompetition though, it seems to be an overall trend at the moment with all kinds of ideas being bounced around and to much choice out there, resulting in not being able to focus on something. I know, I have it too, mea culpa Sgt Looney.
We`re 4 months down the road now in the Djoef, but not even half the battles have been played, I guess our organiser is going to have to do some serious armbending to get the motor back on track.
For me personally, it is a small flaw in this years `engine` of the competition that causes the issue, but if you don`t try something new, you don`t know, a few changes where made in order to prevent the amount of non plays last edition, we`ll just need to suggest and puzzle around some for next year.
Playing opponents twice is new, to even out a lucky win, but this seems to become an obstacle due to the fact there is also no `time limit` this year. People play their battles now till one fleet is completely wiped out, taking around 3 hours to play to completion on average and taking out the chance to get two games under the belt an evening.

Project: Gundanium!

The show and convention project of the Far Side who will finally hit the events scene in 2012, aiming at attending two or three shows in the neighbourhood. The rules have been tested for a first time last friday, and they base engine of a fast paced, video / anime style battle seemingly is spot on in time issues, allowing to play 6 x2 demo games on an average event duration, and still providing enough time for the team to have a stroll around for shopping, to grab a bite and get a smoke.
Now the process of finetuning the rules has begun, balancing between adding an extra layer without making the whole shabang to hyperdetailed for a swift game. I`m trying to keep the rules limited at first to:
* One pageside of A4
* Tops 5 minutes to explain the rules to players
leaving not much leeway to play with, so it`s a serious exercise.
Which doesn`t mean that more detailed rules are being develloped side by side with the demo rules though, detailing more types of Gundams, weaponry and abilities, all based on the series...

To Appomatox and Back!

As regiments are being formed slow and steadily in the workspaces of three Far Siders, the Rank & File ACW `debut` in our group is drawing ever closer. The first scheduled battle is going to be somewhere near the end of september, as I`m painting up some scenery at the moment to linger around on a completely fictious battle... more about those in a later blog post.
The annual TSA megaweekend has also been announced, so the motivation is a notch higher at the moment, this year it will be Stone`s River that will be held on the huge table over the course of a full weekend, accumulating in again about 16 hours of actual gameplay.
And USS Monitor is being prepared as well hehehe...

J-Craze continues

Apart from the Project Gundanium, more japanese anime based models of my collection are going to see the daylight and the battle reports in the near future. I am relaunching the 6mm Future War Commander campaign this auntumn, with a smaller scaled one that takes off where the previous one crashed spectacularly.
In the `finale`, the alien invaders are launching a desperate all out orbital drop against a dug in humanity, and it will be marked by a shorter duration and smaller grid map then the over ambitious plan of before.
The full fluff and details will be posted here once the dust settles over Djoef and an actual starting date has been decided upon, but the first `rule refreshing` battles are already being staged by various Far Siders.

Tap Tap Tap

The hit at the moment in our group... the return of Magic: The Gathering. Expect some Far Siders to try a hand (pun intended) at some small scale local events, only to try not to finish the very last for me. My play is outdated, my `ideal deck` hopelessly caught up by the other colours, but the sheer irritating factor still exists. Blue Forever ;)

But What About...

So that brings us to the sad part of `what is hot, and what is not` overviews... the games in urgent need of mouth to mouth, hence they die and become forgotten.
On the Pulp front, not much is moving anymore. Where Heroes Dare! is standing on a shelf of rulebooks gathering dust, alongside the 7TV rulebook that even never has left the shelf. SuperSystem, though the first battle we tried for the rules was a humongous amount of fun, hasn`t been touched ever since again.
Warhammer 8th Edition, or my `Project Asrai` from last year, has died spectacularly, my forces either already gone or going to the BnB on Crisis.
Uncharted Seas sees a lot of talk of getting a go at, but these little guys are tired of waiting and are on the shortlist considering to become adopted by someone actually playing the rules.

If I`ll ever play naval again, it`ll be with ironclads (one Thumbling Dice fleet is being undercoated as we speak btw, small, cheap, ideal...). Takes less space and less investments.

So on to Crisis and 2012 then!

It`s still a far way off, but some plans are made already. For the new Lead Painter`s League when it comes around, I have already drawn up a shortlist of entries to do. I`m sticking to the plan of only painting models during the competition itself, but I`m going to try and create the backgrounds all by making actual paintings, so I`m going to have a start on some of those already. A bit like the Dune entry from last year, only hopefully a tat better.
The Crisis shopping list has also been drawn up in a `version 1` so far, consisting mostly though off hobby materials (paints, inks, brushes etc...) and some ACW boxes from the Perry`s and some Redoubt odds and ends (well, lot of odds and even more ends) like limbers, command groups, things like that and a few Dark Sword Ice and Fire models... no new periods, era`s or crazes for me anymore! They tend to linger around before being shipped off to some other player who actually has a need for them.

Soooo, thats it for the Far Side an my view on what`s going on in the little group. Is this accurate? Nuhu, just what I tend to see, but I`m sure if they have comments, they`ll voice them and I`ll be getting a spanking once again...

Regiment a Month 4: Zaku! Zaku!

By : Tomsche69

Seven brave souls pledged their social life and free time to a project of painting a complete regiment each month. Now, over halfway down, it has dwindled down to an intense threeway between World of Skratch, Nelson`s Revenge and myself. Make sure you drop a peek there as well to see their entries for Round 4, you can find them in the top sidebar of blogs on the left.
Pressure caused Mechaniak and Creepy Corridor to drop out along the way, while the other two didn`t make it of the starting grid, like a Virgin with overweigth (that`s a Formula One racing car you pervs!).

So last month gave us a school class of Mutants, a band of Khador warjacks and a Confederate artillery battery... so what will this month bring?

Zaku! Zaku!

For me, this month is all about 6mm for the regiment. With the plans formed to create and run the finale of the Invasion Earth campaign for Future War Commander, in which I use the Cav Open Market List due to the amount of battlesuits in there (and dubbed it `Celestial Being`), my regiment provides more foot troops for my forces, together with a variety of grav tanks (all by Brigade).
And of course, more mobile suits, with the coolest `rank and file` Gundams around, the venerable Zaku II. These models are 1/400 gashapons.
Finally, I rounded the entry out with a lighthouse, a piece of scenery I had lying around since Crisis last year, and which resurfaced with the massive clean up and redecoration works I`m having over here.

So two more rounds to go it is, and next month I`m returning to my Union army, with a very specialised skirmisher unit... it won`t be usefull for the majority of battles, but it will look cool amongst the Boys in Blue

Ciao Ciao

Gundanium! Teaser pictures

By : Tomsche69

The first photoshoot and testing of the fast play rules took place tonight at TSA, and some tweaks have been made to the rules so far in order for the next try out in a few months (no need to rush, we have 6 months to go before they have to be ready after all).

Using our `Work in Progress` Bandai 1/144 kits, we can share the following snapshots at least:

Gametime wise for a fast play participation game we are on the right track, taking about 5 mins to explain the rules to players not involved in the project and as such without any knowledge of the mechanics, a duel (aka game) taking about 15 mins of playtine and no rules questions.

So it`s up to tweak some rulings for balance now, and work on the mobile suits for gameplay...

Transformers - Arcee polystone statuette

By : Tomsche69

A revent arrival into my `closet of fictional babes` collection ( * prepares for a collection of lame love life jokes * ), the pink female autobot, Arcee.

Arcee would appear in the U. K. Marvel comic issue #234, "Prime's Rib!" This story is set in the near future, 1995, where Optimus Prime, Jazz and Hot Rod introduce the latest Autobot, Arcee, to the human feminists. She was met with displeasure by the humans, being called a token female and disliked for her pink color. They were then attacked by Shockwave, Fangry, Horri-Bull and Squeezeplay, who thought the Autobot would be unveiling a new weapon. The Autobots fought off the Decepticons, who escaped, but nothing seemed to please the human feminists.

The U. K. comic also set a number of stories directly after the events of the movie. The Space Pirates arc saw Arcee skip guard duty at Autobot City; her dereliction of duty led directly the fall of Autobot City to the Quintessons. She was then used as bait in a Quintesson trap to claim the Creation Matrix from Rodimus Prime. Arcee achieved some measure of redemption by aiding Rodimus Prime, now reduced in power to his Hot Rod form, in his bid to reclaim Autobot City by activating Metroplex.

Arcee later joined Rodimus Prime's time-travelling party, helping in the fight against Galvatron during the Time Wars. Arcee and the other future Autobots returned find to their own time-stream changed to a different, darker future, where Galvatron was alive and ruling most of Cybertron.

Arcee appeared among the Autobots under the command of Rodimus Prime in the alternate future story "Aspects of Evil 2" from Marvel U. K. Transformers #224. In this story Rodimus Prime remembered how Galvatron, Crankcase, Ruckus and Windsweeper killed Blurr and then attacked Rodimus Prime, Kup, Arcee and the Battle Patrol. Enraged, Rodimus nearly killed Galvatron, but to keep the Matrix from being contaminated by hatred he relented. Arcee appeared in Marvel U. K. Transformers #251 "The Void!" where she was among the Autobot crew of a ship commanded by Rodimus Prime which was retreating from Cybertron.

Arcee was initially set to be in the 2007 Transformers film, but due to negative fan reaction and to the fact that there was not enough time in the movie to explain the presence of a "female" in a robotic race,[5] she was dropped from the script and replaced with Ironhide. Before she was dropped, her alternate mode was slated to be a Buell Firebolt motorcycle; concept art by Ben Procter can be seen on his website.[6][7] Even though Arcee was not in the movie, a motorcycle was used by Captain William Lennox to attack Blackout (although the bike was an Aprilia RSV 1000 R rather than a Buell). Arcee was also initially set to battle Blackout in the movie. According to the Hasbro 2007 movie toy's tech spec for Arcee, she received combat training from Ironhide.

According to the biography printed in the collected Reign of Starscream books, Arcee was once a member of the Autobot science team who had to adapt her skills when the war broke out.

According to the biography for the Revenge of the Fallen Chromia toy, she is a sister to Chromia and Elita One. However there is some confusion as to whether the movie portrayed Arcee and her sister units to be of a single hive mind. According to the biography for her 2009 movie toy she commands her team. Writer Roberto Orci has stated he intended the three motorcycles to be a single mind, but Michael Bay portrayed them as individuals just like the Hasbro bios. According to Hasbro, Arcee is only about 7 feet tall but on the scale for the first film it was stated she was 9 feet tall.

The statuette itself is about 20cm tall, and was produced by Pallisades Toys for the 1984 - 2004 20th birthday of the Transformers franchise, and was a limited edition of 2000 copies. Mine has the number #1491.

The sculpt itself is great, showing her in a seductive, relaxed pose sitting on a piece of metal scrap. The base of the model is the Autobot logo, a nice though that the others in this series share (Grimlock, Soundwave,...).
Do mind it is the `original` Arcee portrayed from the cartoons and comics, not the motorcycle version from the Bay flick. She has her `Earth appearance` as how she looked when she transformed into a pink, futuristic looking car, not the latter more `squre` back exhausts as she was later portrayed and changed into some sort of hovercar.

Some nice details about the model:

The thong like hip armour

Lipstick... it does add that nice extra `female robot` accent

It`s a really lovely thing, this statuette, which I found on eBay - Canada for about 62 dollars excluding shipping and customs costs, and now proudly stands amongst my anime / cartoon / videogame figures collection.

For closing, a very little know fact: did you know Arcee was the first Transformer to make it into Playbot magazine?

Tag : ,

Transformers - More than Meets the Eye

By : Tomsche69

These little jewels where partly unearthed a few weeks ago when I was PC less and doing some `Home Improvement` (without this assistance though...), and I found one of the boxes marked `Lego`... which contains everything but Lego in fact.

A couple of Microbots, including apparently 3 Decepticons (I always thought I only had Autobots, they must have snugged in somewhere 20 odd years ago) and inspired to do something with them, I ran of to the local toy store to snatch up some of the recent movie `bots. The cheap small scales ones, barely touching 5 euros a piece (Optimus, Sideswipe and Bumblebee).

I know there has to be a second and a third box somewhere in one of the two garages, but as my inventory skills have always been a `tat liberal` I should really open up each and every one of them and then rummage through the smaller boxes inside to find the motherlode.

The pride and joy I found is one of my Dinobots, Slag, though like with others I`m shopping eBay for some missing parts like weapons and especcially missiles, so as long as they haven`t popped up I`m staying with the `battle ready` versions.

Waaaaaiiittt... what do you mean, Battle Ready???? You can`t intend to...

YES! I do! The microbots are suitable for use in 28mm, and the dinobot can be a `huge robot` in the Where Heroes Dare! ruleset for one. I don`t know what or how yet, but the idea is broiling in the back of my mind, a force of Autobots tackling on the Treasure of Montezuma or the likes teeheeheeeee.

Now only to find those other toys, I know there is some MASK in there (hmmm, they are about 28mm tall as well... and have vehicles...), Starcom`s shuttle should be in there as well, and a lot more robots with the rest of the Dinobots, Jazz, Warpath and some more I can`t remember the name off....

I`ll keep you posted!

Saint Seiya Myth Cloth review # 15: Steel Saint Land and Marine cloths

By : Tomsche69

The Steel Saints. A pure filler from the anime during the Silver saints arc of the original series, these three cloths are created by the Grade Foundation to help protect princess Saori. Possessing no cosmo, the powers of these young boys comes purely from the robotic armors, originally designed by Dr. Hakase (with the support of Mitsumasa Kido).

These are very black and white story plot cloths, people tend to love them or hate them, and I am one of the first category though. I actually found it a pity they didn`t get some more screen time (they could be standing around protecting the fallen Saori for example) without moving to the foreplan to much.

First seen standing aside in the ruined arena of the Galaxian War when Hyoga fought to defend the princess, they soon intervene and defeat the Silver saint attacking the Cygnus saint. Daichi can generate earthquakes while Ushio fight with sound waves, and together these two clothes can generate a `combination attack` which seems strong enough to overcome the powers of Silver saints (whom, lets face it, seem horribly underpowered all series long, acting like the local punching bags, only Crystal and Lyra seem capable in the end).

Recently, Tamashii (which is a sub company of the behemoth that Bandai is) released a limited edition set of the Steel cloths of Land and Marine. The duo comes in a big box together, so it isn`t possible to buy them seperatly `first hand` with a smaller box like the other Myths, and it doesn`t follow the `book` style of the rest. Still, artwork, `in action` pictures and all are similar to normal clothes, you`ll just have to cope with the larger size (well, it`s mainly longer, about 1.5 times the normal boxes) if like me you collect them as wall decorations.

One little gimmick I found amusing on the cloths, is that the skeletons of the Object mode have tiny wheels as the boys often seemed arriving at the scene riding or flying their armours. Remember, their cloths are not alive, and they don`t have Pandora boxes. The wheels on the models actually turn smoothly, so the people (though I can`t imagine why) that want to use their cloths as deluxe matchbox cards, go along...

Ushio is the Steel Saint of Sword Fish or the Marine cloth. He, like his partner, comes with two heads, one the fairly standard face of most cloths, the other a shouting face as he does during the combine attack.
The biggest drawback on this cloth for me, is the fact that the blue on the metal parts doesn`t really equal the plastic blues, being more matted. And as can be seen on the Alberich cloth I did a while ago, they can make a fgorgeous blue colouring equaling on plastic and metal

Daishi, the Steel saint of Fox, or the Land cloth, has the same duo of faces, and also the nice attention that, where saints like Geki or Alberran tower over other models, he is a good head shorter then the other saints. Ushio is the same size of normal bronze saints and the likes, but the youngest of the trio is well smaller. Nice they remembered that!

The cloth is in my opinion gorgeous. It is assembled in such a way bu connecting for example the back chest plate, front chest plate and shoulder pieces together on the actual `chestpiece` that it looks as the armour in it`s car form has indeed split open and glided over the body like it did in the anime. This adds immensely to the feel of a `transformer saint` that the Steel saints have, and the colouring is nice and equal between metal and plastic.

I like this set. Sure, they where bloody expensive, especcially since shipping costs also tally in to send those cloths halfway across the globe, but for me they are worth each and every dollar spend. I`m rating them with a 4 out of 5 due to the slight colouring issues I have on the Marine cloth, but the next one I`m mail ordering is so going to be their leader, the Air cloth or Steel saint of Toucan.

Taking one for the team

Well, just as an extra, shelf one is now filled with Myth clothes, though there will be shufflings around of course when more roll in and the whole shaboodle gets reorganised as we go on (the second Kraken I have, in object mode, already is keeping a shelf warm...)

Saint Seiya Myth Cloth review # 14: Dohko of Libra

By : Tomsche69
One of two survivors of the previous Holy War, Dohko became the Watcher at Rozan falls, sitting on Mount Lu to watch the Seal of Hades.

Respected by all Gold saints for his great age, he has mastered the technique of Misopheta-menos: A gift from Athena herself. It slows down Dohko's metabolism in order to extend his life span for various generations, meaning the 243 years passed since the end of the previous war are in fact only 243 days as his heart beats only 100000 times a year instead of a day.

The Libra cloth is the one cloth permitted to use convention weapons in a Saint`s battle, and if the old roshi permits it, they are granted to other Saints in order to achieve their goals, as is first seen when his pupil Shiryu, who often is allowed to use the Gold cloth, uses it to free Hyoga from the Ice Coffin Camus had entombed him in during the Sanctuary arc. Later, the cloth is used to bring down Poseidon`s pillars and to try and breach the Wailing Wall.

Unlike most of the Saints, none of the attacks he uses takes the form of his constellation, but instead take on the form of a dragon, similar to Shiryu. Even more unusual is that his symbolic creature, seen when his draws his full power, is neither the Libra nor a dragon, but a tiger.

Masami Kurumada used in his manga the Chinese concept of the duality of the tiger and dragon, in his characters Dohko and Shiryu. That's the reason for tiger and dragon images that appear on their backs when they burn their Cosmo.

So on to the model then. I got it from Archonia as one of the four sets in a cheaper price class then usually they knock me back on shipping from the other side of the world, due to this one being `french import`.

For me, this is the Saint of `More is Less`. It is a very cool gimmick in itself that all weapons are in the box in both `closed` version as they fit unto the armour, and `open` version as they can be used, but this also means that not only you have a gazillion pieces left over after assembling, it also means balancing the model in such a way that the smaller weapons like those in the gloves don`t fall out of their holsters all the time.

The sculpting of the hair is as Dohko is seen in the latter series of the Hades arc, not the shorter style hair from the Lost Canvas series. Not the greatest of sculpts though for the hair, but it is one of the older ones in the Myth cloth series.

Another extra worth mentioning in the box, is the addition of a Shiryu head, you can exchange as such Dohko`s for his pupil to represent the various times he allowed the young Dragon saint use of his cloth. Thats a nice little touch!

It also offers the chance to construct the placement of the shields in both ways they have been seen on TV, namely the right shield on the lower arm, like it was seen originally, or on the right shoulder as later appearances tend to wear it. I went for the second option, not for any particular reason actually perhaps then that it cover up the `hole` in the shoulder, where the arm plug in has a small `lid` that can be put in. I like my gold armours hole free thank you very much ;)

So, to rate this model is very subjective. People are going to like this set due to all the extras that come with it, while others like myself think it all a tat just too much. I`m going to grant it only a 2 out of 5, I`m not really a fan of the whole model and sculpt personally, and for me as I started with, this is a case where More is Less in my humble opinion.

Next time I`m going to try something special, going for a duo review, so till laters and ciao ciao.

To become a Centennial Gamer pt 2: 78% there

By : Tomsche69

And so here we go, the list of games played. Seems I miscounted a few in my first quick count, so it`s 22 to go still in about 4 months time... meaning about 5 games a month or one each week... OUCH

In order to count towards the achievement, the FCT formula is used. This stands for:

F - Finished: pretty obvious, the whole storyline has been completed.
C - Level Cap: most modern MMO`s don`t have storylines, as they need to be able to `keep going` for several years, so once maximum level is reached (at the time you played the game and any expansions you might have for it) it counts as completed
T - Time: sometimes, things aren`t finishable, usually puzzlegames like Tetris. In that case, 10 hours of actual gametime (usually found by either the /play command, or noted at your savegame) is used for the completion.

Of course, how can this be controlled? Well, screenshots can be found everywhere, but what one can have is a nice chat. People soon can tell if you actually played the game or if you just studied a walkthrough, it`s like wargaming I guess...

So here we go...

Atari 2600 - 3 games

* Asteroids - T
* Ghostbusters - T

* Spider-Man - T

Amiga 1200 - 2 games

* Dungeons of Avalon II: Island of Darkness - F

* Ishar: Legend of the Fortress - F

PC - pre internet era - 19 Games

* Star Trek 25th Anniversary - F

* Star Trek Judgement Day - F
* Star Trek A Final Unity - F
* Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic - F
* Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail - F

* Crusader No Remorse - F

* Crusader No Regret - F
* Freelancer - F
* Warcraft Orcs & Humans - F
* Warcraft II Tides of Darkness - F
* Star Wars Dark Forces - F
* Bedlam - F
* Sid Meier`s Civilisation III - F
* Ultima VIII: Pagan - F

* Syndicate - F

* Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out - F
* The Elder Scrolls: Arena - T
* The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall - F
* Warhammer Shadow of the Horned Rat - F

Game Boy Original (and Color) - 19 Games

* Super Mario Land - F
* Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins - F
* Amazing Spider-Man - F
* Legend of Zelda: Link`s Awakening - F
* Gargoyle`s Quest - F
* Doctor Mario - T
* Pokemon Blue Edition - F

* Pokemon Gold Edition - F
* Kirby`s Dream Land - F
* Tetris - T
* Mortal Kombat - F
* The Addams Family - F
* Castlevania The Adventure - F
* Lemmings 2: The Tribes - T
* Metroid II: The Return of Samus - F
* Micro Machines - T
* Star Trek 25th Anniversary - F

* Tennis - F
* WWF King of the Ring - F

Playstation 2 - 3 Games

* Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance - F
* Star Trek Shattered Universe - F
* Leisure Suit Larry Magma Cum Laude - F

PC - the LAN party and closed online era - 1 Game

* Freelancer WTS World Mod - T

Playstation 3 - 13 Games

* FIFA 2011 - T
* Assassin`s Creed: Brotherhood - F
* Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes - F
* Bayonetta - F
* Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - F
* Prince of Persia: Warrior Within - F
* Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones - F
* Tomb Raider: Legend - F
* Tomb Raider: Anniversary - F
* Tomb Raider: Underworld - F
* Transformers War for Cybertron - F
* Final Fantasy 13 - F
* Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 - F

Playstation Network - 9 Games

* Final Fantasy 6 - F
* Final Fantasy 7 - F
* Linger in Shadows - T
* Gauntlet 2 - F
* Dark Mist - F
* Red Johnson`s Chronicles - F
* Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game - F
* X-Men - F
* Acceleration of Suguri X Edition - F

PC - The MMO Online era - 9 Games

* Project Entropia - T
* Guild Wars (incl all 3 expansions) - F
* EVE Online - T
* Runes of Magic - C
* World of Warcraft (up to and including Cataclysm) - C
* World of Tanks - C
* Star Trek Online - C
* Champions Online - T
* Second Life - T

Not to shabby to start of with. I know quite a few gamers who try everything but stop playing the games soon, while i`m always been more of the struggle through it in the end type of gamer.

Ciao Ciao

To become a Centennial Gamer

By : Tomsche69

I read this funny little article of videogamers and their achievement of reaching 100 games completed, or at least played for a lengthy period of time, so not just juggling it in a console, take a look, and go off again.

So I started digging in my memory banks, and I can remember playing 74 games so far, on 6 different `platforms`, starting with the Atari 2600 (who was even born back then? I wasn`t when it was released) over the original Gameboy, through PC`s and to the current PS3 console.

The goal? To reach 100 before the 31st of december.

I got a job to handle as well, no family to support though, so that`ll mean that every minute of free time is going to get invested in this freak-a-zoid project. The platforms I selected for the goal are my Playstation 3, Free to Play MMO`s on my PC (got a shortlist of 18 from OnRPG.com to download) and the ultimate classic for busdrives to work and lunchbreaks at work: the 8-bit grey Nintendo Game Boy which I will (re)confiscate from my 10 and 8 year old nephews. They both have DS`s now anyways, and prolly forgotten the old piece I gave them ages ago.

I`ll be putting a list of `games done` down at a later time, after I scoured the net for some pictures. Screenshots where like so high tech back in 1984 ;)

Tag : ,

Saint Seiya Myth Cloth review # 13: Orphée of Lyra

By : Tomsche69

The Legendary Warrior. The Silver saint that has a Cosmo that can reach a higher level then the Gold saints. The warrior that doesn`t fight even though his power equals all of Hades`s 3 Judges...

Orphée is known by many different descriptions, but he is perhaps the Saint with one of the most tragic destinies. In love with Eurydice, he travels to the Underworld when his beloved dies from a snakebite.

Playing for Hades, the lord of the Underworld is touched by his virtuoso skills and revives her, though Pandora, with the help of the Spectre Pharah of Sphinx, tricked the Lyra saint to remain in Underworld, and the world above declared him dead... until Seiya and Shun stumbled upon him and with the help of Eurydice regained his Sainthood and devised the attack on Hades himself, a plan whoch got him killed but finally reunited with his beloved Eurydice.

The Same, but not the same: the Ghost saint Lyra Orpheus! The character who bears almost the same name and appeared in the first Saint Seiya motion picture is not the same person as the Silver Saint of the Hades chapter. Lyra Orpheus of the movie is slimmer, has darker hair, and dons a slightly altered version of the Lyra Cloth. He also uses a technique by the name of "Stringer Requiem", which entangles his opponent with the strings of his lyre and leaves his victim at his mercy. Lastly, it is generally accepted that Lyra Orpheus of the movie is far weaker than Lyra Orphée of the Hades chapter, as he was defeated by a single attack in his battle with Phoenix Ikki. Both men share the same exceptional musical talent, and both men have loved and lost a woman by the name of Eurydice.

But on towards the cloth itself then. No matter how intriguing and legendary the tale of Orphée might be, his cloth is rather simple and elegant in design. To be honest, not much can be said about it at all, as it doesn`t have any mistakes comming with a nice sculpt for the hair, especcially when the helmet is on (a standard practice I do for all my characters, even though the anime tends to show warriors mostly without their headpieces).
The armour itself follows the traditional build up style of most Myth cloths, without to many fancy fantasies to assemble, and comes in a nicely silver and gold detailed colour, and carries a little harp for the character to play his Stringer Nocturne on. No loose thread to hold beneath the characters teeth though ;)
Perhaps the one grieve is the hand to hold the harp, the fingers aren`t spaced enough or not bendy enough without applying the `hair dryer` technique* to be able to nicely hold it.

All in all, I`m rating it a 3.5 out of 5, not to much jiffy jaffy with this model, but a nice, simple and elegant model to be placed in any collectors cupboard without having to doubt to much to buy it.

Ciao Ciao!

* Hair Dryer Technique: a wargamers simple solution to bendy soft plastics like gashapons, heroclix and mage knight for one. You warm the bendy part for 10 to 15 seconds till it gets a lot softer and bendier, hold the piece in the required position (aka, stretched) and submerge in cold water for 5 seconds. This will then immediatly set the platic again, now in the preferred postion.
For thick plastic, it might be needed that you repeat this a few times with intervals of about half a day, to see how far the plastic re-bends.

World of Warcraft: is the end near?

By : Tomsche69

So the buzz is comming up on the internet forums, in magazines, podcasts, youtube reports and the likes, and people are awaiting the comming Blizzcon for news or statements.
Apparently, rumours sprang up on the recent E3 convention that Blizzard has made the decision to `stop developing` the world of Azeroth (for now?) and that the creative minds of the company will start focussing on the next `big project`.

Being a more or less dedicated gamer, this was, well, not the happiest of rumours I heard, and let`s compile what I read left or right. Mind you, this is not a 100% official newsitem, these are just rumours and stuff picked up left and right.

Lets start with the facts.

1. Subscriptions are going down for the first time. Even with the release of Cataclysm, they lost over a million subscribers the past year, dropping from 12.5 million to 11.4 million... which is still a humongous lot thank you very much.

2. The technology has passed by. This is something many independant sources like magazines agree on, the game is great, though perhaps it got a little to simplified (or `nerfed` to use community slang), killing of a lot of challenge for the dedicated few in order to cater the big masses. Not a bad thing of course, but it might explain a part of fact 1.
Graphics and performance are getting dated, the cartoony style is still great, but you can reach maximum performance on a regular computer. Again, not something the masses lie awake about, but in the harsh business of PC technology and gamedesign, standing still equals going backwards.

3. Money. Yep, this is a factor for some. Especcially in the european hemisphere, with lot of countries hit big time by recessions (Greece, Portugal, ...) people opt to go for MMO`s `equal` to WoW in style, play and quality (things like for example Runes of Magic) but whom are Free to Play, aka do not need a subscription.

4. The Competition is Going to Hit Hard. This is also something a lot of sources agree about, magazines like PC Gameplay and the likes, the comming half year is going to hurt the subscription numbers of World of Warcraft. Prognoses apparently speak of a drop ranging from `under 10 million` to `about losing 5 million`. Okay, seeing is believing, but still, with 5 million subscribers, you still would be one of the big, if not THE big player on the market.
The competition feared? First, Q4 will see the much anticipated release of The Old Republic, the MMORPG set in the Star Wars universe and developed by BioWare (no slouches there). Their ambitions are sky high though, so it will have to be seen if they can live up to it. Secondly, Q1 2012 will see the one game that has actually realy hurt WoW in the early days, the return of NBCsoft`s Guild Wars in it`s second incarnation. The risk they take though is by using `dynamic encounters`, a thing that flopped big time with Warhammer Online. On the other hand, the graphics look amazing like they where back in the days with the first GW, even though you didn`t need a supercomputer back then neither.

Which brings us to the second part, namely the rumours of what is going to be happening?

1. It seems they are planning on going to release Starcraft Online, apparently the follow up of WoW instead of a pure `wow 2`. With both franchises Blizzard holds pure gold, and by rotating this can only increase their company strength.

2. The creativity is spend. You can only recycle so many quests or instances (Heroic Deadmines?) or bosses, with Ragnaros recently been transferred from lvl 60 to lvl 85 content with the Firelands patch. Reptition, even no matter how pretty it is dressed up, starts to get boring after a while, and we don`t want a pure grind only game like the first Everquest ended with after all. Also, Fire Druids? Come on Blizz...

3. Merging of Servers? A rumour going around is that various servers over the course of the comming years (the end is not THAT near, put that gun back down from your temple) will start merging should populations start to decrease, ending up in a few years perhaps with liek one dedicated server for each `play method` (rpg, pvp, etc etc...). Maybe this will lead to a Free to Play like Lord of the Rings online in the long run?

4. Dates? Apparently, the plan is for Starcraft to hit the market in about 2 years time. We will probably be looking for one last WoW release then, if they stay true to the schedule of one major expansion each two years. Last year it was Cataclysm, this year it`s the Zerg expansion for Starcraft, so probably next year then? Question though is, the lore is as good as exhausted. Of course, being their property they can expand and rebuild what they want (like Cataclysm wiped away 5 years of memories for the veterans), but one must walk a fine line between `keeping touch with history`and `rewriting history`.

I would miss the game though, I have spend many a year and many a euro into it, got to know a lot of nice people and slept way to less to be healthy. However, I`m going to look the cat out of the tree though. I just got my pc back, and I think I`m going to hold on with reinstalling the massive game WoW is `till after Blizzcon and any news of these rumours, wether they be denials or confirmations.

Yes, I pre-ordered The Old Republic. Yes, I pre-ordered Guild Wars 2. yes, I can play various games at a time, i don`t toggle on and off subscriptions, I just want to play what I feel like when I feel like it...

Let`s wait in anticipation now of more news, and keep pouring and scouring the net... and in the meantime, I might even get some miniatures painted teeheehee

Final Fantasy VI - Playstation 3

By : Tomsche69
A little gem of the past I found on the Playstation Store, the classic, SNES era (!!!!!) 32 bit graphics Final Fantasy VI or FF6 for short. Since the beginning of June, it is now available on PSN as a PSOne classic game, costing 9.99 euros.

This is the game in the series that generally is regarded as the best of them all, followed by FF7 which had, for back then, revolutionary graphics. But here you are, sitting behind your expensive television set and PS console... playing a 20 year old game with 3 decades old graphic styles... and your enjoying it big time.

Final Fantasy VI (ファイナルファンタジーVI Fainaru Fantajī Shikkusu?) is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix), released in 1994 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as a part of the Final Fantasy series. Set in a fantasy world with a technology level equivalent to that of the Second Industrial Revolution, the game's story focuses on a group of rebels as they seek to overthrow an imperial dictatorship. The game features fourteen permanent playable characters, the most of any game in the main series.

This game also introduced Kefka into the lore of FF, by some regarded as the coolest bad guy of them all, though I personally am more of a Sephiroth fan on that point though. On the good guys side, your getting Terra though, and Locke, as your headliner main characters in a quest to overthrow the Emperor Gestahl.

Further changes back then from previous incarnations in the franchise, is that the setting changed from a pure medieval style to a more steampunkish era, but the combat and all still remains true to it`s predecessors by using menu`s, and the travel modes of the world have remained the same as well. And yes, you have Chocobo`s in the game, and the huge cactus monster guy.

Finally, the re-release has the improved (PS One) extra cut scene movies in the beginning and at the end of the game. I enjoyed the blast from my gaming past, and sometimes, you can tell a classic by the fact they keep re-releasing it by popular demand in this era. With PC`s and Consoles having so much power and graphic styles, these really old games shine through by the one thing that actually only matters in no matter what videogame... gameplay!

Ciao Ciao!

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