Oh Japan, how I yearn for thee. Really, at times I'm almost depressed that I wasn't born in Japan, or lived there. I mean, where else can you have such ubercool MasterCard cards...
But alas, it is not to be, so I have to keep the chin up and live the geek life from little old Belgium, the small country in Europe with no decent fall out points for living the lifestyle decently, and where geeks are still looked at as retards and oddjobs.
SO HECK, PROUD TO BE AN ODDJOB THEN!!!!!
Which reminds me I have to go to the tattoo artist wednesday to have a further colouring on Hyoga's blue parts...
What Have I Been Watching?
Formula One baby!!! The Grand Prix of Hungary was this afternoon, and even though I can live with Hamilton getting a pole and win for Mercedes, I kinda like those 'warrior drivers' like him, Alonso, Raikonnen and all. Much more then that Vettel fella.
He is labelled as the next Schumacher, but as a Ferrarista and Schumi fan, I don't think he comes even near his ankles. Saw how he was struggling behind that, cruedly said, truck Button is driving? Not the makings of a great champion, it really is his working point to be able to overtake under not ideal conditions with the guided rocket the RB9 is.
But the SCANDAL of the race must have been the drive through penalty for Grosjean, what was he supposed to do instead of leaving the track for a moment, put Massa in the audience??? If they are looking to punish someone for something, get that pay-driver Van Der Garde in the Caterham, or at least teach him what a) a blue flag means and b) what those things on the sides of his cockpit with the mirrors in it are for.
And I'm happy for Williams to finally wipe out that 0...
On other news, King Soccer has kicked off again, and my team, Standard de Liege, is starting it's competition well, right now, against KV Mechelen. We're tipped as a title outsider. I'll tell you, we'll just grab the deal.
What Have I Been Gaming?
Bar the Vita I platted yesterday with Lego Chima, I did play a lot of Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion XL yesterday. Like the cartoons it is drawn for, I must say I think it rather sucks, but it was a quick and needed trophy boost. No way I'll grind it to platinum though...
No, I really pity kids these days that have to watch those kind of cartoons, I mean:
I rest my case younglings, and feel your pain now... and your NOT getting my DVDs!!!
A game I DID enjoy though was Frogger HD. The ultimate classic (the first game on the old Atari even I believe) it has been given the clean up treatment. You're a frog, and you got to cross the road 5 times succesfully in each level. An easy for trophies (1 silver for the first level, and 3 golden for each of the three levels afterwards) it stays a classic.
Download and enjoy it, I'm going to grab me the full arcade cabinet in the meantime...
What Have I Been Bricking?
More classics to share, as I'v' rebuild and now put on display two sets of the old pirate / imperial armada range. I have the imperial sailing ship as well, but that is going to be taking quite some sorting out first before I can raise her flag again.
But I did finish the smallest ship of the series, the Gunsloop, as well as the guard tower set, one I was always fond off.
It just, well, looks the deal...
Oh well, back to dreaming the dream of living / getting on an unlimited shopping spree through Aikiba district.
Ironically half a day after I did the monthly report of the PS Challenge, I popped my 13th platinum trophy, which takes me on equal height with Andy and his team for the moment.
The latest aquisition is the Lego Chima game on the PS Vita, the most recent of the various Lego instalments on the Sony consoles. I had already finished the storyline and all within the first week it was released back in june, but with the challenge needing a boost after my rather weak month of July, I wrapped the whole game up this morning.
Oddly, you can platinum this game on the contrary to all other games of the Lego franchise without the endless grind of traditional trophies like collect all characters, collect all other collectibles, get x billion studs on a character etc. The only thing you need to get 'all' in this one, and you don't even need to actually buy them, is to unlock all Nomad characters (which are like 3) and unlock all Red Bricks (which you gain by getting all the treasrues - 2 per level - in the storyline levels).
On the other hand, it does have a lot of 'difficult' trophies consisting of trial and error, like Chi jumping 5 times... because nowhere in the game they explain what a chi jump is. It is btw pushing and timely releasing the 'O' button when under chi-fluence (is that actually even a word???).
But it is done now, even with a game completion of 49.3% the platinum has popped after the also rather irritating to get, and again nowhere ingame explained, Stunner bronze trophy, woop woop woop.
Now onwards to number 14, which I actually *might* also gain today, again on the Vita and again with Lego bricks....
Another month gone by, another update in the epic battle between me and Andy.
And what a crap month it was for me in terms of raw point gain. The combination of hot weather, gundam games and non all nighter gamesession allowances by the better half, resulted this month in a rather minor gain from my part.
And luckily, as well a minor gain with my opponent, so he is still trailing behind... just.
Heck, most of my points this month actually came from the munchkin and his wonderbook games...
Deciding the winner:
Less then a gap of 8400 is a
victory for me, more then 9000 points gap is a victory for Andy, and in
between those two extremes it becomes a draw
The oversight of gained spoils, updated after every monthly update post.
This means Andy starts the year with a lead of 8670 points, currently the gap is - 450 (WIN TOMSCHE)
Again, neither of us managed to score any platinum trophies this month, but Andy did outscore me on both golden trophies, as well as with games completely finished. Heck, he scored 100% even on Magic, a game I have only bought because I wanted the promo for my type-2 deck, as I think it a rather bad representation of how Magic is played competitively.
Luckily on the other hand, thanks to a little intenser non Gundam gaming the past day, I managed to keep the hole to a measly 450 points in my benefit, leaving Andy now stuck with a gap of 9451 points to catch up in order to win the contest and 7996 points to grab if he wants a draw, and 5 months left to do so.
That means I need to keep the balance in my favor by losing every remaining month by a maximum of 1595 points and my team carries home the victory in the challenge.
My gameplan is to do one last serious 'bump' during august to grind away as much points as possible, to then hopefully spend the last months when I'm back at the schoolbenches by actually relaxing full time and try to finish and platinum the games I want before the PS4 storms in, as well as battle some more spectres on my PS2. Well, that at least, is the plan... and as we all know, every good plan ends at the first step.
Another little issue is that for the second month running I can't provide global and national rankings, because YGN has very unlucky server maintenance moments lately lol.
Well, of we go into month 8, as the dualshocks and move controllers are getting prepared slowly but surely for some serious blazing, see y'all next month for a fresh installment!
It's all about Gundam this week!!!! Well, not all of it, but actually quite a lot. Not for any specific reason per se, but sometimes things just tend to come together in certain ways.
Like this cute little guy
I adopted him in Tokyo Toys in London last february, and finally wanted to build him. Now; there are 3 approaches to 'GunPla', which is a recognised term for 'Gundam Plastics' or the building of, well, plastic model kits of Gundam. Bandai provides the kits in the more or less accurate colours for the main sprues, and there is a category they call 'Straight builds' at conventions and such. In that, you snap-lock and decalise the kits straight out of the box et voila, all done. I wanted to give it a try with this fellow instead of with the bigger kits I have lying around (and really should start working on somewhere in the not to far future). I am not to happy though with the result, and am going to go 'method 2' on it Which is halfway between straight build and true modelling, in that you snaplock the kits together, and then paint in the non-main colour details. Expect to see the little guy again in the future, with a better picture. Method 3 is well, scale modelling, painting and all like you do with airplane kits and the likes...
What Have I been Tapping?
Not much, I managed to reach level 28 after the points of last weeks pre-release where added, but with the heatwave terrorising Belgium at the moment, I didn't want to go and bury myself inside.
I did get the M14 Core Booster box, but even though I ended up with a lot of good rares and no less then 7 mythics, I didn't even get a single copy of the Lifebane Zombie I wanted twice.
What have I been Gaming?
First, allow me a little oversight from last week, it seems I forgot to mention my 50.000th points achievement, Off The Post in FIFA 11.
Bar that, I have barely been gaining trophies myself this week, as I have been playing to semi-orgasms on my japanese import games.
The first on the PS3, Gundame Extreme Vs is an arcade game where you play arena matches of 2 suits versus 2 suits, and you have missions to unlock extra skills and emblems and the like. Each suit has a rating between 1000 and 3000, and a team has a gauge of 6000 points. This is reduced by the amount of your suit if you get killed, and the first team to knock the other to 0 wins.
It's fast, it's addictive... and I still even have to figure out what the trophies are, let alone to have popped one so far, but I have been clocking already over 7 hours ingame in the few evenings I got to play it. And no, I haven't been playing with the Freedom, but with the HeavyArms custom. Dakkadakkadakkadakkadakka boom boom....
Another game I am having heaps of fun with is the Vita game SEED Destiny, in which you choose a faction like ZAFT and then proceed through the storylines of SEED ans SEED Destiny, meeting, fighting and co-operating with reknowned characters of the anime series. I just finished the SEED storyline and now am hopping along in my Perfect Grade Strike Gundam. Time to work towards the Freedom...
Again, only a silver and a bronze came of this, I actually scored most points together with the munchkin, playing an oldtimer. Dungeons and Dragons - Chronicles of Mystara. This old arcade game is great fiun to play with the little one, as he just has to button bash, genre Double Dragon, X-Men etc.
Talking munchkin, together with the GF he has been at Wonderbook Book of Spells again, and hauled in over 500 points this week. I'm glad my back up plan is finally putting in effort now that I am playing less trophy orientated with the lead I have in the PS Challenge at the moment.
What have I been Collecting?
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
On the happy happy joy joy side of things, I managed to get two of the missing promo cards from my Saint Seiya Crusade sets, both Buy a Box cards. From the first Omega expansion, I finally got Ryuho, while from the Hades series I got Ikki's card.
But on the bleugh side... I discovered that my Gundam MS War series is further from completion then thought. It turns out there where starter sets for the Earth Federation and for the Zeon Principality where released after all, and now I can't find them, nor a checklist. Did manage to find some of the cards on ebay, so I'll have to work from there.
But even worse, the game also had a set of Invasion promo cards back in 2002, one for each city where the game launched in the States. I have no idea where I'll ever have to go and find those but we'll keep hunting and searching.
What have I been Watching?
Valvrave the Liberator!!!! It ain't gundam, but it still is big bad mecha action. Spanning 12 episodes in the first season and open ended for more, this is like a mixture between Gundam (melancholic teens, love stories etc) and Evangelion (there is something odd with the mechas as they multiply and require you to give up your humanity before activating)
It is fast paced, beautifully drawn, and brutal in action sequences. Watch it!
What have I been Reading?
Volume 8 of Saint Seiya episode G, see my earlier comments of the drawing and all. In this volume, Miro of Scorpio takes on the legendary Hector of Troy, while Shura battles a god to a standstill.
Other than that, I finished Star Trek Voyager: Full Circle. This novel by Kirsten Beyer ties together all the arcs from the recent canon, with the dead of Admiral Janeway, the founding of the Typhon Pact and the end of the Borg by the Caeliar Gestalt, while Voyager and a fleet prepare for a new mission to... the Delta Quadrant and see what the ending of the Borg threat has caused there in the power vacuum.
What have I been Bricking?
I build the munchkin's Pirate ship... for the second time in half a year. He smashed it before, and to be sure, he smashed it some more. But she is sailing again now, and I swore it would be the last time, next time he can rebuild her himself hehhe.
Ending this time, I do it with a small limited set from Lord of the Rings, the Gandalf promotional from the Hobbit series.
Now I'm off to pack my bags for a week of vacation, so see y'all again next week in another episode of the ramblings of my life in full geeky galore!!!
Stop the presses! Shout jubilatee! There is a new Saint Seiya game comming to the Playstation 3, and like the first one will get a European release!!!
I know someone who is very excited by this, and who will be grinding that one to a platinum as a madman! The game will probably be another Musou game, with around 50 playable characters to become unlockable, and already it has been rumoured (and more or less confirmed) that characters from The Lost Canvas will be added as well through DLC. Where the first one handled the Twelve Temples arc, Saint Seiya Brave Soldiers is the follow up from both Poseidon and Hades arcs. And Hades himself is even on the announcement poster. Cygnus is comming for you, Lord of the Underworld!
Now, apart from this, let me also take this opportunity to mark your calendars. Next weekend it is Atsusacon in the Antwerp Expo, a convention about all things japanese and the pop culture that has flown in from there like martial arts, cosplay etc etc, as well as things like videogames.
What have I been Playing?
Well, I still haven't gotten that much of actual game time in. I did find out though that the Munchkin has a feeling for Fifa games, and we had a blast together on the old Fifa 11, some trophies popping as a result.
Speaking of the Munchkin, ha did finish Diggs Nightcrawler all by himself, now he only needs to get back someday to clean up the remaining trophies... or knowing him, he'll order Cool uncle to do that...
Diggs is the second game so far for the Wonderbook, but contrary to Book of Spells, it doesn't use the Move that much, more relying on shacking and turning the book itself. Kinda fun, but being to hard with the book takes it out of the camera's reach and you can get caught that way as you run mazes etc...
The Girlfriend has also been clocking hours, with the new DLC for the Walking Dead appearing during the week. So already finsihed three of the five mini storylines, and will be pushing to round it out one of these days.
And me? Well... I've mostly been playing Iphone game ported to Vita Kung Fu Rabbit. A cute little platformer of two / three minute levels (a couple dozens of those though).
What have I been Tapping?
Well, only today the prerelease actually. I did manage to build a nice deck of Black and Blue, build around a Jace, Memory Adept and a Sengir Vampire as mainstays, only to cycle at a 3-2 two islands, a swamp, a Scroll thief, a Nightmare and a Nightwing Shade out, to replace them for a Young Pyromancer and 2 Shocks, along with 3 mountains.
The change proved itself next round, but just like in round 5, I flooded incredibly in round 7. All in all I went 4-3, which I feel should have been 6-1 IF my manabase had been stabler. Oh well, if's and dont's... the benefit of hindsight. A nice 24th spot out of 75 players ain't to shabby at all for my doing.
And remember that Cackler I so desperately wanted for my Type-2 deck?
Magic gaming buddy Kenny gave me one he won yesterday on the FNM for my birthday. Thanks mate! I owe you a promo one of these months.
What have I been Collecting?
Cards! Lots of them! On my birthday ironically, I received my four booster boxes of the new 91 card Saint Seiya expansion, The Hades. Now mind you, japanese boosters are generally 10 packs of 15 cards, not the big packs of like Magic.
After all the opening, sorting and inserting in binders, I ended up with one missing card, the Microcosm one being Athena (as seen on the picture below) and one of the three Buy a Box promos. Luckily, the latter is already ordered from my 'dealer' in Japan, where I also get my booster boxes from every time.
Magic... Saint Seiya... I should make myself some cards with alternate artwork, bit like this one I found on the net:
Talking cards, the Munchkin has stepped in my shoes, and has decided to start and collect the now oop Harry Potter series from Wizards of the Coast, after I gave him a starter pack I found at a garage sale. I prepared him a nice binder with all set checklists and ultra pro pages et all, and now I'm trading (or trying to) away my old, just sitting in binders cards from series like Star Wars, Pokemon etc to get him some more cards left or right.
Just look at the Trade Cards Online business card at the bottom of this blog to see what the kid is looking for, and with what I could possibly help you out.
Finally, I'm rounding out this weeks oversight with horrible news for my wallet. The Benelux is getting his very first official Lego Store, and it is going to be in Antwerp's region, at the Wijnegem Shopping Centre. That is about 5 kilometres from my front door...
Shock! Horror! The World is Ending! Yes it is true, I have barely been collecting or trophy hunting
the past week, even though I did have time to be honest to put in some
I have been doing stuff like `socializing` with my girlfriends
brithday party yesterday, and even though I did attend FNM, it was
barely worth of note.
What Have I Been Gaming?
most trophies this week are actually with the thanks to the Little
Munchkin, as he has been playing and conquering magic on Wonderbook:
Book of Spells.
I personally think this is an awesome
toy, as it projects you into the television, surrounded in this case by
the world of Harry Potter, and lets you wield a magic wand.
myself though, I have been playing on my PSP. The console is still
popular in Japan, and I got me Saint Seiya Omega: Ultimate Cosmo on it,
and knocked it to the full 100% completion the past few days, unlocking
every character, every movie, and every ending of all the saints you can
It`s a nice beat em up game, graphically it can
compete with some of the Vita games, so it is a pity it wasn`t released
as a PSN game on there, that would have been 12 or so trophies to the
Never the less, it has a decent story for what I
can understand with my limited japanese, basically taking place after
Athena was kidnapped by Mars, and before the twelve temples arc.
Poseidon helps the 6 bronze antagonists to unlock their `ultimate cosmo`
which reflects by briefly changing their cloths into Triton Scales for
which 8 Aqua gems needed to be collected.
storyline is shorter, and takes place after Athena has been freed.
Seiya and Athena confront Poseidon and after the legendary saints
defeats Julain Solo he is resealed in the urn.
tip though for us westerners not used to japanese games, the X and O
buttons are basically inverted, so instead of as usual using X to
confirm something, it is all O in these games.
What Have I Been Collecting?
yesterday I bought from a friend a classic, namely a PS2. Now I can
focus on finishing Saint Seiya: The Hades first before starting a fresh
trophy hunt offensive in august.
More on that game in a later episode ;-)
did however finally took some pictures of older Lego kits I have been
restoring for myself, so this episode I present set 6268, the pirate
Cutter ship from up and about 15 years ago.
What Have I Been Tapping?
much actually, did a FNM, finally decided that outside draft, sealed
and Standard (the old type 2 so to say), I better refrain from playing
other formats as I don`t have enough `mileage` in them to quickly
recognise certain decks and upcomming attack patterns.
Might be I`ll disassemble the decks I have lying around, and reforge the investment into my Type 2 collection.
Let me end this weekly tale by a little service message for next tuesday: