Circa Survive

I've been busy with work and playing The Lord of the Rings Online that I hadn't paid attention to music this month. But I just got Circa Survive's On Letting Go. It's an improvement over their last albumm Juturna, and fans of Coheed and Cambria would probably dig this.


E3 wrap and my wishlist

E3, the three-day "biggest" gaming convention, is over and the final wrap is crap. Space Siege was probably the only game announced, and no updates were given on games like Precursors, Dragon Age, Disciples III, or Aliens. So, yeah, the event was a lackluster. Still, I was able to update my games wishlist for this year.

  1. The Witcher (PC)
  2. Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer (PC)
  3. BioShock (PC)
  4. Hellgate: London (PC)
  5. Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts (PC)
  6. Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings (DS)
  7. Heroes of Mana (DS)
  8. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS)
  9. The Orange Box (PC)
  10. Kings Bounty: The Legend (PC)
My list from earlier this year, didn't change that much. Except that Dragon Age, which won't see any light till next year or won't see any light at all, isn't on my list anymore. In addition, the list includes the expansions of Neverwinter Nights 2 and Company of Heroes (my top 2 games from last year). Moreover, there are DS games on my list now. I also decided to get The Orange Box because of Portal, a puzzle game that will be included in the box (along side Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode 1 & 2). I just hope I'll have to money to get all of these.


Shoot, Shoot, Shoot

For some reason, I've been getting blogs about anime toys on my internet searches. First, it was Danny Choo's blog. Now, while I was looking for digital camera reviews, I got Happy Soda. Of course, Happy Soda is as cool as Danny Choo's blog. It has lots of anime related entries and photos of anime figures.

The author of the blog also wrote a little tutorial about setting up a mini-studio for figurine photography. It piqued my interest, after reading it, and decided to try it. I scraped up some materials needed for the mini-studio like: study table lamps, construction paper, and some boxes. I have to improvise, of course, since I don't have everything in the house. Then, after setting up the little studio, with cheap lights and background, I started shooting my Spawn and Star Wars figures with the use of my old 4.1 MP Sony Cyber-shot. Here are the photos:

Well, the pictures are crap, far from decent. But it's not a bad job for a newbie shutterbug like myself. I think I do really need a camera. Because this figurine photography is really interesting. I was planning to buy a digital SLR camera as a gift for my sister's birthday. But I think I'll just buy her some cheap stuff and keep the camera to myself.


Space Siege unveiled on E3

Because I was so busy with work in the past few months, I thought I missed the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) coverage. I didn't know that the expo was, somewhat, delayed and just started this July. However, the expo is kind of dead in the PC RPG department. Mostly, it's just updates of the games I already know about. The only game that I'm, by far, excited about is Space Siege.

Space Siege, since Gas Powered Games is behind its development, one might think that this game is much similar to Dungeon Siege, except that the setting is in the future. Well, I can't blame anybody for it. The game title is really unoriginal. However, my mind changed after reading a couple of articles. Here's a couple of snippets, from Gamespot and IGN, that got me excited:

"...while it will have a brand-new rendering engine, they're not intending to reinvent the graphical wheel. Instead, their focus will be on allowing you to inhabit the character of Seth and telling a deep and engaging story."
Story over graphics...that's what I want to hear from game developers.
"...Seth upgrades himself with cybernetic modules. Not only do these upgrades increase his personal power, but also how NPCs in the game will respond to him, as more cybernetics equals less room for his fleshy, organic parts. Instead of replacing skin with machinery and circuit boards, players can choose to fight in their natural human form to limit the spread of suspicion and xenophobia among fellow humans."
There's choices and there's consequences from what you chose. The game looks promising indeed. I just hope they're not hyping.


Figured Out

It's a female action figure, not a doll. Okay?!

After seeing all the cool anime toys at www.dannychoo.com, I suddenly felt the "urge" to start my own collection. I can't even sleep last night just thinking about the toys. So even though it was really hot today, I still went out to hunt down for some figures. Unfortunately, since anime toys are imported, they are really hard to find. So after visiting a couple of entertainment stores (stores that carries manga and anime usually distributes anime toys), I finally found a cool figure at FYE. It's Miko Saimyouzi from Pia Carrot. I actually haven't seen the series but I don't really care. The toy is colorful, detailed, and cute.



I finally got myself a Nintendo DS Lite (Onyx Version), and my thumbs are a little sore from playing it all afternoon long. I actually purchased my unit, along with Pokemon Pearl and Puzzle Quest, last Friday but wasn't able to fiddle around with it (because of work) until this morning. So far, It's really fun and addicting. I even had a hard time putting it down in order to write this entry.

My DS Lite and Games.

Since I don't have much alloted time for a proper review, because I want to get back to my games, I'll just give the bullet points.

My DS like(s):
  • Fast Charging Time - I charged it only for 3 hours.
  • Long Battery Life - 6 hours and counting, with screen brightness set on 2nd level.
  • Innovative and Fun Games - Both games I had are really different and addicting.
  • Sleek Design - It's small and light, and the Onyx version is really elegant and flashy.
My DS gripe(s):
  • Smudge & Scratch Factory - The Onyx version, like my Creative ZEN, is susceptible to scratches and smudges. If you look at my unit now, it's evident that I've been with it a lot since my fingerprints are all over.
So that's about it. As you can see, I have no problems with it except with the smudges and scratches. But a good case and a lot of microfiber wipes can remedy that. Now, let me get back to my gaming.


Anime Action Figures

A couple days ago, when I was browsing for Nintendo DS Lite reviews, I came across the blog of Danny Choo. Before you ask, I don't have any idea of who the guy is but his blog is really cool. It covers many various topics but mainly Japan's pop culture. What I like most about his blog though is his reviews and photos of his female anime figure collection.

It's quite interesting, Danny Choo's collection, especially to a toy collector like me. Speaking of which, I haven't bought any action figure since Christmas 2004. So I might have to find a store that sells anime figures. Because, after seeing this blog, I just want to start my own collection. Spawn toys are really getting old and, while it's very detailed, it's not as colorful as anime figures.


Transformers: All about the eye candy

G.I. Joe and the Transformers, both cartoons, were part of my childhood. But I always thought that these two series are too big to be made into a motion picture. That's why, even though I knew that colossal names were behind the production (Spielberg), I was uncertain of the film's outcome. Although the boy in me was crying to watch the film. So I went to see it, and I was half-right...it was big but they almost had it.

The intro of the film immediately featured Blackout (whom they change, from an anti-aircraft, into a Sikorsky helicopter) invading a USAF base. After that quick and extreme action, however, seeing Shia LaBeouf running around after a girl, I couldn't help but think I was watching that teen romantic/comedy/thriller film Disturbia. The other robots didn't actually appear until the latter half of the movie, to unveil a really weak plot. It's a good thing that the main character's love interest, Megan Fox, is a real hottie, and I would definitely say that she is the best eye candy in the film.

Megan Fox plays Mikaela, main character's love interest.

The robots, of course, were cool. They were talking, walking, intelligent life-forms. Their movements are very realistic and, even though they were big, they were graceful. Unlike their animated counterparts, their transformation from robot to vehicle seems to be in the same scale. The CD player (Soundwave) transforms into a small robot, while Megatron, an alien jet, is gigantic. They also changed a couple of the robots modes. Notably Bumble-bee who now transforms into a Chevy Camaro instead of Volkswagen Beetle. There was even pun in the film where Bumble-Bee had to hit an old yellow VW Beetle with his door, sweeping the old car aside. I was also glad to see Ironhide as a big GM truck instead of a red family van. Red van in the animation doesn't really paint Ironhide's tough demeanor.

But I was a bit disappointed, really. Because it could've been so much better. There were babes, cars, robots, loud explosions, and a "Cybertron"-ic effects. the film has all the ingredients except a thick plot (and of course no Teletran I). It's just one big movie that defined the summer 2007, but will soon be dismissed.


Shinigami/Death God

I was really bored last night and found playing Lord of the Rings Online to be a slow grind. So, instead, I decided to download and started watching Bleach and Death Note, two popular anime series that many anime fans have been raving about. So far, I like them both -but I'm really impressed with Death Note- even though I've only seen the first episodes of each series.

Coincidentally, both protagonist in Bleach and Death Note have gained their powers from a Shinigami (translated as Death God in English). However, their intentions of using their newly acquired powers is what separate both series. The protagonist of Bleach, Ichigo, has a more simple and noble agenda to protect. So it's a bit cliched, but it's really too early to say that since I haven't seen the development of the series. On the other hand, Light, of Death Note, who plans to use his powers to cleanse the world of criminals and then rule his created utopia as a god, is more of an anti-hero. It's an impressive anime, Death Note. The story is really mature and, unlike many anime, there's less fight scenes.

I will continue watching both and see the development of both series. I might have to set a date for a Bleach or Death Note Marathon so I can watch all the released episodes at once.


First Impressions: Sword of the New World

I pre-ordered Sword of the New World, which was sometime ago, so I could participate in the closed beta. However, due to registration problems, I was unable to play in the closed beta and just started in open beta. Besides my problem, the game is also horrible. It's plagued with a bad camera control and user interface, among many others. So I really have to pass up on this game.