Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Toku - Kamen Rider Drive Shift Cars

The next one should have been a Pack of Wizard Rings, but there's just not much to really say about them, but they are cool.

But as it turns out I have been getting a bunch of Kamen Rider Drive Shift Cars. I still think that shift cars and how they interact with the Drive Driver + Shift Brace is pretty darn cool. I've just been getting all the DX Shift Car Packs. So I have 1-4 and the Shift Car Holder which comes with Funky Spike. They have all been reasonably priced, Pack 1(3 Cars) and the Shift Car Holder were around $18 each on Amazon, Pack 2-4(2 Cars a piece) were all less than $10 on Amazon.

- Funky Spike - Spiky Hotrod (Shift Car Holder)
- Justice Hunter - Police Car (Shift Car Set 1)
- Spin Mixer - Cement Truck (Shift Car Set 1)
- Massive Monster - Monster Truck (Shift Car Set 1)
- Dream Vegas - Fancy Limousine (Shift Car Set 2)
- Dimension Cab - Taxi Cab (Shift Car Set 2)
- Mad Doctor - Ambulance (Shift Car Set 3)
- Rumble Dump - Dump Truck (Shift Car Set 3)
- Fire Braver - Fire Truck (Shift Car Set 4)
- Rolling Gravity - Steam Roller (Shift Car Set 4)

Since the Drive Shift Cars don't have any electronics in them, they are a lot cheaper than the Gaim Lockseeds, which I like. Rumble Dump might be my favorite, cause its such a silly name.

By themselves the Shift Cars, other than looking different, have similar functionality. Part of the car can be flicked to "shift" the car into a mode so it can be used into the Shift Brace. Its very satisfying to do, its simple, and from time to time I'll just have one in my hand and just keep flicking it back and forth. Doing this also reveals the car's logo. They can also be used like toy cars, they all have movable wheels and roll pretty easily. They all have a pretty distinct look, Dream Vegas is all white with red 777 on the side and a handle similar to a slot machine, Rumble Dump is a bright transparent yellow plastic When used in conjunction with the Drive Driver it announces their name, displays their logo on the Driver, and they each have a signature music clip. Some of those are pretty cool, and they are all very distinct. Overall they are nifty, and cheap, and give my Drive Driver some cool stuff to say.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Toku - Kamen Rider Drive DX Trailer-Hou

For a while I stopped buying toys, first to save for my wife's birthday, then I didn't buy anything because vacation and my birthday was coming up, then I had to do a lot of traveling for work. Things have calmed down a bit now and my birthday was extremely fruitful. My wife is pretty amazing as it turns out, while she doesn't understand why I enjoy this stuff, she just knows I like it.

So for my birthday she got me the Kamen Rider Drive DX Trailer-Hou, loosely translated, the Trailer Cannon. The Trailer-Hou is the weapon Drive gets when he changes to Type Formula(a form based on F1 cars). Unlike the other two weapons Drive uses, which are based off of car pieces, Handle-ken(steering wheel) and Door-Ju(car door), the Trailer-Hou is kind of like a giant Shift Car. Instead of shifting to be used with the Drive Driver, it changes to a giant gun.

While speaking of Shift Cars, Trailer-Hou comes with the Formula Shift Car, so you can use it with the Drive Driver to shift to Type Formula, and unlock all the sounds that go with it. Trailer-Hou though a bit smaller than the one used on screen in the show is still pretty big, and very hefty for a toy. It's mainly blue to match type formula, and it has the names/symbols of all the shift cars on it, as if they were sponsors on a NASCAR. Its supposed to look like a semi truck, but illusion is broken by the end thats supposed to be the cab, but is also the handle of the gun, but over all it looks very good, and matches the look on the show perfectly. To shift it into gun mode, you hold the front end of it by the cab of the truck, there is a button there, you press and then can move the handle down and lock it there. Gun mode is where this thing really shines, as it has original sounds to go with every shift car and the two main signal bikes(mach & chaser). The only issue for me is all of these sounds are looooong, very heavy on the extended explosion sounds. But all of sounds for the various gimmicks are pretty cool. It has a port on the top, that accepts any of the cars/bikes/cores. To "charge up" the gun. It also has a port on the end of the barrel of the cannon with which to put a shiftcar/signalbike. That one is the reader port so you can get the different sounds. Once inserted then the voice will say the name of it with "-Hou" after it. Ex: Insert the Formula Shift Car it says "Formula-Hou"(Formula Cannon).

For the sheer amount of sounds this thing is cool, but it also looks cool. I just really appreciate how big it is and it feels hefty. Now I didn't pay for it so its hard to judge it on value. But it is currently at $60 on amazon with free shipping, which isn't a bad price at all considering the size of the package. So for that price I would definitely say its a good buy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Toku - Kamen Rider Fourze Super Rocket Switch

To keep the Kamen Rider train moving along, next up is Kamen Rider Fourze. I got the last thing on my wish list from that show. My wife got me the Super Drill Switch last year, and now I finally bit the bullet and got the Super Rocket Switch.

I got it used on eBay for about $21 with shipping.

Its pretty simple toy like most of the switches, this is kind of an upgraded version of the standard Rocket Switch, Astro Switch #01 that comes with the Fourze Driver and like every lot of switches I've purchased online. But this one, Astro Switch #S-1 is much bigger, the part you press actually looks like a Rocket Booster. Now in the Driver is still activates the same sounds, so when you put it in the Driver is says "Rocket" but then is immediately followed by the Switch itself saying "Super". Which sounds cool, and the timing makes it have a nice effect. Its one of the hand full of electronic switches like N & S Magnet, Cosmic, and Fusion. Also when turned on the Belt says "Rocket On" and then the switch plays the Rocket States jingle which is a nice Rock and Roll riff.

Fourze was probably my favorite Kamen Rider series and the Fourze Driver is probably my favorite belt after my new CSM Decadriver as well. It just has so many sounds, and gimmicks, and of course the lever. Anything that gets me more out of that toy is great by me. It sadly didn't come with batteries since it was used, so I had to take them from the Super Drill switch, I havn't been able to use both at the same time yet. I think this might be my last Astroswitch, I have 1-40, Super Rocket & Drill, unless I stumble upon a cheap Meteor and/or Meteor Storm in my travels I think this is it for me.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Toku - Kamen Rider Decade CSM Decadriver!

Update: Neo-Heisei Riders in CSM Decadriver, check below for Demonstration

Got a bunch of stuff this couple weeks, kicked off with...

Complete Selection Modification Decadriver from Kamen Rider Decade.
Now I already had the Superbest Henshin Belt Series Decadriver, which is just the original DX version, but the Superbest includes 20 cards and they are made of plastic, the DX version only came with 10 cards and they were standard card stock. Whereas the Superbest 1-Ups the DX version, the CSM 4-Ups the Superbest.

At first glance the CSM looks very similar to the previous versions, but the painted are much more detailed, certain parts are engraved as opposed to painted, and the lens on the front has a metal piece instead of plastic, and just over all looks much more show accurate. Also the belt is of much higher quality, and is more likely to fit an adult waist, and unlike the other versions of the belt the belt can detach from either side, where previously one side was always connected making it more difficult to display. But the biggest changes are under the hood for this edition of the Decadriver. They have gone back and gotten the voice of the belt to rerecord many sounds that were not in the original release. Kamen Rider Decade's main gimmick was cards and he had a few different types of cards, Kamen Rides, Final Form Rides, and Final Attack Rides which all had sounds in the Belt if you had the cards. Now other types of cards like the regular Form Rides and Attack Rides, as well as cards that didn't show up till much later now all have sounds. Sadly the CSM doesn't come with all those cards, this time it comes with 30 cards, the other 77 being made available in a separate set. But the driver comes with the 20 that came with the Superbest version(but redone to be more show accurate) as well as all the main Attack Ride cards and Form Ride cards. The only issue with the new sounds, is they don't sound exactly like they were said in the show,

Adding all those sounds was necessary for this to be worth it, but the other thing they added is just brilliant, and for me sold the CSM version. There is now a button that plays Music, press it once and it plays the dramatic music in the lead up to Decade transforming, hit the button again and it plays his Henshin theme. Then to make it even more rad, if you hold the button in for a sec it will play the first track until you put a card in the driver, then it plays the Henshin Music, which is just so awesome. You can completely replicate Decade's Henshin sequence, which makes me happy. The music and driver sounds play independently from each other, so you can use the belt while music plays seamlessly, that whole gimmick is super satisfying.

The belt itself is very nice, Its wearable but I wish it was a little bigger but that is more on me than the belt, but I'm working on that part :-). Its a super rad version of that toy, which a lot of features added, but if your my wife she wonders why I spent so much on something that looks exactly like what I already had. I know my trained eye is a little better, but she's not entirely wrong. It would have been nicer if it was an all new mold, slightly bigger scale, but then the cards may have needed to be bigger, and you couldn't use the old ones, so I kind of understand. The packaging is super nice, feels like a chunk of the price was spent there, and that is fine, but the box is waaay to big for my display area, so it goes in the basement with the rest of the boxes.

I really like this and I definitely feel this to be the definitive version of this, to the point where I can get rid of my Superbest Version of the toy, hopefully recoup some funds so I can re-invest in getting the rest of the cards...which I can't believe how expensive they are, and that I still want them.

Update: Also I forgot to mention the addition of sounds that there are currently no cards for. They have included Kamen Ride callouts and Henshin sounds for all the main riders after Decade, the Neo-Heisei Riders. That consists of W, OOO, Fourze, Wizard, Gaim, and Drive! I have spent some time compiling codes for those Riders and was able to get them working in my Driver...they are hella cool. Check the video below for a Demo of that.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Comics - Ultimate FF

So I have been sitting on a backlog of comics here and there, mostly stuff I've purchased out of discount bins, in this case the short lived book, Ultimate FF. Now this is obviously an Ultimate line book, in case anyone is uncertain the Ultimate line of books was started in the early 2000's as a fresh start and continuity clean versions of classic Marvel characters interpreted for a new age. Since then throug being around for almost 15 years itself, is has become very different from when it started, not in a bad way, not always in a good way, but its definetly its own universe. Still most of the Ultimate books I would consider good or worth reading, especially Ultimate Spider-Man and the first 26 issues of the Ultimates. But we are not talking about any of those books today. The line has gone through many changes, first Ultimatum, Doomsday, Death of Spider-Man, Divided We Fall. This book takes place after Cataclysm. Cataclysm seems totally bizzare when you write it out, but due to Age of Ultron where Marvel Universe history was torn apart, that caused a rip in reality where Galactus from the regular Marvel Universe was sent to the Marvel Ultimate universe, where he merged with his Ultimate counter part the Gah Lak Tus swarm, becomeing even more powerful. Galactus then made his way to earth and wreaked havok before he was stopped.

After Galactus was defeated, aparently further rips in reality kept appearing, and this book follows the Future Foundation (FF, get it!)which has tasked themselves to close the rifts as they appear. Led by Susan Storm(Invisible Woman), and main operatives Tony Stark(Iron Man), Sam Wilson(The Falcon), and Danny Ketch(Machine Man), and finally Victor Van Damm(Doom). Danny is actually a human consciousness surviving inside a robot body made from salvaged tech from Gah Lak Tus, which if the book lasted longer would have panned out into a story or two.

The book only survived for 6 issues, and while not a bad book, definetly a bit off kilter. It seems to tangentially relate to the story occuring in Hickman's Avengers/New Avengers leading to Secret Wars, where reality and the multiverse is broken, and some the realities that are opening up on their earth are coming to an end. Though at the time the full scope hadn't been revealed yet. They pull in some Ultimate Universe leftovers that havn't been seen in a bit like Namor, they of course have a check in with Reed who had become a bad guy in their universe, as in he did some stuff so bad he can never be forgiven, he is someone we will be seeing a lot more of in Secret Wars. We see him a couple times, but the big thing is bringing Doom in the fold, I mean literally they hate Reed so much they would rather goto Doom for help. They come accross the Spider-Ham version of Miles Morales, who stumbles through one of these portals, we even see what is effectively a whole Ultimate Universe but with animals, that part is kind of fun.

I like this book, it tries really hard, but the art is switching hands seemingly every other issue and not always with ones I liked. It seems like they need to explain the team more, they are together at the start so we dont' really see why/how this group came together, and its extremely reliant on knowing a lot of the Ultimate stuff that has come before which becomes a tall order at some point. That dependancy on knowing more of the history makes it hard to recommend to other people. But it does have some cool scenes and sequences. So if you read Cataclysm I think this is worth a read if you can find it in the discount bin like I did, or in Trade...if they made one.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Comics - Pluto (Manga)

My apologies for not posting more lately, I started 2 posts which ended up taking too long or weren't going anywhere. Also working on Mike vs the Uncanny X-Men. Not to mention getting pounded by work...but on to normal stuff
So for Easter my Mother-in-Law raided my Amazon wishlist, as she does around every holiday, and decided to get the last 2 volumes of the Pluto manga. Now I don't read a lot of manga, but I am not averse to it, I still like Anime and Manga I just find it hard to find stuff I'm really interested in. I had Pluto recommended to me by 11 O'Clock Comics, which is a great comics podcast (at least it was last I checked).

Pluto is a Manga by Naoki Urasawa, based on "The Greatest Robot on Earth" a Story from the Astro Boy manga by Osamu Tezuka. I know that is a complicated sentance, but we'll work through it backwards. Osamu Tezuka is considered the Godfather of Manga and Anime, amongst his creations was Astro Boy in 1952. An early storyarc of Astro Boy was called "The Greatest Robot on Earth". Naoki Urasawa is a more modern Manga creator, who took that story, then adapted and re-interpreted it. Where the original focused on Astro Boy, this new version focuses on a different character and sees the story from his point of view. Framing the story as a dramatic murder mystery.

The basic idea of the story is that in the world this story takes place, robots are common place and they had recently gained civil rights. While there are many robots, there are only 8 Great Robots, the most advanced, the most human like, and the most powerful. Mont Blanc is the great Robot from Switzerland, he was peaceful and beloved by people in his country and others, he is found destroyed and his head placed on a pedistal with horns placed on either side of his head. Soon after a human is killed under similar circumstances, leading people to think that a Robot is responsible, but robots are supposed to be unable to kill humans. They bring in the German robot Detective Gesicht on the case and the story follows him as he trys to uncover the mystery as it appears the killings are connected and will continue. We see some parts of the story from the perspective of each of the 8 great robots, and see some interesting stories about them.

I actually didn't realize that this story had anything to do with Astro Boy when I started reading it, it is not prerequisite knowledge for reading this book. I just thought it was a really good book, and then it had one character who looked familiar.(I actually thought it was like a cameo) But Pluto stands on its own quite well and explains all the characters as if it is the first time you have met them, because this version is wildly different from the story its based on there is no way you would be familiar with these new versions of the characters. This book has fighting robots, murder mystery, political intrigue, and fantastic characters. It deals with issues like discrimination, war, and even what it means to be human in a very adult way. The whole book is very adult and treats its world very realistically. Urasawa's art style is fantastic at getting the emotional beats and letting you know exactly how a character feels just from the look on their face. Urasawa's art style is very different from Tezuka's which is very cartoony.

Pluto is made up of 8 Volumes from Slave Labor Graphics, they read right to left as most Manga do. It is presented in Black and White, with the first few pages of every volume in color. I read the first 6 Volumes a while ago separately, but since it had been a long time I re-read the first 6 and jumped into the last 2 volumes. I'm gald i did, the story is complicated enough that I would have missed out or forgotten huge chunks of story.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Comics - Sentai Mike vs. the Uncanny X-Men

So this weekend some old friends and I went to Reading, PA mostly to see each other and hang out since we don't see each other very often. The impetus for us going to Reading was the 10th Anniversary of the Comic Geek Speak Podcast (CGS). Around this time in the past CGS held their SuperShow which was a small convention, but the ones who organized that show just got busy with life so that show has stopped happening. We all got together stayed in a house and went to the recording of the 10th Anniversary Podcast. We were able to hang out with some of the guys from the show. While we were there, and listening to the guys talk about how the show affected them, their audience, and just how that show created all the friendships we went there to celebrate. Cool Guys like Chad, Harold, and Bill, who I would never have known otherwise, and can't imagine not talking to those guys on a regular basis. Which is why I'm still a bit bummed that Comic Book Laundry fell apart, because I just miss talking to those guys more.

But as to the title of this post, it got me thinking more about comics. Also, realizing how close I am to finishing my goal of having a readable run of Uncanny X-Men. The early issues #1-66 I have as Essentials or Masterworks, I have an entire run of X-Men Classics which makes up Uncanny X-Men #94-206, and the rest I have as standard single issues. My plan was always to wait until I have them all and read through the entire series, start to finish. I have read a good chunk of it before, but much of book after Rouge joins the team till the 90s I have not, I havn't read Mutant Massacre, Inferno, or the Dark Pheonix Saga. I need to rectify that. My idea is do a Sentai Mike vs. the Uncanny X-Men podcast, stealing the idea from Tom Katers, who did this for Justice League, the Flash, and Aquaman. I will read one issue of Uncanny X-Men every weekday, talk about the issue for 5-10 minutes and find some of the fun, sillyness, drama, history, and plot twists of the book that made me love comics. I currently have 10 issues remaining to obtain, if they are available on Marvel's Digital Comics Unlimited, then I will begin soon.

***Runs to Internet***

It turns out I think every issue of Uncanny X-Men is on MDCU. So yeah I may begin this pretty soon, once I have the pipeline setup for posting episodes.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Games - Punch-Out / Professor Layton vs Pheonix Wright

So after getting my 3DS I had a nice long flight home. I dug waaay deep into Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, now I had finished everything but the last boss months ago, and then the boss a week or so ago, but now its all about the Maiamais.

There are 100 Maiamai's in the game, roughly 50 in Hyrule and another 50 in Lorule. They are hidden all over the map, and your maps let you know how many are left in each area. When you are near one you can hear them crying. So you know to start looking all over the place when you hear that, turn over every rock/bush/pot, look on every wall. Since my guy is ready for the final battle I've got a lot of weapons and lots of hearts, so none of the enemies really could bother me. I had only maybe 40 of them that I found just by normally going through the game, so I had a lot to find. I actually really enjoyed going through that map again and even seeing some hidden corners of the map I hadn't noticed. Some of them were fun to find, had to do some problem solving. The other thing I didn't realize I could find was more Master Ore, in the game you need to find 2 pieces of master ore to make your sword stronger. I didn't realize there was 2 more ore I could find, and it can make your sword even another level stronger

. So I probably got another 4 hours out of that game, that I basically already finished, which is super cool. Its funny because getting more Maiamais let you upgrade your items for them to be stronger, and then the Master Ore making your sword ever more powerful...but I already beat the game so its a little useless, but still glad I did it. I have totally closed the book on A Link Between Worlds now, great damn game.

Once I got home, I started dabbling more with Punch-Out Wii, gotten through a couple more guys, before getting stuck at Bald Bull. Also started playing a bit of Punch-Out NES, and playing the newer one made me better at the NES one. I never had Punch-out as a kid so I never knew the appeal, and now I freaking love these games, totally respecting the twitch gameplay, and almost puzzle game aspect to it. Its the first game that was basically nothing but Boss fights. But yeah I've really been enjoying my time with it, then I used my Nintendo Club coins to get NES Punch-Out for the 3DS...so I can play it anytime. I even got really addicted to listening to the Wii's Punch-Out Theme, it makes me want to get work done. On the NES version I can now get to the 2nd Piston Honda fight consistently. But that is the game I'm playing when there isn't enough time for...

Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright, its the first game I bought myself for my 2DS, and I have been meaning to play it for a while and what better time, now that I have my *new* Nintendo 3DS XL. This game is a mash-up of 2 or Capcom's popular mobile game series Ace Attorney(Visual Novel/Adventure Game) and Professor Layton(Adventure/Puzzle Game). The story is weird for a Phoenix Wright game but not as much for Layton, his games have had some supernatural elements before, but Phoenix Wright is mostly grounded. You play Phoenix fighting an odd case, and afterwards he gets transported away. Then we play as Layton uncovering a mystery that leads him in a similar direction, they both end up in a strange Medieval town called Labyrinthia that is on no map, run by a mysterious figure called The Storyteller. This place is full of puzzles for Layton, and Witch Trials for Phoenix. This game changes focus as the story demands, and swaps between the 2 play styles. Much of the game seems to be more Professor Layton, its going to different spots on the map asking people for clues and them making you solve puzzles, and uncovering the mystery of the town. Then when that stuff is done for the day, there is a Witch Trial at night. You have a new friend who is accused of being a witch and you must defend her in court from being burned in the fire pit. I had gotten through what seemed like the intro/tutorial section. They make you do some puzzles and move around as Layton, then have you have a little Court Room Case with Phoenix to get you re-acclimated to how those games play, as well as a tutorial if you hadn't played one or the other before. Now I've finished the 1st Day in Labyrinthia, so I finished my first Witch Trial, which was a doozy. In this last one you have 5 witnesses at once and you had to play them against each other, it was pretty nifty, but long. Its my current *main* game I'm trying to play. I like the story and the puzzles and the trials but there's so much in between. So I just finished Chapter 2, and I looked online to see that apparently there is 9 Chapters...so this game is gonna have some legs.

There is a good amount of voice acting during the bigger moments of the game, but I wish more was there, because it is enjoyable to hear all the colorful characters actually speak especially in Phoenix Wright. In addition to that, like Professor Layton there are a number of fully Animated sequences and they look fantastic, but again wish there was more because they are so good. So far its got everything I could want out a Layton Game with all I want out of the Phoenix Wright game. Lots of pointing, lots of objections, lots of gentlemanly headwear. Just making these characters come together is a silly idea, I almost got it just to see how it worked, but damn if they don't make it work, and even make it fun.

I was going to talk about Super Mario Bros. vs SMB Deluxe on the 3DS slightly but this went long, so I will get to it next time.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Games - *new* Nintendo 3DS etc.

So the *new* Nintendo 3DS XL(n3DSXL) came out on the 13th, and I did plan on getting it, but I didn't pre-order it, nor was going to get on the first day. My plan was to wait for the bonus I was getting for all the traveling I do for work, and then buy it. As it happens I had a last minute trip to Flo-Rida on the 12th, coming home Friday morning on the 13th. So after getting there on Thursday and finding that this trip was not as easy as I was told, so I had to extend my trip from leaving 6am Friday morning to 8pm Friday evening. I went into the job site around 9 on Friday and no one came to let me in, so I left. There was mall nearby so I decided to check things out there to waste time. That's when it began, my buddy Harold started messaging me. He had been excited about getting the n3DSXL and counting down the days, going over the plans he had for upgrading. He had a 2DS like me, so he was kind of letting me know everything I had to do. Harold was telling me he was on his way to Gamestop to get in line for his n3DSXL. Gamestop was offering $70 off the n3DSXL if you were trading in a 2DS towards it. So I was around the Mall and thinking...they probably have a Gamestop around here, and its almost 10am....maybe I should check this out. But then I got called back into work, so I went back.

After I got there, and past the front door, the guy realized I couldn't do anything until some spare parts arrived, which wouldn't be for over an hour, so he said I could take off and he would msg me when they were ready. So I took off again! The Gamestop wasn't open yet, but now I had it in my mind, so I went to Office Depot to get a micro-SD adapter, since I would need that to transfer. Then I went to the Mall's Gamestop, where there was small line of people. When I got to the front of the line, he told me they only had enough for pre-orders. So I left slightly sad, but its kind of what I expected. All the while Harold telling me about how he was home and doing his system transfer, telling me how pretty the n3DSXL is. At that point it was in my brain...I now needed it. But just as I was deciding where to look next, I got the call to go in for work. So I did that, but thankfully it didn't last long.

So after going in around 11am, I was done by 3:30pm, and my flight wasn't till 8pm. So by that point I went to another Gamestop and got the same story there, only enough for pre-orders. But I was already formulating a plan, because they only reason I was using Gamestop was because of that $70 for trading it in towards the n3DSXL. But because I didn't pre-order I don't think I could do it anyway, plus the deal was only for that day. So I inquired how much it is normally to trade in a 2DS, and they told me about $50...and that was more than enough to buy Majora's Mask, which everyone had plenty of. So I went to Walmart with high hopes. As it turns out they had plenty of n3DSXLs. So I purchased it for full price, easy-peasy.

So now I have it, but now I had to transfer my Data. I needed a reliable Wi-Fi connection, so I looked for a Starbucks, got a Flat White. And sat down to begin that business. Got 2DS and 3DS on the internet, so they could start the transfer, and I must say it was nerve wracking. I just had to watch the transfer, not knowing how long the battery would hold out on the uncharged n3DSXL, or how long the transfer would take. Some of it went fast other parts super slow. But it went through without incident. The next step was to transfer the SD card to a micro-SD card, and man can I say how annoying it is that they switched to a micro, making me buy another thing *grr*. At first I thought I was going to need to buy a card reader because I didn't think my work laptop had a SC card slot, but I found it, it was different than my last laptop, and not in a super obvious spot. So that made it easy, I took my SD card and dumped the contents on my laptop, put in the micoSD with adapter and put all my stuff on it.

So now everything is set, just have to get the micro-SD in the n3DSXL, at which point I realized I would need a screwdriver. then contemplated going to Walmart again to buy a small screwdriver set. Thats when I felt dumb and remembered I had had my tool bag which has many screwdrivers. Unlike the other models of the 3DS the micro-SD is actually inside the system. Had to unscrew 2 screws then detatch the bottom, which was the most terrifying moment of all, because it feels like your gonna bend the plastic enough to crack it. But it all went well. I had all my stuff an especially my streetpasses were intact.

The last thing was going back to Gamestop, getting the regular trade it value for my 2DS, and then using that to buy Majora's Mask and a charge cable, since I had to give up my 2DS charge cable, and the n3DSXL didn't come with one. So then I ran to Chipotle, and then the airport, and let it charge there till it had enough battery to last the whole trip home. Which I spent enjoying Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds in 3D for the first time. Spent my time with that game looking for the last of the collectibles in that game. So now I am finished with that. Man just firing the n3DSXL up with the 2DS right there, man the screens are HUGE and the new face-tracking 3D they added works great. I'm really liking my time with it so far, spending a lot of time playing it lately, because of travel, and the wife hogging the TV with Dragon Age: Inquisition. So I will definitely be talking more 3DS stuff.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Toku - Tokkyuger / Kamen Rider Decade

So I had to make a last minute trip out top Florida for work last week. I was slightly bummed because I had to get up at 4am on Thursday and I had a feeling I might get stuck somewhere for Valentine's day. I had been keeping an eye on Tokkyuger's Diesel-Oh on amazon and some other places. For a while now buying them all separate(Diesel, Car Carrier, and Tank Ressha) was going to be the cheaper option. But I could never get them all on Amazon with Prime shipping. Then I checked out my preferred import retailer ItCameFromJapan.com, and since they are Canadian, the US dollar is strong right now, so getting them from there seemed the cheapest option. But then Amazon had the actual Diesel-Oh set for $63, which was about $8 more than ICFJ, but it would mean I would have it in 2 days. So I jumped on that as soon as payday hit. Normally I wouldn't buy that the same week as Valentine's, to make sure I could do all I could on that day for my wife(cause she's awesome), but the price was too good. Thankfully I got home the night before Valentine's day, but I still had some shopping to do. My wife went out for a bit in the morning, and that is when it arrived

I ripped it open immediately, He came ready to be Diesel-Oh, and I set him like that for all of 10 seconds. Then went about grabbing ToQ-Oh and Build Dai-Oh, so I could form it into Cho Cho ToQ Dai-Oh, who is enormous and looks awesome. In that form its the biggest Mech I own now, he towers well over Gokai-Oh, I had to clear a big spot for him, since that how I plan to display those guys.

One other thing that I ordered a little after Christmas has also made its way here...although not to my doorstep, as with most of my Ebay purchases I needed to pick it up at the Post Office. That is my Kamen Rider Decade DX Ride Booker. This was Decade's only real accessory other than the Driver(Belt) and the K-Touch(Lame). Its his Gun, his Sword, and is also a case for his Transformation/Attack Cards. Since I am getting the CSM Deca Driver, I thought it would be good to have this if not only to hold the cards and look nice in a display of the Driver. I got it on Ebay for like $26, new in box supposedly, which seemed like a steal. Its not a well loved toy because of its size and that the sword mode is pretty pathetic, but for display and gun-mode I think it will be rad. And the price is perfect!

But now that I actually have the toy in hand, its actually even smaller than I imagined. The main card holding section, doesn't even hold all 10 of the Kamen Ride Cards. There is another larger card holding area, and that seems big enough to hold a whole bunch of cards, just a shame I can't get the other 10 in the special slot. All for now, but more coming soon

Monday, February 9, 2015

Games - 3DS Boy Advanced

So shortly after my last post, while looking for my missing 3DS Case with most of my games in it. I came across a smelly plastic bag in a box in my basement. Surprisingly it contained a few of my beloved GB and GBA games, My cartridges of Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 and Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. The GBA games I found were WarioWare: Twisted (which I literally just bought a replacement of), Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, others??... This was also after finally getting a new Gamecube AC adapter, so I was now able to play the Gamecube and Gameboy Player. So even though I've been playing a bit of Warioland on my 3DS I brought it up on the big screen, it still had my completed savegame with just about everything unlocked. In that game there was one treasure I didn't have, so I looked up where to find it, got it, and played the final level. So I beat the game there and don't know if I will still continue playing it on my 3DS(there is only 34 stages), so I may move onto Wario Land 2. Next week brought some more traveling, so I was 2DSing it this week. Played a good chunk of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. Thankfully, that game is a prettier version of Aria of Sorrow, which I loved. The touchscreen elements are minimal, there were a couple areas that let you breakdown ice chunks by tapping on them, and for most boss fights you have to draw a magic seal to finish them off. Having just played Aria recently, I really noticed the improvement to the graphics. And with the 2 screens I really like having a live view of the map. The game has the same soul system as aria, but your able to create 2 Soul/Equipment loadouts that you can switch between on the fly, I use it for switching between my sword and a heavier weapon like the Axe. Its very useful and a great improvement. I am at a point now where I'm not sure how far into the game I am, and not sure where to head next. But that is pretty standard for this type of game, just gotta scour the map and try my new moves to reach new places. Right before I left, my Import copy of Rhythm Tengoku for the GBA came in, its the original game in Nintendo's Rhythm Heaven series and was never released in America. I probably should have expected, but it looks like everything is unlocked in that game already. So I can play any of the levels at any time, which is good, but I also like to unlock them myself. Because I don't speak Japanese, and there are a few parts where that makes a difference in this game, I will probably just leave it. I've played quite a few on them now, just trying to brute force my way through the menus in some cases. But its fun and catchy and its just nifty to see all that Japanese text come up when I start up the GBA. Thats all for now, but some cool stuff is coming soon.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Games - Wario Lands / Donkey Kong / Rhythm Heaven / Imports?

So as it turns out Club Nintendo is being closed as of later this year. Before they close the doors on it they are letting you spend your Nintendo Coins on some virtual console games, and they plan on adding another bunch of them in February. I got Donkey Kong for the original Gameboy on the 3DS, which was one of my favorite games on that system. It starts out like classic arcade Donkey Kong, and then once you defeat the fourth stage, the game opens up. Kong steals Pauline and runs off, then the real stages begin. They have a bunch of stages broken into 9 Worlds with a varying amount of stages in each one. In each level there is a key and a door, the trouble comes in getting the two of them together. They start out easy, and get progressively difficult, it becomes more puzzle game than platformer. They add in all kinds of mechanics not in the original Donkey Kong, in addition to jumping and the hammers you now can pick up certain enemies a la Super Mario Bros 2, you can swing on wires to reach new heights, also they have blocks that let you place platforms/spring boards/ladders/blocks wherever you can in the world for a limited amount of time. Its also the first time Mario can do his reverse jump that's higher than his regular jump. There are also levers in some levels that extend and retract bridges.

If you can't tell I really like this game. I spent a LOT of time with it as a kid. The game is fiendish in some spots, I really hope I'm smart enough to finish it now. It was also the first game that had extra features for the Super Game Boy, which was the cartridge for the SNES that let you play Gameboy Games on the TV. But I am currently in level 6.

Also on the Nintendo Club is Super Mario Land for Gameboy, which is alright and has some fantastic music. But it made me want to play Super Mario Land 2: The 6 Golden Coins, so I bought that on the eShop, and played through it in about 2 hours or so. That game is also the first appearance of Wario, in that game he is the Final Boss. Finishing that game made me want to play Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land. Which is another game I played a TON of as a kid. So I purchased that game on the eShop as well as Wario Land 2 and 3. I have never played 2 or 3 before, but I hear they are very interesting. So depending on how fast I get through the first Wario game, I may tackle that. I actually have a bit of travel coming up so there will time on airplanes for me to do some serious progression.

Nintendo did one of their "Nintendo Direct" videos talking about the games coming out this year. Then mentioned a new Rhythm Heaven game coming to the 3DS. Which got me revisit the DS version of Rhythm Heaven, which I like a lot. If you have not played it before its a bunch of timing based mini levels, all animated in some cool styles, and you end up making some fun little music diddies by playing them. All the levels are pretty weird in the way WarioWare is weird(made by the same team). Its reminded me how much I like these games, and in some of those levels the music is so infectious, but that game gets kind of hard especially the farther you get into it. I'm a former drummer and I think my timing is pretty good, but the game has 2 main ways of input, tapping the screen and flicking it, and I'm terrible at flicking for some reason. This also made me wanna play more of Rhythm Heaven Fever on the Wii, which I bought and played for only about 30mins. The animated style in that game looks fantastic on a bigger screen, so crisp! After spending more time with that, Its totally the same as the other games but some new games, and more crazy animated stuff. The one I've liked the most so far is Its a guy wearing a wrist watch, but it zooms in and on the end of the second hand of the watch is a little monkey and that is your guy, then at each second hand of the watch is a little door and other monkeys pop out. The game is you have to hit the A-Button to high-five them as you go past them.

I also found out that the first game in the Rhythm Heaven series wasn't released outside of Japan, it was for the GBA and known as Rhythm Tengoku. I found one on eBay for $17, and because of the gameplay I don't need to speak Japanese. So this will be my first import game! Probably the first of not many...but potentially a few. Mario and Wario, I'm looking at you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Games - It All Falls Apart(Dragon Age: Inquisition / Captain Toad)

Well I tried to get back on track with my level a day and promptly failed. The wife started playing Dragon Age, so I was with her while she played for a bit curious about how that game opens up. Then I was going to play some games of my own on the WiiU Gamepad. I also got a bit lazy, and Captain Toad was already in the WiiU, so I have just continued to play that over the weekend, last night, this morning. I got to the last 2 levels in it last night. Now each level has 3 gems that are sometimes hidden, and a secret objective. That objective may be to find a hidden gold mushroom or collect a certain amount of coins, take no damage, etc. Well I have done all of those in every level so far...but this morning I did the last two. One of them they do the thing I hate, which is a lava rising level, but the objective in this level is to get some obscene amount of coins. Most of the other levels you can kind of do at your own pace, but this one you really gotta truck through. So that was the first level I ever bypassed the hidden objective. Then in the final level I found a hidden golden mushroom really early on, thinking sweet deal I found it by accident without trying. But of course in that level it wasn't the hidden objective, it was coins again. But I beat it, rolled credits, and like the last few games there is still a bunch of Bonus stuff to do, though I still think Super Mario 3D World is the King of that (so many Bonus levels). But with having rolled credits on this game, I'm gonna move onto Donkey Kong Country Returns and focus on that.

Also this weekend I convinced my wife to allow me to start Dragon Age: Inquisition. To be different, at least for me, I chose a Quinari Lady Warrior named Aria. I havn't seen a Quinari lady before, and horns are cool, so I went that route. She is TALL, moreso that I thought. They do not let you choose body type, so all Quinari ladies have the same body apparently. I'm playing her like I played my Shepard in Mass Effect, a bitch with a heart of gold. As a Quinari that makes sense they are pretty brusque, trying to be good, but not taking any shit. They don't go into the history of your own character at all like they have in Dragon Age 1 and 2. The Mages and Templars were having a conclave to resolve their issue, but a massive explosion goes off, killing everyone there but you, igniting lots of hate on both sides. But the real question is...what reason would my character even have to be there. She's not a Mage, nor a Templar, so other than that little plot hole, the story progresses from there. I'm only a few hours in right now. The explosion opened a giant rift in the Fade, the world of Demons and where magic power comes from (I believe). My character the only one left alive, has been left with a mark on my hand that has the power to close Fade Rifts, while I can't close the giant one I can close the smaller ones that are appearing all over the land. While I couldn't close the giant one, I was able to stabilize it so it would stop getting any bigger. They theorize if I have enough power I could close the Rift. I did stumble across my first Dragon, which killed me in about 10 seconds...so I figure I'm not ready for that yet.

The controls are a bit different from DA1&2 but getting the general hang of it. There seem to be a lot more systems, and the menus and general seem more disorganized than in previous games. DA:Origins was very bare bones and just kind of showed you everything, DA2 simplified and presented the information a bit better, now it feels like a mash of the two and I just wish that part of it was better, but it gets the job done.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Toku - Tokkyuger / Gaim / Drive Toys

Been a while since I had a Toku update, a few little things have come in the door.

The first thing I got was a Christmas gift to myself via an Amazon gift card from my parents. I purchased the Tokkyuger Build Dai-Oh. This is the Mecha/Train of Tokkyu-Rokugo, the 6th Ranger of this team. It was either this or Diesel-Oh, and Build just looked waay more rad than Diesel. I still plan on getting Diesel but for now Build is pretty cool. The Train Mode is a bit unweildy, but damn if that robot mode isn't cool as hell.

Since I got the Drive Driver for Christmas, and my newfound enjoyment of the Kamen Rider Drive show. I picked up the DX Shift Car Set 01. These sets are pretty cheap only about $12, and I get 3 new Shift Cars.
- Justice Hunter, a Patrol Car
- Spin Mixer, a Cement Truck
- Massive Monster, a crazy looking race car?
They all maintain the gimmick of the flick/swivel of one end of the car, which is still very satisfying. The Shift Car Sets are so cheap I may get a few more. Of course the Shift Cars that correspond to the bigger Type changes like Wild and Technique all come with the additional weapons, like the Handle Sword, and the Door Gun. I don't know if i'll get that deep into it, but we shall see.

Lastly I received my first Premium Bandai product, the Yomitseguri Lockseed Set. This set comes with the Yomi Lockseed, and Faceplate for the Sengoku Driver. In the show this was a super dangerous lockseed that granted great power at the cost of the users life if they used it for too long. This lockseed is kind of like a replacement for Ryugen's Budou Lockseed, which is hard to come by and more expensive than this one was. Comes in a fancy box, very high quality, the new sounds and stuff sound really cool, plus now I have a faceplate that plays Ryugen's Henshin Theme.

Monday, January 19, 2015

New Years Game Project Week 3.75 (Jan 15 - 18)

This weekend I fell waay off the horse, skipping or going around some of the games.

Super Mario 3D World
So I figured once this special world was done, that would be it...I was wrong. So I spent time on Sat/Sun finishing the last few levels in the Star World, and then the last one I needed 210 Green Stars to unlock. So I went back to a bunch of stages looking for additional green stars and after a good 45 minutes to an hour of that, I unlocked it. I then beat the level, which caused a rocketship to appear taking me to the next and even bigger Mushroom World. So now I'm not sure how many more levels there even are. Maybe there is a 3rd Bonus area *shrugs*. I was kind of sad that wasn't the end.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
So after the realization that I was not close to being done on Mario, I switched to Toad. And I played about 5 or 6 levels in that which finished Episode 2. We had 18 levels in Episode 1, and 18 in Episode 2, apparently there is 28 in Episode 3, so that has started.

I didn't play any Donkey Kong or Giana Sisters...but plan to get back into those 2 this week

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Years Game Project Week 2-3.5 (Jan 5 - 14)

So I've been pretty lax lately, busy at work and home, as well as an additional blog that I had to write unexpectedly.

I have been progressing pretty well in all the games. Missed one day, so i had to do 2 levels the next day. Some are getting harder, a few cases frustrating, other continue to be a joy.

Donkey Kong Country Returns
I made it past the Ruins, boss was fun not too bad. Now I'm in the Caves and with it a bunch of Minecart levels. Now the minecart levels were among my favorite in the old DKC games. They have proven to be a bit more difficult/frustrating in this game. Its very sensitive to how long the jump button is pushed to do either a long/high jump or a short/low jump. The game seemed to have a hard time telling the difference, I've been jumping in games for over 20years now, and I pride myself on my platforming, and have no issues like this with other games. This made a few levels take a long time, because they have a lot of hazards on the top, so if you jump that high, you just die. This is the first level where I used all of my lives, and in fact had to come back to the next day. But finished it got through the rest ok, and as of last night finished the boss. Which was another level like that first one which I had to do a LOT, most levels have checkpoints, the boss levels do not. But now I'm off to the Jungle.

Rayman Legends
I had a good time with the Musical level played it a few times once I had gotten all the way through it, bringing 20,000 Lums Under the Sea to a close. Then I moved onto the next area Olympus Maximus. This game does a good job of using the gamepad controls of the WiiU, the have levels where you control a little guy named Murphey, and the game is controlling one of the normal characters, your job as Murphey is to protect and in some cases guide the other Player through the level. Setting up platforms, blocking attacks, or even spinning aspects of the level to make the character able to get around, they pretty fun and something very different. So I got through all the levels in Olympus Maximus. Then the game rolled credits, bit their is still another world, I just don't have enough Lums to open it up yet. It needs 200, and I have like 175. Seems like a lot of work, a lot of backtracking, so I'm debating going forward any more in that game.

Super Mario 3D World
So here is another one which I just finished, the last few levels were a bitch, but the boss wasn't too hard. I had to fight CatBowser and feed the little people he kidnapped. Roll Credits. Then after reopening the game, you have access to a Star World. I've played a few of those now, much more challenging, also I unlocked Rosalina as a playable character, so that cool. She actually plays similar to Luigi, she has a higher than average jump, but a bit more controlled than Luigi. The end of the area doesn't have a castle that I can see yet. I wonder if this is it, or if there are any more special worlds.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
I just really like this game, the short but fun levels, the adorable art style, and all the little things that make this game feel so polished. I've finished what they count as "Episode 1" which they didn't tell me it was called that until you finish it. So now I'm in Episode 2, where in 1 you were Captain Toad trying to rescue Toadette, this time she's rescuing him. Its still starting to get more challenging, I'm doing 2 puzzle rooms a day so I'm progressing fairly quickly. I wonder if there is a Episode 3, or even 4. already done over 30 puzzle rooms. Its so charming, and so fun, I really like figuring out all these little puzzles.

Giana Sisters
I am behind, need to catch up on it! I tried recording myself playing and posting on Youtube so I could link it here, but now for my Account level I can't load videos over 15mins. Turns out with a little intro at the start it took me 25minutes to finish one level. Its much more time consuming than the others. Just mad about the Youtube thing.

1 Game down, 4 to go. Super Mario 3D World is the next one that will be finished. I think I might have 10-15 levels in DKCR left. No idea how many Captain Toad levels left.

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Years Game Project Week 1 (Jan 1 - 4)

So my New Years Project this year is to try and finish a bunch of games I have been sitting on for a bit in some cases. Donkey Kong Country Returns for Wii, Rayman Legends for WiiU, Super Mario 3D World for WiiU, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker for WiiU, and Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams on Steam. Some of these games I had started before or forgot exactly where I was, just knew I didn't finish them. I will be playing 1 level a day in all these games till they are complete. I had originally hoped to stream or post video each day but I aparently don't have the equipment for that. I may do it for Giana Sisters going foreward, just because thats a PC game and I can record that easilly.

Donkey Kong Country Returns(DKCR)
I discovered I had gotten to the 3rd Main Area of DKCR, the Ruins, so I started going at it getting used to the controls again. One thing I remembered was that unlike the SNES DKC games, Kongs can't do any roll attacks, which feels very limiting, there are a lot of enemies that you can't jump on, so I really want to roll into them. General platforming has been good, and the levels are challenging. Now I was a big fan of the original DKC on SNES, and I got just about everything in that original game. This game collects the 4 KONG letters as well as I think 9 puzzle pieces in each stage. While the KONG letters aren't too hard to find, though they can be tricky, the puzzle pieces make me feel stupid. I look all over for those pieces and only come accross maybe 3, though the worst is when they show you the pieces in the level and you jump around and look all over with no way to see how to get it, which can be very frusterating. But overall good so far, if I had to play more time in one sitting I might get annoyed.

Rayman Legends
In this game I had gotten to the 4th World entitled "20,000 Lums under the Sea". So first I forgot how to run, also I usually play as the viking girl, she has an axe, and looks rad. Just in general I find her way less annoying than globox and cooler than rayman himself. I was near the end of that section after playing my one level a day, I'm excited for tomorrow because the next one is the final level of this section and the Musical level which are always pretty fun. The ones before this were 2 boss levels basically, I thought it was weird they did one after another. The first one is a Chase level, Dragon chasing me underwater and though some tunnels. I died a lot, but made it. The next one was against a Robot Dragon who looked fantastic. You walk on him like a platform at first, then after you land on a button he comes to life and you see him uncoil in forground and then in the background. That whole game just looks fantastic, its challenging as heck, and when you pull on big chains in that game you feel like a total boss.

Super Mario 3D World
So I didn't realize how far I was in this game. I was at the Castle level and I didn't have enough Green Stars to unlock the boss castle. So I spent the first 2 days playing more than 1 level in the game playing previous levels to try and get my Green Star count high enough to finish, I needed 16. After Jan 1st and 2nd, on the 3rd I was able to finally do the new level, which I kind of thought was the final level in the game, and the game re-enforces that by showing you all the previously rescued pixies all together, and you even defeat bowser and then goto the flagpole. Then after the level finish screen pops up and the score comes up, it then peels back and you see Bowser snatch all the pixies again and then takes off. The game then leads you from the Castle level to the Bowser level, which now makes me think this is the last world in the game. Another challenging game, still a lot of fun, I normally used Princess as my character in most of that game previously, but right now I'm using Mario and liking it, makes the game feel more difficult and even more pure. These are in theory the final levels so I expect them to be hard, and the first one was pretty hard, but in a good way.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
Now unlike the rest this is a new game, and has the shortest levels so I have been doing 2 of these levels each day. That game looks soooo good, the Nintendo art style is just fabulous, and freakin adorable. Unlike the rest, I actually started from the beginning so this might be the last game standing after I finish the rest. The levels havn't gotten too challenging yet, but they are fun, and I enjoy going back to do the secret objective in each level. Super simple, super fun, super adorbs. This game I couldn't wait on and actually played more levels than I was supposed to, but now I'm slowing down.

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
This is the the roughest of all the games I'm playing, the levels are long and due to the nature of the art style can be hard to determine exactly what can hurt you. Another game like Rayman that I died a LOT in. You play as 2 sisters who you switch between on the fly, the art style changes depending on which sister your using, the switching between is the most impressive part, the world morphs from one style to another from demons to happy birds from fire to an swamp and all the backgrounds as well. Each sister has a unique ability, one does a fire dash in the direction your holding which can kill enemies and bounce you around the level, the other does a spin jump and can slowly float towards the ground. I had played the first 2 or 3 levels before, so these few days got me to the first boss, who was a bitch and a half, took a lot of dying and patterns watching to even figure out how I was supposed to hurt this thing, but I'm in the second set of levels now powering ahead. This game has a lot of secret area, even when I find a bunch of them, end of the level tells me I still missed a bunch but in that regard its still less annoying than DKCR, cause it doesn't taunt me with things in plain view.

I plan to keep updating as I go along, daily or weekly depending on how things go tonight.