Xenosaga, Episode I

Yup, another video game themed post. ¬†But no screen shots this time. ūüėõ

Xenosaga 1

I’ve been wanting to pick up some KOS-MOS merchandise ever since I found out there¬†was such merchandise, but it’s hard to find any that I find appealing. ¬†Because the visual aesthetic in¬†Xenosaga Episode I was entirely different from the aesthetic in the other two games. ¬†And since the first one is the one that’s actually¬†good, I wanted one that matched the original, more anime-like aesthetic. ¬†(Okay, to be fair,¬†Episode II is still a pretty decent game. ¬†Not great, like¬†Episode I, but decent. ¬†It’s¬†Episode III that’s horrible. ¬†Seriously, having both played the game given the subtitle¬†Also Sprach Zarathustra and read the original book by Nietzsche, I can without question say that you will absolutely be served better to read the book. ¬†Sure, it won’t tell you how the story of the first two games ends, but you can make something up that’ll be better than what Namco came up with. ¬†(It really shows that they fired the series creator during¬†Episode II…) ¬†More importantly, the book is actually entertaining, and it will take far less time.) ¬†The one exception to my “only¬†Episode I merchandise” policy for KOS-MOS is that I would totally love to have the Dollfie Dream of her, even though that’s from the horrible¬†Episode III. ¬†(But I’d still rather have the Dollfie Dream of Miku…though any talk of Dollfie Dreams is just idle, because I cannot afford to spend roughly a thousand dollars on a single doll.)

Xenosaga 2

Here’s the back of the package, which helpfully shows how you can use/attach some of the pieces she comes with. ¬†I call this “helpful” because it lets me know what it would look like, as I don’t intend to open her. ūüėõ ¬†Anyway, interesting thing about this figure: ¬†as far as I could tell from the Mandarake page (of¬†course that’s where I got her! ūüėõ ) she would seem to have been a pre-order bonus for the original game. ¬†I am so jealous of that! ¬†You know what¬†I got for pre-ordering the first game?

Nothing.

There was a pre-order bonus for the second game, though:

Xenosaga 4

That’s a DVD containing all the CG cutscenes from the first episode. ¬†With the wonderful-yet-unfair feature of being able to select the original Japanese language. ¬†“Unfair,” of course, because the games themselves don’t have that option. ¬†So if you watch the DVD in the original, and get used to what the characters are¬†supposed to sound like, then you’re crushed by returning to the game and being forced back into the English voices. ¬†(Though, honestly, the dub isn’t¬†that bad. ¬†It’s…okay, actually, I haven’t revisited any of the games since being disgusted by the final one (first major RPG I ever sold back immediately on completing it) but I recall it being serviceable. ¬†Certainly there were no characters whose voices made me want to stab myself in the eardrums, and I can’t say that about all dubbed games…)

Ahem.

Okay, this post seems to have devolved into me soap-boxing my views on certain subjects, when it’s supposed to be about the figure. ¬†So I’ll just shut up now, and present one last photo:

Xenosaga 3

Not the greatest sculpt in the world, but I’ve seen worse. ¬†(Okay, yes, I know I said I’d shut up!)

BTW, if you’d like to see the gallery — though the only additional photo in it is a shot with the game’s soundtrack in front of the package — it’s here.

Terraria

Terraria 1

Yes, today I’m just going to show you photos of my PSVita.

No, just kidding! ūüėõ

Terraria 5

Terraria is one of those games that goes in fits and spurts for me. ¬†I’ll play obsessively for a time, and then sort of let it slide for a while, and then play obsessively again and…that’d be a better thing, mind you, if I only had it on one system and therefore didn’t have to keep starting over again. ¬†But I haven’t really been able to use my PS3 (or my television, for that matter) in a long time, so I ended up¬†double dipping and getting it on the Vita…but that meant starting over…

Anyway, even though you’re encouraged to play on mulitplayer at all times (or at least often), I’ve never done so even once. ¬†I don’t trust people, and besides I think some of my world design jokes would be misinterpreted:

Terraria 4
Share and enjoy! Share and enjoy!

Anyway, I’ve picked up a number of the Terraria toys, ’cause that’s what I do. :p

Corrupt Rabbit

I think this one’s my favorite. ¬†A plush, 8-bit zombie rabbit. ¬†What’s not to love about that? ¬†(Well, okay, it’s not¬†exactly a zombie, per se, but…yeah, it’s basically a zombie.)

Crying at all is not allowed,  not in my igloo on a cloud!
Crying at all is not allowed, not in my igloo on a cloud!

I’m not sure corrupt rabbits even show up in the console version or if they’re a mobile exclusive…but so far I haven’t found any to capture and put in my menagerie. ūüėõ

Terraria 6

After eyeing this set at stores for months and feeling like it wasn’t quite worth the MRSP, then I found it for about half that on Amazon.

Terraria 7

They’re Monty Python fans! ūüėÄ

Terraria 8

Uh…yeah. ¬†I’m not sure what I think of the idea of a comic book adaptation of something like Terraria. ¬†(The art is certainly inappropriate, given what the game graphics look like!) ¬†So why did I get it, then?

Terraria 9

It comes with the Dryad! ¬†In all her Terra-like glory! ¬†(Though I don’t think I’ve ever had one spawn whose name was Terra. ¬†Though I did feel especially lucky when I had one spawn with the name Chryseis…) ¬†Well, okay,¬†technically she’s not all that much like Terra, since she’s wearing a green two-piece thing instead of a red one-piece, but…yeah, every time I see her my mind goes “Terra!” ¬†Because¬†FFVI rules.

Terraria 2

So, one last gratuitous game shot. ¬†(Because I had it. ¬†Because I had to wait around for the sun to come up so I could get that one shot I actually felt like I¬†needed.) ¬†This is my current pad in-game. ¬†It’ll change, grow, and get a lot more chests. ūüėõ ¬†Also, don’t anyone knock my Mad Hatter hat! ¬†I can have my yuki-onna wear a Mad Hatter hat if I want to! ¬†I created a free world where that’s totally okay! ¬†(Yes, I¬†am adamant about this. ¬†Why do you ask?)

Ooookay, I think I’m getting a bit unhinged. ¬†I’ll just sign off for now.

(BTW, “T”! ¬†April A-to-Z nears completion, and I’m still on track! ¬†Yay!)

Kurtis (Prinny Version)

So today we’ve got a plushie instead of a doll. ¬†He hails from one of my favorite game series I’ve totally fallen behind on: ¬†Disgaea. ¬†(I can’t help having fallen behind: ¬†those games take so freakin’ long to play! ¬†And I have a lot less time on my hands than I used to.)

Kurtis 3

I wasn’t a big fan of Kurtis when he was still a human, but he’s wonderfully fun as a prinny. ūüėÄ ¬†I feel sorry for the people who were playing the game with the English language track selected, though: ¬†at least in the original PS2 version, instead of getting Kurtis’ theme song “My Comrade” for his triumphant return, they ended up with some domestic song. ¬†(There are other reasons to feel sorry for them, too, not least of which being that they missed out on all the wonderful performances, and especially Laharl’s laugh, but…that’s neither here nor there.)

Kurtis 4

Obviously, as a plushie, his eyes don’t change, but a different angle can really make it look like he’s got a totally different expression!

Kurtis 7

I don’t know why, specifically, he’s got a monster head printed on his little bag, but it’s a fun detail. ūüôā

Also it gave me one more tiny talking point.

Plushies don’t make for very elaborate posts, it turns out. ūüėõ

But that’s one more letter down! ¬†I’ve gotten all the way up to “K is for Kurtis” now! ¬†Yay!

Tomorrow’s L post will be more involved…but not really as involved as it ought to be, all things considered. ¬†(Photography was not my friend with that doll. ¬†Or vice versa.)

Oh, btw, there’s no Kurtis gallery, ’cause that seemed silly. ¬†Instead there’s a Disgaea gallery, which includes the Etna and Flonne Nendoroids from last year.

Ghaleon

This one probably slipped under a¬†lot of radars…

Ghaleon 1

I got him by pre-ordering¬†Lunar 2, which came out about the same time as the Playstation 2. ¬†I’m not sure if he was made for that purpose, or if he was an over-produced bonus for the first game or what. ¬†Regardless of that, he’s pretty special.

Because Lunar:  Silver Star Story Complete was my very first console RPG.

I’d played a few board games with RPG elements, and a few early PC games with RPG elements, but I didn’t know what a JRPG was until I played¬†Lunar. ¬†And, naturally, I loved it. ¬†(I haven’t revisited it in a¬†very long time, however, and I don’t know if I’d still love it. ¬†I mean, I might still love it if there was a Japanese language option, or if you could turn the voices off, or…no, Alex was played by Akira Ishida. ¬†I would¬†need the Japanese voices. ¬†Like, chemically. ¬†Although that’s nothing compared to the need I would feel for the Japanese voices in¬†Lunar 2: ¬†Hiro was played by Hikaru Midorikawa.)

Anyway, given how long I’ve had him, and how rare he (presumably) is, and all that, I was not about to de-box him. ¬†So here’s a through-the-plastic shot of his face:

Ghaleon 2

I do have more to say, though.  Check out the back of the box:

No, I was not drunk at the time I took this picture.
No, I was not drunk at the time I took this picture.

I have no idea what you had to do to get that Alex puppet. ¬†Pre-order the first one, I presume. ¬†(I got the first one used, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t even have a Playstation at the time it came out, so…no clue.)

Ghaleon 5

I’ve actually seen a video of someone using one of these to attack one of their friends. ¬†It was an Easter Egg video on the DVD of one of the seasons of¬†Red vs Blue. ¬†(Not sure which season, though. ¬†I’ve only seen the first five seasons, so it couldn’t have been past that, and I’m pretty sure the first season (and maybe the second one?) didn’t have Easter Eggs, so there aren’t too many possibilities.)

Ghaleon 6

I think the sculpt on the Alex puppet looks better than the sculpt on Ghaleon here. ¬†(Though maybe it doesn’t look as good in person? ¬†Anyone know anyone who’s got one?)

Ghaleon 7

This, btw, is about what it was like to read one of Working Designs’ strategy guides. ¬†I was very disappointed when I first read a non-Working Designs strategy guide, and found out they were entirely straight-forward and humorless. ¬†(These days, of course, I don’t even bother with strategy guides. ¬†It’s rare that I find a boss fight¬†that challenging, and when I do, I just go to GameFAQs like everyone else. ūüėõ ¬†But back when I was first starting out…)

If you’d like to check out the “G for Ghaleon” gallery, it’s here. ¬†If not (or even if so), I’ll be back tomorrow with “H is for [spoiler deleted]”. ūüėõ

To rectify the silence

It’s been almost a week since I posted anything. ¬†(On this blog, anyway.) ¬†I feel rather badly about that. ¬†It’s not that I don’t have anything to post about; it’s that I haven’t been able to get any pictures taken, what with one thing and another. ¬†(Mostly, I don’t seem to have time during daylight, and this place is awful for night photography.)

Anyway, I wanted to post¬†something, so I dug around on the hard drive of this computer and found some old photos of a couple of my PlayArts figures. ¬†At the time, I’m pretty sure I had a dialog in mind to go along with these pictures, but I no longer remember what it was. ¬†(Basically, I think it was about Rikku’s earnest friendliness, and Paine’s reluctance to open up. ¬†Which probably means it was before the game, but…I don’t really remember anymore. ¬†That’s why I should write these things down…)

So, here are some now-random photos of the PlayArts figures of Rikku and Paine from Final Fantasy X-2.

Though this was the first photo taken, I think it was actually supposed to be the last in the conversation...but I'm not sure.
Though this was the first photo taken, I think it was actually supposed to be the last in the conversation…but I’m not sure.
RP 2
According to the timestamp on the files, these photos are 3 years old! No wonder I don’t remember the accompanying dialog…
Rikku's Al Bhed eyes don't work very well on the figure...
Rikku’s Al Bhed eyes don’t work very well on the figure…
When she's in focus, it's clear Paine is not actually looking at Rikku...
When she’s in focus, it’s clear Paine is not actually looking at Rikku…though she was¬†supposed to be looking at her.

I wish I could say my photography skills have gotten better in the three years since I took these photos…

…but I think they’ve actually gotten¬†worse.

I gotta do something about that.

.

..

Uh, anyway, changing the subject dramatically, I’ve decided to put off buying a Lammily and the three new types of Barbie bodies. ¬†And why, you may ask? ¬†Well, because when I went to look at Mattel’s online store, I found that most of the Barbies I wanted with the new body types were listed as either “pre-order” or “coming soon” and when I went to the Lammily site, I found that they’re adding a new doll in May. ¬†So I’m definitely waiting at least until the Barbies have moved from “coming soon” to “in stock” and I may or may not wait for the new Lammily. ¬†(I’ll have to take a closer look at the difference in the faces, and the hairstyle of the new one, who is either African-American or actually from Africa. ¬†(Not sure which; I didn’t really read any of the text on her page other than the release date…) ¬†Plus May is pretty far off; I don’t think even the “coming soon” Barbies were going to take that long.)

If I can ever have free time while the sun is out, I have a lot of photography to do, though. ¬†I’ve got some new resin stuff, and Barbara has new shoes, and Pyrrha has a new dress, and…well, actually that’s most of it. ¬†(Apart from the fact that I still intend to open that Vampire Princess Miyu doll. ¬†Oh, and I still want to take photos of my Monster High Greek myth-inspired OCs.)

Full Action Doll Series (x 2)

You may (or may not) recall that a while back I said I had another Mandarake order pending. ¬†Technically, it was two orders, but only one went through. ¬†The way it works when you order from Mandarake is that they’ll send you an e-mail a few days later with an invoice, after they’ve checked that they still have the item in stock, because everything on sale on their web site is also out on the floor of one of their shops. ¬†(With a few exceptions.) ¬†And if you’re ordering from two of the shop locations, you have to make two orders (which is kind of annoying, if I’m being honest) and so I ended up making two orders, one I really wanted, and the other more of a “yeah, those’d be nice, too” type order.

Guess which one got the “sorry, we sold those” e-mail?

Yep, the one I really wanted.  (Naturally.)

Both orders had two dolls in them. ¬†The order that got cancelled had a doll of Hikaru from¬†Magic Knights Rayearth to go with the Fuu doll I got from Mandarake earlier, and had a Petworks doll called Odeko-chan. ¬†The latter is a doll I’m not entirely familiar with (she’s paired with an anthropomorphic cat doll called Nikki) but the pictures all look quite cute, a bit reminiscent of Azone’s Kikipop dolls, only not¬†quite as cute, a bit less distinctive, and definitely less poseable. ¬†Since Odeko-chan is cheaper than Kikipop, and this particular Odeko-chan was much cheaper than usual, I thought she was a good choice to see what I thought of the line. ¬†Apparently, someone else had a similar thought.

Anyway, enough about what I wasn’t able to get! ¬†I want to show you the two dolls I¬†did get! ¬†As with both other Mandarake orders, it managed to arrive when I wasn’t at home, so I had to go pick it up at the post office. ¬†(How does that keep happening?) ¬†Then I ended up opening the package at my brother’s place, because I picked it up on the way to his place to finally get the pilot of season two of¬†Agent Carter watched. ¬†(There are, sometimes, down sides to not having television at home.)

Anyway, to make a long story short (too late!), both dolls are tie-ins, one to an anime, and one to a video game…though the game’s never been translated into English, so I primarily know the character from the anime adapation. ¬†But we’ll start with the former doll, because I have fewer pictures, as she’s still in box at the moment.

Full Action Doll Series 1

Miyu, the title character from the anime¬†Vampire Princess Miyu. ¬†Fortunately, this is the TV version of Miyu, who’s good, rather than the OVA Miyu, who’s actually somewhat evil. ¬†(Which isn’t to say that I dislike the OVA. ¬†It’s just very different.) ¬†Part of me wants to re-body her, as this body looks a bit too adult for the teenage(-looking) Miyu. ¬†I have no idea what body would be appropriate, though, or how difficult the process might be, so that’s unlikely to actually happen. ¬†(Also, I’d need to figure out who to give her body to, ’cause these bodies are actually pretty neat…) ¬†Of course, I’d be a little more eager to get her deboxed if her hair was made of, you know,¬†hair instead of¬†plastic. ¬†(Or maybe it’s vinyl.)

Full Action Doll Series 4

Another reason to leave her in her box is that ribbon. ¬†The idea of trying to get it tied correctly around her feet gives me the jibblies. ¬†BTW, see the way her hand is tilted out to the side like that? ¬†That’s because it’s crazy loose. ¬†It was literally flopping around in there as I was tilting the box from side to side. ¬†Not good.

Full Action Doll Series 5

She even comes with her flute! ¬†Just looking at this thing makes me think of the flute solo at the start of the show’s opening credits…

Anyway, moving on to the other doll…

This girl is all leg.
This girl is all leg.

Keep in mind, the two boxes are the same size! ¬†That’s how tall Kanna here is. ¬†She’s one of the two¬†Sakura Wars characters who really stand out to me as being cool and interesting. ¬†(I already got a doll of the other one…and while Kohran reminded me of Lucca from Chrono Trigger, Kanna reminds me of Ronnie Bell from Suikoden II and her daughter¬†Emily from Suikoden III.) ¬†Naturally, since her hair was a disaster in the box, and her head was mostly hidden behind the top of the box, I had no¬†choice but to debox her.

Full Action Doll Series 10

Getting that ribbon tied around her forehead was¬†really difficult. ¬†I wish I could show you some of how she’s assembled under her clothes, but when I was trying to get her shirt off to check out her joints, I seem to have broken her elbow. ūüė¶ ¬†(That’s why that arm is just hanging straight like that. ¬†I didn’t want it to fall off again.) ¬†She’s built in a very interesting way: ¬†there’s a rubbery skin over her torso and her legs, hiding her joints from view. ¬†Unfortunately, her tight pants¬†really don’t like moving up and down along that rubbery surface, so taking those off to show you how the leg joints are hidden wasn’t really a good option. ¬†(A good reason I’m tempted to open Miyu after all…) ¬†The one down side, to my mind, about the rubbery skin on her torso to hide her torso joint is that they gave her defined nipples. ¬†I mean…why? ¬†It’s not like they were going to show through her clothes!

Anyway, due to her broken elbow, I didn’t want to try posing her at all, so I’m not sure how flexible her various joints are. ¬†(Another reason to open Miyu…)

Full Action Doll Series 11
Facial close-up

I could swear the page showed a different face, one with an open-mouthed smile. ¬†I wonder if I’m going crazy or what? ¬†Anyway, her eyes look a little wonky, but overall she looks pretty cool.

How she looks in the game/anime
How she looks in the game/anime (c) Sega / KŇćsuke Fujishima

Comparing the original version and the doll like that, I’m noticing that her tie is too short on the doll. ¬†Also that her hair is a messy disaster, but I knew that without the comparison. ūüėõ

Now, Kanna is used to towering over her comrades/co-stars (which is why she always had to play the male roles in their Takarazuka-style revue), but I think this Kanna must feel even more out of place for being so tall…

Full Action Doll Series 12

She’s taller that Taeyang! ¬†Despite that, she’s doubtless considered a 1/6 scale doll. ¬†In fact, all of these dolls (apart from Madra and Emma) are 1/6 scale, yet look how different in size they are! ¬†Made to Move Lea¬†looks tiny by comparison, yet if I’d included Monster High and Ever After High in there…

1/6 scale is actually very diverse in terms of size, huh?

Anyway, hopefully I’ll have more posts over the weekend, since I won’t be at the museum due to Mardi Gras. ¬†(Oh, wait, Sundays are silent now. ¬†Rats. ¬†Well, I can pre-write and have it go up on Monday…) ¬†Juliet’s new wigs arrived today, but they look tiny. ¬†I hope they don’t become Hayley-only like the last one! ¬†(They shouldn’t! ¬†They were being sold as Pullip wigs, and modeled on Pullips! ¬†It would be absurd if they only fit Dals…and I’d need more Dals without permanent hair if I suddenly had four Dal-only wigs.) ¬†Also I took most of the photos for a themed post, but I accidentally left out one of the dolls for the theme, so I can’t post it until I have another photo shoot. ¬†But I should be able to do another one tomorrow, and maybe Barbara’s pretty new shoes will arrive by then!

Oh, before I forget!  The gallery for this post is here.

Shin Megami Tensei figurines

This is mostly about the figurines I got from Mandarake, but I’m going to start with the Persona 4 figurine of Yosuke that I got from AmiAmi. ¬†(The combination of me, credit cards and the Internet is a dangerous one for my bank account, clearly…)

Hanamura Yosuke
Yosuke Hanamura

Persona 4 is one of those rare games where I genuinely love the whole cast of player characters. ¬†Most RPGs have at least one character I don’t like, but I love all of the party members in Persona 4, and a lot of the NPCs, too. ¬†Yosuke fills very much the same role as Junpei in Persona 3 — the comedic character who quickly latches on to the hero as his new best friend — but he manages to be a deeper and more nuanced character than Junpei did. ¬†(Don’t get me wrong: ¬†I liked Junpei. ¬†But he does feel less than fully fleshed out.)

Yosuke 5

I think the look on his face here sums up Yosuke’s usual personality pretty well. ūüôā ¬†I was surprised to hear his voice when I first started playing¬†Persona 4 the Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena, however. ¬†I knew Shotaro Morikubo had done his voice — I think I saw that in the author’s comment on a scanslated doujinshi? — so I kind of went in expecting him to sound, well, like Orphen. ¬†‘Cause a lot of Morikubo’s characters sound that way. ¬†Instead, he had a lighter voice (very fitting for the character) that sounded more genuinely teenage than what I was expecting. ¬†I, uh, still haven’t played the second half yet. ¬†(I can’t help it; I’m not much of a fan of fighting games. ¬†Besides, the explanation I came up with tied back to the PS1¬†Persona games, and I just know the one in the actual game won’t do that, so I’m sort of dreading it, ’cause it won’t be as cool.) ¬†Haven’t gotten past the first dance-off in Persona 4 Dancing All Night, either, but that’s mostly ’cause the controls are so crazy different from¬†Project Mirai that I want to finish up with that first, rather than bouncing back and forth between them and confusing my fingers.

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