Toy: 1/144 Daizengar model kit

daizengar_kit1.jpgI meant to cover this earlier but I’ve been somewhat distracted with lots of toy and games shopping since I came back to Japan.

Now when I say “1/144″ scale “model kit”, I’m not really describing that properly. This Daizengar is almost 40cm tall and is, to all intents and purposes, a kit based toy. Once assembled you can actually wield its sword as a viable melee weapon. It also comes with a selection of LED’s and sound FX kit, so it’s also pretty gimmick ridden. I’ve seen this puppy in the flesh and it’s rather awe inspiring, having completed Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 and seeing something this large actually given the proper plamo treatment is just plain lovely.

Unfortunately, it’s far from cheap. It retails at around 31,000 yen in most places but you can nab it for around 29,800 yen online. The shipping will also be rather fantastic, as the box is so big it requires its own handle. For those that don’t what to build something this large (and expensive!) a Soul of Chogokin toy is also on the way. The latter will mark the first time an OG mecha has been given the Tamashii treatment.

News: Akiba Pro Wrestling

akiba.jpg Noted wallower in otaku culture, sometimes Famitsu contributor and all the time professional wrestler Kikutaro (livedoor / myspace) has a group called Akiba Pro Wrestling that recently promoted a show at Tokyo’s Differ Ariake with support from a bunch of comic and game publishers, including Capcom and Konami. So that means wrestling matches featuring Street Fighter IV and Metal Gear Solid 4 characters. Ryu, Balrog and El Fuerte fought some guys, while vaguely militaristic Metal Gear types pulled airsoft rifles and talked on communications screens in the main event. You can click those links for lengthy blow-by-blow reports. I was really excited when I saw that Balrog would be appearing, until I remembered in Japan he’s not the gigaton punch guy.

News: Yuji Naka interview

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Gamasutra has just posted an interview I did at TGS with Yuji Naka – it begins with an introduction, because I feel people have misunderstood him lately, and in my (admittedly limited) interactions with him I feel he didn’t get a fair shake. The big regret here is that I didn’t ask anything about the Let’s Tap song. That’s the one question I went in wanting to ask, and I completely blanked on it. Thanks to Kevin Gifford for the post-interview translation help.

News: Videogame ringtones (and wallpapers)

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NFG has posted about 40 ringtones based on videogame themes, in MP3 form. They all loop properly and everything! A number of them, like the intros or stage finishes, are more appropriate for texts or notifications. If I used ringtones ever, I would certainly use these, but unfortunately I find any ringtone of any kind to be utterly obnoxious, and have my phone set to vibrate. Still, I’d rather hear Yuri’s Art of Fighting stage than Snap and Roll. Although I have to admit I kind of like Snap and Roll.

Update: NFG and Deusjester, among others, have put up some game-related phone wallpapers as well. Check the forums for that. Be warned that NFG’s links are not necessarily work-safe!

News: Gackt’s latest game: Bounty Killer

bountykiller.jpgI’ve been holding on to this one for some time – Gackt’s newest game collaboration, Bounty Killer. It’s been released on PS3, which is how it got my attention initially. I looked at Yamasa’s official site for the release, and thought that handsome avatar looked a bit familiar. And indeed, it’s the man himself. Sure, he may have gotten a little less awesome musically of late, but his commitment to being a super-hot super-nerd has not relented. This is his fourth videogame appearance by my count, after Bujingai (which I liked), Dirge of Cerberus, and Crisis Core: FFVII. He also lent his voice to a Hatsune Miku-style Vocaloid called Gackpoid. See an example here, and be sure to watch in high quality, because it’s pretty awesome (and here‘s another).

But back to the game at hand, Bounty Killer. This one is unique in that for the first time, he’s not just lending his likeness – he’s also the sound producer. According to his comment page, he contributed one song, called “Justified” – and maybe “supervised” the rest. And whoever composed the rest of the music seems to have been inspired by Gackt’s old legacy, as the song on the original game’s page is clearly an homage to his Malice Mizer days, and could easily be an intro to one of their songs. Unfortunately, all this excitement is just for a pachislot game. Quite distressing, in the end. They’re really milking this though – there are even wrist bands and key rings you can buy. As an aside, the pachinko parlor just two blocks from tim‘s house actually has one of these advertised out front – but I didn’t venture inside to try it. I do regret it.

Youtube: Joypolis themes

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Sega has done roughly one krillion commercials for the Joypolis amusement center. You can see them here. It’s maybe the worst song ever created, and will absolutely get stuck in your head and make you feel terrible. Please enjoy. This is probably the most entertaining one. Thanks to Persona for the link.

Update: Thanks also to bashcraft for noting that the singer is Nezumi Senpei, which I neglected to mention.

News: Mother 3 translator interview

Gamasutra has an interview up with the fan translator of Mother 3. It got over 100,000 official downloads, not counting all the inevitable sharing and pre-patched roms that must be floating around. Interesting to read about a guy doing this both for a living and for himself. Translating and naturalization is actually his day job, but he still works on projects like these just so people can play them. Pretty impressive.

News: Counter Force versus Ex Zeus info blowout

exzeus.jpgCounter Force was released on the Wii by Conspiracy some time ago, and is a port of the Naomi arcade rail shooter Ex Zeus by French company Hyper Devbox Japan. This fellow talked about it a fair bit, and then went on to do some research – which you can find in the forums. There, we discover that the for some reason the European PS2 port of the game was supervised by Treasure, as seen in this interview. So there you go – all you ever wanted to know. The image is from the PS2 port, incidentally.

Youtube: Shaman King: Spirit of Shamans combos

shamanking.jpgIn random browsing, I discovered that someone has done a combo exhibition for the PSone fighter Shaman King: Spirit of Shamans, which you can view here. The visual quality is low, and I can take or leave Do as Infinity at this point, but not many have played this game, so it’s still neat to watch. The creator of this video has several other combo videos of lower-tier or licensed fighting games from the early 3D days if you’re keen to browse. Most are hosted on Niconico.