Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Disney Infinity 3.0

It was one of the worst kept secrets ever; Disney Infinity’s next release had to be Star Wars.  The first game was all Disney and Pixar.  The second introduced Marvel into the mix.  Both games even included unlockable Star Wars items.  It was a no brainer that Star Wars would be involved in the next big game update.  Last week a German video game store blew the surprise big time by putting up the pre-order for Disney Infinity 3.0.  The whole world could see the new starter pack would include Anakin and Ashoka.  Disney Infinity’s own Youtube channel didn’t comment on the leak but promised big things for today. 



Now we have an official announcement and it came from Game Informer.  The video above shows early game footage and a large number of the figures to expect.   For those unfamiliar with how Infinity works there are two main play types; play sets and toy box.  Play sets are the story mode and are represented by a clear plastic game world piece.  Only figures that make sense in that world can be used in play sets.  So Iron Man is fine in the Avengers play set but Stitch is not.  This time around all of the Star Wars characters will be usable in every Star Wars era’s play sets.  Toy box mode lets you create anything you want and freely mix your characters.  You can also download other people’s creations and play through them.


Game Informer’s website also had some other interesting news.  Melee combat has been reworked and driving has also received a massive overhaul.  Races make up a big part of the toy boxes so that is a very good thing.  The new set will also include new Power Discs but they will not be blind packaged this time around.  There was no mention to how they are going to be sold or at what price point.

From the video and the article we know these figures are on their way.  I'm sure there will be more, but these were the ones announced so far.

Starter kit: Anakin and Ashoka
Original Trilogy Playset: Luke and Leia
Single Star Wars figures: Chewbacca, Han, Vader, Clone Wars Obi-Wan, Maul, Yoda
Force Awakens Playset and figures were announced but unnamed.
Marvel Playset and figures: Hulkbuster Iron Man and Ultron. 
Pixar’s Inside Out play set and figures: Joy, Disgust, Anger, Fear, and Sadness.
Disney figures: Classic Mickey Mouse, Classic Minnie Mouse,  Sam Flynn (Tron), Quorra (Tron), Mulan, Olaf.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Marvel Puzzle Quest

Lately I’ve been playing a lot of Grand Theft Auto on the Xbox One.  It took me a while to pick up the game because I was so bored by the last one that I never finished it.  The new one has me sucked into both the single player version and the multiplayer.  But it is not the game that I’ve spend the most time with.  No, that honor goes to Marvel Puzzle Quest.  When I’m walking around with my phone at 22% charged it’s because of this game.


Available on iOS, Android, and PC Marvel Puzzle Quest is one of those freemium games that actually works.  MPQ is a continuation of the Puzzle Quest series.  I had the original Puzzle Quest on my Xbox 360 and spent hours upon hours playing it.  The concept was simple, it looked like any other jewel matching game but it threw in RPG elements.  You had a character with different abilities.  All of these spells and powers cost colored points.  The only way to get these points was to match gems of that color.  Added to that, each match and power would cause damage to your opponent and vice versa.


Marvel’s version is very similar but instead of only having one hero though put together teams of three.  Each of the characters has their own powers and finding a group that works well together is part of the fun.  As you play you unlock random packs that give you more characters to use.  You can use real money to purchase more random packs and to purchase my space on your roster, but it isn’t a crippling pay wall. 


 The game is constantly getting new character updates too.  The randomness of the rewards can be frustrating at times but the game is a lot of fun.  While I did say earlier that the game doesn’t require you to pay, I did want to mention I have purchased some of the Hero coins.  I felt it was the best way to show support to the game that has captured so much of my attention.  The coins went to expanding my roster slots; I have to be ready for when I eventually pull a Luke Cage cover.  I feel like already having Iron Fist should increase my chances for a Cage.

Friday, March 27, 2015

GTA Online - The Warriors

The Warriors is one of my favorite movies ever, so any time I stumble across something celebrating the movie I always excited.  The video below was made by the Youtube channel GTA Series Videos. They used Grand Theft Auto Online to recreate the intro, ending, and a number of memorable scenes from the movie.  It is a fantastic job and I can't imagine how long it must have taken.


Obviously some of the likenesses are off, but I don't think GTA Online has that many 70's hair styles loaded into it.  My only real complaint is they used some of the crappy director's cut material.  The video is amazing though and is really worth the 8+ minutes it takes to watch it.  It makes me want to both watch the Warriors again and give GTA Online a try.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dragon Age Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon

Yesterday PC and XboxOne users were able to download the first real single player DLC for Dragon Age Inquisition.  Titled Jaws of Hakkon this add-on has you searching a new area for clue to the final resting place of the last Inquisitor.  The trailer happily shows you some beautiful new snowy areas to explore and also has a new dragon to fight.  The price on Jaws of Hakkon is 15 dollars.


I haven’t had a chance to download it myself but I was paying attention to the initial impressions.  If you’re a fan of Dragon Age Lore, you’re going to like this.  The zone is meant for characters in the 20+ level range and can be accessed both before and after beating the game.  Of course there is a bunch of new schematics and gear to use.  If you’re a fan of scout Harding, she is back and apparently has a bit of a larger role.  So for those keeping track: new area, new fetch quests, new lore, more Harding, and new enemies. 


If you’re looking for big explanation of the game’s final scene, it isn’t happening here.  If you’re looking for a Citadel style send off where you party with all your companions, it isn’t happening here.  I’m looking forward to playing it, but it isn’t enough to push to the top of my gaming pile right now.  No word yet on when this timed exclusive will make it to the other consoles.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

BJ and the Bear Thunder Roller

Before fully getting into today’s topic I feel the need to explain a little bit.  Since the Mallrats lines, “Why don't they ever bring back or remake good shows, like BJ and the Bear.  Now there's a concept I can't get enough of, a man and his monkey.” I feel like the show has become a one note joke.  I honestly love the show.  I picked up a horrible quality bootleg years ago and have watched every grainy episode.  It’s pure 80's cheese in every way, shape, and form. Again this is said in a non-ironic way, even the theme song makes me happy.


While I had a toy of BJ’s semi when I was a kid, I have no idea what ever happened to my toy cars after I grew up.  I wanted that big red rig to sit on my shelf though, so I kept an open search on eBay.  I’m not the only one out there for a soft spot for Greg Evigan, those toys were expensive.  Expensive enough that I never pulled the trigger and ordered one.  I hadn’t been on ebay for a couple months so when I returned last week I was amazed at all the red trucks on my search page.


I don’t pay attention to the toy car market.  I had a worker at Toys R Us tell me that the local action figure collectors had nothing on their toy car guys.  Just like anything else, there is apparently a huge obsessive market.  So I missed that Hot Wheels had released a BJ and the Bear truck.  I quickly checked the stores around me and came up completely empty.  Instead of doing a circuit of stores every week I decided to just order the truck on eBay.



There isn’t a whole lot to say about the toy itself.  The paint job is accurate to the show.  Under the driver’s window it even has the Billy Joe McKay scripting.  The packaging is basic, clean, and has a bit of a retro feel to it.  The only thing that may be confusing is it is sold as a Thunder Roller.  The Thunder Roller is just the name of Hot Wheels’ Kenworth K-100 cab over semi truck.  It’s a model they’ve been using since 1983 and has multiple different color variations.  If you’re a fan of truckers with a heart of gold you should track one down.  I’m going to go dig out my bootlegs.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hasbro Chopper

My house is all aboard the Star Wars Rebel train.  To be honest it is a little too Jedi centric for my tastes.  I don't think the series really needed a Jedi, being named Rebels and all that but people got to have their laser swords or it isn't Star Wars to them.  Much like the Clone Wars the first season has some rocky episodes.  The series did hit its stride though and the last couple of episodes were really fantastic.  It’s interesting that to keep a Star Wars feel the designs take a lot of influence from the original Ralph McQuarrie art.  That includes the design of the group’s astromech Chopper.  Those little arms on his head are straight out of the R2 concept designs.


Chopper is rude, violent, and easily my favorite character on the show.  That’s not really surprising knowing my love for astromechs.  I said he was rude but I left out that he was an asshole.  I don't think that's an exaggeration either.   I haven’t bought a normal Star Wars figure in years, but I really wanted a Chopper to sit on my astromech shelf.  I figured it would be an easy find in the store.  I mean when was the last time it was difficult to find Star Wars toys?  I started looking right after watching the pilot.  They weren’t on the shelves yet.   I thought the show was just too new and they had to be coming soon.  That was around November/December in 2014.


It’s been months.  The Star Wars shelves in the stores are still an odd sight.  There are handfuls of Zeb and Stormtrooper two packs mixed in with the C-3PO and R2 two packs.  The Star Wars black series seems to be just collecting dust,  Chopper is still nowhere to be found.  I’ve checked all of the stores in my area and they are all the same.  I know I’m not the only one in this situation because Chopper figures are going for over 30 dollars on eBay.  I really want one of his figures but I don’t 30 dollars want one.  Recently a new wave of Classic and Rebels figures are hitting the shelves.  More Ezras and even an Inquisitor were on the pegs the last time I looked.  Hopefully that means that more Choppers are on their way. 



BTW I didn’t have a problem getting a Lego version of Chopper, but that’s a story for different day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

YT-2000 Microfighter

When I think about Star Wars I’m drawn to three things; the pilots/starfighters, the crime, and astromech droids.  I might enjoy some of the other elements but the ones listed above are my favorite.  Pilots/starfighters and astromechs are easy to explain.  I like watching X-Wings flying through swarms of TIE fighters.  The astromechs tie into my love for the X-Wing.  The crime bit is a bit larger though.  I love that Star Wars is dirty.  Bounty Hunters, assassins, crime lords, and the Smuggler’s Moon are exciting.  Because of that I not only have a favorite starfighter but I also have a favorite light freighter, the YT-2000.


The YT-2000 was introduced in the 1999 computer game X-Wing Alliance and is used as the main character’s personal transport.  It shares a lot of its look with the Millennium Falcon (a YT-1300) but most YT freighters in Star Wars have pretty similar looking parts.  The 2000 is supposed to be a later model than the Falcon and the main feature difference is the cockpit is now centered on the ship instead of being off to one side.  I always wanted some kind of model or toy of the 2000 but it never happened.  I would have even been happy with a Micromachine.  


In 2014 Lego launched a new line of Star Wars Microfighters; squat little ships that fit one figure and generally trade realism for cuteness.  I ended up picking up a couple of the first wave, including the Millennium Falcon.  It was a great little set, but every time I looked at it I couldn’t help wishing I had a YT-2000 instead.  Thankfully with Lego you can build anything you want as long as you have the bricks. 


Instead of modifying my first Falcon set I actually bought a second one.  Once I had all the pieces in front of me I realized that the modifications I wanted to do would require parts that didn’t come in the box.  Not a problem I thought, I had more than enough Lego in my house.  That turned out not to be true; I had lots of Lego bricks, just not the specific ones I needed.  I ended up going onto Bricklink and ordering the ones I needed.  Once I had the parts it quickly fell into place.  I also had to adjust the turret so I wouldn't shoot the pilot in the back in the head.


I should have squared off the back engines a little.  I was worried that if I did so the ship would end up being even longer.  The end result already ended up a little longer and bulkier than the Falcon, but I figured that was okay.  The 2000 is a little larger than the 1300 anyway.  I dropped a custom smuggler into the pilot seat and called the project finished.  I’m happy with the way it turned out and it was an inexpensive way to make a model of my favorite Star Wars freighter.

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