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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Household Figurine Entry 7

As you may know, when it comes to video gaming related figurines, I definitely prefer the Skylanders compared to the amiibos. In this series of entries, I want to showcase the figurines the husband and I have around the house that are not video game related. I will picture them with a Skylander figurine standing next to them just to put some perspectives on the whole subject. No analysis will be provided for these featured figurines as this is just meant to display their own projected beauty. Today's featured showcase is... The Glass Cats!

Meow max.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Steam Going Hyperdimension

I was quite shocked but very pleased today when I saw that Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 was released on Steam. Now if there is one genre that is severely lacking on Steam, it would be the Japanese Role Playing Games and I believe we can thank Square Enix for their Steam release of Final Fantasy XIII that triggered what could be a new trend in the forever growing gaming market on Valve's digital distribution channel. Though this game is hardly a shining example for the genre - I remember playing the sequel on the PlayStation 3 and thought it was mediocre - this is a release that must be supported by the Steam community if we are to see more of these kind of games being available on the platform. Thank you Idea Factory for releasing this game on Steam!

Another monumental Steam release. It has a 50% off introductory price discount too!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Twitch Profile of the Demented

I have been on Twitch for a long time and one of the things that I like doing when watching other channels is reading up on the broadcaster profile descriptions and then using that information to interact with the broadcaster. What I have noticed however is that plenty of people don't bother reading the profile whatsoever. I myself used to have a robust description about who I am and what I am about. Since nobody seems to care about that stuff, I took the liberty to just have fun with the profile page and here is the result of my experimentation:

I am quite happy with this.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Non-Origin Game Time Returns!

Ever since Electronic Arts' Origin stopped counting non-Origin, non-Steam gameplay time early last year, I had moved the shortcuts for those games to Steam. I waited for a long time for them to fix this problem but after checking for one last time on June 24th of last year, I just gave up and had forgotten about the situation. When I suddenly recalled about the issue today, I decided to add League of Legends back to Origin to see if EA finally did the right thing and to my surprise, they did! So I am moving these games back to Origin since I don't know why Steam still doesn't have this feature implemented to the Steam client. Welcome back to my good graces, Origin! You started 2015 off on a good note!

The previous accumulated time of 800+ hours is gone but at least the feature is back!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Household Figurine Entry 6

As you may know, when it comes to video gaming related figurines, I definitely prefer the Skylanders compared to the amiibos. In this series of entries, I want to showcase the figurines the husband and I have around the house that are not video game related. I will picture them with a Skylander figurine standing next to them just to put some perspectives on the whole subject. No analysis will be provided for these featured figurines as this is just meant to display their own projected beauty. Today's featured showcase is... The Kissing Fish!

Water-based figurines unite!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Games Played 01/19/2015 - 01/25/2015

 - 01/19/2015 -
Demigod - PC
League of Legends - PC
Power-Up - PC
Skylanders Trap Team - PlayStation 4
SingStar Rocks! - PlayStation 2

- 01/20/2015 -
Demigod - PC
Hangeki - PC

- 01/21/2015 -
Audiosurf 2 Early Access - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 01/22/2015 -
Fieldrunners - PC
Fieldrunners 2 - PC
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC

- 01/23/2015 -
Fieldrunners 2 - PC
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC
Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds - PC
Power-Up - PC
Super Galaxy Squadron - PC
Ziggurat - PC

- 01/24/2015 -
Audiosurf 2 Early Access - PC
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd - PlayStation 3
Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds - PC
Resident Evil/biohazard HD Remaster - PC
Super Galaxy Squadron - PC

- 01/25/2015 -
League of Legends - PC
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd - PlayStation 3
Resident Evil/biohazard HD Remaster - PC
TinyKeep - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Best game face 2015.
Resident Evil/biohazard HD Remaster (Personal Computer)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Random Gaming Moment

Even after all these years, this game still manages to be incredibly creepy.
Resident Evil/biohazard HD Remaster (Personal Computer)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Household Figurine Entry 5

As you may know, when it comes to video gaming related figurines, I definitely prefer the Skylanders compared to the amiibos. In this series of entries, I want to showcase the figurines the husband and I have around the house that are not video game related. I will picture them with a Skylander figurine standing next to them just to put some perspectives on the whole subject. No analysis will be provided for these featured figurines as this is just meant to display their own projected beauty. Today's featured showcase is... The Statue of Liberty!

Freedom for all of Skylands!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Household Figurine Entry 4

As you may know, when it comes to video gaming related figurines, I definitely prefer the Skylanders compared to the amiibos. In this series of entries, I want to showcase the figurines the husband and I have around the house that are not video game related. I will picture them with a Skylander figurine standing next to them just to put some perspectives on the whole subject. No analysis will be provided for these featured figurines as this is just meant to display their own projected beauty. Today's featured showcase is... The Mariachi Twins!

It wouldn't be a party without the twins!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Random Game Room Moment

Got to love what's already here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Splitting Console/PC Broadcasting Apart

If you have ever visited my Twitch channel or even taken a glimpse of it through the embed video on this website, you probably would have noticed that I haven't found much success in broadcasting on Twitch. It's nothing that I am ashamed of. As a matter of fact, it's the butt of a running joke that my husband likes to throw my way quite often. Sure, I have the 2-3 regulars whom I have made some connection with on Twitch who would once in a blue moon show up and chat with me while I am broadcasting but that is pretty much the extent of my broadcasting victories. I couldn't even get my husband to come to the channel and pretend to watch me and that does hurt sometimes. Still, I use Twitch mainly as a convenient gameplay recorder so that I can highlight special moments from my gaming sessions but it's always truthful for me to still admit that I do get discouraged over the fact that I am unable to make more connections there. This is why it was easy for me to decide that starting today I will only be broadcasting my PC gameplay via Steam Broadcasting, now that the feature is available for everyone on the live Steam client. I don't expect to get any viewers whatsoever by doing this switch since I don't have close friends even on Steam but at least it's broadcasting made simple. I spend a majority of my gameplay time on the PC so this will just make things more convenient for me. I don't care about spending the upload bandwidth to Twitch before but I also like the idea that if no one is interested to see me doing my thing, then my Steam Broadcast won't even go live until someone actually decided to watch it. This doesn't mean that I am closing down my Twitch channel. I will still be using Twitch whenever I play my console games. And yeah, I still like to watch others broadcast on Twitch: to interact with them, to make them smile. I just could never grasp the formula that would allow others to do the same for me.

You may never see me rise to the top of the list but feel free to stop by anytime.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Random Game Room Moment

Just found this poster in the game's physical retail box and now it's up on the wall.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Games Played 01/12/2015 - 01/18/2015

- 01/12/2015 -

- 01/13/2015 -
Audiosurf 2 Early Access - PC
League of Legends - PC
Skylanders Trap Team - PlayStation 4

- 01/14/2015 -
Dota 2 - PC
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC

- 01/15/2015 -
Dota 2 - PC

- 01/16/2015 -
Dota 2 - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 01/17/2015 -
Dota 2 - PC
League of Legends - PC
Power-Up - PC
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U - Wii U

- 01/18/2015 -
League of Legends - PC
Power-Up - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

Powered-up boss beam of awesome death.
Power-Up (Personal Computer)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Skylanders vs. amiibo Go!

I was shopping at Target with the husband not too long ago and of course while we were in there, I had to take that little detour to the electronics department. I found myself perusing the amiibo and Skylanders figurines that they have available, hoping that I would find one of those rare amiibos or the Kaos Trap hidden somewhere on the display shelves. I didn't find those unfortunately but the husband noticed that I was really looking at these figurines and offered to get me just one - a Skylander or an amiibo! I was thinking about getting the Zelda amiibo but they have this ugly purple cast on one foot. It wasn't that difficult of a choice so at the end I got a Skylander, of course! Thanks honey!

It's Fist Bump! Isn't he adorable?

Household Figurine Entry 3

As you may know, when it comes to video gaming related figurines, I definitely prefer the Skylanders compared to the amiibos. In this series of entries, I want to showcase the figurines the husband and I have around the house that are not video game related. I will picture them with a Skylander figurine standing next to them just to put some perspectives on the whole subject. No analysis will be provided for these featured figurines as this is just meant to display their own projected beauty. Today's featured showcase is... The Komainu Brothers!

I suppose they could be related to Wildfire...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

Household Figurine Entry 2

As you may know, when it comes to video gaming related figurines, I definitely prefer the Skylanders compared to the amiibos. In this series of entries, I want to showcase the figurines the husband and I have around the house that are not video game related. I will picture them with a Skylander figurine standing next to them just to put some perspectives on the whole subject. No analysis will be provided for these featured figurines as this is just meant to display their own projected beauty. Today's featured showcase is... The Kimono Lady!

Grace over savagery.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Game Room Reshuffle

My back is hurting a little bit - oh galaxy, I am getting old - for I have been reshuffling things in my Game Room for the most part of my free time today. What promoted this really is my ever-growing figurine collection, specifically from the Skylanders series so I just wanted to create more space to accommodate them. I surprised myself however with how much room I was able to open up by simply moving the one media cabinet I have placed on the right corner in the front of my Game Room. Here are some pictures from today's reshuffle:

Before: One cabinet ruled this corner.

After: I regained so much space here.

Before: This is the left corner in the back of the room.

After: This is where that one cabinet got moved to.

I had to pull all these PlayStation 3 games out of the cabinet for the move.

It took a while to get these PlayStation Portable games back into the cabinet.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Three amiibos

I received three more of Nintendo's amiibo figurines today and this time, Princess Peach is included! Oh the horror! I would always do my best to be fair when analyzing everything so even though my initial reaction to the Peach amiibo was less than desirable, now that I have this thing sitting in front of me, I have to give it another chance to impress or if not that, repulse me:

My amiibo collection is growing.

Now the best out of these three is definitely the Yoshi amiibo. It's pretty much the pitch perfect representation of the character, captured in mid walk as he turns his head to the side. The Donkey Kong amiibo is pretty cool too. I especially love the energetic pose and the way the tie is suspended in mid air compliments the overall look. The only problem with this amiibo is that it looks like Donkey Kong is sitting on the porcelain throne... I just don't get why they have to place a really huge chunk of grey support base right on his buttocks. The person who came up with that solution is apparently not very smart. Now for the main event: Peach! Now this is the way you add a support stand on an amiibo. There's a clear pole right behind her legs that helps this amiibo float in the air and even if you look at it closely, it's easy to think that it's just the base of some sort of fancy royal crystal chair that Peach is sitting on. I like her dainty pose with that left hand extended - I guess she is left handed? - as if she is reaching out for your hand. Her layered dress looks exquisite with plenty of little details. Like Samus, she looks really small however. And then we get to her face...

Oh my galaxy... That face.

Okay, she is not as hideous when you turn her face to stare at you straight on but yes, it's still looking rather peculiar. It's obvious that the head was just not shaped properly. Her jaw needed to be shortened while her face needed a bit of an additional width to be able to convey the amiibo's original vision. So yes, after some careful investigation, there is definitely something wrong with her face still. Getting these new amiibos today reminded me that I need to jump back on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. I think I am more excited about unlocking the extra costumes in Mario Kart 8 than playing that game however.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Household Figurine Entry 1

As you may know, when it comes to video gaming related figurines, I definitely prefer the Skylanders compared to the amiibos. In this series of entries, I want to showcase the figurines the husband and I have around the house that are not video game related. I will picture them with a Skylander figurine standing next to them just to put some perspectives on the whole subject. No analysis will be provided for these featured figurines as this is just meant to display their own projected beauty. Today's featured showcase is... "Ebony Treasures"!

Rawr?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Games Played 01/05/2015 - 01/12/2015

- 01/05/2015 -
Fist of Jesus: The Bloody Gospel of Judas - PC
Saviors - PC

- 01/06/2015 -
Audiosurf 2 Early Access - PC
Dragon Age: Inquisition - PC
Fist of Jesus: The Bloody Gospel of Judas - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 01/07/2015 -
F1 Race Stars - PC
League of Legends - PC

- 01/08/2015 -
F1 Race Stars - PC
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd - PlayStation 3
Infamous: First Light - PlayStation 4
League of Legends - PC
Wii Fit U - Wii U

- 01/09/2015 -
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC
Mario Kart 8 - Wii U
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U - Wii U

- 01/10/2015 -
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - Wii U
League of Legends - PC
Skylanders Trap Team - PlayStation 4
Ultimate Shooting Collection - Wii
7 Wonders: Ancient Alien Makeover - PC

- 01/11/2015 -
Croixteur Sigma - PC
The Culling of the Cows - PC
League of Legends - PC
Nightmare from the Deep: The Cursed Heart - PC
QP Shooting - Dangerous!! - PC
Pixel Puzle: Japan - PC


Screenshot of the Week:

When all else fails, bring in the fat chicken!
QP Shooting - Dangerous!! (Personal Computer)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

ARAM Matches Help Me Exercise

I have been trying to get back into a workout routine since I stopped doing Yourself!Fitness in September of last year and I finally managed to get myself into one since Wednesday this week. I know that I have tried sticking with the treadmill several years ago but I think that I have found the formula to keep me going. While using the treadmill, I am now watching the Twitch broadcasts of League of Legends' ARAM matches on my iPad! An average ARAM match can last up to 30 minutes, which is the amount of time I am spending on the treadmill every night - that is with a day off on Saturday. Because of how involved I can get watching these matches, time would go by so fast every time I jumped on the treadmill though I would always be reminded of the physical activity involved in this whole process via the burning sensations on my thighs and that I float when I walk for the next half hour. I haven't missed a session yet so I am off to a good start! If I don't see any kind of results after two months though, I would probably be using this Kinect game that I got last Christmas:

If I can survive Yourself!Fitness, this one shouldn't be too bad.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Somewhat Real Manual on a Physical Copy?

The one thing that really surprised me yesterday when I received my copy of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is that it comes with a game manual. As you may know, game companies nowadays save money - while still charging you that ridiculous $59.99 or higher standard price on their games - on physical game distribution by eliminating the inclusion of instruction manuals. Why they just don't go full digital distribution is beyond me because Valve is just rolling in the dough with the Steam digital distribution platform. And we are not just talking about an instruction manual with only a few pages and this is definitely not one of those health warning inserts. What is included with the physcial copy of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is a full-fledged colorful instruction manual. Somewhat that is. The manual is thick but that is because it included the several language translations. If they just stuck with English there, well, it would have been rather thin. At least it's something right? I am sure that physical copy nuts are really happy about this. Just don't expect it to happen very often however or you will be very, very disappointed. And what about the game itself? Well, I actually got bored not even half hour into the game. There's no adventure mode and the amiibo integration was lackluster. I will definitely play the game more in the coming days but it looks like this is another case of Mario Kart 8 where the game contains too little and fails to innovate. I have to investigate closer but I believe the game even uses the exact same graphical assets from Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Nintendo Wii. Instead of polishing up the stages from the previous game, they pretty much just transferred everything directly, warts and all so some parts of the game look really bad. I thought Nintendo abandoned the original Wii because they wanted to embrace new technology. What a lie that turned out to be. Oh Nintendo, what are we going to do with you?


Instruction Manual Shock: 5 out of 5
First Impression of Game: 2 out of 5

Friday, January 9, 2015

amiibos: Cool but Overpriced

I received 4 amiibos by Nintendo today that marks yet another foray into figurine collecting for me, as if getting those pesky Skylanders is not bad enough. My first four amiibos didn't include the unfortunate Princess Peach, thank the galaxy: I got Luigi, Mario, Pikachu, and Samus. For something that retails at $12.99 each, they are a little too small. Though definitely more lovingly detailed, one of these amiibos look even smaller than some of my regular Skylanders. I would say that these things are definitely more reasonably priced at $9.99.

Samus and her Nintendo friends.

Samus and her Skylander... enemies?

Out of these four, Mario is definitely my absolute favorite and they seem to have put a lot of efforts into his amiibo figurine thanks to the textured denim overalls he's wearing and that streak of fancy fireball he's holding in his hand. Luigi would have been an epic amiibo figurine if not for that stupid transparent support that is unfortunately placed right on his crotch to hold him in that awkward but very striking position. Since my Samus seems to be slightly slanted to the left, it was a good idea then for them to install that stand for Luigi because one could only imagine what would happen to his amiibo during distribution from the assembling factory all the way down to the customers' hands. Speaking of Samus, she does look quite incredible but she is also incredibly tiny. Apparently, all tall characters will encounter the same fate as this Samus figurine when they get turned into an amiibo, unlike those luckier, more rotund characters. As for Pikachu, well, he's just... Pikachu. He doesn't even give us a fancy pose as he's just standing there holding his belly and stealing our souls with his evil eyes.

amiibos on the Traptanium Portal? What kind of blasphemy is this?

I have yet to test these figurines in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U but I have used them to unlock new racing suits in Mario Kart 8. I just love seeing how the screen on the Wii U GamePad ripples from the bottom left side where the sensor is placed when you scan an amiibo: it looks very pretty and it is the perfect reactionary effect from using the amiibo. As a matter of fact, the ripple effect itself is definitely a lot more exciting than actually playing Mario Kart 8 but you already know how I feel about that game. Overall, I think these amiibo figurines are cool, a definite collector's dream but for me, I personally think that the Skylanders figurines are more special because of how they come alive on the screen and that they are the integral part of an actual gaming experience. I do like that these amiibos will find uses in future Nintendo titles but I don't see myself with a complete amiibo collection. I am definitely going to avoid amiibos that have ugly looking stands and to pay more than the already overpriced MSRP to score one of those suspiciously scarce amiibo figurines that should have been readily available in the marketplace? That's just a little too crazy.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Mystery Gift Reward from Riot Games

Riot Games has decided to bless League of Legends players who maintained a positive attitude in 2014 with a Mystery Gift after the end of the recent Snowdown event. I just received mine when I logged in less than half hour ago and it rolled the Jurassic Kog'Maw skin! Thank you Riot! It is certainly a cool skin though nothing can beat the perfection that is Monarch Kog'Maw that I have already unlocked back in 2011. I sure wish I got something for one of my skinless champions but of course that's just the luck of the draw. I really love that Riot is taking care of those who play this game without hurting others.

That message makes me want to keep playing the game!

It's Skylander Funny Bone's long distant cousin.

Random Game Room Moment

All of the Swap Force Skylanders are now placed on this old CD organizer.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Even F1 Race Stars Is Better than Mario Kart 8

As I have expressed in the past, I was so disappointed with Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U. It was shockingly dry, dull, uninspired, and just plain lazy. Even the first downloadable pack that I do have access to which includes new tracks and lame duplicate characters couldn't save the game from being just mediocre. The game is certainly not horrible but I was surprised to find out that I actually like F1 Race Stars better when I finally played that game again earlier today. Now F1RS is as basic as a kart game can get but its impressive, fantastical racing tracks, aggressive AI, and joyful spirit really made me feel like I was playing a really special game. I noticed that I had never even completed the game's career mode and now that I have tasted F1RS sweet gameplay again, I plan to get things done for sure. Before today, I always thought that Mario Kart 8 was the superior kart racer between the two. This proves to show that unless you replay the older games, you can never rule them out to be worse than any of the more recently released titles, even if those games are made by the likes of Nintendo.

F1RS may not have magnetic tracks but you still get to defy gravity big time.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hunting Down Trolls on Twitch

Using Twitch as an omnipresent gameplay recorder for highlight uploads to YouTube is convenient and it can also be fun sometimes when I get to interact live with like-minded gamers out there. But of course there are just too many really annoying people roaming the site as well, something that is of course not unheard of when we are talking about the Internet in general, and they eventually find my channel to land on and haunt on many occasions. Now it's easy enough to ignore things like personal insults or chat spamming but devastatingly game-breaking inaction like spoilers and back-seat gaming are harder to tackle. I believe that it's a power thing: people who have beaten a game or just a section of it think that other gamers cannot think for themselves thus they suck away all the possible enjoyment one may find succeeding in a game on one's own volition. So in a way, by doing their nasty deeds, these spoilers and backseat gamers then became the superior gamer who supposedly tackle the challenges by themselves and then spread their own prowess via their godly guides. Of course, all of those accolades, or delusions, just rest inside their own puny heads and though some people welcome their participation on the Twitch chat, I don't. If they do those things, I would just ban them from the channel but just like in League of Legends where I would place someone on chat mute as soon as they show signs of potential rudeness, I have now taken a proactive measure in ensuring that I won't get annoyed while I am enjoying my game which now always involve me broadcasting it on Twitch: When I visit other people's channels and notice someone backseat gaming and/or revealing spoilers to the games that the hosts are playing, I would then copy their names and ban them on my channel immediately. The thing here is of course, there are too many of these enjoyment vampires out there and these people that I have been banning proactively probably would never even show up on my channel to begin with but you know what? It makes me feel better. Until Steam Broadcasting allows gameplay recording, I will be still be on Twitch and I will do whatever I can to ensure that my gaming experience is not tainted.

This person kept telling the broadcaster what to do without his prompting.

Thus, into the ban list you go. Feel free to add him/her to yours.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Games Played 12/29/2014 - 01/04/2015

- 12/29/2014 -
Sacred 3 - PC

- 12/30/2014 -
Audiosurf 2 Early Access - PC
League of Legends - PC
Mass Effect - PC

- 12/31/2014 -
Battle Group 2 - PC
League of Legends - PC
OTTTD - PC

- 01/01/2015 -
Battle Group 2 - PC
League of Legends - PC
Skylanders Trap Team - PlayStation 4
Truck Racer - PC

- 01/02/2015 -
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd - PlayStation 3
League of Legends - PC

- 01/03/2015 -
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd - PlayStation 3
Skylanders Trap Team - PlayStation 4

- 01/04/2015 -
Audiosurf 2 Early Access - PC
Redux: Dark Matters - PC
Saviors - PC
Skylanders Trap Team - PlayStation 4


Screenshot of the Week:

3 more Trap Masters to complete my Trap Team roster!
Skylanders Trap Team (PlayStation 4)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

I Don't Want Every Game, Just Some of Them

It's easy to conclude that yours truly is crazy about video games. After all, I do have too many games than I know what to do with them without making a conscientious effort. But I know that my love for gaming is not beyond reason and I am relieved of that fact thanks to the Discovery Queue feature that was introduced to Steam some time last year. Basically, Steam recommends around 10 games every time you refresh the queue and from there, you can choose to follow the listed games, add them to your wishlist, or tag them as games that you are not interested in. Ever since its introduction, I have viewed more than a thousand games and the result is illuminating:

As of 01/03/2015, I was not interested in 71% of the games I viewed in my queue.

I know, my wishlist is still rather bloated at 604 games but that has been accumulating way before the queue explorer was even thought of. I am really pleased that on average, I am only interested in about 29% of the games I see. That must mean that I am not that uncontrollable in my gaming desires, right?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Trap Team: Element Expansion Packs

Today has been a rather exciting day, thanks to the arrival of the Dark and Light Element Expansion Packs for my PlayStation 4's Skylanders Trap Team. I have been looking forward to these and I have to say that unfortunately only one of these packs truly shine, easily overshadowing its counterpart.

I don't normally get excited about physical products anymore except for these Skylanders.

I do love the extra stickers that came with these packs that are used for both the Trap Team cast poster as well as the trap organizer list. I really enjoyed spending time posting these stickers as neatly as possible: It is a very gratifying experience unlike anything else in my gaming life of late.

Looking forward to capturing these villains.

Strangely, the packs didn't contain a Light/Dark elemental sticker to replace the top "?".

Now on to the figurines themselves. Knight Light, the new Light Trap Master, easily steals the show here with his exquisite pair of wings which spread open from the back of his shoulders - you can see individual feathers meticulously carved onto them as well - and that gigantic sword in his hand. The mask design is somewhat questionable but the white and gold color scheme really works and makes the figurine stand out compared to other Skylanders. Even the base looks stunning with its striking sun motif and jagged, star-like frame.

Definitely looking more like a superhero than a Skylander but it's still beautiful.

Meanwhile, the new Dark Trap Master Knight Mare, despite the clever name, looks pale in comparison. The black and blue/green color combination resulted in muddled details on the figurine. Unless you look at it closely, it may as well be uni-color just like Wildfire. The overall design is also not very inspiring. She just ended up looking like a typical centaur, especially with that trumpet she is holding in her left hand. Even the base looks disappointing: It's riddled with chunky dark swirls and it could easily be confused with the base of an Earth Skylander from a distance. I am not impressed but I sincerely hope that she will play better in the game than she actually looks.

Too literal perhaps. The ponytail going over the gigantic broadsword is cute though but not enough.

By the way, the towers that came with the expansion packs glow on the Traptanium Portal, a nice little touch. With these expansion packs within my possession, complete with the Light and Dark Elemental Traps, I now feel fully equipped to tackle everything that needed to be accomplished in the game. Well, I suppose I still need to get a pair of those minis...


Friday, January 2, 2015

Ka-Boom: From Weird to Cool

When I first looked at the list of Trap Masters for Skylanders Trap Team, I was disappointed with the representatives for the fire element: Wildfire, the uni-color gold lion and Ka-Boom, the muscle head who looks like Tristana from League of Legends on steroids. If I had to choose between the two, I would pick Wildfire because his shield weapon is definitely a redeeming quality. When I finally got the Wildfire figurine home, it definitely didn't look that bad though I certainly wished that the character was a little more colorful. I finally welcomed Ka-Boom into my Skylanders family today and surprisingly, I found his figurine to be very attractive indeed. It definitely looks better in person. It's bulky, bold, and angry with all that detailed muscle definition as well as that big hollow canon he's holding. I am glad I gave him a chance as I am really enjoying this figurine more than I thought I would. I should have known better than to doubt a Skylander!

That canon is big enough to blow Bowser's head off.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Trap Team Villain Organizer: Useful & Deadly

Ever since I got Skylanders Trap Team in late November last year, I have been trying to find a great way to display the Elemental Traps in my Game Room. I have tried many things, from putting them in a small container to leaning them against the wall along the side of the room, nothing really worked. Today, I decided to pull out the trap organizer that came with the game: it's a raised cardboard stand that has a list of all the villains that you can capture in the game with a trap slot on top of each. This is definitely the proper way to store the traps and I like that I now know the specific villains that I have for each of the traps without having to plug them into the Traptanium Portal. But with this organizer being out in the open, I can see the danger it brings: It motivates one to buy more traps so that one can permanently store a single villain to a single trap. It would be wonderful to fill out this organizer board for sure though I don't see myself doing that until the price for the traps drop down significantly. It would have been great if these traps are a dollar each, but even then, I would have to spend more than $30 to get all the traps I need. I would love to be able to get there eventually with these traps because I am very committed to this game ever since I started playing Skylanders Swap Force early last year but the actual figurines and other gaming wants will have to take precedence over them.

A convenient way to remind me of the villains who currently reside inside these traps.