This Week

I’m out of town this week. I suppose I should have mentioned that. I can still read blogs but in order to post, I need my laptop or 10 mins at work (such as this little break) to get something down.

I really want to be at home so I can keep workin on the Crossbone Gundam. I love how the right foot unit turned out and I’m jonsin’ to get the legs done. Patience.

I did manage to take my PSP with me. I’ve been playing SD Gundam G Generation Portable. I’m on the Wing Gundam Mission 4 (out of 5) so I’m currently defending the Sanc kingdom from an invasion of Virgos. If anyone is familiar with Gundam Wing, or more specifically the SD versions of the Virgo in the G Generation games, you’ll know that means I’m facing a tough fight. All you can really do to them is get up in their face with a beam saber. They lack a melee weapon, but make up for it by a LOT of HPs, so its a daunting task. My main battle ship has the following though:

Team 1
The character I use as my own Avatar in the Crossbone Gundam X1 kai (naturally)
TR-1 Gundam Hazel
Zaku Phantom Gunner Type
GMIII

Team 2
Gundam F90 II
S Gundam
FA Gundam
Gyan Mass Produced.

……we’ll be okay.

Until I get another 10 mins~

Jaa matta~

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Gundam Robust Silhouette Vol. 0

Radical.
I had ordered the box set of Gundam Robust Silhouette Vol. 0 from Hobby Link Japan, and I’m sure glad I chose EMS for delivery. It may have cost a bit more, but these little statues are awesome.
I took a picture with my phone (terrible, I know) of the two I’m keeping in my office. On the left, is the rare color version of the RX-78-3 G3. The normal colors have purple (light purple) for the highlights, but the rare shown here is all Greys and Black. The G3 is posed “blasting off” from the surface of Luna II after an unseen threat just trounced the RB-79 “Ball” next to him.
On the right is the regular version of the MSM-07 Z’Gok, attacking a waterfront EFSF base, claw beam a-blazin’ and smashing the crane/structure as well. I love that the light from my window makes the explosion effect parts actually glow (not so much on the G3 statue). Just an awesome purchase. HLJ is having a clearance sale, so you can get the whole set pretty cheap. The roll out is the G3 and Z’Gok, shown here, A Zaku I installing B3 Gas, Johnny Raiden’s HM Zaku II blasting the cannon of a Magellan class EFSF Ship and an Accuy attacking a EFSF submarine.
You get the 5 regular color versions and 5 alt colors or “rare” colors.
Vol. 1 is coming out soon, I’d love to add the RX-79 [G] Gundam to my collection.
Jaa ne~
*edit: It turns out there are 2 color variations, the regular, and the rare, but then there is a 3, extra rare version of the statue figurette! As an example, instead of the regular RX-78-3 G3 statue, I got the RX-78-2! It’s even using a beam rifle instead of two hyper bazookas and doesn’t have a shield on the back. What a nice surprise!

G-System

I put a link up to the G-System Shop. A word of caution: If you consider yourself to be even an ‘above average’ modeler, I’d bring Kleenex. These guys’ll make you cry.

Their designs are simply breath-taking, and even thier conversion kits (definitely check out the conversion kit for the Nu-Gundam using the PG Strike) are just simply unbelievable.

Of course, they’re absolute pros. The kits do not come painted and assembled as shown so only the most experienced and hard-core enthusiasts should attempt to construct these masterpieces.

On the other hand, I emailed G System to see if they offer an option to pre-assemble/paint a kit that has been purchased through them. Here’s what I got in return:

Dear sir,

Thank you for your credit for our works.

We receive request from customer for offer of semi-finished / finished kit from time to time. Indeed, we do offer pre-finished kit for specific order. Price ranges from 3 times to 6 times on the unassembled kit rate. We cannot consider a mass production of finished kit because of the complexity and cost-effectiveness of the kit. Thanks and regards.

Customer ServiceG-SYSTEM (TM)http://www.g-system-shop.comTrademark owned by New Art Creation Ltd.

So there you go. I’ll tell you this, if I ever come into a lot of money*, my first order of business is to order from G-System and have them build the kit (and paint it) for me. What better center piece for your collection could you ask for?

*I’m honestly considering picking up the $45 S Gundam Smart Gun and head conversion kit…but I’m not quite sure yet.

CD Review: MS Gundam Seed Destiny: Theme Song Insert Song and Character Song Selection

Okay, let me start off by saying that one of the main reasons I was drawn to both animated Seed series was the music. It is, in my opinion, a truly emotional aspect to the story line. I can still remember the first time I saw Episode One of Seed and See-Saw’s Hauntingly Tranquil An nani isshoo taata no ni begins as the Strike Gundam stands amidst the fire and destruction of Heliopolis.

Music has always been a strong aspect to the Gundam Series.

That being said, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny: Theme Song, Insert Song and Character Song Selection (I know, long title) is by far, the best sound track CD I have ever bought. This includes the other Seed Soundtracks, Both the instrumental and theme song CDs, but also any other sound track to any other series. Biased? Maybe, but in my opinion its just an amazing, emotional and powerful collection. The track list is as follows:

Disc 1.

1. Ignited – TM Revolution – Great song, gets you fired up, TM is a pretty amazing artist. Ignited to me is better than Invoke and Meteor, but only because it has a bit more “umph” to it.

2. Reason – Don’t know the artist..can’t read Kanji that well.
Regardless its still a great ending theme. It drives fast at first but hints at a little sadness, which works well for Seed Destiny.

3. Pride – High and Mighty Colors- Meh. I know, odd reaction. But I have issues with Pride. Its a major theme song, but to me it conflicts with itself. The female vocals are unbelievable, but then they throw in this odd, Heavy Metal sound bit, that to me, has no place in the song. Honestly, it brings the whole thing down.

4. Life Goes On – again, can’t make out the artist. (If anyone knows them, please drop me a line!) – I love this song. It’s a pretty powerful idea for a series that is criticized for it’s “Emo” characters.

5. Bokutachi no Yukue – Kanji Artist, sorry – Good song all around. Catchy. Has a fast drive and a slow refrain.

6. I Wanna Go To A Place – Rie Fu – Love it. Rie’s vocals almost sound natural in both the English and Japanese lines. That’s impressive. Its a pretty little song and breaks up Disk 1 nicely.

7. Wings of words – Chemestry – Listening to it again right now, its pretty decent. I’m pretty neutral on it but it has a nice R&B bass line if that’s your thing.

8. Boku wa kimi ni Niteiru – See-Saw- Love it. See-Saw is an amazing duo, and this is right in line with An nani issho. One of my favorites.

9. Vestige – TM Revolution- Meh. He’s got better songs on the CD. Its not bad, but it has a very familiar beat that has Invoke hidden in there somewhere, I’m sure of it.

10. Honoo no Tobira – Fiction Junction YUUKA – Easily one of the best songs of both series and honestly one of my favorite songs of all time. I love Fiction Junction, they’re just amazing in how they can make a song both beautiful and powerful at the same time.

11. Hoonoo No Tobira Hearty Edition- Just a remix, but slower, a nice version worth listening to, but probably not right after the original.

12. Hoonoo No Tobira Instrumental- Same as above. Very nice to just hear the music.

13. Wings of Words ReMIX- Alas de palabras -Chemistry: Very classic Spanish acoustic sounding.

14. Pride Nu School ReMix – High and Might Colors: Meh again. They sell Pride a lot on this CD, this remix isn’t that great.

15. Pride R&B Mix- I actually like this better than the original, but again, they throw in the heavy metal bit. Heavy Metal and R&B don’t mix.

16. Pride HAL’s MiX 2005- Of the various versions I like this the best. Kinda Techno-ish, but the Space Odyssey Hal reference is kinda nice.

Disc 2

1. Pride DDINORe Mix:- Meh. ’nuff said.

2. Pride Real Latin Player’s Mix- Kinda interesting. Kinda not.

3. Pride Phantom Pain Mix- See above. The gave Pride 7 tries and I still can’t get on board. Oh well.

4. Now Instant Everything – Souichiro Hoshi – Very unique. Not bad and its a nice come back from 6 Prides.

5. Precious Rose – Naomi Shindou – Kinda classic 80’s rock meets classic 50’s Japanese vocals. I could take it or leave it.

6. Mizu No Akashi – Rei Tanaka – Very lovely. Ms. Tanaka has a beautiful voice and at No.6, you really hear it after the first 5 of the CD.

7. Shoot (For the Future) – Tomokazu Seki – I really like this song. It has a classic Gundam feel to it with a more updated spin. I can’t help but sing along to this.

8. Primal Innocence – Kenichi Suzumura – I’m giving this another try. On another round of listening, its actually pretty awesome. It starts off very Castlevania Sympathy of the Night-ish, but picks up right away.

9. Eden of Necessity – Suwabe Junichi – I just love the title. Its a good song, but the title takes it for me.

10. Pale Repetition – Morita Masakazu – Slow song. Not bad, but not great. I left it off my iPod.

11. Quiet Night – Rei Tanaka – Tanaka-san comes back again and for a song called “Quiet Night” it is anything but. Very cutsie (But its from the Concert episode with Lucas’ twin/look-a-like). Its okay, but…

12. Emotion – Rei Tanaka – Emotion is a total guilty pleasure. Its so very cutsie that its almost embarrassing but the beat is entirely addictive. Gah! I have this on my iPod. There. I said it.
….
13. Akatsuki no Kuruma – Fiction Junction YUUKA – Okay…remember how I said that Honoo No Tibira was one of my all time favorite songs? Well Akatuski no Kuruma tops it. I spent a long time looking for this song. I honestly can’t listen to it enough. And for the 9,000 versions of Pride on this CD (okay, only 7) we get 4, count ’em 4 awesome version of Akatsuki, starting with 13, the original.

14. Akatsuki – Piano Version – Yeah. Piano. Its just that good. The piano version stands out strong among the 3 alt versions.

15. Akatusk – Acoustic version – I love this, and I know there’s a You Tube video out there of this as well. Just a nice emphasis on the vocals here. Beautiful.

16. Akatsuki – No Vocal version – There are vocals actually, the back ground vocals. Very mellow. Very awesome-sauce.

So there we go. 2 CDs chalk full of great and memorable music. Like I said, easily this is one of the best CDs I’ve ever bought. There are other Sound Tracks to Gundam Seed out there, and I’ll cover the ones I own in time, but if you can find this, I’d highly suggest you pick it up if you have the chance. If you end up liking Pride by High and Might Colors, you’ll love it even more!

My DX V2 Gundam came today, I’ll post on that tomorrow I think.

Jaa~

Mondays


Lots to do again.

I realize this picture isn’t that clear but I’m currently working on the Crossbone Gundam X1 Ver. Ka. You can see the Core Fighter X1 here, which is already complete.

Its a fantastic kit of one of my most favorite Mobile Suits, the SNRI XM-X1 Crossbone Gundam.

Also have the Battle of A Bou A Quo on G Generation Portable to finish and OMNI vs. ZAFT II came today, which (thanks Q!) is awesome in every sense of the word.

Needless to say I’ve been busy. The Seed Destiny Soundtrack is coming up tomorrow or the next day, I promise!

Jaa na~!

Falling a bit behind

I fell behind a bit this week. I know I said in the last post that my next segment would be on the Seed Destiny CD, but I haven’t gotten around to that just yet.
My HCM Pro Impulse Gundam came yesterday. I spent some time assembling the Force Silhouette pack and various parts that needed assembling. (By the way, Silhouette is like the hardest word to spell ever…)
I have to admit, I love the HCM Pro line now. I was pretty skeptical at first, but for a 1/200 scale mobile suit, they have ridiculously great detail. Plus the line includes not just Gundam class units, but many common ones too, like the work horse of 0079 Zeon’s MS-06 Zaku II, and the A.E.U.G.’s Nemo. I’m currently trying to convince my fiancee to pick me up the HCM Pro Freedom Gundam so I can display them both in the classic Clash of the Titans scene.
I’ll post more this weekend. I’m currently playing SD Gundam: G Generation Portable for PSP and would like to write a bit on that too –
Jaa na~

Mobile Suit Gundam Seed, Renpou vs ZAFT (PS2)

I’m realizing the difficulty in this project. I have a LOT to catch up on. So lets get a game review in here.

The “VS” series of Gundam video games has had quite a few iterations, and most, if not all, are ports from Japanese Arcades (because in Japan, they actually do still have arcades still, unlike the rare mall/movie theater excuses we have in America). The “VS” series works well as a port, however, as the gameplay consists of the player and an assisting unit fighting the computer and it’s assisting unit. Usually in the port versions, however, they include a mission based story mode, which adds considerable depth to the game.

Renpou vs ZAFT (also called O.M.N.I vs ZAFT) is no different. Released for the PS2 in Japan, it replicated the arcade version perfectly, to the point that they even left out the story mode. However, that’s not to say that there isn’t depth to the game. While you start out with a generous selection of Mobile Suits from the show, including the various Jin customs, as well as the 5 OMNI Gundams, you can unlock a surprising number of secret units, including a rather amazing selection from Gundam Seed Destiny as well.

Once you select your Mobile Suit, you are then given the option to select one of many characters from the show, from either side of the conflict (and ORB as well). Your choice of character will generally dictate what missions you are given, in what order and your choice of mobile suit dictates the difficulty. For instance, if you select the X105 Strike with Kira, you will be given missions that start from Heliopolis and conclude at the final climax of the series. However, if you would choose Issac and the Strike, you’ll start at about mid-series with your first mission.

The controls translate very well from the Arcade, though in my opinion, the PS2 controls feel a little more tight and accurate. Unlike the UC games in the “VS” series, Renpou vs. ZAFT allows for a “block”; by pressing down, then up quickly on the directional pad, your Mobile Suit will bring its shield (if it has one) out front and block any forward attacks. Timing plays a key aspect though, but there’s nothing better than watching the Freedom Gundam block a full fledged assault from the Dual Gundam AS version and retaliating to win the mission.

If you have the means, I highly suggest importing this title. It is easy enough to be a “pick up and play” game (it is an arcade port after all), but there’s enough playability to keep even hard core gamers involved for quite a while.

Next Post: Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny: Theme Song, Insert Song, and Character Song Collection, Audio CD OST.