Featured Figures #02: Chie, Natsu, Yoko, Samus, Avengers Iron Man

Welcome to Featured Figures; a blog feature highlighting a handful of figures, my thoughts on them, the dents they'd leave in your wallet and maybe even links to sites you can buy them from. Let me know what you want to see from these blogs and I'll see what I can do.

After getting some good feedback across all the sites I'm keeping this blog feature going, now featuring figures spanning across anime, comics, movies and video games. Something for everyone.

This post is best viewed in blog format.

Missed out last time? Check out Featured Figures #01 here!

Chie Satonaka, Figma (Max Factory)

Strike a pose, Chie

It's my understanding that there are possibly a few Chie fans out there, so here's one for you guys; the Chie Figma by Max Factory.

Chie comes with a variety of different faces and accessories you can swap around to your liking. She's also posable, so other than changing her outfit you can pretty much get her looking exactly how you want. She comes with a standard face, a shouting face and even a Shadow Chie face. Accessories include glasses, joke nose glasses and a swoosh effect piece to attach to her leg for some kicking action. Looks like a nice figure with a lot of options.

As a side note, if you dig some good cosplay there are a couple of different Chie sets in the cosplay thread.

Chie can be pre-ordered for $46.79 (approx £30.41) on YesAsia

Samus Aran, Figma (Max Factory)

Don't mess with this chick

Since several people mentioned in the previous blog that they prefer a fully suited-up Samus over Zero Suit Samus, here's another figma by Max Factory of just that; Power Suit Samus from Metroid: Other M.

Like the Chie figure, Samus comes with several bits and pieces to customize her with. Included is a Morph Ball, two different beam effects (single and double-shot), an opened canon tip (as if she's firing missiles) and a few different hands; open, closed and thumbs-up.

As you can tell from the images this figure is very posable, equipped with a figma stand to keep her up so you can recreate just about any of the well-known poses Samus has done over the years.

Samus can be pre-ordered for $55 (approx £35) on Hobbyfan

Iron Man Mark VII, ARTFX Statue, 1/6 scale (Kotobukiya)

Iron Man: Destroyer of Concrete

Taking the bad-ass award this week is the Avengers Iron Man Mark VII ARTFX Statue by Kotobukiya. Tony's on the seventh version of his Iron Man suit already? Dude works fast.

No articulation or custom pieces here folks, this is just one solid, shiny, high quality statue. I think it's actually kind of harder to get figures like this and Samus wrong in a lot of ways. Faces are hard to get right, especially real faces. Robot-suits like these are more mathematical - make everything the correct shape and size and you're set. Even so, this thing looks amazing. The ripped-up concrete beneath Tony's feet here really completes the package. Makes Iron Man look super-heavy and powerful.

Oh, his chest and eyes also light up, as if the damn thing wasn't cool enough already.

Here's a question: who wins in a fight between Samus and Iron Man? I like Samus as much as anyone else, but I think I'd have to give that one to Iron Man. Maybe they should put him in the next Super Smash Bros. game...

Iron Man can be pre-ordered for $130 (approx £82) on Amazon

Natsu Dragneel, HQF, 1/8 scale (Tsume)

Even in anime, few dudes can pull off pink hair

My love for Fairy Tail is no secret. I like to think of it as Bleach and Naruto's cheeky little brother that runs around causing mayhem, it's a fun show to watch with a ton of likeable characters. I was pleasantly surprised to see some good Fairy Tail figures coming out, starting with this Natsu Dragneel HQF (High Quality Figure) by Tsume.

As a Fire Dragon Slayer, the plastic fire engulfing Natsu's hand is a great touch, it could have been a solid red or orange colour, but the mixture of orange and yellow and the red tips make it look really nice. The hair and attention to detail on the scarf look particularly good too.

The detail on the eyes and teeth is something I haven't seen much of before. It looks like someone drew the face with a fine marker pen or something. I usually prefer the sort of stuck-on pre-printed eyes you see on a lot of anime figures over painted ones, but it works pretty well here I think.

Natsu can be pre-ordered for €79.90 (approx $105 or £66) on tsume-art

Yoko Littner, 1/8 scale, Bounty Hunter Ver. (Alter)

The holster is the most practical thing on her

The last featured figure this week is the Yoko Littner "Bounty Hunter" figure by Alter. I haven't watched much Gurren Lagann so I don't know if Yoko actually dons this outfit at some point in the anime, but it's a cool figure regardless.

Yoko, being as popular as she is, has been rendered in plastic many times, but this figure is definitely up there as one of the best. Judging be the huge burn-holes in her overcoat she's been having a rough time, though other than a few bandages around her right hand her body is relatively unscathed. Yoko's enemies need some target practice.

Strangely enough the thing that jumps out at me most is Yoko's gun holster. They really nailed the leather look with that, the fake stitching looks great and the strap around her leg is a nice little detail that could have been left out, but wasn't. The sizes of the guns seems a little off though. The pistol looks huge and Yoko's trusty sniper rifle looks a little smaller than usual (it usually looks considerably bigger than her). Maybe it's just too big on other figures, either way these are small complaints in the grand scheme of things.

Yoko is listed at $105 (approx £66) on Hobbyfan but is currently sold out.

What do you think of the selection this week? Would Iron Man beat Samus in a fight? Already ordered a Chie figure of your own?

Daniel Newton is a moderator for Anime Vice and Screened. Follow him on twitter: @Daniel_Newton and @AnimeVicers

Other posts: • Dragon Ball Z Kinect Game AnnouncedFeatured Figures #01Oreimo Season 2 Announced!


Featured Figures #01: Zero Suit Samus, Super Saiyan Goku and more

Note: After writing this for Anime Vice and then posting it to Comic Vine as well, I thought I may as well post it here too. Should be interesting to see how much/how little interest there is, but you guys might dig the Samus figure at least. Best viewed in blog form. Original post here.

Welcome to Featured Figures; a blog feature highlighting a handful of figures, my thoughts on them, the dents they'd leave in your wallet and maybe even links to sites you can buy them from. Let me know what you want to see from these blogs and I'll see what I can do.

Son Goku SSJ, 1/8th scale, Clear Hair Ver. (Medicos Entertainment)

Screaming, as usual

This is easily one of the most bad-ass Dragon Ball Z figures I've seen, and boy has there been a lot of DBZ figures over the years. Not only does this Goku figure have really great looking clothes--all the folds and highlights look really great--but look at that hair. Dude has glass hair, well... I imagine it's really semi-transparent plastic, but it certainly looks the part.

This is version 2 of the figure, with the original featuring boring not-awesome hair, so clearly this is the version to get. The equally awesome Super Saiyan aura around Goku's feet is also a great touch.

What do you think? Is glass hair cool or weird?

Goku is listed at ¥9,200 on Amazon Japan (approx $112 or £71) and $117 on Hobbyfan but currently out of stock.

Samus Aran, 1/8th scale, Zero Suit ver. (Max Factory)

Sleek Samus

I have a weird relationship with Metroid games. I acknowledge that they're great, in fact I think very highly of them, but I don't think I've ever finished any of them. Particularly whenever I take a crack at Metroid Prime, I just don't get on with it, not really sure why. Maybe I'll finish one eventually, in the meantime I'll just admire gorgeous figure renditions of Samus like this Metroid: Other M figure from Max Factory. If it's too hard to tell Samus is a woman with her power suit on, there's certainly no question when she takes it off.

I love how sleek this figure looks, I don't know if Samus normally looks as tall as she does here, but I guess I haven't played Other M so maybe one of you knows better than me. There's some nice detail on the gun, and the Metroid looks great too.

Samus can be pre-ordered for $103 on Hobbyfan (approx £65) or $130 on J-List (approx £82)

Kobato Hasegawa & Maria Takayama, 1/7th scale (Max Factory)

Super cute

Okay, I haven't watched Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai yet, but these figures are adorable. These are sold as two separate figures, but as you can tell they obviously go together, which is a classic trick to get twice as much of your hard-earned money from you.

I literally can't find fault with either of these figures. They're cute, the hair looks good (while not quite as glassy-looking as Goku's hair, it's similar) and their outfits look especially great. I appreciate it when sculptors put in extra effort to make the clothes look separate from the figure, you know, like actual clothes. Like the "Zero Suit" Samus is wearing, these playboy-style catgirl outfits are super glossy.

These figures can be pre-ordered for $88 each on Hobbyfan (approx £55) or $105 each on J-List (approx £66)

Chifusa Manyuu, 1/4th scale (A+)

Skimpy Samurai

For those with more risqué tastes we have Chifusa Manyuu from Manyuu Hikenchou. The biggest figure in this selection at 1/4th scale making it more of a statue than a figurine. Chifusa comes with a katana and completely removable attire that already barely covers her expanding bust (in the show, the figure itself doesn't expand... that would be weird).

I'm not really sure why her hair is so blue, I'm pretty sure it was black in the anime, but I like how... soft she looks. That probably sounds weird, but it's easy for figures to look very solid since they're made of plastic, and this doesn't. If you're looking for something a little lighter on clothing and bigger in size, this may be the figure for you. With that sword it would probably make a pretty good letter-opener too I guess.

Chifusa can be pre-ordered for $210 on Hobbyfan (approx £132) with extra shipping fees.

What do you think of these figures? Ready to order one? Or are you like me, preferring to appreciate them from afar instead?

Daniel Newton is a moderator for Anime Vice and Screened. Follow him on twitter: @Daniel_Newton and @AnimeVicers

Other posts:Oreimo Season 2 Announced!


Magicka Soundtrack released for free download

Why hello stray forum browser, you appear to have stumbled upon my thread here, that being the case, I have a few questions for you: 

  1. Do you like video games?
  2. Do you like music?
  3. Do you like free stuff?
  4. Are you... a wizard?

If the answer to one or all of these questions is yes then the freely available Magicka Soundtrack could be right for you! 

A few days ago makers of explosive magical co-op game Magicka made it's fans happy by releasing the official soundtrack free for anyone to download. It appears to contain all (or if not, at least most) of the background music from the game, along with a couple of bonus tracks too. But lets face it, all you really want is Dunka Dunka anyway, right? 

Dunka Dunka 

You can download it one track at a time from here, or you can take the faster option and download it in one go here where I added the cover art shown on the right, and cleaned the tags up too. Enjoy fellow Giant Bomb robe-wearers. 
If you haven't seen it already: Brad's Magicka Quick Look

My Wii is now 99% redundant

No, it's not completely redundant, before some of you try to tell me it is. There are still a few Wii games and the odd GameCube game I like to play on my Wii. Actually I have a handful of Wii games I bought and haven't played through yet, but now maybe I will.
Why you ask? Because in the past few days I've been playing around with Dolphin, the Wii/GameCube emulator for the PC. Now that I have a decent PC I can run it, and man, it runs well. I had no idea just how far along it is, it's the best emulator I've ever tried and it's made some of my Wii and GameCube titles feel fresh and look crisp. Games run in proper, real 1080p (as opposed to games on the 360 and PS3, which if you didn't know, mostly run at 720p with upscaling) and I can even use my Wii remotes (through Bluetooth) and my wireless 360 controllers, no more wired GameCube controllers, brilliant.
Oh, and I can put shortcuts to each game into Steam, I like putting all my games into Steam and having them all listed in one place. And Ajay totally flips out when he sees what I'm playing, which is always entertaining.

This post is intended for healthy discussion, not pirating.

I will not provide links to any Wii or GameCube games, this is simply a post about Dolphin for those interested.

So, here are some of the games I've had working at full speed so far (each game works best with different settings):

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle

 Always wondered how he's breathing in space...
 Mmmm, Sub Burgers
Yeah I know, anyone who's played Sonic Adventure 2 knows the game is, well... a little broken. The camera can be awful and the gameplay isn't perfect. But it was the first game I had with my GameCube after upgrading from my good old PlayStation and it actually became my favourite game. Yeah you heard me right, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle is my favourite game ever. I love the thing to death, deal with it. Even with some anti-aliasing this game runs at a rock-solid 60fps without chugging at all. There's also a widescreen hack option in Dolphin so Sonic doesn't look like he's gained a few pounds and I get to see more stuff around me.

In short, the game is better than it ever was on the Dreamcast or the GameCube, and probably better than it's inevitable release on Xbox Live Arcade, though don't be surprised if I buy that anyway...

Soul Calibur II

My sword's on fire, I'll put it out by hitting you with it
 Back off, weirdo
I do own Soul Calibur IV, but I fancied giving II a go on my PC anyway, it still holds up well and doesn't feel all that different to the new game, plus I can play as Link, which is pretty cool, he fits in much better than freakin' Yoda. That's something else I don't have to worry about either, running into Yoda in arcade mode and having to deal with the tiny bastard. While the character select screen is a little jumpy, the actual game runs perfectly at 60fps, and that's what matters. This game also runs fine with some anti-aliasing, which is always nice to have.
So basically, if I fancy a few rounds of sword-slashing, booby-bouncing fun I can boot this thing up in seconds instead of having to boot up my 360, put Soul Calibur IV in, switch my monitor from my PC to my 360, yadda-yadda.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Ahh New Super Mario Bros. Wii, I watched the quick look on here and got the crazy idea you would be a fun game to play, but even coupled with a generous amount of vodka-mixed drinks, my best friend and my brother, you somehow failed to impress. Maybe you were just having an off day NSMBW, maybe I'll try playing with some friends again some time and it'll be fun, or perhaps I'll play single-player old-school style, who knows.
Either way, this game runs super smooth, with even more anti-aliasing than the other games, the only problem I've run into is that the regular coins seem to be still sprites instead of 3D spinning coins, there may be a way to fix that, I don't know, but if there isn't it's really no big deal.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

 That's how they're meant to look!
And saving the best until last, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Not just because it looks good in high definition, but because of all the awesome mods and hacks you can use. They don't require Brawl to be played on the PC in order to use them though, you can do the same stuff with the real game, provided you have a modded Wii and an SD card.
 Sonic's "Fixed" skin, before and after
How about some nice new skins for your high-def fighters? There's some pretty cool shit out there, like Iron Man (Samus) and Bayonetta (Zero-suit Samus), and some totally bat-shit crazy stuff like Awesome Kirby and Manchu, oh and of course, Shadow the Hedgehog. You can also get custom movesets (glitchyness may vary), custom levels... custom menus, almost anything.
There are some sites out there that even go as far as to bundle lots of changes together to change the entire game, most notably, Brawl+. This introduces changes to the game mechanics, physics, all sorts of stuff to make a more balanced, more competitive game of Smash Brothers. I personally won't use it because I'm trying out custom movesets for characters and so on, but I think its really cool that something like that is out there and supported by lots of people.
 Much better
Emulation-wise this game runs just as well as the others, there are a few graphical glitches but it's just minor thing like the text for the stats after a multiplayer battle (how many times you died, how many kills you got, that stuff), the little images inside assist trophies are messed up and the beam sword projects black onto you, like I said, minor things that you barely notice after a while anyway. They'll probably be fixed at some point. I'm not using anti-aliasing with this one though but I consider that a bonus anyway.
I haven't been able to use this awesome character select screen yet which kinda bums me out, it needs cheat codes that aren't supported by the emulator just yet so I'm having to stick with the regular version (without the extra characters) for now, but it still looks kick-ass.

Proof I own this stuff

 Yep, Xbox Live Cam
Yeah, I do own these games actually. Just in case you were wondering.
Pretty sure the case for Sonic Adventure 2: Battle was destroyed at some point though, I should replace that. Oh, and I'm aware that's the PlayStation 2 version of Soul Calibur II and not the GameCube one, sue me. I originally had the GameCube version anyway, traded it in and now I have the PS2 one, which was a dumb move. Link is a much better Soul Calibur character than Heihachi, what's his weapon anyway, his sandals?
Right, well if you did read all that I hope you found it useful or at least somewhat interesting. If you want to see the screenshots in their full 1080p, uncompressed glory, check them out here.

The Quest exp bar...

... should totally be the bomb from the Giant Bomb logo.
Think about it, the bar is a long fuse, it burns and gets shorter as you gain points, the bomb's expression could change as his fuse gets shorter, then it EXPLODES when you level up.
Would be pretty cool to have explosion/bomb-related titles/ranks as you hit certain levels too.
Seriously, think about it.


My games setup

The gaming rig
I took a very blury photo of my current games setup showing my TV, consoles (minus the gamecube which is in my brothers room) and the controllers. Just thought it was something I could put up here on my blog, since I hadn't tried blogging yet. Feel free to comment.

Soon I will be getting a matching bookcase to put all of my games in and display some of the limited edition stuff and maybe some handhelds or something.


Samsung 32" HD Slimfit CRT

Xbox 360 Premium 20GB
Nintendo Wii
Soft-modded Xbox
Slimline Playstation 2 with Joytech 8" Screen
Pikachu Edition Nintendo 64 (need to get a different one)
PSOne (not plugged in, just for show)
Sega Saturn

2 x Wireless Xbox 360 Controllers with battery packs
2 x Wiimotes
1 x Dreamcast Controller
2 x Xbox Controller S
2 x GameCube Controllers (Official white, released in Japan by Nintendo to match the Wii!)
2 x DualShock 2 Controllers

My other controllers aren't in the photo.

Xbox Live Vision Camera

I might list some of the stuff not shown in this photo later on.