Valuable Item: Pokémon Black and White Art Folio

Pokémon Game Art Folio

This little thing is the Pokémon Black and White Art Folio which is only exclusive at Target. It's a neat little package that has artwork for the game. The art varies from pictures of the new legendary Pokémon to character art and more. It only costs around $8 (or free with a purchase of the game) and is perfect for those of you who like art books and that kind of thing. The artwork is about postcard sized, so it's not too big, but the paper it is printed on is very sturdy, it is very well made. There are also descriptions of the artwork on the back.  
The description on the back of the Zekrom one: "The Legendary Pokémon Zekrom appears in the game Pokémon White Version. Zekrom can produce electricity in the generator within its tail. It can disappear inside thunderclouds and fly across the skies of the Unova region. Zekrom enters Overdrive mode when its emotions surge, causing parts of its body to glow bright blue with electricity." 

 These will cost you less money than a deck of Pokemon cards, and arguably will be worth more in the future! 

If you are a fan of the game, I suggest you go out and pick one of these up if there is a Target nearby. It isn't that expensive and it doesn't take up a lot of room. Not to mention these things are starting to sell on ebay for $20 a piece. The artwork is the same for each one, so there is no random element to it. But their selection may be a bit off for some. Why only the second forms of the starters? Why that gym? But overall, it's very nice. Highly recommended.  


TestYourself aka BuyYourself some self esteem.

From the Playstation Blog:  " Ever wondered who you really are and what you are better designed for? TestYourself is a series of interactive psychological tests that combine science and fun and give you real scientific analysis of each aspect of your personality and mentality! " 
After hearing that, how could I resist? I've always wanted to know who I really was. I didn't even know that I didn't know? TestYourself is a bunch of tests, the first two were released yesterday for $2.99. Nervous System and Intelligence were the first two, but later tests down the line look interesting (How in the hell are they going to test Willpower?) 
So, I bought the first two and proceeded to take them, am I who I thought I was?  Before you play the game, it will ask you for basic info such as your age and gender, then away you go.

Nervous System

The nervous system tests your reaction speed. There were three tests.  Visual Reaction, Audio Reaction, and Tapping.  
Visual Reaction- There were three parts to this. The first was to press the button as soon as you see the circle show up on the screen. Very easy. The second was pressing a button based on the color of the circle. X for Blue, Square for Purple, Green for Triangle. That one wasn't as bad as I thought, just made sure not to rush it. The third one was a bit different, you had to press the button based on the color of the circle, but it was going to throw all sorts of shapes at you. It wasn't too hard, although getting used to it was a bit tricky.  
Audio Reaction- This test was the same as the Visual, except replacing the circles with sounds. There were two parts, a single sound, and 3 sounds where you have to press the corresponding button based on the sound. I was hoping for a third test where the game would bombard you with random sounds, no dice. 
Tapping- Button mashing for each hand for 40 seconds. I was tempted to cheat, but I didn't. Also, I burnt out on my dominant hand. I was a dumbass and tried to maintain a high speed before realizing that 40 seconds of button mashing is a long time.   

I lack endurance. 

Analysis- I was expecting a score, instead it gives me this loooooong essay about why my button mashing skills make me a keen observer of weather changes? Um, yeah. It has kind of a Fallout 3 ending where it just pieces random things together to profile me. To be honest it sounded like a bunch of nonsense. But hey, maybe my intelligence is a bit off... 


Got some weird flashbacks with this one. There were four parts to this test, only three of them I understood. 
The first part was the typical "which image is the next in the sequence" test. For example, one would be clocks, and it would go 3, 4, 5, and you would have to pick the one that said six o'clock. Of course the test got weird with faces and other images that seemed to have no correlation at all.   

Is it the...more angrier one? 

The second part gave you five images, and you would have to remove two that didn't belong. Again, starts easy enough, but then gets weird. Some are pretty good though, making you feel pretty smart if you figure it out. 

Hint: Visualize the ball rolling.

The third one gave you a matrix of images, and you had to pick the image that completes it, some were pretty easy, some were kinda tricky. It then expands them to 3x3 matrices, which were pretty tricky. But it kept getting weirder. 

What's next? 4x4? Oh what the fuck...
The last section...I still don't get. Maybe I'm just a bit slow, but it baffled me. The description was this: " You will see geometric shapes and a dot. Estimate the dot's position against the other figures and select the option, which lets you place the dot as shown in the example."  Seemed pretty simple at first read, then I got to the tutorial and just blanked. Did I mention that the game does not allow you to go back and read the tutorial information after you pass it? 

My reaction after seeing this: "Wait, WHAT?"
I stared at that for about 30 seconds, picked the one on the left cause it kinda made sense. "Well, I can put the dot in the oval and it would be on the opposite side of the stick." Then I just guessed my way through it. Even after reading the recording, I still wasn't completely sure what it was asking for. Then again, isn't that what true intelligence is? Making sense of nonsense!? 
After this test, I got my analysis. My intellect is IMPRESSIVE! You hear that? Despite guessing through the last one I am STILL smart! The intelligence one wasn't as weird as the nervous system one (It didn't tell me to take a vacation). I'm thinking of failing the tests just to see what it says, should be interesting. Can't wait for the game to just badmouth me.  
That's all for TestYourself, I might do more videos when the new tests are revealed, there is also a social mode which I haven't tried yet. Any new videos will be on my YouTube channel. TestYourself Intelligence and Nervous System are currently on sale on PSN for $3. I mean, if you're interested in this after watching the videos, it might be worth a look, I wouldn't say this is a must buy though.

Yippee/Yeehaw Dr. Robotnik Mean Bean Machine Avatars

In the midst of my Dynasty Warriors and Monster Hunter gameplay, I have gotten back into an old favorite of mine back in the Genesis days. Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. A reskinned Puyo Pop if the internet rumors are to be believed. Instead of bunching up four puyos you bunch up four...beans? Something about Dr. Robotnik trying to capture beans from Beantown to make the best chili ever made. Because Sonic loves Chili Dogs. It's ALL canon, look it up. Anyway, this game is semi related to the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon (The really cheesy one, not the serious one), because it has Scratch, Grounder, and Coconuts in it.  Anyway, there are 12 various robots you have to defeat before fighting Robotnik (Eggman for the younger generation). And they each have their own reactions and facial expressions. So I created avatars for use on various websites. You can be rocking Sir Ffuzzy Logik's #winning face across the various websites you frequent.  
Anyway, boredom. Here they are. 


Valuable Item: 9 Persons, 9 Hours, 9 Doors Bracelet Watch.

My favorite game of the year so far is 999 (Which I picked up thanks to the review by  GB user LiK). That game was one of those that sank its hooks into you and kept them in you, especially after reaching one of the game's many endings. 

Gas Mask Hood combo is all the rage these days.
Although I had finished the game, I didn't feel done with it. Read interpretations of the plot and found some artwork and wallpapers, then I came across the bundle from Aksys that had the watch and the game. The watch was modeled after the bracelets each character wore in the game. They were the key to escaping and also made sure that they played by the rules. A stylish pink bracelet that kinda looked like a watch. Each watch had a detonator that would blow up a bomb placed in the victim if they did something outside of the rules. 

Call me silly, but that could very well be an S.

Unfortunately, by the time I learned of this watch, the bundles were sold out, with zero chance of the watches coming back.  Lucky for me (and bad for my wallet), something like a mere "sold out" wasn't going to stop me from getting a hold of one of these. So I searched and was able to pick up one of these from ebay, as an added bonus, the price was slightly lower than an arm and a leg. 

Not included: Detonator
The first thing I thought when I opened it up was how good it felt. The actual watch is made of metal, despite its plastic looking appearance. The watch is well put together as far as the metal plates go. Each section of it is connected by 3 plastic wires. It is very flexible, and the watch goes on rather nicely. 
The display has a mirror-like finish to it, and when you press the right button on it, it displays the time with red leds. You can also set the date, and whether you want a 12 or 24 hour clock. The time is only displayed for a couple of seconds and then it turns off again. The time the watch stays on was a bit too short for my tastes.
Does this watch stand up as a normal watch? I'd have to say no, the little clasps that close the watch feel delicate, and repeated putting on and removing it seems like it would make short work of these. Not to mention the plastic wires holding the watch sections together can slide out if you pull on the watch hard enough. Sure, a stress test by pulling on the watch by each end may have been a bit much, but it's better than not knowing right?  
I think the watch is pretty cool, but I have to be honest here. This thing is cool as a prop and not much more. If you are a big fan of the game and don't mind spending more than the cost of the game to pick one up, you can find one out there. 

The first promo Pokemon for B/W: Hurry or you'll miss it.

Today marked the first time I had been to a GameStop in about half a year. I picked up this flyer there. 
Ruby/Sapphire were the last versions that had the "Gotta Catch em All" tag, mainly because of promotional Pokemon. 
You know the ones, rare events that you can miss and miss your chance of getting that Pokemon. FOREVER! 
One of the first Pokemon seen from this generation was Zoroark, a foxlike Pokemon. 
He isn't available in B/W normally. You have to transfer a Shiny Legendary Beast to Black and White. 
Gamestop is giving these out through Mystery Gift, and (my apologies) the window for the first one has already passed. 
 But you can get Shiny Entei from the 17th through the 23rd, and Shiny Suicune from Jan 31 to Feb 6.  
I got over my catch-em-all addiction after SoulSilver (Got to 300 before giving up), but I hope that this can help those of you interested in B/W. Scans Below 


The last question of Christmas 2010: Who who gets the shirt?

 This method was a pain in the ass, but it still beats the random number generator.
A couple days ago, I posted my dilemma about an extra shirt that I had, and so I decided to give it to one of you lucky people. 
Let me tell you, the responses I got were amazing. I got funny responses, heartbreaking responses, utterly random responses. They were all great, the few hours after I posted the first blog, I saw the responses and felt bad. I only have one shirt to give away, and that was a shame.  
So after the cutoff time, I cut up pieces of paper, wrote everyones name on it as I read their comments again, and threw them into a hat. As shown above. Shook the hat a bit, made sure the names were mixed enough, and drew a name. The lucky winner.  

The winner!


Congratulations JJWeatherman, fate smiles on you today, and you win the snazzy Giant Bomb shirt.  

I had fun doing this, I will probably do this again later on. I highly doubt that the prize will be one of these shirts though. The only reason I had an extra was due to a mixup. I don't really think it would be fair to order extra shirts from the store just to give away (right?). But I have the tendency to acquire a lot of random, strange, stuff. So I'm sure I can give someone something. No guarantees, but you never know.  
Thanks to everyone who posted, and played along, you're all awesome people, and this community is amazing.

If you want one of those GB shirts, I have an extra one...

 When they announced the store opening, a fellow subscriber asked me to order him a shirt on the day that it opened, since he was going to be at work. I said fine, whatever, just pay me double. 
The store opened up for about 73 seconds, and I was able to buy me a shirt and him a shirt. Turns out, he got off early, and didn't tell me until the next day. 
Guess what? He ALSO was able to buy him a shirt. 
I completely forgot about this until I get my GB shirt in the mail, along with the extra, so now I have a dilemma. 
 The shirt isn't my size (He wears a 2XL), and truth be told, having 2 of these shirts would be a crime. 
I thought briefly about selling it, but NO! We are Giant Bomb dammit, a (slight) step above the rest of the internet. 
So I am going to give it away, for free, to someone else.  To prove that I am not bluffing, here is the shirt. 
I figure this way the people that missed the store (due to not getting an email, not being home, or not being a member) can still get in on the shirt fun.

 Comment on this, and it could be YOURS! Kiss those Hot Topic shirts GOODBYE!

Here's how this is going to work. I am going to post a picture of said shirt on Giant Bomb. 
In the comment section of the picture, tell me why you deserve the shirt.  
I am a poor judge of character, so I will draw the winner randomly, all you have to do is post any kind of comment on the picture. 
 Of course, if you think this is a bad idea, I could always do a "FOLLOW AND RETWEET TO WIN MY SHIRT" contest on twitter, but then there exists the possibility of someone outside the WM family winning it, and that would be a shame. 

Here is the link to the picture, comment here and you're in! Good luck. 
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you Giant Bomb (and other Whiskey Media folks). 

Valuable Item: Dynasty Warriors 4 Treasure Box Edition.

Welcome to Valuable Item, formerly known as Photoblog, my picture by picture look at crazy video game related stuff I have managed to get a hold of.

It's not even 2011 yet, but I'm pretty sure my GOTY of next year will be Dynasty Warriors 7. Not going to lie, I am a pretty big fan of that series. With hype for Dynasty Warriors games reaching a dangerous level, my mind is a bit clouded. So, of course when an opportunity came along, I was going to go after it. I saw something that I just HAD to buy.

This is Dynasty Warriors 4: Treasure Box Edition. That's right, Dynasty Warriors 4, originally released in 2003. Well, technically since this is the Japanese version that would make it Shin Sangokumusou 3 (The first Dynasty Warriors was a 2D fighting game, that is why the numbers are different, and to avoid confusion I'm referring to this as Dynasty Warriors). This is similar to the Prestige versions of Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2 in price and what is included. Anyways, lets open this up and see what is inside!

Now, you would hope that the game would be included as part of this package, and it is, but there is ANOTHER game included! The other game is Dynasty Warriors 3 + the Xtreme Legends add on. The cool thing about this (aside from the lack of disc swapping) is that it has a complete save file, so everyone is unlocked.  

 Thankfully it isn't a pencilboard, who collects those things?

Next up we have postcards, because like the warriors and battles in this game, postcards are a relic of an age long gone. There are 16 postcards, each one featuring a character from the game. They have a shiny background like some trading cards, and it's always nice to see how these characters used to look Remember when Liu Bei had facial hair? Remember how small Lu Bu used to be before he got totally ripped? You bet you do! You can check out all of the postcards below.

The other thing is a desk calendar, I have no idea what I would do with a desk calendar for the year 2004 (Leap year, bummer). But I guess if I felt inclined I could use it as a picture frame or something.

Ah yes, a soundtrack. The staple of any special edition. I love the music in these games. Good thing this cd is NOT a soundtrack.



That's right, a drama CD. If you aren't familiar with what a drama CD is. Think of it like a radio show, with characters of the series going on zany adventures. This CD in particular is a short version of events in the game from the oath in the peach garden to the start of the Three Kingdoms era, if Google Translate is to be believed. This is completely lost on me, I do not understand Japanese. But I guess it might be cool for those that do. Dynasty Warriors 4 did have some awesome cutscenes.

My favorite kind of gaming swag: Playing Cards. The playing cards in this feature every playable character in the game, with each kingdom given their own suit. There are also the special mounts and some of the generic officers, the cards are pretty neat, along with the artwork.   You can see each playing card below.

Now, when I first went through this, I thought that was it, then I noticed that I could take out the bottom of the box, and look what I found.


This profile book is pretty neat, if only for the pictures inside. I am not able to read Japanese, so...a good majority of this book is lost on me. But this book probably contains a somewhat historical recap of who these characters really were, and what they did. And if it's not based on history, it is definitely based on the book Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the inspiration for the series.

This last one is a hardcover art book. I personally do not find art books as intriguing as some people, but I do find it neat to flip through and check out.   As an added bonus, there is even a little bit of strategy for the game in the back, with character profiles and maps of all the stages. Also how to unlock things such as weapons. It is a really nice looking book.  

Dynasty Warriors 4 was my introduction to the series, so this package is a neat look into the game that started me on my Dynasty Warriors obsession. If you are a fan of the series (and if you're still reading at this point, I guess you would have to be) it is an awesome collection. It is also a nice reminder, that despite the crazy collector editions of games we get now, Japan was doing this for years before we were. This box was an awesome early Christmas present for me (I count self bought things as presents) Koei has a way with their Treasure Box editions of games (ahem, KoeiTecmo), and this is the first one I've actually owned myself, its pretty awesome. Actually, I'm so thrilled with everything in here, I might go out and find another one...  

List of things included   with this. Quick recap
  • Dynasty Warriors 4
  • Dynasty Warriors 3+XL Complete
  • Postcards
  • Desk Calendar
  • Playing Cards
  • Drama CD
  • Profile Book
  • Art Book

Favorite game-related music this year?

Game-related music. Called it that for a reason. I mean, you have music from games that have come out this year. That is simple enough. But it cannot be that simple. There were a lot of music in games that wasn't necessarily made for that game. Example's being some of Celldweller's stuff in Dead Rising 2. Is it right to disqualify a song that made a moment in a game great because the song wasn't originally made for that game? I don't think so.
Then you have to get to remade versions of classic songs, examples being Dancing Mad from the Distant Worlds 2 CD. One of my favorite songs this year because as far as I know, that is the first real redone version of that song. (Compared to One Winged Angel's 423 revisions). Also, fan songs have their special place too. Just because it was not produced by a top composer or a famous musician, that doesn't mean it is worthless. Some people can take old game music and turn it into something awesome, something that brings back fond memories.
Anyway, disclaimer aside. What is your favorite game-related music that came out this year. I currently have a list of about 20 songs that I will whittle down to a top ten. But you know, it just wouldn't be fun without seeing what the community thinks as well. Is Far Away going to be the most popular song? Or is the retro-styled Scott Pilgrim sountrack one that won hearts all over?

So Giant Bomb community, I ask you, what were your favorite game-related songs this year?

(Warning: There will probably be spoilers)

My contribution to this topic. Koi no Yoshiroyoku (Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker)
The first sight of this song was a bizarre as hell video that looked like something straight out of an anime opening.
A J-pop song that fits well with Hideo Kojima's method of putting random songs in his games (Snake Eater).
The song wasn't really something that wowed at first. J-pop isn't my thing, sad to say.
But once you beat the game, beat 90% of the optional missions, and played hide-and-seek a number of times. You FINALLY get to the "True" ending of the game.
The theme song for the ultimate final battle in Peace Walker? This goddamn J-pop song. 
Now I mean, I guess it makes sense. It is the theme of Paz (aka Pacifica Ocean, goddamn your names Kojima) so of course when you fight her it would be playing her song. SURPRISE! An MGS game where someone you thought was your friend wasn't your friend, and they have been plotting the whole thing the whole time! How about that. But whether it is due to this being the final battle, or maybe the connection you thought you had with Paz before she stabbed you in the back, this song made this boss battle amazing, and probably one of the best of the year.

Photoblog: Animal Crossing Playing Cards from Club Nintendo.

My latest delivery from Club Nintendo
 I'm definitely a Luigi

Hello ladies and gents, it's time for another photoblog! (I'd call it a picture-blog, but it doesn't quite have that ring to it, you know?) The subject for this one is a deck of playing cards I received from Club Nintendo. If you aren't familiar with Club Nintendo, basically you register Wii and DS games you purchase, and then take surveys about them. "Why did you buy this game? Would you recommend this game to someone else? Are you more of a Mario or a Luigi?" 

Those are all example questions.    For every game you register and take a survey about, you get COINS! SHINY GOLDEN BEAUTIFUL COINS! You can use these coins to redeem for random Nintendo stuff, like screensavers, terrycloth towels and DS games. Today I am showcasing this deck of playing cards I got for 500 coins. This isn't just a regular deck of playing cards, it is based on Animal Crossing: Wild World, a game I spent way too much time on back in the day. (Note to Nintendo: New Animal Crossing for 3DS please)

It comes in neat packaging, and each card has a character from the game on it. And the cards are very nice. The art on the cards is of very high quality (it is way better than the scans). If you've ever played Animal Crossing, you know that there are an insane amount of animals you can meet in that game. So of course you probably won't know everyone on all of these cards. This also means you won't see all of your favorites. (The omission of Redd is a disappointment. I love that crazy fox.) But looking through these, you will probably feel some nostalgia, and some of these might even bring a ear to ear grin across your face (ROVER!) So, here we go, scans of all of the cards. Enjoy!

Five observations after seeing this cards.

  1. I like the cards with two characters on them, but did Tom Nook's kids deserve their own card? I think a bribe was involved.
  2. A rabbit dressed as a ninja named Snake. My sister actually had this one in her town, pretty neat I must say.
  3. The six of spades, fucking ROBOT FROG!
  4. Some of these names are horrible. But Kapp'n is probably the most brilliant name in the series.
  5. The Blanca card is just amazing. If you don't remember, she would randomly show up in your town, and let you draw HER FACE!
That's all for today. As Christmas approaches, I'll be sure to have more random stuff to show off to you all. Thanks for reading!