Not Going To San Diego Comic-Con This Year? Funko Still Wants To Give You Something Hikari!

Hikari logoThree SUPER limited edition Hikari Sofubi Vinyl figures are up for grabs this week and only THREE very lucky people will be getting the first of these three figures you can ONLY get if you attend the upcoming San Diego Comic Con! In other words, even if you DO go to the con and line up, if you’re person number 1498 to roll up to the Funko Booth (#5343), you’re pretty much SOL here. Anyway check out the trio of awesome up for this week’s giveaway:

Mean & Green Raphael:
Mean and Green Raphael

Ice Freeze Batman:
Ice Freeze Batman

Red Rain Batman:
Red Rain BatmanAs usual, if you want to win, here’s the ONLY way to do so:

Hit up one of Funko’s social media channels:

www.facebook.com/OriginalFunko
www.twitter.com/OriginalFunko
Instagram @OriginalFunko

Follow the instructions and hold your breath until next Thursday when the winners are announced. Good Luck and if you happen to win one AND pick up another at the convention, good for you, you lucky soon to be chased around by other Funko collectors guy or gal, you!

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Nintendo Wises Up, Wii-Uses The Fatal Frame License (Finally!)

 
I tell you, folks… I wish game companies would ring me up and pick my brain when they announce new hardware. As soon as I saw the Wii U GamePad revealed at that E3 a few years back, one of the FIRST games I thought NEEDED to be made was a new Fatal Frame. For the uninitiated, it’s a horror-themed series that started life on the PlayStation 2 and later got installments on the Xbox, Nintendo Wii and 3DS. Japanese Nintendo Wii U owners are getting an all-new installment in the series on September 27,2014 called Zero: Nuregarasu no Miko, which seems to be related to the upcoming movie, set to be released in theaters there the day before. While zero news of an English localization for either the game or film have been announced, for my money, it’s a no-brainer that at least the game get a proper English translation and release outside of Japan.

 
As for the film, it’s hard to gauge how it’s going to be from this way too short teaser trailer. But if it’s in the vein of other popular Japanese horror films, I’d imagine we may see a US-centric remake or at least a film set in Japan with some popular American actress(es) playing some of the roles. I’d prefer the original film get a US subtitle job and a limited release here over any remake, but I guess Hollywood calls the shots on that front.

Anyway, Nintendo? Get on that localization and get this game out here sooner than later – the Wii U NEEDS some more quality titles in different genres and horror is very under-represented on the system.

Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unknown Star Trailer: Some Would Say It’s Music of the Stares…

Arnosurge logo

Ar nosurge home_bgNot a true “sequel” to the fan-favorite Ar Tonelico games on the PlayStation 2, Tecmo Koei’s upcoming Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unknown Star uses enough elements from those games and is set in the same universe, allowing fans of those games to dive right on in with relative ease. Interestingly enough, Ar nosurge is actually the sequel to a PlayStation Vita game never released outside Asia called Ciel nosurge, an episodic adventure/sim that had its first chapter released on a game card, another other nine DLC chapters since and twelve planned total chapters when all is said and done later this year.

Of course, the chances of Ciel nosurge coming out here are about zero, but big thanks go out to Tecmo Koei for getting Gust’s latest PS3 game out and localized relatively quickly. The Japanese version arrived in March there and North America and Europe will be getting English versions in September. As you can see on the official site, the “seven volumes” of screen shots as well as the the character and background art look quite lovely indeed. Granted, the game won’t be for all tastes what with its semi-dressed sort of machine-like ladies and certain sequences that will be easily misunderstood by those who judge content solely by game screens and not actually playing the game. Nonetheless, it’s great to see yet another JRPG that blends 2D and 3D art styles so well coming for Sony’s still strong “old” console. This one’s added to my “Shut Up & Play It!” list…

Funko’s Hikari Friday Giveaway Offers A Triple Treat (Or Is It Threat?) For Sci-Fi Fans!

Hikari logo 
Three Hikari Sofubi Vinyl Figures are up for grabs this week, including two really great looking Premium Transformers figures. Funko is doing these up right and as you can see below, even one of Universal Studios’ classic monsters is getting the Japanese vinyl treatment. Check out the Apocalypse Creature Hikari Sofubi Figure (the lucky winner gets #1 of only 750 made, the rest of you need to fly into your local Funko retailer and hope they’re not sold out):

Apocalypse Creature Hikari Sofubi Figure 

And for you Transformers fans, Funko has introduced its Hikari Premium line that features over 75 paint applications applied to each figure, making for a supremely detailed collectible. Both limited to 1000 pieces, they’ll be EXCLUSIVELY available in September on the Entertainment Earth website. First up for grabs is the Battle Ready Optimus Prime Hikari Premium Sofubi Figure (#1 of 1000):

Battle Ready Optimus Prime Hikari Premium 

And here’s the Battle Ready Bumblebee Hikari Premium Sofubi Figure:

Battle Ready Bumblebee Hikari Premium 

As usual, entering is a SNAP. Just boogie on over to one of Funko’s social media pages:

www.facebook.com/OriginalFunko
www.twitter.com/OriginalFunko
Instagram @OriginalFunko

Do what you need to do and keep those fingers crossed and an eyeball on your email inbox next Thursday when the winners are announced. As always, good luck!

Review: End of Serenity

EOS_ArtPlatform: Sony PSP/Vita

Developer: World Wide Software/Kemco

Publisher: Natsume

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 & Up)


Official Site

Score: B (80%)

Are you jonesing for some old school JRPG bliss but find yourself pressed for time? Are you one of those folks new to JRPGs (Japanese Role Playing Games) and want to dive in headfirst without much fuss and bother, just a fun and simple adventure to last you maybe a few days if you play on and off to and from work`? Well, Natsume has a little something for you in End of Serenity, a slightly enhanced “port” of an iOS/Android/mobile game from 2013 called End of Aspiration. No, I don’t know why the title was changed other than to guess that since “Aspiration” (which in the case of the game means “a hope or ambition of achieving something”) can also mean “the action or process of drawing breath”, some sarcastic smarty pants out there might think the title could also be read as “End of Breathing”, which isn’t a good name for a game.

Anyway, what’s here is a quite easy to get into game that can be played three ways. You can blow through the game in under nine hours total (a single sitting for those used to blocking out longer stretches of time for more epic length games), missing out on some bonus areas, items and skills. You can easily more than double that time by “farming” up fish to earn ESP (End of Serenity Points) that unlock those extra areas and goodies, or you can simply pay a few dollars more than what you just spent on PSN to buy as many ESP as you need, allowing you to access everything right from the beginning. No, this isn’t a “pay to win” game at all, as even if you’re lazy (crazy? not frugal?) enough to buy up enough ESP to bring the cost of the game up to what a JRPG would cost circa 1990 or so, you still have to play the game to see what you paid for. For my review, I decided to tackle two of the three methods at the same time, but I’ll explain that a bit more below the jump… Continue reading

It May Be A Holiday, But Funko Still Wants You To WIN Some Cool Hikari Vinyl!

Hikari logo 

Happy Independence Day! Well, all I did today (so far) was get up at 6am to do laundry (and yes, it was packed by 7:30 or so), go home and hang a few things up I don’t normally dry, then cook myself something and get back to playing End of Serenity for the review I need to write. Thrilling, huh? Anyway, I’d almost forgotten if’s Friday and another awesome Funko Hikari Sofubi Vinyl figure giveaway to blast out your way. This time it’s more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action with two figures up for grabs: Meet Limited Edition Clear Donatello(#1 of 3000) and Limited Edition Clear Michelangelo (also #1 of 3000). One each for two lucky Funko fans!

Limited Edition Clear Donatello 

LE Clear Michelangelo Hikari Sofubi Figure 
As usual, here’s how to enter:

Just click on over to one of Funko’s social network channels:

http://www.facebook.com/OriginalFunko
http://www.twitter.com/OriginalFunko
Instagram @OriginalFunko

Enter and keep your eyes peeled for a note next Thursday if you’re a winner. Simple, no? Anyway, have a safe holiday on and off the roads and good luck! If you don’t win, BOTH figures will be available for sale THIS MONTH at a retailer near you (try your local comic shop if it happens to carry Funko figures).

This Funko Hikari Friday Giveaway Is More Than Meets The Eye!

Hikari logoThis week’s Funko Hikari Vinyl Figure giveaway is a double shot for you to win one of two really cool licensed classic Transformers vinyls! Oh, here’s a little note to you big Mr. Bay-haters out there: these aren’t the ones from that new movie at all, so you can enter with pride and confidence that your shelves won’t be cluttered with that you call “inferior” product at all. Anyway, if you’re now feeling even better at that news, why not try to win?

Go hit up one of Funko’s social network channels NOW:

www.facebook.com/OriginalFunko
www.twitter.com/OriginalFunko
Instagram @OriginalFunko

Enter and keep your digital ear to the ground next Thursday, as you might just be the lucky winner of this cool Limited Edition Optimus Prime Clear Glitter Hikari Sofubi Figure:

Limited Edition Optimus Prime Clear Glitter Or this equally cool Limited Edition Bumblebee Clear Glitter Hikari Sofubi Figure:

LE Bumblebee Clear Glitter Hikari Sofubi FigureEach is #1 of 3000 and if you’re not one of the two lucky ones who snag these, you can still run like heck down to that favorite Funko emporium in August to BUY one of these babies. So, what are you waiting for? Go get your chance-o-meter revved up and get lucky!

Funko’s Hikari Friday Giveaway: No Bones About It, You’ll Want Skeletor In Your Clutches!

Hikari logo If you’re a huge fan of He-Man and the Masters of The Universe, a collector of all things vinyl toys or just want a chance to win something cool and rare, here you go. This week’s Funko Hikari giveaway is this lovely (well, if you can call that mug “lovely”) #1 of 2000 Limited Edition Mystic Powers Skeletor Hikari Sofubi Figure. Check it out:

Mystic Powers Skeletor Entering as always, is a TOTAL cinch:

www.facebook.com/OriginalFunko
www.twitter.com/OriginalFunko
Instagram @OriginalFunko

Winners are announced on the following Thursday and if you DON’T win, you can buy this outright at your favorite Funko dealer this September. Anyway, go get lucky and get this! Good Luck!

Gallery: End of Serenity

End  of Serenity_LogoJust when I was lamenting Natsume not updating its YouTube page, I get a load of screenshots and art from its E3 lineup to run here, so I’ll do just that over the next couple of days. first up is Edge of Serenity, the PSP exclusive (I’ll gather it’s Vita compatible but won’t confirm that until I hear it from someone out west) coming on June 24, 2014. As you can see this is all old-school JRPG goodness packed with classic 2D sprite art, turn-based battles and probably a very MIDI-esque music score to keep things nice and nostalgic.

End  of Serenity_MainArt

Character profiles have also been revealed for the principals, so let’s meet the cast, shall we?

Yute is a tough young merchant with a strong sense of wrong and right; the dangers of the road have sharpened his sword skills despite his tender age. He can’t bear to turn away when he sees injustice.

Eril, also known as the Azure Sorceress, is set on exposing the Underworld’s nefarious plans. Using an Atomigem-powered weapon known as an Accelerator, her cold demeanor hides a heart bruised by her upraising in a small orphanage that she strives desperately now to save.

Kat, with her jingling bells and cat-like ears, may look like a teen, but she insists she is in fact over 100 years old! Only when she opens up her heart and reveals her secret will she ever truly be understood.

Earon is an undisputed master of martial arts. With his snow white hair, it’s no surprise this trainer was thinking about retirement…that is, before he discovered that one of his former pupils might be involved in the Underworld, and has set off to discover the truth.

Kaede is a pupil trained by Earon, accompanying him on his critical mission. Rumors swirl that she is actually the last of a village of ninjas; only Kaede knows the truth, but she’s not exactly talking…

20 new screens are below the jump – make sure to grab End of Serenity next week when it arrives on PSN!

Continue reading

E3 2014: Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley – Not The Only Thing Natsume Showed This Year, But…

Alphadia Genesis Wii UYou wouldn’t know this by looking at their North American YouTube page. Now, I’m not singling Natsume out for anything mean here at all, folks. They’re a solid but much smaller publisher than some of the bigger and busier ones who show stuff at E3 and to me, that’s precisely why they NEED more updates on their main video page. Granted, they DO have a nice social presence on facebook with a page that’s updated fairly frequently. however, not everyone has or wants a facebook account and YouTube works quite well as far as letting potential customers see what’s coming (despite the pain in the butt that is Google+ hampering some basic functionality there).

Anyway, as I’ve been trumpeting, Alphadia Genesis is also coming (a port of an iOS and Android JRPG) and I posted about the rest of their lineup before the big show. Hey, I just want to see the little guys succeed, so if I can generate some thrills and hits for Natsume and their cool lineup of upcoming and already available games, I’m doing my job here.