Friday, 25 January 2013

Taking a look at 2013.

Well, we're not even a month into the year yet, but I've already noticed that 2013 is a very busy year indeed.

I'm already struggling to keep up with all of the releases I want, which, compared to this time last year, is very odd indeed. 

The start of a new year is typically quiet. One or two bigger releases, along with a few small releases. Nothing too major.

Last year there were a few games I wanted at the start of the year, and I managed to get most (if not all) of the editions/games/movies I wanted, without going over budget (eg: I was still left with ample funds afterwards). This year however, majority of the big releases that were announced for 2013 all seem to have early 2013 releases, which is rather bizarre (and worrying). 

If we have big name games such as Tomb Raider, Gears of War Judgment, Ni No Kuni, God of War Ascension, Dead Space 3, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, Bioshock Infinite, etc. all within just the first three months of the year, what is the rest of the year going to be like?

I pray that it means that the latter half of 2013 will be much quieter than previous years, but I already know that I'm dreaming if I think that will be true. The latter half of the year is the time to bring out games, in the run up to Christmas - that's where all of the companies get most of their sales, so obviously they will want games to release during that period.

And with all of the rumours of the next gen consoles floating around the net, does this mean we might see a late 2013 next-gen console release? Is that why they are forcing out all of these releases now?

I was adamant that next-gen consoles would not arrive until at least mid 2014, but the more I think about it, the more I worry.

The next few months are insanely expensive for me as it is, what with all the games due out, a few First 4 Figures statues (and Gaming Heads ones) due for release soon, too - as well as both mine and Allan's 21st birthday's coming up, 2013 is looking to be a hella expensive year.

So please, Microsoft/Sony (and all game developers, too), please make late 2013 a little quieter on the CE front than usual, and don't make the next-gen consoles drop in time for Christmas.

V.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

V's 2013 Challenge.

I have set myself a challenge for this year. It may not seem like much to some of you, but it is quite a monumental task. Believe me.

I am setting myself the challenge of photographing my entire collection, in a precise way. With a white backdrop, I will photograph everything in a very detailed manner. Shots of each side of the box (if there is detail to be seen), contents (as a whole) shots, individual shots of pieces inside the CE, etc. 

This is something I've always planned to do, but with a collection that grows tremendously, even in the space of a month, it's been a daunting prospect, and one that I've put off constantly.

But yesterday I worked my way through my Assassin's Creed collection (albeit I forgot a few items), and tomorrow I plan to work through some more. 

I apologise though, as I don't plan on revealing the images until I've got between one half, and three quarters of the collection photographed - that way I'll have a constant stream to upload, with a few CEs worth (or a franchise worth) of photos each day, but as I'll still have some photos left to take, at least with the huge amount of pics already taken, I won't have to worry about running out of stuff to show you all.

This year has been pretty slow so far, what with me only receiving (I think) one delivery since January 1st, which compared to a normal month of collecting, is very, very little. But starting from next week, my deliveries will be kicked up to full speed again...

Which probably means I should try my best to get as much done before then as is humanly possible!

Any advice for a photography noob?

V.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Top Ten Purchases of 2012.

Okay, after careful consideration, I have come to a decision on what my top ten purchases of 2012 are.

They might not be what everyone else would have chosen (if they were me), but these are my top ten, and I'll give you the reasons why :)

10. Borderlands 2 Ultimate Loot Chest Edition.

After the whole excitement regarding this release, once I finally got my hands on it, I felt a little underwhelmed. Then after the various differences between the UK and US versions started to appear, and the ensuing horror of the US version being ever so slightly better (as well as the pity on the people who paid insane amounts of money on eBay for a copy due to it being so "limited"), I was feeling less and less satisfied with my £99.99 preorder.

Once the initial disappointment over the slight alterations between regional copies went away, I once again got excited over my purchase. For £99.99, it is a very nice edition (much better than some other editions which have hit - or almost hit - that price range in the past), and oh so full of content. This is why I'm making it number 10 on my list. If I'd paid more than RRP for it though, I'd have been severely pissed when it was revealed that it was limited to 52K in the US, and unknown amounts in the UK, as it is not at all as limited as it was made out to be.

9. Sucker Punch SDCC Exclusive Steelbook.

This wasn't so much a "purchase" as I got it as part of a trade over at SteelbookHunterz (*waves*). I had a copy of the Play.com exclusive Kick Ass steelbook, which had a flawed reverse, in that the J-card on the back was actually not a Kick Ass J-card, but an Incredible Hulk one. 

I've never really planned on selling or trading any of my items (as I really don't like to do that), but I was given an offer I simply couldn't refuse. Three steelbooks for my Kick Ass: Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Sucker Punch. The Iron Man steelbooks were high up on my want list, due to me missing out on them (they were also Play.com exclusives), so when I was offered both of those PLUS Sucker Punch, as much as I didn't want to lose one of my own items, I couldn't not say yes.

The Sucker Punch SDCC steelbook is still one of my favourite steelbooks in my collection, as it is stunning.

8. Risen 2 Keg Edition.

This edition was exclusive to Poland and the Czech Republic (maybe a handful of other countries nearby, too), and as soon as I saw it, I knew I needed it. It is an absolutely gorgeous edition, very unusual for a CE (being a wooden keg, numbered, with all of the contents inside). 

I was very lucky and managed to snag number 004. I believe the edition is limited to 999 (considering the three digit limit on the small plaque), although technically it could be less than that. Either way, I got number FOUR!

And for an edition with quite a fair bit of contents, and made of actual wood, it was pretty damn cheap.

Definitely one of my favourite CEs of all time.

7. Far Cry 3 Insane Edition.

I know, I know. You're probably wondering why this is on my list. Well, it's on it for two reasons really. One is that without this edition, I'd never have gotten interested in Far Cry 3 (and later preorder the Wish You Were Here Edition, too), and Far Cry 3 is by far my favourite game of 2012, and probably of the past few years, too. So, without this edition (and the WYWH Edition, too), I'd never have played, and would be missing out.

Secondly, by preordering this edition over at Zavvi, I was entered into a competition to win tickets to Gamescom, and holy shit...

I WON!

So yeah, this game (and this particular edition) has given me two of my favourite things of 2012 - Far Cry 3 itself, and my trip to Gamescom in Germany.

So thank you Far Cry 3!

6. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune Press Kit.

I never thought I'd ever get to own this PK. Prices for it were always stupidly high, and due to all the sales always being on eBay, and not through a seller I knew, I couldn't exactly arrange for them to hold onto it for me.

Until this year.

Ingmar over at CEo managed to get a hold of quite a hefty bunch of these Press Kits, and sold them all on, so I was able to get him to hold one for me until I had the money, et voila! 

I am now the proud owner :) Albeit it's value has dropped by quite a bit since so many were then flooded into the market, that doesn't bother me, as I don't ever intend to sell it, and I'm sure the value will go back up eventually anyway.

5. The Dark Knight Trilogy Steelbook Edition.

This was available for preorder over at Amazon.de, and I preordered it expecting it to be a steelbook with all three movies inside it. So, I also preordered the UK Trilogy, as well as the The Dark Knight Rises steelbook from HMV.

Later, the image for this item was updated on Amazon, to show that it was in fact a separate steelbook for each of the three movies. Steelbooks that I had previously meant to pick up, but never gotten round to it.

YES!

I was super excited, and cancelled my TDKR steelbook preorder from HMV (since this was gonna include it anyway), and cancelled my UK Trilogy preorder, since I figured it'd be much more widely available afterwards. And how right I was...

This later sold out, leading to a price hike on Amazon.de, with private sellers trying to make a rather large profit from them, and even now, the UK trilogy is still in stock almost everywhere.

Very glad I made that decision.

4. Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3DS Konami Style Premium Package.

When I saw this was available in Japan as part of a raffle, I was really interested. Super rare, and only available to purchase if you managed to be one of the lucky ones with a winning raffle ticket, I resigned myself to the fact I'd never own one.

Discussions over on CEo then prompted me to look on the Japan export sites, as many of these sites had managed to source a few copies (assumably by either buying them from actual winners, or by repeatedly entering the raffle to try and win the chance to purchase). 

Solaris Japan ended up with a few copies, and I ordered one. Sadly, I was a little short on cash, so I contacted Jacob and told him my intention on purchasing the item, and asked if it would be possible for him to hold onto it until I round up the extra cash. He was very understanding, and granted my wishes. 

A while later (and by a while, I mean QUITE a while, as I chose seamail so I could have it sent with it's battery intact), it finally arrived to me, and I was so happy. It was finally a part of my collection.

Japanese 3DSs unfortunately don't have an option to change the language to English, so it has always just remained as a display piece in my collection, rather than one I use (although even if it could be changed to English, I'd probably not use it anyway through fear of damaging it!). Also, it is region locked, so can only play Japanese games, which I don't really intend on buying many of, so it will still stay unused, for now anyway.

Doesn't make me cherish it any less though.

3. Darksiders II Premium Edition.

I had the UK Collector's Edition preordered, but didn't bother with this since it looked like it was pretty much the same. I eventually bit the bullet, since the rumours of it being numbered were seemingly true, and I'm super glad I did. Not long after I ordered, it went sky high in price, and once I'd received it, I could see it was so much better than the UK CE.

I even wrote a comparison to show how much superior it was. It's such a gorgeous edition, and the Death Mask is just amazing. Definitely a very well done edition, and deserves to be in my top three.

If you don't have it, and spot one for a decent price, I'd definitely urge you to nab it, you won't be disappointed.

2. Dead Rising Servbot Mug.

This is a very peculiar item, from Korea. Given out as a bonus for those who bought Dead Rising, it is limited to 500, and each one is signed by Keiji Inafune. 

I got it from driv3r over at CEo, so big thanks to him :)

A few articles mention that each one comes with a Mega Man sketch on the underside of the mug, but this is untrue, only one has this sketch on the underside as far as I know, one which probably wasn't given out as a bonus (and was either kept by Keiji himself, or whatever).

A video actually exists on YouTube of Keiji signing them all, and wow. It sure does take a long time...

I'm sure if he were to have sketched Mega Man on each one, it'd have taken much longer (the Youtube video proves that they are only signed).

It is very much a highlight of my collection, despite not being on display. The only reason I don't have it on display is because I have it hidden, still in it's box, behind some other items purely to prevent AJ breaking it. As after the amount of money I spent on a MUG, I'd probably just die if it was to get broken.

1. Fable II Lost Contents.

Number one on my list just has to be the Fable II Lost Contents. It might not seem like much to a lot of people, but Fable II was one of the first games I played on Xbox 360, and one of the only games I had for it when I first ventured into current gen gaming (along with Halo 3, Viva Piñata and COD 4).

So, naturally, when I first started collecting, Fable II was high on my priorities. I searched, and found that the only edition that was made available for Fable II was the basic Limited Edition, with the grey slipcover. Rather boring I thought, as well as pretty common, so I figured I'd wait and get it a little later.  After some discussion with Allan, he told me how he'd preordered a better edition for Fable II, which was then cancelled, although he wasn't sure why. After some serious digging, I discovered the edition that never was.

I nicknamed it the Fable II Lost Contents, so that I'd have something to actually name it within my many Wanted Lists, and Lost Contents seemed fitting.

Eventually, I discovered that some copies of it were in fact made, and distributed prior to the cancellation. These copies ended up being more like Press Kits than CEs since they seem to only have been given out prior to release (and not to preorders), so I expect it was to generate hype about the CE (therefore giving them to people in the media?) and then when the CE was scrapped, these copies were left floating around out there.

In September last year, my dreams from when I first began to collect finally came true.

I finally snagged a copy of the Fable II Lost Contents. They have now been "found".

Major thanks to Gee over at CEo for that :)

And that's all for my Top Ten Purchases of 2012.

Hope you all enjoyed it!

What are your top ten?

V. 

It's coming!

The "Top Ten Purchases of 2012" post is coming guys, don't worry!

I've just been really busy the past few days so that has unfortunately been pushed back, but no worries, it is now on it's way.

I am just going to have a look through my collection, as I'm not sure what all ten items will be, so I'll be back ASAP with my decisions :)

Check back soon!

V.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

AJ the Destroyer.

This morning, whilst ironing a top for Allan to wear to work, I heard an almighty "AJ! NOOOOO!" come from the livingroom.

I hurried in, to find AJ looking sheepish and Allan standing over our CEs stating "they're ruined".

AJ had gotten Irn Bru all over quite a few of our CEs.

If you don't know what Irn Bru is, it's a delightful Scottish soft drink. Fizzy, sweet and wait for it... bright orange in colour.



This then led to the rushed mopping and wiping of the affected CEs.

Witcher 2 Dark Edition.
Witcher 2 Enhanced Edition (Signed by one of the Devs).
The Walking Dead Season 2 BluRay CE.
Assassin's Creed Renesance Edition.
Assassin's Creed III Xzone Preorder Bonuses (feather and book).
Fable III Playing Cards.
Assassin's Creed III Playing Cards (in tin).
F.3.A.R Steelbook.
F.3.A.R Press Kit.
Call of Duty Black Ops II Tesco Preorder Bonus T-shirt (in box).
Guild Wars 2 Collector's Edition.

Luckily all of them survived with no lasting marks. The juice barely touched a few of them, and the ones that were most affected are "shiny", so the liquid just sat on top and didn't seep in. So after a quick wipe, almost everything was perfect.

Except my poor Guild Wars 2 CE.

The juice dripped down inside the box, onto the raw cardboard inside, soaking in, and making it all soggy and soft. I've taken the box apart for now (taken the two loose interior cardboard parts out) and have set them all down, away from each other, to give them a chance to dry.

Hopefully the damage isn't permanent...

V. 


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Gotta catch 'em all!

Okay, I've given myself a few minutes to calm down from the hysteria that broke out after the Nintendo Direct livestream.

Pokémon X & Pokémon Y.

Holy crap.

I am so excited right now. We are finally getting a legitimate 3D Pokémon game (and not just an app thing like Pokédex 3D). 

I am really looking forward to this, and have already chosen my starter Pokémon. I'm definitely going for Fennekin - I'm pretty loyal to my fire types.

Are you looking forward to them? If so, who will you choose as your starter?

V.

Friday, 4 January 2013

V's Top Five Games of 2012.

Well, we're four days into the new year, so I have had an ample amount of time to carefully consider which games of 2012 (that I've played) deserve to be in my top five.

Remember, only games I have played can be in the top five, so a few big name releases that you'd have expected to be in this list won't be (due to me not having time to get round to playing them yet! *cough* Assassin's Creed III *cough*), also, only games that actually were released in 2012 will be on the list (so I can't vote for pre-2012 games).

Okay, now onto the list!

5. The Amazing Spider-Man.

Game to movie adaptations are rarely good. Same goes for movie-to-game ones. Albeit this wasn't a direct copy of the movie, it was made as a sort-of sequel. But still, being in the same vein as a movie to game adaptation, I played with baited breath, waiting for something to make me go "nah, fuck it - it's shit". But it never happened. There were a few moments that annoyed me (mainly because once I mess up once, I get increasingly frustrated, making me mess up more), but nothing to make me hate the game.

I'm sure many people will disagree, but I definitely found this to be a really fun game - and by including in game collectibles (comic pages), this intensified that fun. I guess being a real-life collector fuelled that...

4. Lollipop Chainsaw.

I love zombie games, but even this had me wondering. Brightly coloured, cheerleading girl in kinda slutty outfits... Hmm. I thought "holy shit, this is gonna suck". I then watched videos (pre-release) and started to warm up to it a little, then saw the competition that was being run to see who would be the official "face" of Juliet Starling. 

And then the girl-crush on Jessica Nigri began.

Preordered the game (with two days to go!), to ensure I got my preorder bonus costumes (Rockabilly and Pink Catsuit), and waited patiently for it's arrival.

Okay. Impatiently.

I paid for release day shipping (yes Amazon, fuck you and your shitty non-release-day shipping if you don't pay extra, hmph!) and surprise surprise. It didn't turn up.

Got my shipping money refunded, game turned up the next day, and I began my journey into Lollipop Chainsaw.

It's actually very fun, albeit a little bizarre - but what's not to love about chopping zombies to bits, killing them with a combine harvester (I still can't get that song out of my head "You spin me right round baby, right round..." arrgh!), and lots of bright colours and a comic book style in the cutscenes.

Oh, and a boyfriend that is JUST a head.

3. Sleeping Dogs.

Essentially just another True Crime game, I was apprehensive at first. I've never played a True Crime game in my life (to my knowledge), and have never really felt the need to. I know, I know... I should stop being so judgemental against games. True Crime just always sounded like such a shit boring title for a game, so I just never bothered with those games.

Also, I bypassed most of the older-gen consoles, therefore missed a lot of older games.

Preordered this so we'd get the Day 1 edition (that, and Allan wanted to get it to play anyway), and once we got it, I gave it a shot - not expecting much.

But wow, I loved it. It reminded me of GTA games, albeit not as large, and with lots of side missions, and decent driving mechanics, I was hooked.

Was very proud of myself for recognising Emma Stone's voice in the game (as well as Sun from Lost!), only to later see their names in the intro of the game anyway (facepalm).

Played it constantly, and was only shelved because I completed it. Bought a copy for Allan's younger brother for Christmas too, just to share the love.

2. Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes.

First ever Lego game I've played, and I loved it. So much so, that it caused me to then ask for Lego Pirates of the Caribbean and Lego Lord of the Rings for Christmas. And also made me want to play through the other Lego games I already owned (courtesy of Allan: Lego Indiana Jones, Lego Star Wars Saga, Lego Batman). 

Being my first Lego game (to play), the open world thing just seemed normal to me, so when I move onto the other non-open world Lego games, it might seem really weird to me, which is a little worrying, but as mentioned above for The Amazing Spider-Man, I love in-game collecting, so collecting all the lego bricks, minikits, characters, etc is just awesome to me.

Can't wait to move onto the next Lego game (haven't decided which yet!), give me your opinions on which I should play next :) (and yes, I know I should've probably played Lego Batman before Lego Batman 2, but oh well).

1. Far Cry 3. 

By far, my number one game of 2012 HAS to be Far Cry 3. I've got to say, it surprised me. I preordered this game quite a long time ago, for two reasons: one being that the game looked quite interesting, and the second reason (which was probably my main reason behind getting it) was that the Insane Edition looked pretty cool. 

I then won tickets to Gamescom through Zavvi (whom I placed my preorder with), as preordering Far Cry 3 with them entered you into a draw to win the tickets (I've written a few posts on that already). 

And then I preordered a second edition of it, with the help of a good friend over at CEo (Letrico!) - the Wish You Were Here Edition, which was exclusive to EB Games in Australia.

Fast forward to release date, and I play the game, and boom, I'm addicted.

Far Cry 3 is one of the very few games I've completed (ever!), and despite completing it (the story), gathering all collectibles, and spending well over 30 hours in Rook Island, exploring, hunting and just generally surviving, I actually don't feel ready to stop playing yet, so I've actually started a second playthrough...

Also, the soundtrack is just absolutely amazing, and is now the soundtrack of my day-to-day life (Allan thinks there's something wrong with me :P). And Vaas, that crazy son-of-a-bitch with the mohawk? Yeah, well he is just the most awesome protagonist I've seen in a long time.

Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?

Ugh, there's just so much to love about Far Cry 3, but I'll let you all figure the rest out for yourselves :)

Honourable Mentions.

- Batman Arkham City Game of the Year Edition.

I technically couldn't count this before, since the actual game itself was a 2011 release, but the GOTY edition came out in 2012, so I'll give it an honourable mention, since I didn't have all of the DLC, nor could I play Harley Quinn's Revenge prior to the GOTY release. 

It's no secret that I'm a big ol' Batman lover, and a big ol' Harley lover even more. So the Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC was great for me, as it meant I got more time with Harley, since she's not got as large a role in the main game (albeit the DLC isn't very long at all). I loved how it all tied in together, and although it took me a while to get used to the controls again (after not playing Arkham City in months, since I completed it), once I was back in the swing of things, I absolutely loved it.

Although the box art was shit.

- Halo 4.

I love Halo, and 343 did not disappoint in their take on the franchise. My only reasoning behind not including it in my top 5 is that I don't feel I have played it enough. Too many other games keep distracting my attention from it, therefore meaning I have hardly played any of the campaign, and I've played minimal amounts of the multiplayer. But, it still deserves a mention since, well... it's Halo.

And Halo rocks.

- Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse.

All the critics said it was shit. Everyone was expecting it to be shit. And well... it was a little bit shit.

I mean, it was a really fun, enjoyable game - despite being bloody infuriating at times - but in comparison to many of the other 2012 releases, it just pales in comparison. Which is quite cruel really, as a game like this shouldn't be compared against the blockbusters. That's like comparing the show to big blockbuster movies, but it can't be helped. 

Regardless, I found it a really fun game, and far, far better than critics/reviewers made it out to be. Sure, it's nothing fantastic, but if you're a fan of the show, then you'll probably enjoy the game.

Anyway, that's my top five of 2012 list finished, feel free to tell me what your top five are :)

Check back tomorrow for my top TEN purchases of 2012!

V. 

Thursday, 3 January 2013

2013.

Well, I'm still not used to the fact that it's 2013. I keep saying 2012 still, but oh well...

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!

AJ has just this minute gone for a nap, so I'm gonna do a quick tidy up (while I have the chance), and when I'm done, I've got a brand new post for you all.

My top 5 games of 2012!

And then, if you're lucky (and if AJ stays napping for long enough), you'll also get another post:

My top 10 purchases of 2012!

So exciting, eh?

Better get cracking :)

V.

Entries to the Asylum; Monday 15th January 2018 - Sunday 21st January 2018 [Week 3].

This past week's deliveries have been quite heavily bluray filled, with only two games arriving. Of the blurays, it's been pretty h...