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There Was a Quake?
October 1, 2008
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter & Star Wars NewsFigure of the Day has updated once again! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of The Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Battle Droid Quarren Soldier

From left to right: Battle Droid, Quarren Soldier. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Xbox Live Arcade This Week

Xbox Live ArcadeMega Man 9Old school game dorks (like us) rejoice! For after rolling out on the Wii and PlayStation 3, you lucky Xbox 360 owners can own Mega Man 9. It's $10 (800 points) and there's downloadable stuff to follow, but what really matters is the video game gods of Japan have made a new 8-bit video game and you can buy it. We're very excited to try it, but the video trailer Microsoft put up... well, it's either the worst thing we ever saw or there are technical difficulties. Also, it seems Microsoft is going out of their way to not promote it, what with it not being in the Major Nelson round-up this week, nor on the Xbox Live Arcade page.

Also out this week is War World, a similarly priced game which seems about as exciting as socks for Christmas right now. (Actually, given that Mega Man 9 is what we'd ask for were we the kind to require Xmas gifts, it's a pretty good analogy if we do say so ourselves.) The PC version received acceptable reviews in 2007, so we assume it's probably decent. We guess. It's no classic NES game or anything.

--AP

Wii Downloads This Week

WiiSuper Turrican 2Wii Ware this week has Orbient, a Wii port of the GameBoy Advance "Bit Generations" title Orbital, as well as Bomberman Blast (which seems like the Xbox Bomberman Live, but different.) In short, you've got two viable options here.

Virtual Console fans, you have one game this week, and it's Super Turrican 2 for the Super NES. You could do a lot worse, it's a classic run-and-gun which has a decent sized cult. It might even be worth buying.

--AP

Transformers Universe Wave 3 Hitting

Transformers9Those unsold Acid Rain and Galvatron figures you're seeing may be the sign of the Wave 3 figures you've missed! Reports are coming in that Side Swipe, Ironhide, and Silverstreak are starting to hit stores like now. Apparently Wal-Mart is getting them first this time around, so happy hunting.

--AP

Haven't you heard?
October 6, 2008
Star Wars Q&A, Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Q&A by Adam PawlusGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column this week! Be sure to click through and read up on the latest!

Also, Figure of the Day has been updated! Many times, actually.

Greedo Obi-Wan Kenobi Chewbacca

From left to right: Greedo, Rebel Trooper. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series. And now that we've finished The Force Unleashed we're back to work... at least until Mega Man 9 drops for the 360.

--AP

Wii Punch Out To Happen

WiiNo Mike TysonBest known as the vehicle by which Mike Tyson entered millions of American homes, Punch Out is coming back-- minus Iron Mike. Early screen shots reveal the likes of Glass Joe and King Hippo, and it should be noticed this isn't the first sequel to the NES game. There was also a Super NES game nobody played.

--AP

Indiana Jones: Wal-Mart Exclusives Out

Indiana JonesA pair of three-packs from Hasbro are hitting Wal-Mart stores right now for pennies under $13 each. Each set is a repack of various figures from the first two waves of the action figure line which, if you've been paying attention, can be bought for $5 or so at most Wal-Marts these days. Our report from the future tells us that they'll be a buck or two come the holidays, so unless you're going to buy every last Indy product, you can safely pass on these.

--AP

Nintendo DS to Become Nintendo DSi

Nintendo DSNEWYou've no doubt heard this elsewhere, but Nintendo just announced a new hardware revision to its Nintendo DS line-- now it's going to be the Nintendo DSi. This new version drops the GameBoy Advance slot (which is used for rumble packs, spinning dials, and Guitar Hero attachments) in favor of downloadable content and bigger screens plus digital cameras. As such, it's an upgrade, but not a perfect one. It should be in the USA in 2009 and in Japan in just a couple months.

--AP

LEGO to Release Crazy Medieval Market in 2009

LEGOBIGApparently the recent trolls, ogres, and dwarves (and rumored elves) were just the beginning. The Brothers Brick reports a fairly hefty 1600-piece Medieval Market Village, revealed at a LEGO convention last week. This massive $150 set includes horses, bulls, and a whole mess of people and extras.

--AP

Arkanoid? YES!
October 9, 2008
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter & Star Wars NewsFigure of the Day has updated once again! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of The Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

2-1B Jumptrooper B'arin Apma

From left to right: 2-1B, Jumptrooper, B'arin Apma. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Xbox Live Arcade This Week, Future Weeks

Xbox Live ArcadeMega Man 9In a surprise move, Microsoft decided to release a whopping three games this week. Unfortunately, none of them had a lot of hype, meaning most people won't care. Each game is 800 points: Major League Stickball, Shadow Assault/Tenchu, Beat'n Groovy.

More interesting, though, is this love-filled announcement meaning we will be spending more time playing games and less writing to you, the reader. (Tonight's update was late thanks to Lost Odyssey.) This new announcement says another Metal Slug is coming to the Xbox 360, as is Space Invaders Extreme, R-Type, and Super Arkanoid. We are pleased.

Also, the new Dashboard is coming November 19. We're not sure why we're supposed to care, frankly, as we were already told that we would be getting Arkanoid soon.

--AP

Wii Downloads This Week

WiiSuper Turrican 2Wii Ware this week has Midnight Bowling and MadStone, neither of which we care about. Also, new DLC for Mega Man 9 was added in case you need new challenges already.

Virtual Console fans, you have two game this week. Mario Golf for the Nintendo 64 is one option, and the other is Shining Force II for the Sega Genesis. So a mascot sports game and an RPG we hear is wonderful. Pick yer poison!

--AP

Transformers Universe Kmart Mini-Cons Hitting

Transformers9Kmart retail and online stores are selling the newly released Universe box of Mini-Cons. For about $25, you get 12 tiny repaints. Based on experiences we've had in the past with Kmart.com and product availability, we will say that you probably shouldn't get your hopes up too much on an item being in stock of it says it is-- we tried ordering a few items recently only to be told the item was unavailable, despite being listed as in stock on the web site. Happy hunting!

--AP

We've Been Through This Before
October 13, 2008
Star Wars Q&A, Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Q&A by Adam PawlusGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column this week! Be sure to click through and read up on the latest!

Also, Figure of the Day has been updated! Many times, actually.

R5-F7 Wookiee Warrior

From left to right: R5-F7, Wookiee Warrior. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series. We also picked up the Wal-Mart exclusive Republic Gunship ($50) and Green Leader A-Wing Fighter ($30) over the weekend, which rank at "not really worth it" and "pretty great" respectively.

--AP

Transformers Universe Brawn has Black Wheels, Bruticus Coming

TransformersBlack Is The New PresidentTwo great stories, one good link. TF08.net has revealed a photo of Universe Legends Brawn with black wheels! This is a big deal because some advance photography showed him with green wheels while other showed black, and the green just looked freaking awful. You'd be surprised how genuinely happy this makes the folks around the offices today.

Also revealed was an instruction sheet for Universe Bruticus Maximus, a recolor of the Energon toy in Generation 1 colors. Wal-Mart received a "classic" Devastator for an exclusive during Classics, so odds are this is going to be like that. We'll bank on Wal-Mart getting it, too.

--AP

Review: Mega Man 9

XboxBlue BomberIn the downloadable game age, $10 can buy you a lot-- or a little. Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade service has games as low as $5, with some on sale as low as $2.50 if you play your cards right. As such, a game for $10 isn't always an astonishing value. For Mega Man 9, it's all up in the air. In the old days, I used to rent Mega Man games and beat all 8 robots in the two day period-- sometimes also beating the game. Mega Man 9 is very much this kind of game. While very difficult in places, it's the kind of game you could easily beat in two days if you sat down and put some time into it. [ FULL REVIEW ]

--AP

Toys "R" Us: Buy 2 Get 1 Free Games

Video GamesToys "R" Us is running a sale this week on all video games. It's quite simple: buy 2, get a 3rd of equal or lesser value for free. As we are incredibly cheap, this isn't working for us as it basically amounts to 33% off and we like 60% off. (We just got the PopCap games collection for $5. We're cheap.) It runs through Saturday at closing and as far as we know is only valid in the USA.

--AP

Mongolian Party
October 14, 2008
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter & Star Wars NewsFigure of the Day has updated once again! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of The Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Nippet

From left to right: Nippet. I guess it's just the one today, then. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Wii Downloads This Week

WiiSecret of ManaWii Ware this week has Cubello and World of Goo, both of which seem to be getting various levels of praise from the impressions we're reading. Surely, a good sign.

Virtual Console fans, holy cow! Someone likes you. From the Super NES, it's Secret of Mana, arguably one of the finest games released for it or any console. Ever. It's a fantastic game that really does fit the name "Action RPG" in the sense that there is action and you level up. (Attention those who don't understand words mean things: a game is not an RPG simply because there are swords in it.) The Square game supports multiple players but, sadly, does not allow for any online play.

Also available is the Sega Genesis Street Fighter II: Special Championship Edition. This was the one that was a big deal and made Sega release a six-button pad back in the 1990s, however, don't forget Street Fighter IV and Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD ZOMG Edition are on the way as well.

--AP

Transformers Q&A with Hasbro

Transformers9A month ago, Hasbro afforded us the opportunity for our community to ask questions of their Transformers team. We decided we didn't want to take the time to ask someone to ask questions, so we asked five of our own-- and here's what Hasbro replied with. Oh, and we asked these questions about a month ago, so obviously we've had a few of them answered since then.

1. The Transformers Legends class toys seems to be going along swimmingly-- the new G1-style Beachcomber and Bumblebee look like a lot of fun, and so does Brawn. Can we expect to see additional minibots from the old days-- specifically the Go-Bots style repaints sold in Japan by eHobby a few years ago? A tiny white Bug Bite and a blue Path Finder?

I don't currently have any plans for Go-Bots repaints but I would love to continue blowing out classic characters in our Legends scale. I'd personally try to stick to smaller bots as they look more in scale with my Deluxe when they're posed out on my shelf. But scale isn't something we concentrate on.

2. The Transformers Animated line is stunning, with toys that are nearly spot-on with the exception of their faction logos. Sentinel Prime and Jazz both have the red Autobot symbols, but the rest of the line sport silver or gold faction sigils. Why was this colorful feature ignored?

I wouldn't say it was ignored, we were trying to keep the characters as true to the show as possible. Many characters don't have their faction symbols in their vehicle modes, but it's impossible to have them magically appear in the toy execution once the character is converted to robot. So we used a less-obtrusive color. We also were using only 1 deco operation on the faction symbols in Animated in many cases so we could "spend the money" elsewhere on the toy, and the silver/gold versions looked better than the red/purple versions. So it ended up being a combination of all of the above. At the end of the day, Eric tries to manage cost with show accuracy and chooses what to do to make the coolest toy possible.

3. Star Wars and GI Joe have seen incredible business with repainting certain "army builder" figures over the years-- Cobra Vipers, Cobra Officers, Clones, Stormtroopers, and so forth. It seems there's a little bit of opportunity in Transformers with the wonderful Classics Starscream mold. After getting the six "seekers" from the old days and a new Acid Rain, when can we expect deco opportunities like G2 Ramjet, Sunstorm, or maybe even a "Ghost" Starscream?

We are glad you like that mold too - we really like it and are hoping to be able to do exactly what you are talking about. We would love to be able to do all the Seekers over time. We have to phase them out over time though because we don't want a whole shelf full of jets. So hopefully we will be able to continue to put a couple versions out a year to help you complete the set.

4. In Japan for Transformers SuperLink (Energon), Takara offered scores of bonus Energon Weapon toys. This was great-- many Transformers have similarly sized hands, and are lacking in awesome weapons. We see you're bringing back Targetmaster partners with Cyclonus and Nightstick soon. Will we be seeing packs of Targetmaster guns some day soon, or additional Targetmaster figures to outfit our collections?

There are no plans to offer weapons separately. We do our best to add them to figures as it makes sense.

5. I've seen pictures of the new Transformers Universe Legends Brawn with green wheels (which look weird) and black wheels (which look fantastic). Which color will be on the final product?

The final will have black wheels. This is an example of a testshot image being released that is incorrect. You'll get your black wheels and you'll like it! ;)

They're winking at us now? Why, we've only just met! Anyways, we thank Hasbro and Hunter PR for their time, but mostly for our black wheels and the chance of seeing Sunstorm in the near future.

--AP

Pizza Isn't Free
October 17, 2008
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter & Star Wars NewsFigure of the Day has updated once again! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of The Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Super Battle Droid Biggs Darklighter Rahm Kota

From left to right: Super Battle Droid, Biggs, Darklighter, Rahm Kota Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Xbox Live Arcade This Week, Future Weeks

Xbox Live ArcadeAvastMicrosoft decided to release a two games this week. First up is CrazyMouse, a game being discussed largely for its unusual country of origin and not of its own quality. Coming from Mainland China, you play a mouse, and you look for food, and it looks vaguely like something you might have seen on an older Atari console. It's 400 points ($5).

Also, Age of Booty is out. We hear you can play online against people in the demo, a first for the service. It's $10 (800 points) and involves some sort of pirate-tastic action. It's receiving largely favorable reviews.

--AP

Transformers Seacons Almost Gone

TransformersGone?After years of demanding, the fine folks at the Transformers Collectors Club put out the Seacon set. 1,500 were made, 100 remain. As such, if you want one, you may wish to get one today.

--AP

Haven't We Been Through This Before
October 20, 2008
Star Wars Q&A, Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Q&A by Adam PawlusGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column this week! Be sure to click through and read up on the latest!

Also, Figure of the Day has been updated! Just once.

Bail Organa

From left to right: Bail Organa... that's it. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series. We also watched more episodes of The Clone Wars, which we rather like at this point.

--AP

Transformers Universe 25th Anniversary Prime Hitting

TransformersPrime Time, AgainProving once more why we're not too keen on reissues, numerous fans have started sighting Hasbro's 25th Anniversary Optimus Prime. As the second reissue in the USA and what must be at least seven or eight worldwide, this new edition has a DVD, a graphic novel, and is largely recolored to better match the show. Oh, and it has the shorter smokestacks, if that matters. The Japanese reissues are cheaper and closer in appearance to the original toys, but this one has more stuff in the box. Which will you choose?

--AP

G.I. Joe Club Reveals New Vehicles

G.I. JoeCLAWThe G.I. Joe club posted two preview pages over the weekend. Check out this one to see the Attack Cannon with Outback and the CLAW with Strato-Viper, or this one to see the Stinger and Arctic HISS. The HISS is pretty interesting in that it has new cannons and what appears to be camping equipment hanging off the side.

--AP

Less Information Than You Require
October 22, 2008
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter & Star Wars NewsFigure of the Day has updated once again! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of The Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Kashyyyk Trooper Basso

From left to right: Kashyyyk Trooper, Basso. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

G.I. Joe Wave 10 Out

G.I. JoeCroc!Yet another wave is out! Croc Master, Bazooka Troopers, Mutt and Junkyard, Cobra Wraith, Para-Viper, and some figures you already got are showing up now. You can order them at Entertainment Earth (our sponsor/overlord) or get them elsewhere. We're very much looking forward to our Croc Master in particular. Happy hunting!

--AP

Wii Downloads This Week

WiiGRADIUS II GOFER NO YABOUWii Ware this week has Tetris Party and The Incredible Maze, for $15 and $5 respectively. New Mega Man 9 DLC went live this week as well, including a new time attack stage with a new boss named "Fake Man." We do not yet know if you can obtain his weapon.

Virtual Console fans, you're sort of in luck. The PC-Engine CD game GRADIUS II GOFER NO YABOU is totally worth a look if you haven't played it on one of the various collections over the years. It's a shooter, and it has space dragons. You should enjoy it if you have any taste at all. Also from an NEC console, the TurboGrafx-16 got Digital Champ Battle Boxing. Meh.

--AP

DS Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia Available?

DSCastlevania: Order of EcclesiaThe third DS-exclusive game in the ongoing series, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia was supposedly released this week. We have not been able to get someone to sell it to us yet, but we're looking. The new game keeps the castle-crawling 2D mechanic introduced over a decade ago, adding in new characters and probably increasingly obtuse collection and junction systems. We still can't wait to try it.

--AP

Xbox Live Arcade This Week

Xbox Live ArcadeStill AliveOne game (so far) this week, and it's Portal: Still Alive, a game which is like a half-sequel to the hugely popular Portal on last year's The Orange Box. It's $15, and boasts new achievements and levels, but apparently lacks some of the story in the aforementioned retail version. Which should you get? We're not sure. But we've heard enough good about the game that you should probably try it.

--AP

Really, Again?
October 24, 2008
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter & Star Wars NewsFigure of the Day has updated once again! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of The Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Yaddle Bespin Luke Skywalker

From left to right: Yaddle, Bespin Luke Skywalker. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Cosmos Revealed

TransformersCosmos!The guys at Tformers.com have a first-ish look at Cosmos, the new Transformers Universe Legends release. If you're a member of the Transformers Fan Club, you've already seen this. But if you aren't, take a gander!

--AP

Mother of All Xbox 360 Bundles

Xbox 360HUGESam's Club is getting an exclusive Xbox 360 bundle, and it's so good we're quite amazed. Kotaku has reports and pictures of the giant box, featuring Guitar Hero III (complete with guitar), Kung Fu Panda, and LEGO Indiana Jones. It's $350, $50 more than the 60 gig model of the 360. Wowie zowie, indeed-- you may wish to consider holding off to buy this particular version of the console if you're in the market for one this holiday season.

--AP

Zoids Graphics: In Case You Missed It

ZoidsZoidsIn case you missed it-- and we certainly did-- TakaraTomy release a new series of reissues called Zoids Graphics apparently last year. Not only were the usual kits in there, like Guysack and Pteras, but super hard-to-find kits like Twinhorn and the elusive Sea Panther were as well. Prices are cheaper than the originals, but not as cheap as other kits from over the years.

--AP

The Day Has Vanquished The Terrible Night
October 27, 2008
Star Wars Q&A, Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Q&A by Adam PawlusGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column this week! Be sure to click through and read up on the latest!

Imperial EngineerAlso, Figure of the Day has been updated! Just once. It's the Imperial Engineer, one of the recently released repaints from Hasbro! Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series. We also watched more episodes of The Clone Wars, which we rather like at this point.

--AP

Transformers Newness in Dengeki Hobby

TransformersGrimlockAt TFW2005 are tons of scans of Dengeki Hobby, with its pretty tremendous selection of new Transformers. Included are Mickey Mouse, Fire Guts Music Label Convoy, concept art for Masterpiece Grimlock, and scores of other goodies. (Although probably not much you haven't already seen.) Check it out!

--AP

G.I. Joe Trakker Gallery

G.I. JoeMatt TrakkerIf you're as excited as we are, these images of "Specialist Trakker," better known as Matt Trakker are going to make your day. HISSTank.com got an early sample and shot it against an older toy, as well as with its own accessories. His mask seems a little off, but the rest of him seems right on the money.

Due to space/time/interest constraints, we're going to be cherry-picking from here on out and this seems like a great one. This, and anything Python Patrol.

--AP

New MST3K DVDs Gone Already?

DVDCrooooooowRemember that boxed set? The Mystery Science Theater 3000 20th Anniversary release due this Tuesday, complete with tin and Crow figure? Well, apparently they've already sold through. If you want it, you'd better get it soon because it's going to be changed for subsequent runs-- future releases will not have the tin or figure, so says TVShowsOnDVD.com. Given the high prices for other boxed sets that went out of print, we suggest you buy early and buy often.

--AP

Ow Ow Ow
October 29, 2008
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter & Star Wars NewsFigure of the Day has updated once again! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of The Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Spirit of Anakin Skywalker Han Solo in Hoth Gear

From left to right: Anakin Skywalker, Han Solo. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

New MST3K DVDs In Short Supply?

DVDCrooooooowFollowing the report we shared on Monday, we went out this morning (rather, yesterday) to scare up a copy of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Anniversary Edition DVDs. We hit up Fry's Electronics, which had one copy. One. Not one remaining, all they got was one. So if you want the first release with the tin and lobby cards and "figurine," get while the getting is good.

We can safely say, however, the quality on the goods is rather mixed. The lobby cards are basically flimsy paper replicating the artwork on the four individual DVD cases. What you're supposed to do with them, other than lose them, we're not sure-- it's a shame they didn't spring the nickel for some nice cardstock. The tin is actually decent-- it's much thicker than expected, and has room for everything, and then some. However, getting the DVDs out proved tricky, and the interior cardboard sleeve which houses the 4 thin keep cases got dented on its first trip out. Finally, the Crow T. Robot "figurine" was basically a low-quality plastic mini-bust. It feels fragile, the eyes are too small, and if it wasn't a market starved for MST3K merchandising, you'd probably scoff at it. Our initial reaction was "Happy Meal toy," but as kid meal toy collectors, we know that those are a little more sturdy and, forgive the phrase, meaty.

For $50 (or so) it's not bad. You get 4 movies of typical quality, but the extras are definitely a little weak. Hopefully for the next boxed set, any extras might be made with a little more oomph. Shout! Factory has such a fantastic reputation for doing a good job, it's more than a little disappointing to see pack-ins that seem to have been made by the lowest bidder.

--AP

Wii Downloads This Week

WiiEarthworm JimWii Ware this week has Strong Bad Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands and Art Style: ROTOHEX, for $10 and $6 respectively. In other words, not a terrible week.

Virtual Console fans, you're sort of in luck. The Sega Genesis port of Earthworm Jim is up for grabs at $8. It's a classic platformer/action/shooter/comedy game which tries hard to bring the funny while breaking new grounds in animation. It received numerous "game of the year" awards in its time, so why not give it a try? Aside from the fact that you might not like it, of course. The franchise spawned a few games, a TV show, and an action figure line-- no small feat in its day, or even by today's standards.

--AP

Transformers Cheetor, Cyclonus Shots

TransformersGive until it hurtsOver at TF08.net, a user got their hands on advance samples-- potentially test shots-- of Cheetor and Cyclonus from the upcoming batch of Universe toys. Cyclonus looks slightly better than some earlier shots, but still has a lot of the flaws we will no doubt hear of until the Japanese issue hits. Cheetor has a nifty mechanism that makes it look like his eyes change color-- a great nod to variation hunters of the original line.

--AP

Day Bow Bow
October 31, 2008
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter & Star Wars NewsFigure of the Day has updated once again! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of The Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Stormtrooper Naboo Trooper

From left to right: Stormtrooper, Naboo Trooper. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Xbox Live Arcade This Week

Xbox Live ArcadePenny HarderTwo games this week-- and both are kind of pricey at $15/1200 points per. Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode II is the second mini-installment of the RPG series. We aren't entirely sure how many episodes there will be, but it could end up being a very expensive game by the time it's all over.

Also new, and needing no real commentary, is Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?. Odds are the answer is "no." There, we just saved you $15 you can spend toward a DS and a much better game.

--AP

DS Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia Impressions

DSCastlevania: Order of EcclesiaIt took us a while, but we found it. And so far, it's totally worth it. We've been hauling out DS Phat to work every day since we found it, clocking in about an hour during lunch every day. Oh, and we played some after hours too. It feels like we're a good ways through, but there's a tremendous amount of exploring and questing, plus some of the toughest bosses to hit a console in ages. If you are a child of the 8- or 16-bit eras, this game will push all the right buttons.

Here's the short version of what every review will no doubt tell you: it's some chick with black hair, there are no whips, and instead of weapons you get magical glyphs and these glyphs all take MP-- yes, even swords and daggers-- and the bar replenishes quickly. It sounds like it might be a huge pain, but in reality, it plays a little like Secret of Mana in the sense you can't win by simply mashing buttons.

The level design is an interesting mix of a variety of action games. It's not completely linear, like the original NES game, and it's not a free-for-all castle to explore, like everything since 1997. Rather, it starts you off on a level, and when you finish that level, another level (or levels) open up to you on a map. After you beat a level, you can go back pretty much whenever to get more treasures. In practice, it allows for more open-air stages which beget mountains, caves, rivers, and things which have been totally lacking since the series became tied to portable Nintendo systems. Now, you can go pretty much anywhere, and each stage seems designed to be short enough or to have enough save points so you can easily pause the action and go back to do whatever it is you need to do. No more "I gotta find a save point" nonsense-- the designers really did a good job here.

Enemies are a mix of old and new-- you'll recognize some sprites from previous games, while others are brand new. Bosses are all new so far, and range from incredibly tough to super-easy. It's like Mega Man 9-- if you can figure out the pattern, you'll eventually do fine. If you don't, you will die. The game doesn't really allow you to simply level up and kick ass-- you'll need to use the right weapons, memorize a pattern, and sweat it out like a man. Er, woman. Whatever.

We have not completed the game at this time, but we think we're getting close. And even if we stopped right here, the experience was compelling enough to be angry that we didn't finish it, which means it's pretty good. If you liked Symphony of the Night, this may be the second-best since that game was released. It's almost a shame it's on the DS, it would be a gorgeous game on a larger screen-- maybe some day Konami will also release these titles for the Xbox Live or PSN services. The DS game is about $30 if you can find it.

--AP

Transformers Newness Round-Up

TransformersGive until it hurtsSome weeks are good weeks for news. This week? Definitely one of those weeks.

Classics Cosmos, Wheelie, Rodimus, and Warpath revealed! Finally! Diamond Previews showed all four, and if you squint real hard you can make them out at TFW2005. We like them all.

Classics Thrust and Dirge are coming to Japan! If you missed the Botcon 2007 releases-- and if you're reading this, odds are you are one of these people-- new versions of both figures are coming to Japan as a sort of exclusive. Much like Thundercracker and Skywarp, they're gonna cost a whole lot of money, but will still be cheaper than the alternative. Well, maybe not Skywarp. See the pre-order info in Japanese with fairly useless non-images.

25th Anniversary Editions of both Bruticus Maximus and Superion Maximus are coming! Both will be repaints of the Energon teams, but in colors more in line with Generation 1. How do we know this? They're on eBay. Click here for Bruticus and here for Superion.

--AP

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