Dreaming of Dancing Burritos


Shin Megami Tensei Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon Raiho Limited Edition mini review
July 20, 2009, 3:45 am
Filed under: appeals to the capitalist in you, awesome, fangirl, review, toy review

(also, Gundam 00 Multibox Nandemo Haro)

Something awesome happened during my usual weekly date with the Nyan yesterday.
We were facing the front display of the Data Blitz shop in MoA, and our conversation went like this:

Him: Hey, look!
Me: (stares at the display box  of an arcade stick and Wii Fit) Er what?
Him: Look!
Me: (peers at the WoW toy) What am I supposed to look at?
Him: (takes hold of my head and turns it a bit to the side) LOOK!
Me: (sees the SMT Devil Summoner 2 Limited Raiho Edition) OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT

A few minutes and almost three thousand pesos later, we got out of the Data Blitz branch toting around a big yellow plastic bag containing what could be my luckiest find for these past few months:

This is Shin Megami Tensei Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon for the PlayStation 2. Now, saying that what I bought is a limited edition of the game really isn’t accurate – this is the only edition of the game’s North American release, with Raiho plushies thrown into every copy of the game with nary a dollar added to its SRP.

However, the game itself is rare, and each box bears a serial number “to ensure its rarity and collectible value,” according to Atlus’ press release. (Note to self: when selling items in the internet, add a serial number sticker to increase profits by 50%)

These are the contents: the Raiho plush and the game. The Raiho is immensely cute as promised, sporting its own bancho uniform and sharp sideburns just like his predecessor, Raidou Kuzunoha. He has a little cape , though his bunny tail is nowhere to be found. Leaving out a small detail like this is tantamount to blasphemy, but it’s okay. A tailless Raiho is better than no Raiho, after all.

I regretted opening the package when I realized that every copy of the game has its own serial number, but then again I really don’t have any plans of reselling it. Raiho and Devil Summoner 2 will join Ouendan and other awesome games in my shelf, and it will of course be the centerpiece.

Oh look, Raiho’s snuck out of the box and is trying to hide in–wait, is that a Haro? Yes I believe that’s a Haro; The Gundam 00 Multibox Nandemo Haro, to be exact. As hinted by its name, its a Haro that serves as a box to hold various things in: knick knacks, snacks, toys, etc. You may even use it as a desktop trash bin if you like, but…that’s a Haro!

I managed to spot it despite its rather unassuming box, which was almost covered underneath a mountain of model kits in Robinson’s Galleria’s Toys R’ Us. The packaging is rather plain, but hey, there’s no missing Haro. The box contains the upper and lower half of the Haro, and a stand so it won’t go rolling off your desk and to its doom, as well as a sticker sheet containing two pairs of Haro eyes, one black and one red.

I decided to use the black eyes; red against bright orange background doesn’t look too good.

It’s rather large, and it’s by far the biggest Haro in my collection. Shown in this picture alongside the Nandemo Haro for comparison purposes are the pink Haro Capsule, which contained a Gundam Seed figure, and a tiny silver gift Haro that came with additional gift packaging and ribbon.

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Play-Asia shipment review (Part One): Dissidia soda, Castlevania "7 Alucard Figure, Gundam 00 wafers, Space Invaders headset (black), Lion Ramune Candy

Receiving a parcel notice from the local post is a moment for having mixed emotions. There is elation, of course, coming from the knowledge that YES MY LONG-AWAITED PACKAGE FROM PLAY-ASIA IS THERE AND IS WAITING TO BE PICKED UP IN THE POST. I apologize for my use of caps, but attempting to express my joy otherwise is an exercise in futility.

On the other hand, picking up the package means that I’m forced to go through one of the worst public transportation routes I have ever undertaken ever since I started commuting between my first (crap) job in Quezon City and my Las Pinas home, and that’s saying a lot.

The commute to the post office involves two uncomfortable tricycle rides where somehow 5 people magically fit in a single tricyle. Yes, that includes one of said people almost sitting on the lap of another. In addition to that, my trek to the post office somehow always take place on a scorching hot day; certainly not helping ease the fact that I have to walk on hot concrete for several minutes somewhere in between rides. It’s a modern-day Penitensya before the Easter Egg Hunt.

In any case, here’s what I claimed from the post a few days before my birthday:

Clockwise from top-left: Dissidia Final Fantasy Potion (Chaos), NECA Castlevania Action Figure “7 Alucard, Lion Ramune Candy and Mobile Suit Gundam 00 2nd Phase Character Card with Chocolate Wafer, Space Invaders 30th Anniversary Headset Black

I got sorely burned with this particular shipment. I guess I got too complacent with not getting taxed to hell and back with my local customs office (as it should be; I never order anything extravagant online and I make it a point not to let one package exceed $US 50) that I never thought they’d consider a pair of headphones as an electronics item. What happened? my US$ 34.80 package got taxed with “duties” worth 1,000. That’s an additional US$ 20. Burn.

On to the actual contents:

The Dissidia potion I got is decorated with Final Fantasy IV’s Cecil Harvey and the bad guy Golbez(a). I have no idea how it tastes, though I read somewhere that the soda is Muscat Grape-flavored. Having consumed a couple of other Final Fantasy-branded sodas before, I think I can forgo the taste test and safely say that this Dissidia drink is no different; most probably tasting like carbonated piss with a handful of ascorbic acid tabs thrown in.

Next up is the “7 Alucard by US manufacturer NECA. Figmafags will most likely scoff at me getting a US-manufactured figure, but the awesome detail lovingly applied onto this awesome piece of plastic (from the flowing hair, manly cravat, carefully detail coat buckles, and the maddeningly intricate embroidery in the underside of his coat) is nothing short of [insert synonym to “awesome” here, I’m out of words].

While I wouldn’t give too much props to a manufacturer for doing something that they ought to have done in the first place, seeing such loving attention paid to a part that wouldn’t see light of day impressed me immensely. Seriously, I wouldn’t have noticed the beautiful patterns if it weren’t for me trying to see if I could disrobe the figure (and maybe fulfill that ten-year-long fangirl urge ebbing within).

I’d take more pictures, but I’m stuck with a crappy celphone camera and thus images will just get fuzzy whenever I attempt to take close-up shots.

Then we go now to Morinaga’s Gundam 00 wafers (or as Ryan would call them, the trap wafers). I thought of ordering one solely for the novelty of it; as much as I loved what I managed to watch of Gundam 00, I’m now really lukewarm towards anything pertaining to the series with the exception of the beautiful Miss Sumeragi.

For each pack you get a big piece of hazelnut-flavored wafer, a transparent plastic card and cardboard backing. I made the big mistake of disregarding the wafer as something that’s just chucked into the package so the item can be classified as a consumable item…until I took a bite out of it. No mistake about it, the wafer practically tastes like something made by Loacker: densely packed with delicious filling and not too flaky at all.

The cards that come inside each pack are not too shoddily made either: each are made of transparent plastic, making them good, sturdy bookmarkers. I’m not too keen on the card I got from my first pack, though:

I never liked Nena Trinity.

Since Ryan managed to get a taste of the heavenly wafers earlier, here’s his own review:

The Gundam 00 wafer is a strange, strange product. You’d think that something about giant robots with androgynous, mentally-ill pilots would have nothing to do with foodstuffs, but as always, we are reminded that Japan does not roll that way – hence we have this piece of surprisingly palatable wafery goodness emblazoned with the Gundam name. A name long sullied by Gundam seed, but a name nonetheless.

The foil pack contains two things: the wafer itself, a thin cardboard backing to make the package less prone to snapping in half/crumbling into pieces, and the collectible card. Okay, that’s three things, but I doubt you’d be buying this little baby for the second item. Unless you’re like me and like cardboard a tad bit too much.

The wafer is edible, the cardboard backing and the collectible card itself unfortunately is not.

In any case, the wafer, despite its rather dubious branding and packaging, is actually one of the best-tasting wafers out there. It’s dispensed in a pretty big size, the same size as a trading card – and it’s solid. You’ll be biting through solid layers of wafer and filling – none of the feathery, airy stuff you get at local stores – and you’ll be relishing every bite. It’s crispy, it’s tasty, and you better bet that it’s awesome with ice cream. You do not want to order just one or two of these babies. Order an entire box. It’s worth the money and the wait.

You heard the man.

The last two items in the shipment are the Space Invaders 30th Anniversary headset (black) and a couple of sticks of Lion Ramune candy. The headset is noteworthy solely because it’s the main reason why I got taxed heavily for the shipment. But that aside, it functions just as well as its pink cousin.

..and the Lion Ramune candy? The lemony hard candy fizzes in the mouth. Careful not to consume too many at once, or in a row, though: you don’t want to desensitize your tongue.

That’s part one of this shipment review – I received a couple of boxes from Play-Asia earlier today, and I’m going to blog it when I’m finally able.



Gadget review: Space Invaders 30th Anniversary Headset (Pink) and Raglan Shirt (Pink)
December 17, 2008, 6:09 am
Filed under: appeals to the capitalist in you, gaems, review, space invaders, toys

(Author’s Note: This review, also written for Gamerblag , is actually way overdue; I’ve received the items the other week but was too caught up with work and other stuff until recently. Also, many, many thanks to Zuri-chan for letting us place this Play-Asia purchase on his credit card. You so rock, dude.)

It’s already apparent by now that I’m a big Space Invaders fan, but despite the glut of sweet, sweet Invader merchandise created to commemorate the franchise’s 30th Anniversary, its still hard to procure many of these items – Space Invaders alarm clock, pillow, Kitkat , etc – solely because I don’t live in Japan.

But we make do.

In any case, I was able to sniff out and pre-order the Space Invaders 30th Anniversary commemorative headset and Raglan shirt months ago in Play-Asia, and after a long wait (thanks to pushed back release dates), the Space Invaders care package was finally delivered to my doorstep by a Fedex guy wannabe.

Space Invaders 30th Anniversary Headset (pink):
QualityPros: The Space Invaders headset is solidly built and is made of lightweight plastic and faux leather for the padding. The pink paint on the actual ear pieces are thankfully not prone to scratching thanks to its top coat, which also seems to protect the black lettering and Space Invaders design from chipping off. The padding on the headband and the underside of the earpieces are extremely comfy; unlike my old Hesh Skullcandy headset, the Space Invader pair didn’t give me any sore ears after a considerable length of usage.

Another plus is that the headset can be folded to let you stow it without taking up too much space. However, the hinges are too loose, giving a floppy feel to the earpieces.
Cons: The white adjustable stems are made of plastic commonly used in cheap toys, and may not appeal to those prefer only high-quality material on their stuff. While the whole thing is sturdy and doesn’t look like it’ll break under moderate usage, the choice of material for the stems look somewhat flimsy. Also, what doesn’t appeal to me is the white-colored cord, which is dirt-prone and will never fail to turn grayish after weeks of usage despite proper handling and care.
Sound Quality: The sound quality that the Space Invaders deliver is nothing fancy, but nothing crappy either. Having owned a Skullcandy Hesh, I can safely say that they both have more or less similar sound output, and audio doesn’t crack as long as one does not crank the bass too much. A good benchmark that I use is Kajmaster Kajet’s Ninja Info Cards – if the sound doesn’t crackle in the middle of the track and has ample bass, then it’s good.

Packaging: The packaging for this item, while not in the least elaborate, is pretty cool-looking in its black-colored glossy carton printed with multi-colored happy little Invaders. The box window doesn’t show much of the merchandise, however, and the headset’s color (pink or black) is poorly indicated by a color dot on the box’s top flap. The cords placed smack in the middle of the box is conveniently hidden from plain sight by a circular piece of carton with a pink Invader printed on it (which I used as a deco sticker of sorts for my HP Mini).

Pricing: The headset is pretty affordable compared to most other headsets of similar build – and with this I mean those with huge earpieces – costing only US$ 20 or about 900 pesos. With the free shipping option in Play-Asia (available in selected countries), getting the Space Invaders headset is actually a cheaper and more awesome-looking alternative than getting…say, Sennheisers. If you’re into the Skullcandy brand, then this sweet headset would be right up your alley in terms of pricing and style.

Verdict: Space Invaders fan? Get this. Looking for a good yet affordable headset? Get this. Want only the best materials for your stuff? You may have second thoughts before buying this baby. Want to scalp something other than Hannah Montana tickets on eBay? Oh yes, yes, get this.

Space Invaders 30th Anniversary Raglan Shirt (Pink):


Quality: I may be a fan of the series, but that doesn’t mean I won’t call a spade a spade. Let me get this straight: the Space Invaders 30th Anniversary Shirts are poorly made. From the initial advertising months ago to the final product, the shirt I got is surprisingly disappointing.

Pros: It’s Space Invaders, and the design is love.

Cons: I pre-ordered the pink shirt months ago, but for some reason the one I got is…well, red. Sure, pink and red belong to the same family of color but what the heck, if I were in the US I’d sue Play-Asia or Taito for false advertising (as my item was put on pre-order and shipped to me immediately after they were stocked, not informing me of the color variation nor giving me a chance to change my order). Dammit, Taito.

The cotton fabric used for the shirt is also low-quality. One look at it and I knew that the fabric fibers will get frayed after a few washes, and that the design will easily fade after a short while *sad face*. I was advised to hand wash it instead of throwing it into the washing machine, though I’m not sure if it will help in making this shirt look good as new for several months.

Packaging: The packaging is similar to the one used for the headphones, and you can see the bottom half of the shirt design through the box window.

Pricing: Considering that my DJ Max Syriana shirt is cheaper by a couple of dollars and is of a much, much higher quality, I’m not so sure if this Space Invaders shirt is worth your US$ 20. If you’re a rabid fan of the franchise like I am, you’ll probably brainwash yourself into thinking that the price is justified, but since I’ve bought shirts of better quality for a fraction of a price, it’s mostly a guilty purchase.

Verdict: Rabid Space Invaders fan? Get this. For the others…it’s a nice novelty item, but not worth the money. Even those who buy this off eBay may feel cheated after getting the item, despite it being an official merchandise.