You Should Probably Play Persona 5

Most games aim for a moment. The Moment, really. They want to make the sort of splash that doesn’t just generate waves but leaves a lasting impact on the shores miles out. And despite the incredible breadth of suitors that indulge in this journey, very few make it.

It’s hard to explain how Persona 5, then, manages to land not just The Moment but a series of moments that are tremendous. (And against all odds, we already had one of those this year.) The series is known for that exact sort of enrapturing charm. A grocery store jingle. A looming fog. A perfect silence.

This is a game that takes its time—slow and deliberate—to work its way up to these things. It lays a wide and scattered foundation that feels a lot like getting hit with the full blast of a shotgun but somehow does it so with the precision and accuracy of a laser. And then the game just simmers. Like a slow cooker flirting with being completely inert over the course of a hundred hours until one time you look up and there’s a roast.

Yeah, I said a hundred hours. Almost certainly more since you’re going to be indulging in all the side quests, too. And most of that is going to be reading dialogue bubbles and crawling through dungeons. In fact, most of the time, it feels like you’re making zero progress. As if you’re just throwing away your precious time on nothing at all, albeit a nothing that looks and sounds fucking stupendous.

That, perhaps, is the genius of these games. It takes a familiar setup (i.e., a high school) and twists it. Romance lands with catastrophic aplomb. Friendships forge themselves with an iron will and inevitability. It’s almost soap opera melodrama in many ways, a notion certainly not helped by the Japanese flair for anime tropes.

The twist, however, is very specific. Even though you are a mask-wearing thief with the ability to summon for a physical manifestation of his psyche to battle shadow creatures while often taking little sojourns into a room that doesn’t exist with a man that shouldn’t exist, this tends to be the least interesting stuff. Sure, it’s cool to beat the bad guy, but it’s not like you haven’t done it before.

Persona 5

The high school grind of studying for exams, taking part in sports, just going to a store and browsing. That stuff? That’s what makes it so worth playing. It’s a tightly compacted world with a greatest expansive and deep cast. Relationships develop even from just bumping into folks after class, the same way you would when you went to school. And from that, grand and exciting emotional adventures spark to life.

It does it in a surprising way, too. Unlike the focus of, say, a Mass Effect, your moment-to-moment choices often yield little in the way of impact. Instead, how you decide to allocate your time dictates how your story moves. Who you attend to, who you ignore. It takes one of the primary components of Night in the Woods and makes it bigger and meaner and somehow more loving.

Perhaps it’s less of shotgun blast and more of one of those net launcher guns. Each of those pellets is connected and feeds into one another, fostering an impressive sensation that it’s all yours and only yours. I do wish these characters, as meaty and complex and wonderful as they are, tackled mature and nuanced topics like they did in Persona 4, but you know what? I wouldn’t be surprised if they got around to that in the second 50 hours.

So you guys better start playing now.

Ophiuchus: Dawn of The Humanoids 1/6th CPL Joel Hagan 12" Figure (Death Squad Version)

Joel was known to the police force as the 1st rookie to bring down a band of armed savages. A total of 17 savages were killed. The remaining 5 were wounded and captured. In the process, Joel was also critically injured while trying to save an innocent civilian from a grenade explosion. Unfortunately, the explosion killed the civilian and the shrapnel blasted through both of his arms. The arms injury were so critically severe at that time that no medical expertise was able to save it. As the result, Joel’s arms have to be amputated to prevent dangerous virus infection that would have been life threatening.

Special features of the Jackal X – JX003 – Ophiuchus: Dawn of The Humanoids – 1/6th scale Corporal Joel Hagan (Death Squad Version) Collectible Figure: X9 tech helmet, magnetic night vision goggle, Approximately 30 cm tall Body with over 30 points of articulations, pair of robotic arms, right palm, Three (3) left palms. Costume: hoodie, pants, assault vest, tactical backpack, duty belt, assault shoes. Accessory: back pouch, utility pouch, utility side leg drop bag, Five (5) JXR-15 bullet mag pouches, Five (5) JXR-15 bullet mags, JXR-15 grenade mag, tactical holster platform, tactical holster (LBT), tactical lanyard. Weapon: JXR-15 assault rifle, JXR-15 suppressor, JXR-15 optic | XM1041 sniper rifle | TR-1 revolver, TR-1 revolver scope, TR-1 revolver infrared unit, TR-1S revolver | Two (2) frag grenades

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Introducing THE MUTANT (Copper Creep) by Doktor A

Doktor A has announced that he will be debuting TWO new “Copper Creeps” characters: The Mutant and The Fly.

This particular hand-painted edition is in a run of only 5pcs, with each 3.5″ tall cast resin figure priced at £100 per and will be made available at the Attack of the Creature from Beyond the Forbidden Island group art show in Norwich this weekend. Also look out for a “special fully

Starscream Statue Prototype Revealed By Pop Culture Shock

Over on Instagram, Pop Culture Shock has shared a photo showing a prototype stage of a G1 Starscream statue they’re working on. While still decidedly a work in progress and missing some elements they note are not ready yet pending the hand sculpting process, the basic form of Starscream looks like it’s good to go in this early print. We’ve mirrored the photo for your convenience, which you can check out below.

Review: Semblance

The traditional 2D platformer genre accounts for some of my favorite games ever. That being said, it’s always awesome to see a game try and change the genre in new and exciting ways. Semblance does just that, in a way I’m surprised I haven’t seen before. 

Semblance takes place in a fully malleable world. You can shape everything in order to suit the needs of whatever situation you find yourself in. You can reshape platforms to reach objectives or even alter your own squishy body.

Read more…

Kidrobot SDCC Exclusives — Jeremyville Chia Dunny, Sanrio Plush and Bobs Burgers

Updated: Detailed info on Jeremyville Chia Dunny + pricing. Kidrobot’s SDCC 2018 Exclusives offer fun, creative takes on beloved pop culture characters. Yesterday we put this post up with basic information based on an initial preliminary press release. Now with additional information from KR press, here’s a more detailed look…

Put Your Peepers On The Thor: Ragnarok Trailer

Hey, do you know what looks really good? Thor: Ragnarok.

There’s a lot to digest here. First and foremost is now we have more concrete answers for where the Hulk has been and, to a lesser extent (given the post-credits scene for Doctor Strange), Thor’s additional and notable absence from Civil War. Thor has been imprisoned, lost his legendary and signature hammer Mjolnir , and Asgard is under assault from Cate Blanchett—err, I mean Hela.

It definitely gives up the angle of some Planet Hulk business, a popular yet moderately received storyline that puts the Hulk in a series of gladiatorial battles on an alien planet after he’d been sent away for being, well, the Hulk. It seems unlikely this will be the basis for the whole movie since 1) this is a Thor movie and 2) Planet Hulk involves the Hulk taking over the entire planet and returning to Earth for revenge, but it’s a slick way to involve some classic Marvel canon and rediscover a missing hero.

But the most important thing to discuss the tone of the trailer, which is, shall we say, distinct. And that is thanks to new-to-the-series director Taika Waititi. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: MCU films thrive on finding the right director. Jon Favreau for the first Iron Man, James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy, and the story of the almost-success Edgar Wright for Ant-Man. When that pitch becomes perfect, it’s bliss. Everything else just sort of…exists.

Thor: Ragnarok

Based on this trailer, it looks like Waititi has taken the characters and the settings and made them completely his own, taking full advantage of his severely underestimated renown as an excuse to go all out and the more or less detached status the Thor films have always had in the MCU. Waititi is perhaps best known for What We Do in the Shadows, an extraordinary mockumentary that is full-on beautiful nonsense. It chronicles the daily lives of a group of highly dysfunctional vampires trying to make it in the modern world and my gosh is it fantastic.

Obviously a lot of credit also goes to his collaborator Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords fame (they also worked together on that show as well as Eagle vs Shark), but his trademark quirks are unmistakable. You can’t miss the way he manages to phrase something in a way juuuuuuust odd enough with perfect comedic timing that even the most mundane interactions become hilarious. In the Ragnarok trailer, for example, the fact that Thor thinks of repeatedly saving the world as his official occupation? Incredible.

Smashing that together with the bombastic and flagrant introduction of Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster and a few touches of Benedict Cumberbatch’s reality-warping Doctor Strange is a brilliant move. It gives a laterality and freedom the entire MCU hasn’t quite seen up until Guardians, but in a post-Pratt world (and, honestly, a post-Deadpool and post-Suicide Squad world where the contrasting successes of each are drastic, to say the least), it kind of makes sense. Segmenting it up further and more deliberately to continue the MCU as a (mostly) cohesive whole is only logical. Plus, you get to do weird stuff like this.

Oh, and this.

And just for kicks, here’s some more What We Do in the Shadows.