Archive for August, 2013

Comic Con Swag Giveaway #2

August 24, 2013

Considering my previous post, this one is a little ironic. But I had already planned to do this before I played the game, especially because Prima Games was awesome enough to send me a copy of the strategy guide so that I could give it away here. And I’m sure some of you will want to play this game so here’s your chance.

Chima DS Giveaway

As promised, here’s my second Comic Con Swag Giveaway. I didn’t get the guide at the Con, but I did make the contact there, so that counts right? 😀

There will be three ways to enter:
1)Comment on this post
2)Like my Facebook Page. and then Like, Share, and Comment on my link about this post
3)Follow me on Twitter @MariannAsanuma and reply to my tweet about this post with the #Chimagiveaway

Yes, you can enter once all three ways. I will leave the giveaway open till midnight August 31st (pacific standard time). This will be international, so as long as I can mail this to you, I will.

Good luck! 🙂

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LEGO Legends of Chima 3DS Game Review

August 22, 2013

So right before I went to my two week / two LEGO Convention trip I picked up a copy of the LEGO Legends of Chima 3DS video game. I figured it would be a good plane ride and airport game to do while I was traveling cross country.

*Start Rant*
There’s only one problem, I don’t really like Legends of Chima — at all. Don’t get me wrong, I like the parts. All that lovely bright orange and olive green is awesome. I just don’t like the theme. I suppose if I was 8 or 10 I might be interested, but most likely not. The story line is weak at best, and a little disturbing at most. I mean think about it. There’s all these different animal tribes in this magical land that all get hopped up on “Chi” and fight each other.

No, not the energy force from Chinese culture. The lack of cultural respect that LEGO has a tendency to run right over on occasion has always bothered me. They don’t even change spelling they just go with it — Sensei Wu (a mixture of Japanese and Chinese names) is just one example. The Māori language controversy of the original Bionicle wave is another.

So back to Chima. The main character looks a lot like Lion-O from Thundercats, a show I actually did like watching when it originally came out in the 80s (of course I was like 8 when it came out). And according to the first episode of the TV show Lavel (the lion) and Cragger (the crocodile) were friends until Cragger took a Chi ball before he was ready for it and it results in misunderstanding and the loss of Cragger’s parents which in turn causes a war in the “peaceful” land of Chima.

And that’s where the video game comes in. I had read another’s review that said the game was a weak addition to the LEGO TT Games line as it couldn’t hold up without a licensed theme like Star Wars, Indiana Jones or Harry Potter.

Now I wasn’t expecting an epic game, far from it. The fact that it is only available on 3DS, DS, and PSP Vita shows that they didn’t put as much effort into the game like the much anticipated LEGO Marvel Super Heroes video game coming out later this year.

And the addition of talking, which was a definite plus in the LEGO Batman 2 game, is just plain distracting here. The most annoying thing is that you can’t bypass it. You have to listen (or not listen if you turn the volume down) to the cheesy commentary that goes on and on, all the time.

Well even though its been a week and a half after my trip, I finally beat the story version of the game last night. Playing the game felt rather like a chore. The game-play is the same — break things, fight bad guys, get through levels. But because the constant collecting of Chi, you don’t get to collect the hearts (life energy) as much. And when you have a full circle of Chi, you can power-up. Sometimes you have to power-up so that you can get to the next part of the game. So you’re constantly looking for Chi and Chi vents. (Kind of like an addict.)

One thing I though that was really weird was they never use those Speedor bike things in the game. In fact there’s only one part near the end of the game (slight spoiler) where you build one but it immediately crashes and revels a character disk. You’d think that something that is so prevalent in half the sets would be more in the game.

Was it fun? Sort of. There were fun elements, but I actually had to cheat with a couple walkthrough tips or I wouldn’t have been able to get past certain areas. Maybe I could have muddled through eventually, but I didn’t have patience for it.

Will I be playing the free play mode? Not for a while. I’ve had my fill of Chima and all its silliness. Would a kid like it? Probably. I’ve loved all the LEGO Games so far, but this one fell flat. *End Rant*

Iridescent Flight

August 21, 2013

Iridescent Flight

Jaw dropping. That was my first thought after seeing this. Sean and Steph Mayo just keep getting better and better.

You have to look at the image in a larger format to really appreciate the size, scope and detail of this model.

Even the paints and brushes are cool
Lego Paint Brushes

Somehow I’ve still not met Sean and Steph, even though I’ve been at two LEGO Cons (BrickWorld and BrickFair Virgina) with them. Even so, I did get to see some of their models up close and in person. Pictures just don’t do their models justice. I really hope I get to see this one in person in the future.

This takes mosaics and sculptures to a new level of cool.

Mini Mi

August 21, 2013

There’s a new App in town (well tecnhically on itunes) called Mini Mi that allows you to build your very own minifig avatar — also known as a sigfig.

Here’s the brief, but to the point press release:

What is Mini Mi?

Mini Mi is a little app that lets users create and share their own custom Minifig likeness.

Tap, double tap, swipe and shake to your hearts content as there is much to discover. In fact, at last count we calculated 3,805,928,543,217,530,000,000 (three sextillion, eight hundred five quintillion, nine hundred twenty-eight quadrillion, five hundred forty-three trillion, two hundred seventeen billion, five hundred thirty million) with a few other surprises to come post launch!

Mix and match different unique elements. Choose different colors and backgrounds. Save your favorites, or give it a shake to see what randomly comes up.

Who will you create today?

I’ve played with the app and its really fun. I especially like the random feature. 😀

Sadly I can’t get it on my phone because I have android. 😦 They plan to create it for android in the future, but its only for itunes at the moment.

Its free, so there’s no reason not to get it!

LEGO Friends or Foe?

August 20, 2013

Hi all, I know I fell completely off the blog register. Traveling to two LEGO Conventions in less than two weeks will do that to you. That and the current commission I’m working on have sapped all my time. I will be writing posts on both BrickFair Virginia and Bricks by the Bay a little later, but a recent post on GeekMom really jumped out to me.

The issue was LEGO Friends. GeekMom Cristen Pantano was like many others before LEGO Friends was out. She wanted to hate it for all the gender stereotypes that it “perpetuated.”

This Studs comic from FBTB showed how silly it all was becoming.

So LEGO Friends came out, and soon became one of the best selling lines of LEGO. And yet still the taint of them being “for girls” left a bad taste that for some it couldn’t shake.

I wrote a whole post on the controversy. And I love my LEGO Friends parts (not so much the mini dolls) as I love all the rest of my LEGO.

And that’s where GeekMom Cristen Pantano comes in. Oh she fought it, but when her daughter finally started asking for LEGO of her own instead of playing with her brother’s Cristen gave in and actually bought a couple sets.

No surprise to me, her daughter loved them. And now her daughter plays with both her LEGO and her brother’s.

You can read the whole article here, but to sum it up:

The most important thing is that girls are now building. They are gaining confidence, developing spatial and math skills, figuring out how things work, and having fun. There are aspects of the line that I do not agree with. I think that the animated characters on the web page are too old and sexualized for the target audience and our daughter is a bit confused why all of her boxes and instructions are purple. Maybe this line could have been sold with boy and girl mini-figs, since boys like my son and his friends love her kits too.

I had to respond on the post, heck I couldn’t help it. Here’s part of what I wrote:

Many people who were complaining about with the Friends line never took into account that Friends was an addition, not a substitution for “regular” LEGO. I’m all for new parts and colors — any colors. I like the new Legends of Chima theme for the same reason — new parts and colors. I’m not a big fan of those animal minifigs either, but I still like all the bright orange and olive green parts that come in the sets. LEGO isn’t about one particular theme. The whole point is for ALL the bricks from all the themes to be mixed together to create something new.

I’m glad she’s come around. I just wish she had bought the sets before she complained about them. What really surprises me is that there’s no petitions and ranting blog posts over the new Mega Blocs Barbie sets which are pretty much exactly what they were complaining about with LEGO Friends — Just saying. 😉