Archive for the ‘Video Game’ Category

San Diego Comic Con 2015 Post Recap and a Surprise Giveaway

July 15, 2015

Well, I survived another year at the San Diego Comic Con. It was either my 25th or 26th year (I’m still not sure if I started in 1990 or 91′). But who’s counting? :D **** Slight rant coming on ***** Read through till the bottom though, I promise, its worth it ;) I feel a lot like this model when I go to Comic Con 20150708_184313

I realize I’m very lucky to have gone for the past quarter century, of course its only been in about the last 10-15 years where it went from being a fun Con to becoming the Mecca of all Pop Culture madness that it is today. I also realize that having the job that I do allows me to go to many conventions every year, its literally part of my job to be at them. However, this year I just wasn’t feeling the Comic Con love. I have to admit, I have a love/hate relationship with Comic Con. I love seeing all the cool things, great cosplay, and everything else that makes Comic Con worth visiting, but ever since Hollywood took over its just not as fun as it used to be. Maybe if I were younger (and I’m not that old), or maybe if I didn’t remember a time when you could easily walk up to the door a purchase your ticket that same day, a time when the legendary Hall H (where all the biggest panels are held) wasn’t near impossible to get into, and a time when there weren’t as many celebrities, but those that were here it was possible to actually meet without sleeping over night to get their signature. I don’t go to Comic Con like regular fans go to Comic Con, I mainly go to network and see friends that fly in to work Comic Con. It may seem like 5 days of fun, but believe me, its work. And by the end, when you feel like you’ve been run over by a Mach truck, that’s when you know you’ve survived Comic Con yet another year. I think part of the problem too is that now that I go to a lot of LEGO Conventions, I find that they are just way more fun. Sure they are smaller, but they are less hectic. No resellers, not as much drama. And we have better after parties too. ***** Okay rant over *****

So, back to the fun things about Comic Con. This year I focused mainly on LEGO naturally. I don’t go to many panels any more, mostly I just go to the LEGO ones and ones that my friends are on. And there was a heck of a lot of LEGO this year! Prominently displayed right across the street from the convention center was the LEGO Dimensions Display 20150708_141244

They took over the top floor of the Hard Rock Café and covered the entire outside. I have to admit, until I finally got to play the game I’d been on the fence about it. Sure it looked cool, but I wanted to sample the gameplay. 20150709_154327 20150712_111037

I watched the people ahead of me play the Scooby Doo level and then I played the Doctor Who level (both of which are available as expansion packs) I also got to see all the expansion packs — some will be available in late September, some in November and some in January

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The game has the same feel as traditional LEGO video games but because of the reader platform, it also has a lot of new features that make it unique and much more than a normal LEGO game. Of course you need to buy all the expansion packs to play all the levels and characters, but who are we kidding, its LEGO and its a video game. Considering that I have all the other games, in both the PlayStation and Gameboy versions going back to the original LEGO Batman and Star Wars I’ll be getting it, and most likely getting it all. :lol: There are a lot more LEGO Dimensions pics on my SDCC 2015 Flickr Album. Another of the cool models was the life size Mstery Machine Mosaic with all of the Scooby Doo gang 20150709_093204

They also were selling all the new sets at the LEGO booth, I took pics but didn’t pick any up 20150708_190354

There were life size LEGO raptors at Petco Park 20150710_162759

And Chris Pratt on his motorbike at the LEGO booth 20150712_165506

Someone even cosplayed as Chris

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The LEGO booth unveiled the new Batmobile for Superman vs. Batman 20150709_110745

Created by my friend set designer Marcos Bessa 20150712_153614

I went to Marcos’ panel

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There’s a ton of pics from that panel on the Flickr album too, but here’s just a few 20150712_144934 20150712_145916 20150712_150321

There was also a life size Stormtrooper from Star Wars 7

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Not the greatest pic, but I saw the new Ninjago Tower set, it really is awesome! 20150711_154630

And LEGO also has a sneak preview of the new Big Bang Theory Set 20150708_184405

There’s way more, check the SDCC 2015 Flickr Album for the other pics I took. So here’s the extra surprise — A San Diego Comic Con giveaway! I know I just did one last month, but hey, I’m allowed to do them when I feel like ;) 20150715_093723

Not only is there the new LEGO Ideas Big Bang theory, I’ve also managed to get a LEGO Marvel Avengers poster and the exclusive LEGO Justice League comic.

There will be three ways to enter —

1)Comment on this post

2)Like my Model Building Secrets 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 #SDCCLEGOGiveaway

There will be one winner. Yes, you can enter once all three ways. I will leave the giveaway open till midnight July 22nd (pacific standard time). This will be international, so as long as I can mail this to you, I will. And if you are willing to wait, I can get the comic signed by the illustrator Paul Lee (it helps that he’s my friend ;) ) Thanks to all my fans and Good luck!

1500 Likes and growing! Plus — A Giveaway!

October 25, 2014

Hi all, I really need to get back into the habit of posting again. Now that most of my travel is done for the year (I still have at least one more commission out of town next month), I can settle down again a start posting.

Although I’ve been rather quite here, I’ve been posting on my Model Building Secrets Facebook Page and that is the reason for this post.

My page has just reached 1500 likes! A nice milestone and very exciting. :)

So naturally the best way to thank everyone for following here on the blog, on Facebook and on Twitter is to do a giveaway. :D

1500 giveaway

All the treats and none of the tricks. ;)

I’ve added a little mix of everything, including the Martian Manhunter fig that was only available as a promo fig.

There will be 3 ways to enter:

1)Comment on this post
2)Like my Model Building Secrets 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 #1500Giveaway

There will be one winner. Yes, you can enter once all three ways. I will leave the giveaway open till midnight Halloween, October 31st (pacific standard time). This will be international, so as long as I can mail this to you, I will. Good luck!

“Did someone call for IT support?”

July 2, 2014

" did someone call for IT support ? "

Okay, this isn’t really a build per se, but it is one of my new favorite minifigs — Terabyte from the new Ultra Agents Set 70165 — I just need to get the set (or buy him off bricklink).

Legoagogo created this fun pic. I think the stacks of 1×1 transparent red plates in the background really make this pic pop!

And I love Terabyte’s torso design. Why does LEGO keep making cool minifigs that are in expensive sets? :D

LEGO Batman 3 Beyond Gotham

May 27, 2014

Check out the newest LEGO Video Game

I loved both Batman 1 and 2, so I’m totally down for a 3rd Batman video game.

Here’s what Gameinformer has to say about the game:

TT Games latest Lego Batman adventure takes DC’s cast of heroes and villains into outer space to stop Brainiac.

Lego Batman 3 takes place right after the second game in the series, and a recent demo of the title showed off a few sequences depicting The Legion of Doom’s capture of the Watchtower which showcased some of the game’s standout features.

Switching suits no longer requires a Suit Signal, as any of the suits you’ve unlocked (naturally there are a host of new ones) can be selected via a radial wheel. In Batman and other Justice League members’ attempt to retake the Watchtower above Earth, Cyborg changes into a washing machine and mech, and we get a glimpse of Robin’s Illumination suit. Also on display was a Defender-like gamplay sequence as Batman takes on the Joker-controlled Watchtower in the Bat-Rocket.

As the game progresses and goes deeper into the universe, both characters from The Legion of Doom and Justice League will team up to take on Brainiac, who is using the Lantern Rings to shrink worlds. TT Games says that the title has over 150 characters from the DC Universe to unlock.

Finally, the game also introduces a bunch of VR mini-missions to mix up the gameplay. These include platforming sequences, puzzles, races, and a host more.

Lego Batman 3 comes out this fall for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, 3DS, Vita, and PC.

I wonder if this will lead to some new sets. ;)

Carbine Studios’ LEGO Rocketship House

April 25, 2014

So, if you’ve been following me on my Model Building Secrets Facebook Page then you know that I went to PAX East in Boston a couple weekends ago. Carbine Studios asked me to create a 4 foot LEGO Rocketship House for them for the upcoming game WildStar Online.

WildStar Model at PAX East 1

Not only did I build a 4 foot version, I built two 1 foot versions and a 3 foot WildStar logo.

Giant Rocketship House Final 1
That’s my 6 foot dinning room table to give you an idea of size.

LEGO Wildstar Logo 4

1 ft LEGO Rocketship House 2

1 ft LEGO Rocketship House 5

Both the little and big LEGO RocketShip House were challenging builds — the larger one was one of the most difficult in my career so far. What made them challenging builds was the organic shape of the RocketShip House itself, and the tiny landing gear that looks cool in a video game, but that doesn’t hold a big round heavy body that well in real world physics. :D

On the smaller model, the way I figured out how to design and build the round organic shape was by designing the nose of the ship first and then building from the middle out, using a ton of cheese slopes in the process.

I solved the weight distribution problem by creating clear pillars. In the little one the pillars are barely noticeable, but in the larger one, I had to make them sturdy and strong to hold the 50 pounds — 50,000 LEGO bricks — that was the larger model.

WildStar Model at PAX East 3

The 4 foot version of the Rocketship House is a doubled up version of the 1 foot model. Basically what I did was take every part on the small one and multiply it by 4 in length, width and height. So in actuality, the larger one is 64 times bigger than the smaller one!

Another challenge with the larger one was that they wanted me to build it onsite at PAX East. Now normally this would mean starting from the base and building up, but for this particular model, that wouldn’t have worked and there would have been no way that I could have built it in the 3 days of the event. One of the main problems were all those lovely cheese slopes on the smaller model. A lot of them are sideways. At first when I tried to build the larger version I was building straight up, but it wasn’t working. To properly represent all the cheese slopes on the smaller model, I would have to build them sideways as well.

So I came up with a building technique I’d never done before and had never seen done in a building event — I made all the giant “cheese slopes” as panels that I would build onto a central core —

WildStar Model at PAX East 4

This isn’t the greatest picture, but its the only one I have of the central core without all the panels on, and without the side engines and tail wings.

The coolest thing was that Carbine Studios created a time lapse video of me building the model so you can get an idea of the process

Both the large LEGO model and a check for $10,000 was donated to Child’s Play Charity

Carbine Studios® made a special donation to Child’s Play, a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in its network of 90 hospitals worldwide. Carbine Studios partnered with LEGO® artist and instructor Mariann Asanuma to bring a WildStar® Rocket House, an exclusive in-game item only available through pre-order, to life with 50,000 LEGOs. The sculpture, standing nearly three feet high and four feet long, will be auctioned off at the annual Child’s Play Dinner and Auction taking place later this year, with proceeds going to the partner hospitals and facilities in the Child’s Play network.

In addition to the LEGO sculpture, a $10,000 check was also presented to Child’s Play which will be donated to the Boston Children’s Hospital and the University of Massachusetts Children’s Medical Center.

“Child’s Play is deeply grateful for the support of Carbine Studios and the WildStar team,” said Jamie Dillon, program coordinator and development, Child’s Play. “Creative, gamer-focused fundraising is the cornerstone of Child’s Play and we’re honored to be the recipient of both an incredible donation for two of our network hospitals as well as a work of LEGO art to be featured in our annual auction. These donations will allow us to provide video games to children who are in need of distraction, empowerment, entertainment and more. The contributions have a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of sick kids, and we are so grateful to Carbine Studios and WildStar for their donation.”

“We wanted to not only find a fun way to bring a small piece of WildStar to life, but also see the efforts go to a good cause,” said Mona Hamilton, vice president of brands, Carbine Studios. “Child’s Play is a wonderful charity doing really great things with the gaming industry and we’re looking forward to seeing the result of the auction later this year. It was also important for us to say thanks by giving back to the Boston community; they’ve been great to us over the years at PAX East.”

It was a fun build and an awesome experience to be a part of. :)

The LEGO Movie Experience at LEGOLAND California

February 21, 2014

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I’ve been on LEGO Movie overload ever since it came out two weeks ago. First, seeing it 3 times in 3 days, plus buying the LEGO Movie Video Game for both PS3 and 3DS (review to come later) and playing the PS3 version, and the ongoing news, reviews and accolades that the movie keeps getting from pretty much everywhere. The “Everything is Awesome” song is now permanently lodged in my brain — it doesn’t help that they keep playing it throughout the video game. And then to culminate it all, yesterday I went to The LEGO Movie Experience that made its debut yesterday at LEGOLAND California.

Warning! Spoliers Ahead!!!!

If you haven’t watched the LEGO Movie yet, and don’t want to find out one of the major spoilers, read no further. Come back after you’ve watched the movie. ;)

Okay, now that that’s done, lets get to this.

The Lego Movie Experience at LLCAVia: Miro Dudas

Like I said when I wrote my Non-spolier review, I still have a lot to write about this movie. One thing I didn’t like that much in the movie was its biggest spoiler — entering the real world. I get that it taught a valuable lesson of creativity over keeping things just so, but I felt that it pulled you out of the story. I would have preferred if we never entered the real world. Even if remnants of it (band-aid, “kragel,”etc) were in the LEGO world.

However, if they had not added that real world element, The LEGO Movie Experience would not have been possible.

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In the movie, the “real world” is basically an Adult Fan of LEGO’s basement LEGO room. And what a room! A full town layout in the middle, castle, western, and space themes along the wall, a corner that looks very much like my desk with all the “nuts and bolts” drawers full of LEGO and various LEGO kits and creations on display. But of course Finn — the son — isn’t supposed to play with any of it. Those are all Dad’s collection — not toys!

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Sound familiar? Many of us die-hard AFOLs have LEGO Rooms of one sort or another. Our rooms vary in collection size and how much our roommates or families allow it to exist. Not all have rooms like Will Farrell’s character in the movie, but I know quite a few who do — me included.

And some have the “my collection” and the “kid’s collection.” Most who do will allow their children to borrow from them, but there is a definite line. Even my brothers (who I took their LEGO when they grew out of it) like to play with my collection (they are 35 and 27 by the way) when they visit and sometimes I bristle silently (or not so silently) when they mess up my system.

Finn’s LEGO collection
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You can see the “Magic Portal” tube in the back of the room.

But, despite all that LEGO can be, it is first and foremost a toy. If and when I have children they will definitely be allowed to play with my LEGO, and they will have their own. Of course I’ve never been one that leaves huge LEGO displays out. For one, leaving displays out permanently causes them to get dusty and color fading can happen. For another, I don’t have the room to leave large things out. I never know when I’ll need the space for a commission. I’ve been known to take over the dining room table when the project is too large for weeks. So leaving a large model or display up, at least at this point, is not in the cards for me.

As an added bonus for the grand opening, they had a special guest — Jadon Sand, “Finn” of the LEGO Movie.

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He was on hand to tell of his experience working with Will Farrell and being in the LEGO Moive. During the question and answer part, I asked him if he wanted to be a Master Builder. He said yes, he definitely does. When I got to talk with him and his mom later he said he would like to be a Master Builder, Director and Writer. I also asked him what his favorite theme was and he said he loves the Harry Potter sets. He even treated us to a rendition of “Everything is Awesome.”

I took lots more pictures, you can see them on Flickr as well as these pics by Miro.

I was fortunate enough to get in as Media, because when I emerged from the building it was to a massively long line. Some of my fellow SandLUG members were in line for over an hour and a half!

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I would have taken more pictures, but as the public came in, and it got more and more crowded, I felt it was time to leave.

One cool thing I got was a picture with Jadon that his mom took
Me and Jadon Sand 1

It was great meeting Jadon Sand and seeing the awesome models that were used in the movie.

And check out this Awesome video LEGOLAND made for the opening.

If you get a chance to come to LEGOLAND California, be sure to check this out. I’m not sure for how long this will be there, but I imagine it will be for quite a while, especially considering the popularity of the movie. ;)

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Video Game Review

November 4, 2013

So I’ve been a little under the weather (okay more than a little), which is part of the reason there’s been a lack of posts. So since I haven’t been feeling all that great, and since the new LEGO Marvel Super Heroes video game just came out I’ve been playing the game.

I’m not much of a gamer anymore, but LEGO video games are always the exception. And unlike my LEGO Chima video game experience, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this game from the get go. :)

*** Warning Spoiler Alert! ***

Okay now that the warning is in place, I can freely mention all the fun goodness that is the game. From all the previews of this game and the demo I saw at the San Diego Comic Con, I was sure I would love this game. I mean what’s not to love? Its got practically every Marvel character — ever! There’s over 100 characters in the game. Of course you have to play and replay levels to get all the goodies and find all the characters.

But even from the start this probably my new favorite LEGO video game. I really, really liked LEGO Batman 2 but the main failing with that game was that it was all about Batman. Sure Superman and several other Justice League-ers show up, but its still mainly a Batman game.

That’s where this one differs. At each level you have a different mix of characters — from Spiderman with the Hulk, to Mr. Fantasic with Ironman. You don’t get to play with every character during Story mode, but you get a nice mixture.

The voice talent is top notch! Including the actual voice of Agent Colson (yes he is alive in the LEGO world too)– Clark Gregg. So much better than the watery sound bites they used for LEGO Lord of the Rings and much more in line with Batman 2. The story line is pretty darn cool too and you have all of New York City as your background. There’s tons of hidden areas and you can even ride the train!

If I have one complaint, the levels seem a tad easy this time. Maybe its because I’ve played basically all the TT LEGO Video Games since they started in 2005 with LEGO Star Wars. Maybe, but even so, there wasn’t anything new about the basic gameplay. Each level took about an hour. They would have probably taken less time, but I was going for “True Believer” status on each level — in other words, getting all the gold and silver studs I could — and smashing everything takes time.

Another good / bad thing about the game is that when you beat all the levels you only have 25% of the game completed. There’s a lot to do.

****super spoiler alert****
There isn’t just one extra level. There’s a whole bunch of extra levels! The more gold bricks you collect, the more levels you unlock. And just like the story levels, there’s a story level and a free play level. You need to play both to unlock everything.

On top of the gold bricks, Deadpool bricks (red bricks), minikits, characters and vehicles there’s one additional thing you have to find throughout the game — Stan Lee in Peril. There are no less than 50 of them! And of course Stan Lee voices himself. ;)

Even after 2 weeks of playing I still have less than 40% of the game complete. I’ve gotten half of the characters, extra levels and Deadpool bricks. But I’ve only saved 10 Stan Lees. So I still have a lot to go.

This is definitely a game I highly recommend!!!!

And if the LEGO Movie Video Game is anything like this one (which I’m sure it will be) I will be picking that one up as soon as it comes out next year. ;)

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? :D

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! :)

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*

Walmart Iron Patriot Exclusive

May 7, 2013

So, have you seen Iron Man 3 yet? I just got a chance to catch it last night and it was just as fun as one and two.

One thing I was disappointed with **warning: slight spoiler** was that of the three Iron Man 3 LEGO sets, only the Malibu Mansion has anything to do with the movie. I realize that the sets are often designed while the movie is still in production, and perhaps there is a small chance that the other two sets may have been left on the Editing room floor, but considering the continuity of the movie, I really doubt that.

On that note, LEGO Marvel Super Heros the video game is coming out at the end of the year. And for this one Walmart, not Gamestop, has the exclusive figure — Iron Patriot.
Via FBTBVia FBTB

Its a pretty sweet fig, although I still think that the helmets look a little on the big side.

Iron Patriot is available with the preorder of the game on PS3, XBox, or WiiU — all for just a hair under $50 each. Sadly it doesn’t look like it works for Nintendo DS or 3DS. :(

The weird thing is that it says that the game will be available for shipment on Dec. 31st, everywhere else it says Oct. 31, which makes more sense. So we’ll see what the actual date is.


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