Monthly Archives:August 2012

Square-Enix's Oldies are “kind of” Free to Play

31 Aug , 2012,
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Mini Ninjas replicated from


When it comes to game innovations, Square-Enix maybe one of the few publishers who are capable of adapting to the changing expectations of gamers. Maybe this idea isn’t really new as the service have been in practice by TV stations for their public channels – advertisements.

Advertisements have been part of games for quite sometime. It was thrown in the limelight by the most unsuspecting candidate – present US President Barack Obama while he was running for presidency in 2008.

Four years on, it looks like Square-Enix are bringing the “Yes we can” idea to a new level in gaming economics. The ratio of play to advertisement view time is 20:1. Which means that for every 20 minutes of game time, you are “forced” to view an advertisement for a minute. The game also goes into advertisement mode whenever the game is loading. But that does not mean that the ratio is broken?


“Will each play session begin with an ad?

Yes – ads will be displayed during game loading time, and this will add to your free game time earned.”


If this can be applied to games today, advertisements could reduce the price which consumers have to pay for the games. As more games relies more on multiplayer content to boost sales, advertisements might start showing up in place of the boring loading screens before the start of the round. For once, this might be a step in the positive direction where both gamers and publishers can benefit from.

The available titles are Mini Ninjas and Hitman – Blood Money. But Square-Enix are not just stopping there. They hope to increase their library with Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Gyromancer in the near future.

The games can be run on Windows Explorer 8 or 9 ,32-bit (Windows Only), Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Do checkout their Help Section for more information about the system requirements needed to play the games.


Source: Core®Online, KOTAKU

Archer Bow Tutorial

21 Aug , 2012,
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Singapore’s 2nd Annual Cosplay Chess is playing at International Cosplay Day Singapore this weekend, and one of the requests we had was for a bit of help with our Black Pawn – Archer’s bow.

After using our own “Reinforcement” and “Projection” magecraft to create the bow, we decided to put this tutorial together so anyone who feels like giving this a go might be able to do so fairly quickly.

This tutorial will take approximately 90 minutes to complete.

Stuff you’ll need:

1. A short length of PVC pipe of reasonable thickness.

2. Some shoe horns from Daiso

3. A square of PP (polypropylene) board

4. 6 binding screws

5. Two rolls of blue EVA foam

6. Some craft foam for detailing

7. Some black elastic thread

You’ll also need a soldering iron, scissors, contact glue, hot glue and other basic craft tools.

Step 1:

Measure and cut out a length of pvc pipe about a foot long. This piece of pipe will be used as the basis of your grip and handle for the bow.

You’re using the PVC pipe as a bridge for both shoe horns.

The thickness of the pipe should conform nicely to the fattest part of the shoe horn.

Step 2:

Draw out the base for two handles on PP board and cut it out. Don’t forget to mark out two spots (on either end of the handle) where you will be attaching the boards to your length of pipe with binding screws.

Draw out this shape (it kinda looks like a bag handle), and cut it out.
Be sure you make two (2) of these.

You’ll be sandwiching your PVC pipe with these later. Kinda like so.

Step 3:

Now that we have all the basic shapes out of the way, it’s time to start creating the entire structure.

First of all, use a pencil to mark out the various areas you’ll be soldering through for the binding screws.

You will need to mark out six (6) spots total. Two (2) on either side to bind the pipe and shoe horns together, and two (2) on the cross-section for the handle.

Step 4:

Punch holes through the places you marked on the pipe, the shoe horn, and the PP board with a soldering iron.

Push the heated soldering iron through all the way, and wiggle it about to expand the size of the hole if you have to.

Connect the pieces together first by using binding screws to join the shoe horns to your pipe, then the pp board handles you cut out. It’s a pretty easy and intuitive process.

Start assembling everything by securing the parts together with binding screws.

Sometimes, your binding screw might be a tad loose, so use hot glue to secure the wobbly bits in place.

Step 5:

Wrap the base structure with blue EVA foam pieces cut to shape, and create the details by layering on craft foam where necessary. Paste them on with contact glue.

Cut out individual pieces of blue EVA foam, and wrap them around the handles, pipe and other portions to create details.

We’re adding on more details, like this knuckle shield.

And here’s the end result, before priming and painting.

Step 6:

Once you’ve primed and painted the prop, snip off a length of black elastic thread, and tie it on to simulate the bow string.

You’re done! We even made a Hrunting to go with it. How cool is that? XD

And that’s it. How’s that for a little more than an hour’s work? XD

Itou Noizi to grace STGCC

16 Aug , 2012,
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Singapore’s rabid anime fan base has something to be glad about this Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Convention (STGCC).

Organizers Reed Expo announced yesterday that Itou Noizi, character designer for red-hot otaku titles “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” and “Shakugan no Shana” will be gracing the event!

Noizi-san’s also got illustration credits in “Another”, which aired a couple seasons ago this year, and she’s also worked on numerous in-game art over the years.

Samples of Noizi-san’s artwork – Picture replicated from

STGCC also revealed that they will be enhancing this year’s gaming content by bringing in exhibitors like Cherry Credits, the company operating Singapore’s Dragon Nest and SD Gundam Capsule Fighter Online servers, our friends from Electronic Arts, Namco Bandai Partners Singapore and SG Finest eSports League, which will be organizing a string of versus game tournaments over the course of two days.

There’s only 2 weeks to go, and STGCC’s definitely the biggest thing to happen after ICDS. We’ve already got our costumes and cameras prepped, and just can’t wait!

10 Reasons Why You Should Check Out STGCC '12

10 Aug , 2012,
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Hey there, pop-culture fans!

We’re back again with another Singapore Toy, Games & Comic Convention (STGCC)  Roundup! It’s less than a month till the big day, so just like last year, we’re giving you more reasons why you should be popping down to the con!

Are you ready? Here we go!


Cosplay friends rejoice, because COSMODE’s back this year and Jacky-san (we interviewed this cool cat last year), as well as his team, will be on the prowl for peeps to be featured in their publication. If you missed your chance last year (there were two full page spreads), be sure to keep an eye out for him. We suspect he might be donning Kotetsu-san’s (from Tiger & Bunny) trademark cap and vest this year, but who’s to say, hmm?

Jacky-san of COSMODE – Picture replicated from

2. Cosplay idols Touya Hibiki & Kousaka Yun

We caught up with Kipi at STGCC last year, but this year, you can expect twice the fun!

Both Touya Hibiki and Kousaka Yun are household names in Japan, and we talked a little bit about how awesome they are in a previous post.

If you’re a fan of their work, make sure you don’t give the convention a miss!

Celebrity cosplayers Touya Hibiki & Kousaka Yun – Pictures replicated from

3. STGCC Cosplay Runway

If you love dazzling the stage and strutting your stuff on the catwalk, this year’s STGCC gives you the chance to do so on the Runway on Day 2 of the con! (It’s like a cosplay fashion show, so photographers take note too!)

If you’ve already registered, keep your fingers crossed, because the organizers will be announcing the results by Monday, 20 August!


A cool night at the con’s always better with music, and this year’s no different.

Except, you know, this year’s gonna see a spin-off between two of Japan’s hottest EDM masters.

DJ Zanio of ZANEEDS and DJ haLRu of MONOMIND will be playing tunes from Vocaloid and Touhou, and they’ll be battling it out on stage to prove which fandom’s stronger.

It’s a musical showdown the likes of which you’ve never seen before!

ZANEEDS vs. MONOMIND – Can we say dueling DJ decks at dawn? XD

5. UK’s Leading Comic Writer – Andy Diggle

Andy’s one of UK’s leading comic heavyweights, with DC comics titles like Batman, Swamp Thing and Hellblazer under his belt. Fans might also remember him as the creator of The Losers,  a comic book that managed to make the big screen in 2010.

He’s also worked with another one of this years’ guests, Leinil Yu, on the sci-fi thriller Silent Dragon, and this prolific wordsmith’s also churned out titles with DC, Dynamite and Image. If you’re a Doctor Who fan, you’ll also be pleased to know he’s putting out comics based on our favorite Time Lord with IDW!

6. Hot Toys

Hot Toys will be making their presence felt at STGCC this year, and in a big way. In addition to a visit by J.C. Hong, the Production Director and Chief Painter of Hot Toys and his fellows K.A. Kim, Kojun and Yuli, you can also expect exclusive Hot Toys products like Captain America from the Cap A movie, Lt. Jim Gordon from The Dark Knight, and Angelica from Pirates of the Caribbean.

There’s also a pre-sale roadshow, so if you’re big on Hot Toys, here’s how you can check these out.

7. Piko in Singapore

If you’re a regular Nico Nico Douga channel surfer, then you’ll know who Piko is.

The androgynous prodigy shot to fame in 2007 when his video went viral on the live streaming site, and since then he’s amassed a sizeable following and millions of hits, making him one of the Internet’s biggest singing sensations.

His latest single “MakeMyDay” features as the OP for anime series Binbougami ga!, and you can be sure he’ll be a definite hit at the con!

Piko – Picture replicated from

8. Marvel Exclusive Illustrator Mark Brooks & artists galore

Our friends from Invasion! Toys & Collectibles are also hosting a plethora of Marvel illustrators, including the very amazing Mark Brooks, who’s worked on Wolverine, X-Men Legacy and more.

Other names on the list also include TMNT illustrator Mark Torres, Mico Suayan and Stephen Segovia. Comic fans sure have plenty to look forward to this con!

Recognize some of these pieces? – Pictures replicated from

9. Exhibitor Booths

Our friends from Harris PLANERDS are back at STGCC this year, and that’s just scratching the surface of all the exhibitors and creators who will be at STGCC this year.

The list also includes the good folks from Collateral Damage Studios, who will be retailing their Superscenic 2 artbook at the con (they’re an exhibitor at ICDS 2012 too!), Imaginary Friends Studios, and other staples.

10. Gong Cha

Nothing beats a cool drink in sweltering Singapore.

Meet the Official Drink of STGCC, a fizzy concoction of Calpis, Lemon Juice and K Jelly enhanced with lemon rind. The drink also comes in other flavors, if lemon’s not your cup of tea.

(Don’t forget to flash your STGCC ticket while making your purchase for an additional free topping with any Calpis drink purchase!)

We know this one’s gonna save us when we’re hot and bothered after a long day in armor! XD


The Dark Knight Rises

6 Aug , 2012,
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The Dark Knight Rises – Poster Art.

The Dark Knight Rises is Christopher Nolans third installment in his re-imagining of the Batman franchise, and thanks to Domino’s Pizza and, I got a taste of Gotham (and Domino’s awesome pizza selection) at a special screening held just for bloggers last Friday.

Set 8 years after the events of The Dark Knight. Gotham City’s become a crime free city with the Dent Act, and Bruce Wayne,  in quiet self-imposed exile. That is, until his isolation is intruded by a mysterious cat-burglar who piques his curiosity. But this catty lass is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and soon enough, Batman’s forced to fight to keep the city he loves and protects safe once again.

Christian Bale returns as Batman, Gary Oldman as commissioner Gordon and Michael Caine as Batman’s best man Alfred.

Tom Hardy is stellar in his role as the villain Bane. He’s a completely different kind of villain, as compared to Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. He’s menacing and intimidating, and his performance paints him as the perfect terrorist dictator of a Gotham that’s gone to the pits.

Similarly, Anne Hathaway was immaculate as the voluptuous Selina Kyle a.k.a. Catwoman, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s portrayal of fresh, hot-headed young cop Blake was believable, but only so-so.

I have to admit that The Dark Knight Rises makes it onto my list of must watch Superhero movies for 2012. It’s only drawback is it’s over reliance on pre-established events from its prequels (then again, this IS a trilogy we’re talking about). Batman virgins might be left painfully lost on the streets of Gotham if they jump straight into The Dark Knight Rises,  but that’s more incentive for them to catch up on the last two films too, no?

Domino’s Pizza Promotion! 

In conjunction with the theatrical release of The Dark Knight Rises, Domino’s Pizza will be giving away a Free Limited Edition The Dark Knight Rises glass with every The Dark Knight Rises meal purchase.

Check out for more information.

Don’t forget also to like their Facebook page for the latest promotions and offers from this great pizza joint!