Saturday, September 25, 2010

Procrastination Galore

So, I never actually got around to posting those FanExpo Costume pics.  I've been too busy playing Halo Reach.  I haven't got much time right now, so consider this "the review light".

Six and Kat (and some gunner no one cares about) travel in style.

Firstly, the Campaign is EPIC.  True, the voice acting can be a bit weak at times, but the story and the visuals make up for that fact.  Also, it's the only Halo game (not counting ODST, because it's an expansion) that isn't "Human Happy".  Let's be quite clear here.  It's Reach.  It's one of the greatest bloodbaths in the Halo universe.  Humanity doesn't win.  Humanity gets absolutely BRUTALIZED by the Covenant.  It's touching, in a way, watching people fight for their planet when you (and many of them) already know they can't win.  Still, LONG LIVE THE COVENANT!

To briefly sum up the rest of the game, Matchmaking is okay, a lot more balanced than Halo 3.  Firefight has been greatly improved from ODST, with the inclusion of a ton of options and even a versus (Spartans vs Elites) mode.  Custom games, however, have gone downhill quite a bit.  Suffice it to say, infection games have been greatly hampered by barely visible teammate icons, bizarre new Energy Sword physics, and several other glaring issues.  The most obvious of these?  No matter how you set it up, Active Camo seems to only make you invisible when you aren't moving.  Predator gametypes are officially dead.

Also, Forge Mode is now confusing as hell.  Sometimes there can be such a thing as too much variety, as is evidenced by Bungie's HUNDREDS of options.  That said, once you get past the initial learning curve, there's a lot you can do with the Forge.

Also on the subject of Forge (Halo 3 Forge, but still), here something to read.  Click to enlarge.
Before anyone asks, it's not my work.  It was done by a guy called Alfred Lam.  Here's a link to the first one, on his site.  There's an archive of them there as well.  Click!

Anyway, I'll be out of town for about a week.  Maybe I'll put up some more FanExpo pictures when I get back, if anyone's still interested.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FanExpo 2010!

Okay, so FanExpo is over. Three days of chaos at the end of the summer break. I met a lot of great people and saw a lot of neat stuff (pictures below). However, before I continue with this account of what I saw and did there, let me just say that Hobby Star Marketing (the company that runs FanExpo) really screwed up on this one. They're known for not giving a damn about what their fans think, but this time was really bad. If I've pre-ordered a Deluxe Pass, I shouldn't have to wait in a three hour line to get in. It was bad to begin with, but on the second day the building filled to capacity, and anyone who left (ie. to get lunch or something) was forced to wait in a massive line that could only move when a large group of people came out (so that's three people at a time with a wait of several minutes in between. You do the math!). The problem is, Hobby Star kept selling tickets! Now, I'm all for letting everyone have their turn, but if the building is full to capacity and you've got eight hundred people waiting to get back in, I think that's a pretty good sign to stop selling entry passes.

Anyway, now that I'm done ranting...

I apologize if any of the pictures are grainy/blurry/too bright etc. It's amazing that I got my camera too work at all.

I decided I should wear my Union costume again (that I wore to Anime North). It's really comfortable, and I love the colours (that's Canadian spelling for all you Americans out there). Not to mention that Canada is a member nation of the Union in Gundam 00, so it seemed befitting.

I took the train into Toronto every day, because it was simpler than driving, and cheaper than staying in a hotel.

Real men take the train.

Upon actually entering the convention, the first things made evident were the large booths in the middle of the showroom. For the sake of simplicity, let us call these the TRON booth and the ALIEN booth.

The Tron Booth, in all its glowy glory.
Stuff at the Tron Booth
Black Guard's Helmet
Just a side note, these suits and helmets are apparently what they actually what they wear onscreen. No CG involved here, folks!

The Alien Booth was in fact meant as a promotion for the new Alien Anthology BluRay. It featured four opening cryo pods, where you could "sleep", and be sufficiently terrified out of your wits.
Weyland-Yutani is bad people.
Some employees of "The Company".
Oh, and they had free cardboard facehuggers. What's not awesome about that?

Hasbro also had a booth, which included numerous dioramas dedicated to their products. Perhaps the best one was the battle of Hoth diorama.
It's no wonder the Empire won.
Trench Warfare
One of the caves
A view of one side of the hangar
The whole diorama was filled with interconnected tunnels, and even had Han and Chewbacca shooting at the Probe Droid.

The Gaming section had a Halo Reach booth, but I couldn't be bothered to stand in line.

All they had was Firefight... I want Forge!

Convention guests this year included Stan Lee, William Shatner, Peter Mayhew, David Cronenberg, Summer Glau, and Ogata Megumi. If you don't know who even a single one of those people is, shame on you (and go look them up). Unfortunately, due to the Con being overcrowded, I have no pictures of any of them. I do, however, have pictures of THE BATMOBILE!
Dadadadadadadada Dadadadadadadada BATMAN!

Of course, as with any convention, FanExpo is really about spending money. Of course, that means there's plenty of awesome merchandise to go around.

Perhaps the most interesting dealer's booth for me was this place that carried video games not released outside of Japan. Of course, most of it was extremely expensive (for my budget anyway).
Haruhi has a game? I didn't even know that.
Code Geass!

I was especially pleased to discover that they had this in stock.
A brand new copy of A.C.E.: R!
Properly called Another Century's Episode: R, this is a Mecha Fighting Game featuring machines from Gundam, Code Geass, Macross, Full Metal Panic, and Armored Core, to name a few.

Some Gundam Games

And that's just one vendor! They had everything else geek-y under the sun.
More stuff! More I say!

I think I'll talk about costumes next... Or maybe just show you.

But since I'm incredibly tired right now, I'll save the costumes and loot for part 2.

Oh, and for those who met me there and want my email, it's

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fan Expo 2010 Preparations & New Look!

Finally implemented those changes I said I'd be making, as I've been nagged into posting again. Unfortunately, my photography booth was taken down months ago, and my Camera hasn't worked properly since Anime North (that was in May!). For these reasons, I felt there was no point in continuing this blog. However, public demand on Xbox Live has convinced me to start it up again. And so that's exactly what I'm doing.

Anyway, FanExpo 2010 starts on Friday, and I'm trying to fix the camera so I'll have some pictures to talk about. I'll be going as a Union Officer from Gundam 00, the same costume I used at Anime North (I really like this one). But because I feel there's always room for improvement, I've worked up some props to take with me. Here's one for your enjoyment.

It's designed to be some kind of Union public service announcement/propaganda article. I'll probably hand some of them out (in hopes of people taking pictures of me).

Anyway, if you're going to FanExpo 2010, let me know with a comment! You may see me there!

Oh, and you Xbox Live guys will have to keep nagging at me to post, it helps a lot.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

I'm sorry. I've been neglecting this blog lately. I had been occupied with starting up a new series on YT. And then I caught swine flu. And then it was Christmas. So yeah....

Regardless, I figured I had to at least wish you all a happy new year, 2010. There's most likely going to be some changes around here, so keep your eyes open!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Hallowe'en!

Never let it be said I didn't wish you one.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Am NOT Dead

Well, I've been away for a while. Got some new vids up on YouTube, and I've been taking more pictures. Above is a small sample to keep you all amused.

I'm currently making some minor edits to previous posts, fixing mistakes and such. Check back soon.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

He Is Malcolm Reynolds!

Well, my Xbox is back, for the present, at least.  I've been playing ODST, of course.  I beat the campaign in one go, stopping only to eat.  It didn't actually take very long.

I was over at Bungie when I found something interesting, a link to an interview with Nathan Fillion, the man behind Gunnery Sergeant Eddie Buck.

Behold his visage!

This, of course, sent me into delighted shock. Perhaps to explain why, I should provide a little backstory. Firstly, he's a Canadian actor, born in Alberta, currently starring in the ABC series Castle.  He had a small role in Saving Private Ryan, as "The Minnesota Ryan", and has played various other characters on TV.  But the reason many people know of him is because in 2002 he played the quirky, tempermental smuggler and starfreighter captain Malcolm Reynolds in the short-lived but brilliant Joss Whedon Sci-Fi series Firefly.

Anyway, the interview can be found here.

Image from the Wikimedia Commons, Flickr user RavenU.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It had to be done....

Well, part one of my "Stave Off Boredom" project is now complete. I now possess a YouTube account! Truth be told, I've never been that big a fan of YouTube. It's full of charlatans who want nothing more than to watch videos of other people injuring themselves in stupid ways (yes, I admit that's a stereotype, but it's largely true). However, there are also some very talented and/or insightful YouTube users. So I figured that I had to put aside my distaste and join.

And, being me, I couldn't help but upload a video of my own. Just something simple, for now. A little "AMV" I came up with.

[EDIT] I have since taken the AMV down, because I was unhappy with the quality.[EDIT]

Visit my channel here.

Of course, there's more to come. Part two is something I've been planning for a while, and should be up within the month (barring unforeseen problems).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

They Mock Me....

The gods of irony have lashed out at me once again.

Why?!!  Why do you taunt me?

I had a copy of Halo 3: ODST pre-ordered (of course), but with my Xbox in the shop for an undetermined amount of time, I now have no way to play it.  Which, as you can imagine, has me pretty... miffed.  Grrr, and all that.

Well, when I get my console back, you can be sure that A Real Pity will be making the move to ODST.  Until then....

Fun stuff!

...until then, I've got things to do.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

He's up to Something....

Well, my Xbox is being repaired (again). And so, to stave off boredom, I've got a new project on the go.  Can't say what as of right now.

But believe me, I think it will be worth your while.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Toronto, Again

I'm posting on Sunday, yet again.  I was in Toronto yesterday (yet again).  Less than a week after FanExpo finished, I just couldn't stay away.  The problem is, the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) was on, and the streets were even more choked with people than usual.

I stopped by this fun little Japanese Hobby store and picked up a couple of Gundam figurines.  These are random, so you never know what's in the box.  When I saw that one of the possibilities was a 1/300 scale MSN-04 Sazabi, my heart leapt.  The Sazabi is my favourite Mobile Suit of all time (subject to change, if something more awesome comes along), with the GN-Flag being a close second, of course.  So I picked one of the medium weight boxes (Sazabi is bulky, not fat!) hoping, but not really believing, that I might get lucky.  After all, the gods of irony and I have never exactly seen eye to eye.  But I guess fate threw me a curveball, because the moment I opened the box, what should I find but a Sazabi in all its miniature red glory!  Wait, I've had this dream before....

The other figurine was, perhaps befittingly, Allelujah Haptism.  After all, I did get Soma Peries at FanExpo, so I think that makes perfect sense.  Opposites attract, after all.

There's some interesting new lighting tricks at work here, for the enjoyment of you, the audience.  I'm thinking of upgrading my background, but you'll probably never notice any difference.

There they are, in all their epic... plastic.  The Sazabi also came with a Beam Rifle and a display stand.

You may not be able to tell from these pictures, but Allelujah is tall.  Next to Soma, he looks ridiculously tall.  I know she was pretty short in the Anime, but the Soma Peries I got at FanExpo must be a different scale, or something, because she's simply dwarfed by Allelujah.

Maybe I'll take a picture of them side by side, so you can see just how laughably tall he really is.

However, after all that, the gods of irony couldn't resist the chance to flout my victory.  In the ultimate insult, they ensured that the Sazabi's weapon hand was clogged with paint, making it impossible to attach the Beam Rifle.

Why can the gods of irony not fight with honour?

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Last Days of Summer Break

People seem to have this bizarre habit of holding events in the last few weeks of the summer break.

Especially in Toronto.

As you may or may not know, the Toronto FanExpo is one of the largest "fan conventions" in Canada. With that in mind, it's obvious why it was held in the Metro Convention Centre, a colossal building right next to the CN Tower.

FanExpo ran from August 28th-30th, a sort of "conclusion" to the month. Unlike most other conventions, which are only geared toward fans of one genre (i.e. comic books or Sci-Fi), FanExpo is designed to appeal to fans of Anime, Sci-Fi, Comics, Horror, and Gaming. Of course this means a wide variety of vendors, artists, and celebrities are present at each show.

But wait, you ask, what kind of celebrities would be present at such an event? Well, the list was too long to mention everyone, but it included Leonard Nimoy, Billy Dee Williams, Linda Hamilton, Mary McDonnell, Beau Bridges, Walter Koenig, and even Bruce Campbell (this is my BOOMSTICK!).

I had the great pleasure of meeting some of my favourite voice actors, namely: Brad Swaile (Setsuna F. Seiei, Light Yagami/Kira, Amuro Ray), Crispin Freeman (Alex Row, Jeremiah Gottwald), Steve Downes (The Master Chief), and of course, Scott McNeil (Ali Al-Saachez)! I have pictures somewhere, but sadly I haven't been able to "retrieve" them yet. Perhaps at a later date.

Before I continue, it must be made common knowledge that this was not only my first FanExpo, but also the first convention I've attended. Hopefully the first of many.

Now on to the main event!

Upon entering the main hall, visitors were greeted by this statue of the Master Chief. What better way to set the mood?

See those white boxes? That's all comic books.

Even with his head mounted on a wall, the Balrog is terrifying

There's just too much!

For me, walking into FanExpo was like a dream come true, except that everything cost money! The vendors section was full of long booths, brimming with collectables, action figures, posters, books, DVD's and comics. Then of course there were the stores that practically sold nothing but Gunpla.

Of course, the Toronto Garrison of the 501st Legion was present, dressed as various characters from the Star Wars Saga. The members of the 501st sport costumes of very high quality, right down to the mouthpiece, which gives them that cold, menacing "Stormtrooper-y" voice. To create the feeling that these were real troopers on patrol, certain people were given a "Droid Hunt" badge. If a trooper approached someone in possession of one of these badges, that person would have to turn it over.

On the first day the trooper patrols were crawling all over the place, but as Fan Expo progressed they became less frequent.

The Fighting 501st: Vader's Fist on patrol


This guy was fun. I took a couple of snaps of him, then as I turned to leave, thinking "he didn't notice my Droid Hunt badge, I'm ninja", he said "I'm not finished with you yet." Curses!

Anyway, according to the rules of the Droid Hunt, he took my badge away. However, near the end of FanExpo it was possible to pick up another as a souvenir, with a donation to charity. By that time I only had spare change left over, but gave all I could.

After all, good cause, plus 501st keepsake? How could I refuse?

It goes without saying that people would be Cosplaying at an event such as this. I was very impressed with some of the designs, however, I only took pictures of the ones I recognized.

Mal from Joss Whedon's Firefly/Serenity

For Z.A.F.T.!


I'm no expert, but I think these guys serve The God Emperor of Mankind

On the third day, I wore my homemade Z.A.F.T. officer's uniform (the white one). Not entirely finished to my liking, so no pictures of that yet, but I will get some taken once it's all done.

Fan Expo may be over, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to look forward to. After all, it'll be returning next year: 2010!
We'll be back next year! Rebel scum.

Somehow in between all my running around to get stuff signed, I still had some time to myself, and used it well.
Yay, loot!

As you can see, I did a bit of shopping. I got all this for about $140 (Canadian, of course).

By the way, you may notice some signatures on the Gundam 00 DVD. In blue, Brad Swaile, the voice of Setsuna. The other signature is Scott McNeil's, the voice of (yep, you guessed it) Ali Al-Saachez!

I was exhausted after FanExpo, but just a few days later, I was at it again. This time at the Rotary Brantford Charity Airshow. Brantford, for all those of you who don't know, was once the home of Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone. But that has nothing to do with aircraft.

And aircraft is why I was there in the first place.

The Snowbirds: Canada's aerial acrobatics team

Some consider them a Canadian symbol. The Snowbirds, 431 squadron, is a group comprised of active members of our armed forces. They perform all kinds of tricks and maneuvers, including some lethal looking loops.

This, of course, is our Avro Lancaster bomber. One of only two (2!) left in the world that can still fly. This one is usually kept in the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, less than thirty minutes from where I'm sitting as I type this. The other airworthy Lancaster belongs to the Queen of England, and she doesn't let the public take flights in hers. That's right, it's possible to take flights in our Lancaster, although I think there's a waiting list (don't quote me on that).

Yes, that is an F-18. We do have those.

I'm sure there are some people who believe that our Air Force consists of Biplanes and lumberjacks with wings tied to their arms. I reject your blatant stereotyping with the power of the fighter jet.


It's hard to tell from this picture, but that jet is going wicked fast. Ironically the clearest picture I took all day, with less blurring than the planes moving one third that speed.

In Soviet Russia, trainer plane pilots you!

Do a Barrel Roll!

It's been a great summer, but for once I'm actually exited about going back to school (blasphemy!), mostly because I finally get to choose all my classes. That means I'm going to be spending most of the year on a stage or around video cameras, which should prove to be awesome. Next stop, Hollywood (or Vancouver, if I can't get Stateside)!

Just one last thing. I took so many pictures at FanExpo and the airshow, that I don't have the upload space to put them all in my Flickr photostream. So, unfortunately I won't be able to upload the others for about a month, but if anyone thinks they'll still want to see those photo's around that time, just say so in a comment sometime between now and then.

Thus concludes my last post for the summer.