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Tag Archives: armor
When you’re out swinging a big-ass sword that’s taller than you are, it’s best to dress right for the job.
Despite not being particularly religious, I always like to play as a paladin in role-playing games. I’ve always admired the ethos of the paladin: the self-sacrificing knight devoted to justice and charity. My party leader in the Bard’s Tale games was always a paladin. My Baldur’s Gate parties always had two paladins – my player character and Ajantis in the first game and Keldorn in the second. I played a paladin in EverQuest despite the hindrance of the hybrid experience penalty. I stayed away from World of Warcraft for years because I was told that paladins were only good for healing and I didn’t care to spend my game time staring at a CTRaid status window while mindlessly spamming the Decursive key (I wound up doing that after I bought the game, anyway). When Volks announced that their Sasara figure was called the “paladin” version, my curiosity was piqued, and when I saw the promo pictures, my interest was confirmed. I had some slight misgivings because Volks’s Moekore figures tend to not feature the cleanest production quality, but I figured Sasara looked good enough that I wouldn’t care. I figured correctly, because pally Sasara is a very impressive figure indeed.
I placed my order for Heat Blade with Hobby Search on June 15, 2010. She was originally scheduled for a fall release, but that got pushed back, and back, and back, and it was not until just this month that she finally hit stores. In the period between the placement of my order and the writing of this post, the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks won NBA championships, the governments of Tunisia, Egypt, and (effectively) Libya fell to populist revolutions, the NFL went through a lockout, Japan was devastated by an earthquake, the collective manhood of Washington, D.C. was devastated by an earthquake, Charlie Sheen somehow got fifteen minutes of fame despite already being famous, the exchange rate dropped from 91 to 77 yen to the dollar, and I wrote 58 figure reviews. And one tentacle stand review. What a busy time it’s been.
I’m a big fan of corrupted girls in fiction. Kerrigan in Starcraft, Seven of Nine in Star Trek Voyager, Yomi in Ga-rei Zero – love them all. The eroge Fate/stay night has a couple of corrupted female characters who have deserved figures for a while. Dark Sakura has a cool design and Gift has recently released a fine figure showing her in all her evil glory. But as a fan of armored girls wielding big broadswords, I really wanted a good figure of Saber Alter. Good Smile Company has finally obliged, and their rendition of Saber Alter is set to redefine the meaning of badass.
One of the more lamentable trends in entertainment media during the last couple of decades is the phasing out of the action girl in the battle bikini. They used to be commonplace, particularly in video games, where examples include Golden Axe’s Tyris Flare, SNK’s Athena, the valkyrie in Gauntlet, Sheena in Contra Hard Corps, and a bunch of characters from the early Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games. Nowadays, not only are they not nearly as common, you often see a peculiar aversion to sexiness on the part of female characters. World of Warcraft hasn’t had adequate bikini armor for two expansions now, much to the lament of my four paladins. I hear that the people running Tomb Raider want to place less emphasis on Lara Croft’s appearance, which explains why Square Enix can’t make good games anymore. Sonia Belmont got torched from Castlevania continuity altogether. This trend may be due to an attempt to be more inclusive and more appealing to larger audiences, or a desire to create more realistic characters, or a perceived lack of maturity associated with creating scantily-clad warrior girls. Whatever the cause, it sucks. Fortunately, Kotobukiya and Leaf agree, so here we have Tamaki Kousaka, the first of many Tamaki figures scheduled to drop this year.
Some might say that going into a fight in nothing but your panties isn’t very smart. Well, when your first fight is against a lady with acid for milk, it’s the only thing to do. I mean, anybody who’s seen Aliens knows what happens when you get splashed with acid while encased in body armor; you wind up getting your arm burned off after it goes right through the plating. Nah, when you’re fighting jelly demons and fire mages, less is definitely more when it comes to protective gear.
I was thrilled to learn that FREEing planned to follow up their version of Kenshin with my favorite Sengoku Rance girl. I got my preorder in right away and counted down the days until her April release date. Of course, figure manufacturers delight in my disappointment, and so Senhime got punted back one month and then another. In a happy bit of serendipity, the delay threw her right into Amiami’s 15% discount sale, and given that she was relatively pricey, I guess I don’t mind.
With the exception of a brief moment of weakness during the recent Star Trek Online beta test, I’ve been MMO free since kicking the Warcraft habit a year and a half ago. I don’t miss the games at all, but I still like looking at the character designs that populate the various games in the genre. Apparently E2046 does as well, as they’ve turned time and again to MMOs for inspiration, and so here we have Zabrina, their latest figure.
The battle bikini is one of the most stereotypical tropes in fantasy art but if you ask me, it doesn’t get nearly as much appreciation these days as it should. For example, when Sega resurrected the Golden Axe franchise, they did the right thing in selecting Tyris Flare as the heroine but then they revealed an appallingly lowbrow taste by giving her pants. To be fair, her famous battle bikini is unlockable, and since the game seems to have been quite awful I doubt anybody else cares, but the mere option of pants still demonstrates the disrespect this timeless battle uniform receives. Also, when Wrath of the Lich King was released, Blizzard inexplicably made all of the armor sets as puritanical as could be, despite having gone entirely the other way when they designed The Burning Crusade. Now, one could argue that a battle bikini might provide inadequate protection in a frozen wasteland, but I have my doubts that a heavy suit of full plate is any more practical for trudging about in the arctic. Furthermore, if realism were really the name of the game, all of the characters would be wearing fur coats and mukluks, as even a full-body cast iron tuxedo ain’t going to protect nobody when a hundred foot-long dragon decides to step on you.
Fortunately, the beauty, utility, and elegance of this piece of equipment is still apparent and to that end, we have here an homage to the battle bikini in the form of Wind Goddess Rafale. I don’t see anything here that validates her divinity, but I will take the manufacturer’s claim for what it is worth.