No Region Lock for Mushihime-sama Futari on the Xbox 360

This news is a few days old, but I do not think many people have heard of this game so I thought that I’d mention it here. Mushihime-sama Futari is an arcade bullet hell-style shoot’em up game from CAVE. Curiously, CAVE is porting this game to the Xbox 360, and even more curiously, they’re not region-locking the game. Region locking is the second worst aspect of the 360, and virtually all Japanese games are locked so I’m happy that CAVE is dispensing with it here. Note that they aren’t actually localizing the game; the language is still going to be in Japanese, but I figure that these sorts of games aren’t really difficult to figure out.

One of the game’s protagonists is named Reco, and she may be familiar to figure collectors due to Max Factory putting out a 1/7 scale figure of her a few months ago. She’s gotten a character redesign since her first appearance, but I prefer her earlier look:

Reco from Mushihime-sama

Reco from Mushihime-sama Futari

Curiously, both renditions seem to be done by the same artist. I guess he wanted to change up his style.

I don’t have much experience playing bullet hell shoooters … maybe Trigger Heart Exelica qualifies? I dunno. I did spend a good chunk of youth playing shooters in the arcade though; Tiger Heli, 1942, and Carrier Air Wing were some of my favorite games growing up. I don’t play them as much now since there aren’t very many of them, but I enjoy them nonetheless. I think I’m going to put in a preorder for this game; it looks like a lot of fun, and I’m happy to support a developer willing to risk making shmups.

If you want to see the game in action, here is a gameplay trailer. The game comes out on November 26 this year – Thanksgiving Day for the Americans. Preorders can be put in at NCSX or Play-Asia.

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Jian Xue

E2046 Jian Xue Review

It’s yet another prepainted kit from E2046, but unlike the prior two reviews, this one does not come from an anime. Indeed, Jian Xue may be an original figure; E2046 often sculpts characters from existing properties but I do not think I’ve seen this character design anywhere else. She looks vaguely reminiscent of something from Dynasty Warriors, or perhaps from Sana Takeda’s artwork, but I dunno. I do know that this is an outstanding figure.
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Sylvia van Hossen from Princess Lover!

Volks Sylvia van Hossen from Princess Lover Review

It’s Saber clone! Like Charlotte, Sylvia is one of the love interests in the game and anime Princess Lover! but her most conspicuous trait is her resemblance to Saber. Sylvia wears trousers instead of a skirt and wields a rapier rather than a broadsword but the similarity is blatant, even egregious. Homage or ripoff, you decide.
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Charlotte Hazellink from Princess Lover!

Volks Charlotte Hazellink from Princess Lover Review

Charlotte Hazellink is yet another prepainted, preassembled kit from E2046 by way of Volks. One of these days I’m going to try building and painting models on my own. However, that day is not today.
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Preorder Outlook III

I spent some time this evening shooting pictures of Tsukino Azusagawa, and I wasn’t really feeling the way they turned out. Guess it’s back to the drawing board there. Since I have no pictures to post, and since it’s been a while since my last preorder outlook post, I figure why not do one of those? As usual all images are shamelessly taken from Hobby Search (a great place to buy figures from) and AmiAmi (I’m sure they would be a great place to buy figures from if they shipped internationally).
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Rogue from the Uncanny X-Men

Kotobukiya Marvel Bishoujo Rogue from the X-Men Review

Once when I was a kid living in Seoul, my uncle took my brother and I to a comic book shop near downtown, just a bit west of Gate 1 to Yongsan base. I doubt it’s still there, and I have no idea how my uncle even knew about this shop in that pre-Google Maps era. I was bewildered that such a shop even existed; I didn’t think that Koreans had much interest in American comics (despite being ethnically half-Korean myself, I’ve always identified with being American and I had no interest in Korean culture at that time). I remember the store had a barter system, and my brother traded off some of his books for new ones. I had no comic books of my own so I asked my uncle to buy the comics I wanted for me. One of the books I got was Uncanny X-Men #218, which had some of the female X-Men battling the Juggernaut. I didn’t know much about the X-Men, but one character in particular caught my eye – she wore a tight black bodysuit and a loose green tank top and had an awesome 80s haircut with a white skunk stripe through it. In the issue, she threw a punch at the Juggernaut, took one in return that launched her into orbit, and then she came back for more. It was a great book, and Rogue became one of my first childhood cartoon character crushes.

What? Stop looking at me like that. I know you had cartoon character crushes when you were a kid, too.
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Sheryl Nome from Macross Frontier

MegaHouse Sheryl Nome from Macross Frontier Review

I hadn’t planned on buying Sheryl Nome, but after seeing early reviews of her, I decided that she passed the eyeball test and that I should acquire her. To my consternation, she was sold out everywhere I looked. HLJ and Hobby Search briefly restocked her the day that she was released; she sold out hours later literally as I was removing my credit card from my wallet (one would think that I’d have my number memorized by now). As I resigned myself to the reality that she wouldn’t be entering my inventory, I took a look at BeNippon, a retailer that I hadn’t ordered from before, much less heard of. Hope was rekindled as they listed her as in stock with one unit left, and I quickly paid up and now she’s here.
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Narika Shihoudou from Beat Blades Haruka

Alter Narika Shihoudou from Beat Blades Haruka Review

Alter’s Narika is a figure that I’ve been anticipating since she was announced. I really like Alicesoft’s character designs and given Alter’s history of producing superb figures, I had high expectations for Narika. As usual, Alter does not disappoint, as they’ve made another amazing figure.
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Mirim from Queen’s Blade Rebellion

MegaHouse Mirim from Queen's Blade Rebellion Review

Up to this point I’ve passed over the figures from Queen’s Blade, but when I saw the promo pictures for Mirim, I knew she was going on my buy list. With a profession given as “Ultra-Vibration Valkyrie,” how could I resist her? Add in a cute outfit and a chainsaw sword and I was sold.
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Sumika Kagami from Muv-Luv Alternative

Good Smile Company Sumika Kagami from Muv-Luv Alternative Review

I hadn’t planned on getting any more of Good Smile Company’s Muv-Luv figures after Meiya Mitsurugi, but I can’t deny that Sumika really is cute. Furthermore, my Rogue preorder at BBTS was scheduled to ship at the end of August, and as fate would have it, that same store had Sumika on sale for a relatively cheap price. How could I not take advantage of such a serendipitous occurrence? It is like the planets have aligned, the cards have turned up just so, fates have intersected at a confluence of capitalism and happiness. It was meant to be, and so I tossed her in my shopping cart, added her to my order with Rogue, and now she is here.
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