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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

GBA X-POST: GameStart Asia 2015, the noob perspective

Gamestart Asia 2015: Things A Gaming Noob Can Enjoy at the Show

The following has been reproduced with the kindest permission from the one and only REDDOTDIVA, who, on behalf of the Alliance, offered up her video game convention virginity.
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Some very exciting things are in store for those who are heading to Gamestart Asia 2015 two weekends from now!

This year's edition is a pumped-up version of last year's inaugural show, and will occupy double the space at Suntec Convention Centre, and held over 3 days (13 to 15 November 2015), including a business conference day for those who want to get to know more about the ins and outs of the gaming industry.

To build interest leading up to the convention, the organizer Eliphant Pte Ltd, has even joined hands with developer Seow ‘Sonic’ Zong Hui to build their very own game app. Have you all downloaded and played the Gamestart app already?

Naturally, local gamers are excited about attending the show so that they can get their hands dirty on the new and upcoming titles, as well as cheer for their favourites at the Capcom Pro Tour Asia Finals. But, what if you are gaming noob like Red Dot Diva

Ed: Everyone enjoys a good bout! CPTA Last Chance Qualifiers slots have sold out but be there for the Grand Finals on 15th Nov Sunday 6pm!

If you are kinda tech-savvy, or generally interested in the visual arts form of story-telling, Red Dot Diva suggests a few interesting things that might capture your interest at Gamestart Asia 2015.

1. THE PLAYSTATION VR


Look at this sleek, sexy thing! It's so sci-fi!

Dear geeks, this is the droolworthy Playstation VR.

The next buzz in the industry is Virtual Reality (VR) gaming, and Gamestart Asia is Playstation VR's first stop at a public event in South-East Asia. 

To test this real-time, visual-auditory experience, Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong Limited Singapore Branch (SCES) will be building a double-story booth with four titles - "The Playroom VR", "The Deep", "The Kitchen" and "The London Heist Getaway".

Red Dot Diva is already itching to get her hands on trying at least one of these titles.


2. STAR WARS GAMES - "BATTLEFRONT" and "BATTLE POD"

Star Wars fans are in for a treat at Gamestart Asia

Want to fight for the rebellion as Princess Leia?  Or maybe you relish channelling the Dark Side of the Force as Emperor Palpatine.

Either way, head straight to the Sony Playstation exhibition booth to fight it out with Stormtroopers at the recently released Star Wars Battlefront game. 


If there is a crowd of people lining up for Battlefront, make a quick dash to the Geekculture's booth where you will find the Star Wars Battle Pod arcade game! Thanks to the geek website's partnership with Disney and Bandai Namco Entertainment

With its dome-shaped screen, fans can get the immersive experience of being a pilot of a snowspeeder or an X-Wing Figher, or the Millennium Falcon and battle their way on Hoth, Endor or the Death Star. There are five different iconic Star Wars environments where you can try using the Force, or use your instinct and jump into hyperspace. Definitely a must-try moment for any Star Wars fan!

Pew pew pew!!


Ed: Don't forget there's Battle Pod Shoot-Out contest. Regardless of your choice of difficulty level - Yavin (Easy), Hoth (Medium), Endor (Medium), Death Star II (Hard), and the insane Vader's Revenger (Masochistic) - as long as you play, you're automatically eligible! Top pilot of each tier wins, and the top prize is $294 too cool Kagemitsu G4 Custom Saber! More info here.

3. RETRO GAMING SECTION

Ahhh.... nostalgia! Not much of a fight or battle gamer, Red Dot Diva remembering spending a lot of coins on Rally-X, Space Invaders, Galaxian and Pac Man way back then when she was an awkward Diva-ling.

Providing a series of vintage games (include those of the arcade nature!) plus an exhibition of retro consoles and machines from the 1980's to the early 2000's, Gamestart's production partner No Average Joe is set to thrill the fans again this year with the classics at the Retro DNA section of the exhibition hall.

If she sees that there's a console for Dig Dug, she thinks she might cry.

4. LOCAL & INDIE GAMING STUDIOS 




Gamestart Asia is also a wonderful time to get familiar with the local gaming studios, like Witching Hour Studios, who have developed some notable titles like Ravenmark.

The studio is currently working on their next project, an RPG game called Masquerada: Songs and Shadows. There's already a buzz aboutMasquerada, which is set to be released in 2016. The game has already bagged notable voice actors like Jennifer Hale (Commander Shepard, Mass Effect), Matthew Mercer (Chrom, Fire Emblem: Awakening) and Dave Fennoy (Lee, The Walking Dead). So, if you want to one of those who get an early try-out, a demo will be available at Witching Hour Studios' booth.


At Gamestart Asia, there will also be a section called Founders Base, which is basically a gathering of indie gaming studios and gaming-related start-ups that include local outfits, like LambdaMu Games who is famous for titles like Pixel People, IMBA Interactive and mobile game company XII Braves

Other independent companies from Barcelona (Herding Cats) and Hong Kong (Genuine Studio) will also be showing off their new wares there.

5. PRETTY, BICEPSTUOUS COSPLAYERS

Who can resist a parade of yummy eye-candy? Three lovely cosplayer guests will be making their appearance at Gamestart Asia to meet their fans as well as judge the Game On! Cosplay Runway Showcase. They are:

Karin/ Acanthastar Cosplay, who calls herself a nerd and recently made Tracer, a character from Blizzard's soon to be released shooter game, come to life. Gamestart Asia will be her first visit to South-East Asian as a convention guest. 

TUNA, one of the prominent cosplayers in South Korea, who is known for her portrayal of many game and anime characters like Ranko Kanzaki of Idol M@ster Cinderella, Ebizukawa Karumi from Gakkou Gurashi!, and those from Dynasty Warriors, Tekken and Sword Art Online.  

Johnny (Junkers Cosplay Inc), a Navy veteran with the biceps and engineering chops to prove it. He has cosplayed for years and is known for his well-crafted weapons and armour, and great renditions of characters from the games League of Legends & Dynasty Warriors,Eren Jaeger (Attack on Titan), Star-Lord (Guardians of the Galaxy and many others. 


Being a biceps collector, you know what Red Dot Diva would be doing at Gamestart Asia!

If you are a cosplayer, even better still! Come to the convention dressed as a game, anime or manga character and you will only pay $5 for a day's entry ticket! 

6. COOL GEEK FASHION & GEAR

Being a geek doesn't mean you have to look shabby.  

In fact, Gamestart Asia is where you can do some shopping to update your wardrobe or gaming essentials.

There's GameStart official apparel partner, Xmashed Gear, who also designed resident gamer girl Alyse 2.0, and the convention's signature t-shirt. Here are some of their cool t-shirt designs!




To dress-up your feet, Freshly Pressed, will have a 17 designs of socks which include game-themed ones, as well as comic-book heroes inspired. Red Dot Diva knows there are some people who may be eyeing for the "Steve" (see below). Or maybe you can assert your gaming rage better with the "Bruce"?


To jazz up your gaming PC console, check out the peripherals offered by Armaggeddon. They will be promoting their latest gear that include headsets, mouse and this gleaming, very colourful keyboard .... (Wow, bright lights... ) 


Over at Founders' Base, there will an exhibitor called Aethercraft, who specializes in fantasy-inspired handcrafted jewelry. Definitely no need to be a hardcore gamer in order to appreciate pretty things like these!

Everyone's favourite geeky toy store - Simply Toys - will also be exhibiting at Gamestart Asia. The retail store will be selling their usual favourites and exclusive items. There aren't any details what these are yet. Perhaps, they will announce it on their Facebook page soon.

So there you go! Even if one is not an active gamer, there are still many exciting events and booths within Gamestart Asia that a pop-culture-loving fan can enjoy. Besides, it's always fun to learn or experience something new! 

Tickets to Gamestart Asia are still available on sale. Head on to this link to find out more details on how to nab your tickets now.

The lovely Gamestart masco Alyse 2.0 will be waiting for you!



Saturday, 3 October 2015

It's a different pop


If you were as confused as I was initially and even mistook it for a rebranding exercise, don't; AsiaPOP and Popcorn Asia sell popular culture and that's the end of their similarity. I can't speak for RedDotDiva but I am still reeling from the pop in Manila and this is a pleasant surprise, considering that I'm a comic-con veteran (used loosely to describe someone who has only attending one other convention outside of Singapore) and have a shrivelled geeky heart.

Babo is raring to go at 4am!
Dragging myself out of bed at 3am to hit the airport by 4. Falling victim to the holiday flu on the second day of the convention. Having to eat crickets and pig head in the form of camaro and sisig. The price to ride on the magic carpet which was AsiaPOP is one that I'll gladly pay.

It's one of the two comic cons (the other is in Shanghai) in Asia that boasts a decent Hollywood celebrity line up and I fanboy-ed all over Natalie Emmanuel with great dollops of silence and coerced her to molest Babo. Having said that, I am more than willing to sacrifice the blue ungrateful gunny sack to koala hang from the Khal-esque biceps of Jason Momoa but being two degrees away from dragons is just as awesome

You know Colton Haynes has graced the floor with his pretty face when his harem starts mass convulsing, or when you walk into a wall of flesh that turns out to be his photo-op queue. The warmth and passion of his fans are absolutely, positively and without a doubt terrifying. If I had a death wish, I would have admitted dropping Arrow an episode into Season 2. Adoration is a blind devil.

Finally, there's Paul Bettany with a RBF that can rival Kristen Stewart, and coupling that with the minders' repeated warnings that the guests are inflicted with terminal haphephobia, I entered the photo-op room with an extremely moderated expectation. Turns out he is the quintessential gentleman stuffed with Britishness and, as I discovered later on in the press con, armed with a sharp but courteous wit. This revelation came too late to salvage my stunned like vegetable state of mind and face.

Babo - the main star

AsiaPOP has definitely exploded on my radar (I'm not just impressed by the fireworks!) and the Abu Dhabi leg is coming up. There's a high chance I am seeing camels in Dec! ;)

Follow RedDotDiva's exclusive coverage of the celebrity guests' press con, and if you have not seen the hyperlapse of her journey to AsiaPOP, do so NOW. I'll be writing a piece on my Chris Ryniak and Amanda Spayd encounter and a little something called Bubblegut. Our APCC adventure continues!


Saturday, 12 September 2015

STGCC 2015 Chatting with Cool Camilla d'Errico


image from Singapore Toy and Comic Convention 2015



When I heard that Camilla d’Errico and Adi Granov were returning for this year’s STGCC, I squealed in delight, well, did an internal dance of joy, more like…to not lose my cool...

This was her second time in Singapore and we asked how she liked it. The first time she was here, was in 2009, and she felt that it had grown bigger with it being previously held in a (Suntec) mall and there were more general public as compared to the previous time where there seemed to be more hardcore fans. (she also jokingly mentioned other than the haze and the evil red sun, :D)

Of the eastern and western influences to her art, Camilla talked about her start in comics and being inspired by Top Cow’s Mark Silvestri, Michael Turner and Joe Benitez. At that time 16 years ago, there were hardly any manga influences but with Sailor Moon and other anime showing up, non spandex comics appealed to her. She appreciated the character based stories and the diverse storylines and the fact that the protagonist didn’t always survive the series. It was a revelation to her and she dove in to a whole new style, that eventually proved to be even more “manga” than what the mainstream Japanese editors were used to. Today her style has evolved to one that can be seen in her art and comics.
Camilla d'Errico's Tanpopo from Boom Studios (available from Kinokuniya Bookstore in Singapore)

Of being asked what was the best and worst things that happened to her as an artist, Camilla mentioned about it as akin to Peter Pan, “not having to grow up” but also doing her art as work and not as a hobby, and she recounted of how she met her husband in an art class and how she kept asking him his rationale for doing art and realized that she had lost a slight bit of innocence when one has to balance it as job and a hobby. She also mentioned that it has been a surrealistic experience of from being a fan to having fans of her own, and how she sees herself in them. (Here’s where I helpfully chimed in that in between the years she’d been away, she’d gotten hitched and congratulated her, and led to my question of whether she had less time to do her art…) She gainfully said “indeed!” She’d been balancing a lot of work, but we gathered she was in good hands as she’d often bounce ideas of him and even collaborated on a painting with him!

At STGCC, Camilla’s painting image “Puff” from her website
At STGCC, Camilla has new framed and unframed original artworks (info from her website)


Of which was her favourite piece (of art), she shared that she couldn’t possibly choose (like which was a favourite child) but she did share with us a piece which led to a breakthrough of sorts for her and to an evolution in her art, “letting go something that I liked”
She realized she could do art for a living when she illustrated a story of Alaska and Huskies instead of writing it for a written project. Which led to her discovering sequential art in comics, painting on boards which eventually led to painting on canvases.
her calling card! please excuse my scribbles...

On diversity in comics today, Camilla mentioned that previously there were hardly any women in comic books in the past, but these days there isn’t a need to hide the fact that one read or created comics. On trying different medium, she said that she liked the current medium she was working on but she was experimenting on the subject matter and constantly seeking to surprise us!
visit her at her booth B29! image from her website


Do come to STGCC this weekend to visit Camilla at her booth B29! Its filled with magical and wonderful illustrations and art and beautiful artifacts!!

find out more on her website http://camilladerrico.com/
follow her on Facebook and Instagram and twitter
W, Camilla D'errico and Ed
W!
wandering weporter 

check out Red Dot Diva and Toys-3tc for all the lowdown to Singapore Toy and Comic Convention 2015


Wednesday, 9 September 2015

STGCC 2015 GBA X-Post: You love biceps? You love Insta? GOOD

The Glam Bloggers Alliance's Instagram Contest held at during last year's STGCC was so much fun, that they have decided to run one again this year!

Attendees of the convention can pump up their biceps and FLEX to take part in the 2nd edition of the STGCC Biceps Instagram Photo Contest! This time, there will be a special Bonus Round, with the help of the team of Global Beards.
  
Here is how one can join in the fun:

Terms & Conditions: Glam Bloggers Alliance (GBA) STGCC Biceps Instagram Photo Contest

Pose a selfie or pose with a friend or STGCC guest showing at least one arm’s biceps in the photo. Three of the most creative interesting posed photos with caption wins.

Note: If you are posing the photo with someone or having someone to pose in the pic, please do remember to ask the person for permission to be included in the photo. Stalker pics will not be accepted as a contest entry.

For reference, check out @jaelurp, one of the winners from last year's contest!


Here's another sample of an acceptable photo, with Red Dot Diva and writer Kelly Bender as models! ;) 

PHWOAAAR! Look at those biceps!


To join, simply:
1. Follow @reddotdiva and @kaiju_ed on Instagram
2. Add a posed photo of any STGCC Biceps that you have spotted during the Singapore Toy Games and Comic Convention on 12 - 13 September 2015 to your Instagram account, together with an interesting caption. You have to include all three hashtags #STGCCBiceps #STGCC @reddotdiva @kaiju_ed
3. The photo must be clearly taken during the convention on 12 - 13 September 2015. Red Dot Diva and toys-etc (on behalf of the Glam Blog Alliance) reserve the right to reject entries of photos obviously taken somewhere else.
4. This contest is only applicable to mobile phone users.
5. Entries must be tweeted in between 12 – 13 September 2015 during the showfloor official opening hours of STGCC.
6. Winners will be chosen on 22 September 2015. The judges will be Glam Bloggers Alliance (and maybe, a representative from the STGCC organizing team). The Glam Bloggers Alliance consist of the editorial team of Red Dot Diva and toys-etc. The judges' decision will be final.
7. They will be notified and tagged on the same date via Instagram, with more information on prize collection.
8. Red Dot Diva and toys-etc (on behalf of the Glam Bloggers Alliance and Global Beards) reserve the right to make changes to the contest terms and conditions, as well as replace or change prizes at any time without prior notice. This contest is in no way sponsored or administered by the organizers of STGCC.

Submit your entry, and be one of THREE (3) Instagram followers of Red Dot Diva and toys-etc to receive the following:

FIRST PRIZE:


1. "Kick-Ass 2" movie poster signed by director Jeff Wadlow and Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. (kindly donated by Wayne Rée!)

Various comics to be given away

2. "Batman and Robin" comic signed by Cameron Stewart (refer to general pic above, 2nd left at bottom)
3. 1x "Star Wars" - Heir to the Empire (refer to general pic above, 2nd right at bottom)


4. 1x "The Walking Dead" random figurine pack from Todd McFarlane's Building Set series
  


5. 1x Instinctoy – Ice Liquid series (colour to be determined later, above pic is sample only) 

SECOND PRIZE:


1. Giant "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" movie poster

2. 2x comics - "Band of Heroes" / Wonder Woman/ "Star Wars" - Shadow of the Empire (refer to general pic above, 2nd & 3rd at top; rightmost at bottom)


3. 1x Marvel Ultimate Spiderman Agent Venom action figure


4. 3x postcards obtained from SDCC 2014 - One Piece/Ranma 1/2/ promo for AnimeExpo 2015 


5. 3x of Free Comic Book Day/ promo comics     

THIRD PRIZE:


1. 1x Marvel Ultimate Spiderman notebook
2. Signed "Starburn" comic by Kelly Bender (refer to general pic above, 1st left at top)
3. 1x "Teen Titans" comic (refer to general pic above, 1st left at bottom)
  


4. 1x set of 10 pins (from STGCC 2014's Book Actually booth)
  

 5. 4x of Free Comic Book Day/ promo comics + 1x Marvel Secret Wars New York Bulletin


There will also be a SPECIAL BONUS Round!! This will be the STGCC Biceps and Global Beards segment!

To join, do the following:
1. Follow @reddotdiva @kaiju_ed @dangergene @waynereewrites on Instagram
2. Take a photo of any STGCC Biceps *PLUS* a Beard together with an item purchased at the Global Beards Booth (Artist Alley AA98) during the Singapore Toy Games and Comic Convention on 12-13 September 2015. Post this to your Instagram account with an interesting caption. You have to include all three hashtags #STGCCBicepsBeard #STGCC@reddotdiva @kaiju_ed @dangergene @waynereewrites
3. The photo must be clearly taken during the convention on 12-13 September 2015. Red Dot Diva and toys-etc (on behalf of the Glam Bloggers Alliance and Global Beards) reserve the right to reject entries of photos obviously taken somewhere else.
4. This contest is only applicable to mobile phone users.
5. Entries must be tweeted in between 12 – 13 September 2015 during the showfloor official opening hours of STGCC.
6. Winners will be chosen on 22 September 2015. The judges will be Glam Bloggers Alliance & the Global Beards team. The Glam Bloggers Alliance consists of the editorial team of Red Dot Diva and toys-etc, while the Global Beards team consist of Gene Whitlock and Wayne Ree. The judges' decision will be final.
7. They will be notified and tagged on the same date via Instagram, with more information on prize collection.
8. Red Dot Diva and toys-etc (on behalf of the Glam Bloggers Alliance and Global Beards) reserve the right to make changes to the contest terms and conditions, as well as replace or change prizes at any time without prior notice. This contest is in no way sponsored or administered by the organizers of STGCC.

Submit your entry, and TWO (2) Instagram followers will be selected. They will each win either a signed book by the Global Beards team or an art piece (e.g. sketch by Gene Whitlock).


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

STGCC 2015: the totally unbiased SG50 Unicorno review


When it comes to tokidoki, it is best to remember that Singapore is home to some of the most kiasu and kiasi fans in the world and steer clear of their war path. Thankfully, I managed to get my hands on a Unicorno without having a wild encounter with one of those types!

Now, this is exclusively made for STGCC and marked to celebrate our nation's 50th Jubilee just because it can be done.  I've already expressed my opinion on the design so the only records this review is going to break is one of brevity (NOT) and irrelevance. 

There's only 1000 of these and only sold bundled, VIP or daily passes, so it does add to the limited edition-ness and its resale value. eBay has already sold a handful, normally ending around the USD$65 range but most are going to get offloaded for a premium after the signing session this weekend.

The importance of using a light box
I don't hate it but it's not going to be friends with the rest of my collection. It's awkward like that. It might have been cuter if it came in the smaller 3' version but you'll have to settle for 5' of ... this. I'm quite fond of the Merlion which looks like our longkang guppy with its colourful tails fanning out, and I am quite happy ignoring the Unicorno it came with. This Unicorno just feels like it's being watched by our gahmen, ever ready to swoop in at the slightest hint of a riot of colours, so it's allowed a couple of token splashes, restrained and cautious. 

As for QC, the usual smudges and smears that you'll find in the 3' series and at SGD$30, you should not be expecting a Sideshow Collectible showpiece. 

Overall: ★★★ 

Thanks Agent W for the horsie!