Sunday, July 26, 2015

An Italian Plumber Returns to the Realm of Coin-Ops in Luigi Mansion Arcade




Even though they're mostly associated with Nintendo's line of home gaming consoles, Italian plumber brothers Mario and Luigi started their journey to digital stardom in the coin-op arcades. In the early '80s, Mario first appeared in the arcade classic Donkey Kong, and Luigi made his debut in Mario Bros. They've spent most of their time since then in console-only games but it appears that Luigi hasn't forgotten his roots, since he's the star of the new Luigi Mansion Arcade game that was recently released in Japan.

Luigi Mansion Arcade is a first-person rail shooter along the lines of House of the Dead, although it takes its plot, settings and characters from the Luigi Mansion games that were previously released on the Nintendo GameCube and 3DS. In the game, up to two players explore a haunted mansion and use the Poltergust 3000 to capture a selection of ghosts.

As you can see from the video below, Luigi Mansion Arcade looks like loads of fun. I'm sure that this game will eventually wind up in the U.S., although I'd much prefer to see it ported for the Wii U system because it would fit perfectly with that system's motion controls.





Saturday, July 25, 2015

More Zoids Robot Toys: Tribots and R.A.T.S.




Way, way back in 2010, I posted a retrospective about Tomy's toy robot line Zoids and two of its less popular spin-offs, Starriors and Z-Knights. I recently learned that Tomy produced two other spin-offs during the '80s that weren't sold in the United States: Tribots and the Robot Anti-Terror Squad (R.A.T.S.). These two other lines also less popular than Zoids, but that doesn't make them look any less fun. Click below for more details and pictures of these interesting yet obscure robot toys from the '80s, and how they fit in to Tomy's approach to motorized, mechanical play.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

New NECA Alien Figures: Red Alien Queen and Isolation Xenomorph



NECA has done wonders with its Predator license over the years, so it made me wonder when (and if) it would finally get around to putting the same level of effort into its Alien line. While it still has a way to go, NECA's recent announcement about two upcoming Alien figures shows plenty of potential in this line's future.

The first figure is the deluxe red Alien Queen figure, which is scheduled for release this November. This figure is based on the red Alien Queen that was seen in the Aliens: Genocide comic miniseries that was published by Dark Horse, and it serves as a complementary piece for NECA's previously released red Alien figure that was also based on Genocide.




The red Alien Queen is basically a repaint of NECA's previous Alien Queen figure but with a slightly different head sculpt. Nevertheless, it you're willing to spend the money to cover its $100+ price tag, the red Alien Queen would make a colorful addition to any fan's Alien collection.




The second figure is the Xenomorph as it appeared in the recent Alien: Isolation video game. The figure looks very faithful to the original "Big Chap" design from Alien except with longer, reverse-articulated legs. The Isolation Xenomorph will also be released this November, along with two other figures from the same video game: Amanda Ripley in her jumpsuit uniform and Amanda Ripley in a space suit. If NECA decides to revisit Isolation again in its future releases, I hope that it produces a figure based on the creepy "Working Joe" androids that wandered the corridors of the Sevastopol space station.