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Monday, 29 April 2013

D-Arts Venusaur Revealed

     Being a fan who grew up with the first, and arguably best, generation of Pokémon, the original 151 Pocket Monsters really hold a special place in my heart. Growing up, nearly all the money I made doing my paper route went to fueling my obsession with the popular Nintendo brand, be it through the cards, videos or toys. If it had the Pokémon name on it, chances were good I had it, in one form or another.

     Fast forward nearly fifteen years later, and the first generation of Pokémon fans have all grown up and moved on. Yet, chances are, if you bring up those golden years between 1998 and 2003, you'll find some nostalgic fan boys in even the most grown up, and mature of vintage Pokémon fans.

     Myself being one of them!

     So, naturally, when D-Arts revealed this past fall that they would be doing a line of fully articulated, collector oriented Pokémon figures based off that classic era, I was beyond excited! First came Mewtwo, the genetically created powerhouse from Pokémon: The First Movie. Charizard and Blastoise weren't far behind, and, like Mewtwo, will soon be available for purchase.

     Well, the D-Arts Pokémon train continues ever forward with the release of the fourth addition to the series - Venusaur!

     A Grass-type Pokémon, and the final evolution of beginner Pokémon Bulbasaur, Venusaur will sport multiple points of articulation and come complete with interchangeable heads and vine attachments to mimic the monster's signature vine whip attack from the games and cartoons!






     According to the Tamashii Nations website, D-Arts Venusaur will be available for purchase this coming August. So, expect pre-orders for this fan favorite to be up very soon!

     With Venusaurs release, the three starter Pokémon are all but complete, opening up the door for countless other D-Arts Pokémon offerings! Who will be the next addition to the series has yet to be seen, but I can think of a few Pocket Monsters I'd like to see released through this line...

     Kangaskhan, anyone?

     Scyther?

     Beedrill?

     The possibilities are endless! Don't stop now, D-Arts, you guys are on a roll!

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Friday, 26 April 2013

Martha Wells' Next - Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion: Razor's Edge

 Three new Star Wars novels are set to tell separate solo adventures of the Big Three characters from the Original Trilogy era. The first of those three will be entitled Razor's Edge, which will be penned by Martha Welles and star everyone's favorite bun-haired damsel - Princess Leia Organa.

     Del Rey says that this new book is a Princess Leia adventure that will also include Han Solo and Luke Skywalker and is set after A New Hope. EMPIRE AND REBELLION is the title for a trio of stand alone novels focusing on Leia, Han, and Luke. Martha Wells is writing the Leia novel, James S. A. Corey is writing the Han Solo novel, and Kevin Hearne is writing the Luke novel. RAZOR'S EDGE is due to hit stores this October.

     Short, but sweet. Seems like Del Rey doesn't want to give too much away regarding this new book trio. Either way, I am intrigued and will certainly be picking up all 3 titles in this new series! While the prequel era stories have been, for the most part, rather exciting, its been very nice to see new tales set back in the Original Trilogy era I grew up with as a kid! Hopefully more novels and comics will follow this trend and bring us new adventures set between A New Hope and Return of the Jedi - before Disney takes over and starts churning out stories of a lightsaber toting Mickey Mouse!

     I kid, of course! It's not like they shut down LucasArts or anything, right?

    Look for Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion: Razor's Edge to be hitting bookstores this October!

 
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Play Arts Kai DC Comics Variant Figures Coming

     Square Enix has released new images of some upcoming Play Arts Kai DC Comics variant figures for Batman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman.

     Each of the newly revealed figures sports some very impressive updates in design and paint apps. As can be seen from the images posted below, these new figures look to be in the same scale as the other DC Comics Play Arts Kai offerings that we've seen over the past little while.

     Each figure will also sport multiple points of articulation and come complete with a character specific accessory - Batman with batarang, Green Lantern with ring affect and Wonder Woman with shield.

     No price or release date for these new figures has been released yet.

     While these edgy, new designs may not be for everyone, I can freely admit I am really digging these three new Play Arts Kai DC Comics figures! Hopefully it won't be long before new variant figures, including Flash, Cyborg & Aquaman, are released into the ranks of our modernized variant Justice League!

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Revoltech Reveals Iron Man Mark I Figure

     Wow! It seems like a new Iron Man figure is revealed almost every day lately. Not that this is a huge surprise, considering the success of the Marvel character at the box office since the first film was released in 2008. And, with a new adventure set to hit the big screen in a little under a week, it's not all that surprising to see license holders pulling out all the stops for the latest entry in the popular franchise.

     Revoltech is the latest company to reveal yet another new Iron Man figure. This latest addition is none other then the Mark I armor, which was seen in the first Iron Man film from 2008.

     This new figure will stand about 6" tall, sport multiple points of articulation, and superb attention to detail. An extra set of hands and a flamethrower affect will be included alongside the figure.

     No release date has been given, but we do know that the Revoltech Mark I figure will come with an MSRP of 4800 Yen, which is about $48 USD.

     This new Mark I really looks amazing! That weathered and beaten look to the armor really does a great job paying homage to its movie counterpart. Throw in that additional flamethrower affect and you've got something that is sure to be an  awesome addition to your Iron Man collection!

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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

A Quick Look: D-Arts Mega Man Ultimate Armor X Figure

     Tamashii is adding a new addition to their popular D-Arts Mega Man line later this year! A few weeks back, we here at Infinite Earths shared the news that the next figure in the line would be a Mega Man Ultimate Armor X figure, and now, Tamashii has released some new images of the hotly anticipated piece!

     Based on the Ultimate Armor upgrade from the Mega Man X games, this new figure sports a nice mixture of both painted and translucent pieces and is said to have all the same articulation you'd expect from other D-Arts figures!

     The Mega Man Ultimate Armor X D-Arts figure is slated for release in Japan this August.






   
































    

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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Press Release

     Warner Home Video has issued a press release for their next DC Animated Original Movie, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, which will be hitting shelves on July 30th, 2013. Based off the hit miniseries by Geoff Johns, Flashpoint resulted in the creation of the current New 52 Universe, currently appearing in the pages of DC Comics. Check out the press release posted below, which gives fans a more in-depth look at what the DVD and Blu-Ray versions of the film will have to offer...

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox cover art

     The world is turned upside down as one of earth’s greatest super heroes – Flash – wakes up devoid of his super powers in the all-new Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox – the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Original Animated Movies. Produced by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, this all-new, PG-13 rated film arrives July 30, 2013 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Blu-Ray™ Combo Pack ($24.98 SRP), DVD ($19.98 SRP) and Digital Download. The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack will include UltraViolet™*.

When time travel allows a past wrong to be righted for Flash and his family, the event’s temporal ripples prove disastrous, creating a fractured, alternate reality where the Justice League never formed, and even Superman is nowhere to be found. Amidst a new world being ravaged by a fierce war between Wonder Woman’s Amazons and Aquaman’s Atlanteans, Flash must team with a grittier, more violent Batman and government agent Cyborg to restore the continuity of Flash’s original timeline.

“Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox has all the elements of another great film – dynamic forceful villains, treacherous twists and turns and internal tensions amongst heroes,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Home Video Vice President, Family, Animation and Partner Brands Marketing. “Showcasing a cast that brings together some of today’s popular primetime television actors with many fans’ favorite voices from the original series, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is proud to release this title as the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie.”

Primetime television stars Justin Chambers (Grey’s Anatomy) and Kevin McKidd (Grey’s Anatomy), the voices of Barry Allen/Flash and Thomas Wayne/Batman, respectively, unite with numerous greats of television and film to fashion the famed animated roles. Adding to the celebrity-laden voice cast and providing thrilling additions to the Justice League series are Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale, Friday Night Lights, Chronicle) as Cyborg, C. Thomas Howell (Southland, The Outsiders) as Thawne/Professor Zoom, Nathan Fillion (Castle) as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, Ron Perlman (Hellboy) as Slade and Deathstroke, Dana Delany (Body of Proof) as Lois Lane, Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) as Aquaman, Danny Huston (Magic City) as General Lane, Sam Daly (The Office, The Daly Show) as Superman, and Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) as Batman.

Screenwriter Jim Krieg delivers an action-packed vision of the legendary comic book miniseries FLASHPOINT, by Geoff Johns & Andy Kubert, adding to the over 13 million DC Universe video units produced to date. Jay Oliva (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) is director and James Tucker (Superman: Unbound) is producer.

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Blu-ray™ has over three hours of exciting extra content, including:
• A Flash in Time: Are there other dimensions? Can time travel get us there? And if The Flash existed, could he really travel through time? Interviews with experts in mythology, theoretical physics and top DC writers will examine the science and legacy of the storytelling behind the fiction.
• My Favorite Villians! The Flash Bad Guys: Acclaimed DC Comics writer Geoff Johns and others share their favorite Flash villains in this short film that gives viewers a glimpse into the Flash’s world through the eyes of some of the nefarious characters he has encountered over the past 70 years!
• A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe animated movie:. An in-depth look into the next DC Animated feature film, spotlighting the cast and crew.
• From the DC Comics Vault: Bonus cartoon episodes
• The Flashpoint Paradox Audio Commentary


     Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox will be hitting shelves July 30th, 2013...

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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Batman: Arkham Origins Coming Fall 2013

     Unless you've been living under a rock for the past twenty-four hours, you more then likely heard the big news that surfaced yesterday. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, now taking over from Rocksteady Studios, and DC Entertainment will launch the third installment to the blockbuster Arkham Asylum franchise this Fall for the current generation of gaming consoles!

     Batman: Arkham Origins is slated for release October 25th, 2013, and will be available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii U and PC.



     Being developed by WB Games Montreal, Batman: Arkham Origins, which had its official site also launched yesterday, will feature an expanded Gotham City and an original storyline set several years before the events of the first two Arkham titles. The game will take place before the rise of Gotham City's most dangerous criminals and will feature a young, unrefined Bruce Wayne as he faced a defining moment in his early career that will set him on his path to becoming the Dark Knight. Many important characters will be met by players for the first time and many key relationships will be forged.


     The basic plot of this new entry in the popular gaming franchise will see Roman Sionis, the powerful crime lord Black Mask, louring eight of the world's deadliest assassins to Gotham City on Christmas Eve to kill the Batman. As a substantial reward is being offered for Batman's head, these top-notch assassins will also be joined by crooked cops in the GCPD looking to cash in on the reward.


     The game will take place in an open world environment, similar to that of Arkham City, and will span two separate areas - Old Gotham and New Gotham. New Gotham will feature classier areas with high skyscrapers, while Old Gotham will be the map from Arkham City prior to becoming an open prison. Not only has the map size for this game doubled, but there will also be 'Crimes in Progress' side missions that players can decide to also take part in over the course of the game. Additionally, there will be a 'Most Wanted' setting that will allow players to go after DC villains that aren't integral to the main storyline.


     “WB Games Montréal is honored to have the opportunity to create Batman: Arkham Origins, a new chapter in this amazing franchise,” said Reid Schneider, Vice President and Executive Producer at WB Games Montréal. “We are huge fans of the franchise and are committed to creating an experience that offers players more of what they love, as well as the chance to play as a younger Batman within a fresh storyline and expanded world.”


     Although some may be a little worried that a new company is taking over from Rocksteady Studios, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment apparently still have access to Rocksteady's custom  modified Unreal engine to capture the look and feel of the previous games.     

     Also releasing October 25th will be Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate. Available for the Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita, this new handheld addition to the Arkham Asylum gaming library will take place after the events of Arkham Origins.


     The games basic plot will see the Dark Knight head to Blackgate prison in the wake of a riot that has recently broken out there. It will be a side-scrolling game that will feature many of the same weapons and gadgets seen in the other home console games, but won't rely on a experience points system.     

     Again, both versions of the game will launch October 25th, 2013. Keep it tuned to Infinite Earths for more developments and details on these hotly anticipated titles!

Batman: Arkham Origins Trailer - Game Informer Coverage
 

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Monday, 8 April 2013

Review: Jurassic Park 3D

     It's hard to believe it has been 20-years since Jurassic Park first stomped its way into theatres. 20-years since Steven Spielberg made cinematic history. 20-years since everything we thought we knew about movie making was turned on its head.

     In honor of the blockbuster films 20th Anniversary, Universal converted the film into 3D for a special re-release, something that has been done more recently with older movies in the past. Yet, some of them, like last year's re-release of The Phantom Menace, don't go over as well with audiences as studios initially hope.

     So, is Jurassic Park, an even older film then The Phantom Menace, worth seeing again just for the three dimensional experience? Oh yes!

    
     Although Jurassic Park is not the newest film to grace the silver screen, the 3D aspect of the re-release really works since the setting totally immerses audiences in that world. Dare I say that not since Avatar has a film really provided a true you are there type of movie-going experience.

     Honestly, anyone who has seen this film at any point over the last twenty years knows how amazing it really is. Even in 2D, Jurassic Park is downright terrifying in parts and, no matter how many times you have seen it, keeps you bolted right to the edge of your seat straight from the opening credits. Add in the 3D conversion of this film and get ready for an experience you'll not soon forget!


     Every last scene, from the T-rex attack on the tour cars, to the Raptors stalking the kids through the kitchen is now more terrifying then ever before. Although the movie was not originally shot in 3D, the new conversion adds an amplified sense of being trapped by InGen's genetically engineered theme park monsters that will literally have your heart pounding in your ears.


     The re-mastered sounds were also something that really stood out this time around. I can remember sitting in the theatre the first time around and being terrified by the defending roar of the Tyrannosaurus, yet it pales in comparison to what Universal has done this time around! The theatre literally seemed to shake and the hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up! It's been 20-years and I haven't felt that sense of terror and excitement since I saw Jurassic Park as a little kid. As the story progresses to climax, you will hear new sounds and background dialogue not previously picked up when the movie was originally released, making this seem like a whole new film, even all these years later.

     Now, this isn't to say the film doesn't have its weak points, because it does. Some of the onscreen goofs, like Nedry's bag of money disappearing and reappearing during the scene at the café in San Jose, seem all the more noticeable this time around, but honestly, this is Jurassic Park. Not only that, it's Jurassic Park 3D! We let that stuff slide in 1993, so we sure aren't going to harp on stuff like that 20-years down the road, are we?


     In all fairness, some may not feel right about paying $16 to see a 20-year old movie, when they could just as easily see it in 2D, and for a cheaper price, but honestly, this is one of the greatest films of all time! It changed the way movies were made and the way the public saw dinosaurs. It kick-started one of the biggest film franchises in history, with a new addition, directed by Colin Trevorrow, slated to hit theatres next summer!

     Honestly, if you thought Jurassic Park was terrifying back in 1993, wait until you see it in 3D! The park has re-opened and is sure to make your blood run cold like never before! Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Jurassic Park...


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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Review: Alien vs Predator: Evolution (Android)

     The Alien franchise has been on a lot of people's minds lately, thanks to the launch of the horrific Aliens: Colonial Marines video game. To sum things up for those who've yet to read our review, it was an absolute mess and even the collector's edition, with all its extra goodies and DLC, don't make the game worth picking up for its $60 price tag.


     Now, however, Fox Digital Entertainment has decided to reach, once again, into that popular sci-fi franchise and bring us Alien vs. Predator: Evolution, a mobile based game for Android & iOS. Available for download through the Google Play Store for $4.99, this new game promises gamers everything from vicious characters to fierce combat and even chilling environments and incredible graphics.

     Surprisingly, this new game actually delivers on all fronts, which is shocking considering it has been a very long time since either of these classic creatures have gotten a video game that did them justice. Yet, that is not to say this new title is without flaws...


     The game takes place on a distant planet where a clan of Super Predators has enslaved a sub-species of Xenomorphs. Throughout the course of the game, players will take control of both Alien and Predator, fighting off waves of humans and, occasionally, each other. As the Alien, you are tasked with freeing your species, while as the Predator, you must hunt down the Alien Queen. Simple enough for a game such as this, yet, since most of the story is displayed on loading screens, in some very bland text text blocks, it really isn't all that engaging story-wise.

     Level accomplishment is pretty low here too, since you can pretty much follow a green arrow that will lead you right to each of your objectives. This leaves the player with no real sense of progression. This may have been okay a few years back, but today's gamers want to be completely immersed in their gaming experience, and this new AVP title does somewhat fall short of those expectations.

     Mechanics-wise, AVP works like most other hack-and-slash games with a variation of light and heavy attacks, blocks, and combo moves. We did have some issues with frame drop and slightly unresponsive controls from time to time, which resulted in some combo attacks not registering during gameplay. This forced us to use basic attacks over and over, making AVP feel like an old-school button masher, but it didn't seem too happen too often, so we just let it slide.

     The AI of enemies is lackluster, to say the least. The game promises fierce combat, yet when your foes slowly trudge forward from pre-determined spawn points with no regard for their own wellbeing, the combat becomes sort of repetitive and makes the games overall combat system seem somewhat futile.

     Now, this is not to say that this new game is another festering mess, because it isn't. As mentioned earlier in this review, AVP does have many things going for it. The graphics are very impressive for a mobile based game. They are quite detailed and, as promised, somewhat chilling. You actually feel as though you are in a scaled down AVP film or comic, thanks to the surrounding environments that make up this game.

     The graphics are also nothing to sneeze at. Again, if you consider that this is a mobile based game, and not something meant for the likes of the PC, PS3 or 360, we should all be very impressed with the world Fox Digital and Angry Mob created for this title. For what it is, it is very good.

     Another very interesting aspect to this new AVP title is its integrated RPG elements. Throughout the course of the game, players will gain experience, level up and earn currency. Once enough currency has been collected, players can then purchase new abilities and armor, giving them new moves to try and stat bonuses. The concept of both characters evolving gives a much needed sense of accomplishment and growth throughout the course of the game.


     Overall, we found this new AVP game to be more fun and engaging then expected. After all, Colonial Marines was a big disappointment, so we went in to this new game with very low expectations. However, once we started playing, we found it very hard to stop. Alien vs. Predator: Evolution may have its flaws, but what game doesn't nowadays? The important thing we found is that the pluses outweighed the negatives here.

     Some have called AVP nothing more then an opportunity for Fox Digital and Angry Mob to prey on people's love of a very popular franchise in an effort to earn a few bucks, but we didn't find this to be the case. Sure, it has its flaws, but it's also a fun, nice looking, engaging title that give fans of the franchise something to enjoy.



     All in all, Alien vs. Predator: Evolution isn't a perfect game by any standards. Yet, after the mess that was Colonial Marines, it's nice to have a new game that helps us push aside memories of that title and look to the future of the franchise with a smile and hope...

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Monday, 1 April 2013

Super7 Releasing Vintage Style Alien Figures

     Back in the 1970's, Kenner, the same company who designed toy lines for such popular franchises as Star Wars, Transformers & Jurassic Park, would design a line of 3 ¾" figures based off the first Alien movie. At the time, Kenner was under the impression that Alien would be a huge hit and that this new line could perhaps be another Star Wars. But, they were wrong.

     Kenner would kick off their new line of  action figures by releasing a 12" Alien figure - that was a disaster at retail. Some attribute the failure of this figure largely to the fact that Alien was an R-rated film. This new line was to be aimed at children, and chances were good their target audience had never even seen the film the line was based around.

    
     Not surprisingly, Kenner would decide to kill off the planned 3 ¾" line of Alien figures before they even saw the light of day. However, the prototypes would eventually find their way into collector's hands, and fans of the classic sci-fi franchise went crazy for a set of action figures they would never be able to own.

     Until now, that is.

     This summer, Super7 will be releasing a new line of action figures based off the now 33-year old Kenner prototypes and finally make this lost line a reality. Like all then classic 70's toys, Super7's Alien figures will come loaded with five points of articulation, accessories, and period accurate packaging. Included in the line will be Ripley, Ash, Dallas, Kane in Nostromo Suit and, of course, the Alien.







     As can be seen from the pictures posted above, these things look very cool. While I love the updated articulation we've been getting in figures of late, for a kid from the 1990's, these figures, with their five-points of articulation and basic design, are just way too awesome to pass up! With their 70's style packaging, I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few collectors out there who'll opt to keep these vintage style pieces MOC - yours truly included.

     Adding to the fun, Super7 has also announced that they'll be releasing a set of retro-style glassware, like what you used to be able to get at McDonald's & Burger King back in the day. While there is no official release date for any of these pieces right now, Super7 says they hope to release the glasses some time in June, with the Alien figures arriving at retail shortly after.

    
     So, there you have it! Excited for Super7's new retro Alien goodies? We sure are! And, this may not be all the company has to offer! Apparently, Super7 currently owns the rights to the Alien franchise and they say, should this new retro line be a success, they hope to release more retro style Alien figures in the future!

     Wow! It sure is an exciting time to be an Alien fan, isn't it? It's just too bad it took the release of the horrible Aliens: Colonial Marines video game to get this franchise back into the public eye! Oh well, can't win them all, I suppose...

     For more information about Super7's upcoming Alien line, be sure to check out their website...

     And, for all the latest collectibles news from across the multiverse, and a chance at winning some awesome prizes, be sure to join the Infinite Earths official Facebook page...

     Or, follow us on Twitter: @InfinteEarths...