Collection Haul #3 – A little surprise

Howdy! Guess what I got? MORE STUFF!

Going forward, these haul posts will be different, especially these next few. Because of one of the things I bought, I had to take a break from collecting in order to build up my funds again. As of the writing of this, I’ve built them back up to where I can collect again. Thing is: the last one was so large that it was probably a bit much to read through. I plan to have 3-4 images in each post, so that the length is more reasonable. That being said, if you prefer longer ones, let me know. For the time being though, they will be shorter. But enough of this tom-johnson-foolery of a pre-haul opening.

For the first batch, I ventured into GameStop, something I don’t do very often. I was running some errands that day and wanted to stop by to see if I could find anything cool, which I seem to have done. I think the Mario thing is meant to be a Christmas ornament, but I’m using it as a door handle decoration. It’s pretty cool. The thing next to it is a group of packs of the new Dragon Ball Z trading card game by Panini. It’s more or less the same one from when DBZ was in it’s hay-day, by a different company. I still have my old cards and I even used to play it, although very rarely. I don’t actually play the game now; I just wanted the cards to use as bookmarks.

This batch comes from a trip to a local independent video game store called RetroVidjos. It’s on the way to my university, so it’s very easy for me to get to. The place was small, but they had a lot of stuff for good prices. The staff was also friendly and helpful. I’ve probably bought stuff from them at Anime Weekend Atlanta, but this was my first time going into their store. The top left, Gex 64, isn’t technically on my main list, but I planned to get both the PS1 and N64 version, since I have memories playing both, although I like the third one better. Same with the game to the right, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, a game I originally had on the Wii’s virtual console. I plan to get physical copies of the digital retro games I have (including PSN and Xbox Live) so that I won’t have to pay some upgrade fee to keep the games on newer consoles. Nintendo is the only one to do that so far, but Sony’s approach of not giving you an option isn’t any better. I’d comment on Microsoft’s approach, but any digital retro games I got on Xbox Live, I already had (the only one I didn’t have will be shown next time.) It will also be nice to have physical copies of the games. My experience with Zelda II is small, but I enjoy the RPG-like elements. The bottom game, Star Wars Episode 1: Jedi Power Battle, is one I played on PS1 originally, but I wanted to get the Dreamcast version because it has extra characters. I’m not sure if it’s because of the Dreamcast’s power, but the game feels clunkier than I remember. Maybe the game was always clunky? It probably was, in all honesty.

And now, the big one. Your eyes do not deceive you, I indeed own a Nintendo Switch. I happened to go to my local Target in the evening and they had one in stock. I started seeing it as I walked towards the electronics section and I took it as a sign. It was a now or never, er, much much later situation. Along with the system, I bought the Pro Controller and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The controller works well and is comfortable to use. The docking thing for the Joy-Cons to make it into a semi-regular controller is okay as well, but it’s a bit awkward to hold, so I primarily use the Pro Controller. Using the Switch in handheld mode is okay, but it feels a bit bulkier than I initially thought it would and I feel like the Joy-Cons could snap off at any moment. Despite this, it does feel sturdy enough to hold in place properly. As for Zelda… It honestly might be my favorite, coming from a casual player of the series. Growing up, I loved exploring the land in Ocarina of Time more than playing through the story, and because the game was a rental for me, I’d get to explore almost every time, due to the battery saves. I feel like Breath of the Wild has given me almost exactly what I wanted in a Zelda game: an open world exploration adventure game. The only thing I don’t like is how often the weapons break and how there is no way to repair them, besides what I’ve heard about the Master Sword and Hyrulian Shield. Other than that, I’ve been pleased. I’ve also been watched the Game Grumps play it, so I know about what will happen later, though I’m still early in the game. I probably do a video at some point on my channel, though it will be after I’ve played more.

And that’s a wrap! Thanks for reading! I think making these posts shorter will help me write my content and get it out quicker, as well as less of a pillar to read. Like I said above, I already have more stuff lined up, but that will come later on. The next post will be something different and then another collection haul after.

See ya next time!!

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Random Episode Review – Dragon Ball Super #83

As you’ll likely find out as I post more, Dragon Ball is my ultimate fandom. I love the series with all my soul and it was even what inspired me to become a writer in the first place. I’ve been watching Dragon Ball Super, the latest series, and keeping up with it weekly. It’s literally the only show I’ve been keeping up with besides Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I’ve been doing reviews by the arc on my YouTube channel, but I figured it would be fun to write a review for this little bloggy-blog. This is going to be the first in a series of reviews of random episodes of things I watch. They won’t always be current or even of a whole season, it will just be what I feel like. In fact, if you’ve also been following Super, you’ll know what we are on episode #89, with #90 coming in just a few days. The reason why I’m choosing to do #83 instead is because it doesn’t have much fighting in it, so I can focus on the characters a little more. This episode I’ve also watched more than once anyway. I’ve also already taken all the screenshots and such, so… Too much effort, haha! Speaking of which, I will note here that all screenshots I took were from the Crunchyroll app on the PS4, where I have been watching Super lately. Anyway, let’s get started!

Let’s begin with a brief plot summary. After taking part in Zen-Oh’s Exhibition Match, Goku, and Gohan, along with Beerus, Whis, Majin Buu, the Supreme Kai of Universe 7 (the one fans of the series will know relatively well, only mentioning which Universe I’m talking about because this arc features a lot of Supreme Kais), and Mr. Satan/Hercule return back to Earth to discuss and decide on who to choose for their team. They need ten warriors to take part in the “Tournament of Power” that Zen-Oh (and arguably Goku) decided to hold. They discuss who to invite and set up a rough plan, the first step being to recruit Vegeta. Goku attempts to invite him, but Vegeta shoots him down, saying that he needs to be here for Bulma, who is pregnant with their newborn. Whis take matters into his own hands by using his angel powers to bring out Bulma’s new baby without all the pains and groans of modern childbirth. Bulma names her new daughter “Bulla,” the same one from the ending of Dragon Ball Z. Vegeta now being able to participate, Goku and Gohan go off to recruit the rest of their team.

The first thing viewers, including myself, seemed to notice with this arc is the sudden animation style change. It’s minor, but there is some apparent saturation. It almost looks like the animators were trying to replicate film grain to make it look more like Dragon Ball Z. Admittedly, it does look a little like Z, which I’m not against. The show looks more unique and stylized because of it. The new opening is also awesome. The animation is fast paced and I love the new song, “Limit breakthrough x Survivor” sung by Kiyoshi Hikawa. Hikawa’s vocals sound similar to Takayoshi Tanimoto, the guy who did the themes for both Dragon Ball Z Kai and The Final Chapters, so he fits right in, if you ask me. Presentation-wise, this new arc is going well.

There isn’t much action in this episode, but the interactions between all the characters has always been something I love about the series, especially at this particular point. Goku and his friends have such a long history with each other that any longtime fan will feel like they are at a family reunion when watching these kind of episodes. Even Beerus and Whis, who are new to the story, feel right at home and seeing them feels like seeing old friends. How the gang treats Beerus now versus during the show’s first couple arcs is vastly different; no one seems to care that he could destroy the entire planet at the slightest provocation. In all honesty, he likely wouldn’t, at this point, or at least it would take a lot more effort to provoke him into doing it. I feel that Beerus actually likes Goku and his friends (and their food) and it’s been implied that Goku is getting closer to Beerus’ level of strength, if not already being at it, based on his reactions to Super Saiyan Blue, both with and without Kaioken. Or maybe it’s because they know Whis can fix it doing his rewind thing, if needed? Probably a bit of both.

Vegeta stood out to me this episode. Being known in the anime fandom for his ruthlessness and pride, one would think that he would easily agree to taking part in the “Tournament of Power.” However, the fact that he originally chose to decline didn’t surprise me either. Over the course of the three big arcs of Z, Vegeta changed as a man. The once bitter prince who sought to best Goku for the sake of his own pride as the Saiyan prince grew and became a bit of a family man (as much as a father who ignores his family to train can be) while retaining his fighting spirit and drive to surpass Goku, though now as a friendly rival rather than an enemy. Vegeta feeling the need to be with his wife while she is pregnant shows how much he has changed since he first came to Earth.

The above line in particular says a lot about Vegeta as he is now. On the surface, Vegeta seemed to be reacting to Goku’s lack of presense when Goten was born, but I believe there’s more to it than just the parallels between Vegeta and Goku as fathers. I take it to mean that Vegeta may be annoyed with Goku for indirectly causing Whis to use his powers in order to bring Bulla out of Bulma, from an obstacle standpoint. Based on this line, Vegeta may feel that Goku’s request for his participation in the “Tournament of Power” prompted Whis to do what he did. I suspect that Vegeta may have wanted to see Bulla being born naturally, likely because he wasn’t there for Trunks. If this is true, then it further shows how much of a better man Vegeta has become, by showing his desire to be loyal to his family. This is also shown in Vegeta putting legitimate effort into deciding a name for his new child. One can imagine the old Vegeta wouldn’t have cared so much about family affairs (we see a little of this during the Cell arc of Z, particularly with the Androids) but he’s not the same as he was before. Vegeta has found a new form of pride, pride in his family. It’s moments like these that show why Vegeta is one of the most layered and developed characters of the story.

Lastly, I want to bring up Yamcha, who shows up near the end of the episode. There is a humorous scene with him thinking about how he will handle being invited to the tournament, although he likely won’t be asked. To be frank, Yamcha isn’t very strong anymore. Out of all the other human characters who fight, Yamcha has kept up with his training the least. Regardless of where you stand in the “Krillin vs. Tien” argument, there’s no denying that Yamcha isn’t even part of the equation anymore. While it’s definitely funny to watch Yamcha try to plan out his reaction to a hypothetical invitation, it also made me wonder if the gang will need to have some backup fighters, in case something happens to them before the tournament. If you happen to follow a certain someone on Twitter, you may already have an answer for that, but it still raises the question as to how much will the gang have to prepare, beyond having ten fighters. Maybe Yamcha will end up fighting? Who knows. I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it.

Overall, it was a good episode. I liked the interactions will the characters and getting to see more of Vegeta’s soft side. It may not mean much coming from me, but I would definitely recommend this episode. Really, I recommend the entire series of Super. I can’t think of any negatives, even a little action was present. I’d give it probably a nine out of ten.

And that’s the review! Thanks for reading it, if you did. Let me know if you want me to talk about more episodes. Again, I don’t plan on doing reviews episode by episode, especially since I’ll be doing an arc video video on my YouTube channel, but that’s still a ways off. We can play it by ear. See ya!!