Lightning Returns: Is it Worth It?

Hello everyone and welcome back! Man! I can’t believe Gondras got it! What exactly? It’s the newest installment of the Final Fantasy XIII series, Lightning Returns! I know you’re wondering, Mari Blue Cat, aren’t you a Final Fantasy series fan? Yes I am but not a fan of the XIII series and I can see why. The thing is that Spoony on his show, “The Spoony Experiment,” reviewed the first of the trilogy and it was an entertaining review and of course, the game sucked!

 

As you know, Final Fantasy XIII is the only other game series that has sequels since X also had a sequel, unlike this series, it had two! I don’t get why it needed another sequel since the first game was basicallyunfinished and then XIII-2 came along and the weirdness continued, I bet you’re wondering for new people here, I shall recap!

 

The XIII Storyline: The first game in the trilogy takes place in Cocoon, which is a floating place, where the Sanctum is on a purge of people who came in contact with Pulse, which is the world below them, and Lightning, a soldier, goes and fight against the Sanctum and became an enemy due to her contact with Pulse as a servant by a god. She meets many other people who get marked by the same creature of Pulse to fight the Sanctum and find their assigned tasks before they turn into monsters, if they fail, or into crystal, if they succeed. I may link Spoony’s review to this game since the game was told in a sloppy way, which I can believe that and by what I heard by attendees during Anime Festival Orlando 2010. Now onto XIII-2, which Spoony will cover next, deals with the time space continuum and enters a new character known as Noel. This game’s story takes place three years after Cocoon’s fall onto Pulse and a meteor hits Pulse, which causes a disruption in time and monsters attack from different rifts within it. Sara, Lightning’s sister, gets attacked and Noel saves her and goes with him by traveling the timeline in order to find her. I got to see only the demo for this game which Gondras did play, he didn’t like it much and didn’t buy it, I can kind of see why since it does deal with choosing the idea of saving time or destroying it, which it gets destroyed anyways and of course brings in the game that got released a week ago!

 

The third installment deals with Lightning waking up after her crystal sleep of 500 years and finds out that she has to save the world within 7 days or it’s destroyed! Sounds familiar? Maybe people remember the game Majora’s Mask by any chance? Whoops, I mean thirteen days! She is deemed as the savior to help humankind by the three gods and Sara will be resurrected. Yeah, she died at the end of the second one. (Sorry, for the spoiler if anyone hasn’t finished any of the games.)

 

She does end up meeting up with old friends, like Hope who kept his teenage form, helps her with her quest and meets other friends she knew before and of course they have new roles in this game.

 

Gameplay: Unlike the fast paced game play in the first, this game’s play is mostly based on the Kingdom Hearts and XII game play, as in the role attack and the one on one fighting and facing the enemy. The gameplay was the true reason why Gondras got the game since he did play the demo on his PS3 and did play Dream Drop Distance on the 3DS when we first got it and know how to relate the two. Too bad XIII didn’t go through this since it wasn’t much of a good game for most people, which I did read on the Wiki for it that it was supposed to call back to the previous Final Fantasy games with the game play, but with Spoony’s review of the game it didn’t call back on it and it felt as though the game was controlling you, heck even at one point that Spoony referenced was that Hope talked about leveling up, as in you must do this or you will lose, unlike the previous games you just leveled up! Even if VIII monsters leveled up at the same time as you did, but still you just went and leveled yourself up knowing that the next enemy will be stronger than the last.

 

There was major call backs to the previous games and that was of course the job costume system that X-2 did with Yuna, as in the dress spheres! Which of course, like with Yuna, Lightning gets the costumes and the weapons that go with it, for example the Dragoon costume has the spear and armor calling back to IV with their many dragoons. And what is great, if you preordered this game, especially at GameStop, you get Cloud’s outfit from VII which has his sword, his outfit, and what everyone wanted since the first game of the trilogy, the classic fanfare victory theme, which is the same exact one from VII if you guys played it back then! That is not the only character costume you can get, for DLC, you can get Yuna’s outfit from X-2, which is the gunslinger outfit! I am not sure if it includes the fanfare from the X games, but this was a way of promoting the HD version they that is being released, unless if it already has!

 

Now the question, is this game worth it? For story no but gameplay yes! If you were a fan of the previous games, even if it meant playing hours of Blitz Ball in one and doing chocobo racing in another, you may or may not like this game since it came with the XIII title! Don’t get me wrong, Lightning is a great character but she was placed in a bad story, if you want to skip this trilogy and want to keep playing as Lightning, you can still play the second Disidea game, which has a great story, especially with her and how she interacts with Cain Highwind from IV! I do like the callback to VII with the Cloud outfit, but I don’t think it fits with this game since of course VII fits in a different storyline, but I am thinking creators want to callback to fave characters, if they did that, why isn’t Snow wearing the Kefka outfit from VI? Anyways, the gameplay is good, but at the same time it feels as though Square Enix has lost its touch with Final Fantasy when XII and this trilogy coming out. They did go back and fix XIV and now turning Vs. XIII into XV but giving the reigns of cration over to the creator of the Kingdom Hearts series, which I like the idea since the Kingdom Hearts series is a beautifully done game series and glad that the third one will finally be made but for the PS4!

 

If you guys want to buy this game, by all means, go ahed! Still, I love the old Final Fantasy games since I played a good majority when I had pretty good sight, but after seeing or shall I say hearing what is going on with this game, the story is somewhat improved but it could be better, goes the same with its predecessor games, as in the first and second XIII games!

 

So, what is next with my posts? My faves and not-so-faves of January and Febrary, yes I have not-so-faves! And then of course, my spotlight on MythiCon! Stay tuned and check out the link to Spoony’s review of the first game and most of us are waiting on his review of XIII-2 on his show!Spoony’s Final Fantasy XIII Review

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Convention Spotlight: MetroCon

Hello and welcome back! It is time for another convention spotlight and we are going to the West Coast, I mean West Coast of Florida, for a convention we finally got to go to last year and that is MetroCon!

 

How Did We Go?

 

Well, me and Gondras knew about MetroCon for years, hell I even heard about it before I started dating him back in 2006 and never got to go due to the whole transportationissues, money thing, and we have been going the Orlando cons such as MegaCon, JACON when it was still around, Anime Festival Orlando, KnightroKon when it started back in 2012, and we kept on hearing awesome it was and the different guests they got such as Greg Ayres (DNAngel, Air Gear, Angel Beats, Glass Fleet), Johnny Yong Bosch (Gurren Lagan, Trigun, Heat Guy J), and so many others! By the fall of 2012, some of our friends on campus finally convinced us to go last year and despite one bad panel hosted by cosplayers, our Blind EXP panel going bad, and a terrible hotel experience (I would not recommend the Courtyard Downtown) due to how maintenance was put off to that weekend and a night of a fire alarm, we are going back! Why? Because it gave us a new experience outside of Orlando! We were meaning to go and travel to other conventions and of course Metro was our first out of town convention we ever got to do it at and yes, will be going back in July! And of course, have press passes again! Last year was my first press experience and decided to do it again and this time will cover better panels that caught my eye on the My Cons Online schedule and so many other things! Let’s get started!

 

Location:

 

MetroCon is and has been held at the TampaConvention Center in downtown Tampa, FL! This place is huge and of course the convention does take full advantage of the size, as in holding everything on all the floors! The dealer room, panels, security, weapons check, and so much more on the first floor, one part of artist’s alley on the second floor and the rest on the third along with main events! A lot bigger than MegaCon’s set up in the South Concourse during 2008’s convention. It is also located near the Embassy Suites Downtown which people can still reserve, along with any other hotel in the same area such as the Sheraton, Marriot Waterside, and so many others, so I would suggest reserving now before the convention because this convention brings a lot of people for one weekend and we seen it last year, especially last year on Saturday!

 

Guests:

 

Like many conventions, there are always theTheme:

 

MetroConhas a theme every year and they do things to match it! Last year’s theme was East vs. West and now this year will be Old School Vs. New School, which will be dealing with the older stuff versus the new. I can see it working since anime did get its big break in the ‘60s in Japan and the ‘80s here in the U. S.! With all the series that have been coming out over the years, especially now, we do have the old and new going at it, hell try being part of the big .hack vs. Sword Art group like we are! Anyways, this will be an interesting theme, especially with the masquerade and the human chess match, which I will hopefully cover both this year when I didn’t have a chance last year with all the stuff going on at once! This year will be interesting!

 

Guests:

 

Like every convention, there are a list of guests! Last year there were guests like Janet Varny, Dante Basco, and this year will be bringing faves back to fit with the theme!

 

Scott McNeil: As you know, last year we interviewed him and you can find that post here in the past posts section in the “Interviews with Brittney Karbowski and Scott McNeill,” and he will be gracing the con yet again this year with his presence! And of course will have his fans following him, I did see one almost come into the green room when I was about to do the interview. Works still include Beast Wars, My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, The Ocean Studios version of DBZ, and so much more! His list is a long one! And fact from my autograph history when he was at MegaCon 2006, he was one of the first people to sign my FullMetal Autograph plushie along with Mike McFarland and Chris Breslauer!

 

Richard Epcar: This guy is pretty cool and was glad to meet him at AFO 2012 and now crossing my fingers to interview him this year! He is not only the voice of Batou in Ghost in the Shell, and Bobobo in Bobobo, but also has directed Bobobobo and Lupin III as well! He will be at the con with his wife, Ellyn Stern who has done live action and voice work!

 

Mary Elizabeth McGlynn: OMG! OMG! OMG! I am so happy she is coming to Metro! She has been a big namein the voice acting world for years and her notable roles are Kurenai in Naruto, the Commander in Ghost in the Shell, and our favorite hacker Helba in .hack//Sign and the games right after it! I am also corssing fingers to interview her and hoping to get my Helba cosplay done since there is that big cosplay group happening, still I am glad she is returning, oh yeah forgot to mention that she was at Metro before!

 

PikaBellChu: The cosplayer and major Pokemon fan, PikaBellChu will be appearing at Metro again as a guest! I been to her Hour of Pokemon panel during Holiday Matsuri and enjoyed it, I hope I get to see more of her work this year and the major Pikachu display she had last year but with even more Pikachus!

 

Panels:

 

Oh yes! Can’t forget about these! We will be busy again with panels this year and will be helping our friend Tobi and his fiance with a LARP panel and another panel that deals with language and dubbing! Plus, a bit of news, the Blind Experience will be on hiatus for a little while until we fix the kinks! Sorry guys! But for now Gondras has something exciting and that is known as Old vs. New: Anime Edition! We are getting a time slot switch since I did get an e-mail about a panel that may be placed in our slot, I will update you guys when that gets cleared if it will be that Saturday at 9 PM instead of 8! What is the idea? Well, it is based on Nostalgia Critic’s Old vs. New segments he did a while back and he wanted to do this but with anime since there have been reboots for some series lately and it will tie into Metro’s theme! There are many other panels I will cover though that did catch my eye such as the Witch vs. Winx Club, of course the .hack vs. Sword Art panel, and so many others. I will try to make it to Scott McNeil’s panels since I heard they are pretty funny! And some of the guests, hoping Richard Epcar does another bloopers panel since we went to that during AFO and it was entertaining. Man, this year will be fun with panels! If you want to see the schedule of what’s up so far, go to My Cons Online and check it out! You can probably still sign up for hosting a panel, if you don’t have an idea, just come to the convention and once I get final word of the time slot change, I will be put it in one of my posts or in another spotlight newsflash!

 

Events:

 

MetroCon has two major events that go on, well three!

 

The Fantasy Ball: Yes the masquerade! It’s been years since I been to a masquerade, I only been to the Winter Formal Masquerade and the one at 2008 convention for JACON when it was around and this year I will try and go and cover it! There is a $10 admission and you can pre-order the tickets for that on My Cons Online, maybe I should do that but you can buy them at the Metro Registration desk at Thursday pick up, yep, this convention does that it’s worth to do that and can let you get the passes for the dance there and Friday during the convention when the dance is held at 7 PM that night. Yep, this dance is held on Friday and it is smart since they do have the rave and will mention that next! I didn’t hear the theme for last year but this year’s theme is Asuna’s and Kirito’s wedding from Sword Art! Since I like Sword Art, this is one dance we should go to and see how it goes! For dress code, you can read about it at the website and of course ask any staff members questions before the con and during! You can probably come up with a dress at last minute if necessary but read before coming up with an outfit! And what about masks? Easy to find at PartyCity!

 

The Rave: I heard the rave at this thing is amazing! We didn’t go last year as well but The rave is held on Saturday during the convention and we hear it is good from people who have been to it in the past, especially with the major lighting they use to give off its effects! Not sure if we will go since we haven’t been to any since Knightro’s rave during 2012. Let’s see how it goes!

 

The Human Chess Match: Oh yeaaahhh! I heard so many things about this and ever since I heard about Metro and their auditions for this event, I wanted to go to this! I already knew about Wasabi with their Human CHECKER Match back at AFO 2007 and we did stick around after opening ceremonies for that, but this is different! WAY DIFFERENT! How? Not only it has anime and gaming characters, a story to fit the theme, but it runs ALL WEEKEND! Last year there was a To be continued and according to friends, it will continue from it left off. They are holding auditions for characters and once I hear more things, may do a newsflash! Will try and cover this event since I wanted to go forever!

 

Well, that is it for now! You can check out this convention through My Cons Online and go to their page from there! You can still buy tickets, get volunteer info, and many more items! And any hotel information!

 

What is next for Nerdy Shique Universe? Well…today is the release of Lightning Returns and well…Gondras did get it due to things and since so many people didn’t like FF XIII and its sequel, even Spoony finished his review on it, I decided to do “Is it Worth It?” and tell you that way! And also, will be doing another convention spotlight and that will be on my new fave con, MythiCon! And of course, faves of January and February! That’s it! Til next time!

Shique Spotlight Newsflash: New Omni Expo News!

Hello everyone and welcome back! Time for a Spotlight Newsflash! Last month I brought you guys info on Omni Expo that is being held in May, here is more news for you!

Two Panel Rooms Open for Fan Panels:  Like many other conventions, Omni Expo also lets the fans take part in the panel hosting experience! You can submit your panel ideas to Omni Expo through My Cons Online by logging in and selecting Omni Expo from the 2014 list and fill out their form there and once it’s submitted, you will be contacted by the panel coordinator with an acceptance message through the site which will be sent to the e-mail registered to your account and you can select the time slot you want! If you don’t have a My Cons Online account, I suggest signing up since it is really easy to use and you get to meet people that are going to the same event you’re going to. Plus, you can submit toto advertise your panel, event, and artist exhibit booth on the atrium stage. You can still find more information through the Omni Expo site for the links in getting your panel  a slot for this year’s event!

In more news, there is a major time warp and it’s taking place at Omni by having your picture taken with the Tartus from Dr. Who and the Dolorian from Back to the Future on that Sunday! Omni Expo is happy to announce that they will be supporting Michael J. Fox’s team for Parkinson’s Disease research, Team Fox this year! So, if you want a picture with your fave, blue police box that so many doctors have driven or the speedy 1985 classic car that Doc Brown has made, buy your tickets today!

New Guests Have Been Added!

Oh yes, more have been added as promised! Who?

Kyle Hebert: Kamina in Gurren Lagan, Teen Gohan and the Announcer in DBZ, and of course had an appearance in in one convention episode of Anime Abandoned on my fave website, www.thatguywiththeglasses.com and of course, Santa Claus in DBZ Abridged: The Christmas Tree of Might!

Grant George: Gilgamesh in Fate Stay Night, Kira Uzuro in Bleach, and mine and Gondras’ personal fave roles, Vires, aka Midboss, the Prinis, and Axel from the Disgaea series, both games and anime by the way! (If I go to this, I am so wearing the Prini Rights shirt!)

Jessica G-George: Digiko in Digi Charat, Zhu Ron in Dynasty Warriors

Robert Axelrod: Lord Zed in Mighty Morphen Power Rangers…oh the nostalgia!Ryan Frie: actor, musician, and cosplayer with a group that helps kids called Costumers with a Cause!

Those are some more of the guests, you can read more by visiting the Omni Expo website!

If you’re more into contests, the contests page has gotten an update and more to come, plus there is something for everyone who are interested in entering!

Whew, that is a lot of information for this newsflash! So, get your passes before tthey go to the next tier  in March, for tickets, hotel, guests, contests, etc. visit www.omniexpo.com and www.myconsonline.com

Stay tuned for the next convention spotlight on MetroCon!

Battle of the Balm Stains

Hello everyone and welcome back! Finally I get around to do this and that is Battle of the Balm Stains! So you all beauty lovers know, a lot of make up companies in drugstores have been coming out with these balm stain lip crayons which are lip color mixed with a lip balm and a lot of You Tubers and Beauty Bloggers have been going crazy about these and so have I! It seemed it started with Cover Girl releasing their Twist and Shine Jumbos which I heard through Miss Glamorazzi and Eleventh Gorgeous, then I had to pick some up myself, then later on Revlon, Jordana, even Rimmel and Wet N Wild started following the trend, but it seems that the bigger contenders are of course Revlon with their Matte Balms and Lacquer Balms, the new Wet N Wild Twist and Shines that just came out a month ago, Jordana’s version that has been mentioned all over, even Make Up Freak has been mentioning them and has all of them, and finally Cover Girl with their little twistys that came out early last year! I do have two of each except for Jordana since I didn’t want to go uber crazy like I did with Revlon at Target, which I ended up with four, two from Matte and two from Lacquers, which brought me to this post! So, what does Nerdy Shique Universe say about these lucky lines? Let’s see!

 

Formulation

 

Like any make up company, these products are made with different indgredients in order to make their product very moisturizing and give that stain of color while they’re at it! Let’s see what each has what!

 

Cover Girl’s: shea and mango butters

Revlon’s:  shea, mango, and coconut in both from seeing commercials

Jordana;s:  Hydrogenated Polyisobuttne, bis-digllyceryl polyacyladipat-2…you can read the rest of the formula here since it is too complicated:  http://www.jordanacosmetics.com/p-160-twist-shine-moisturizing-balm-stain.aspx  But you get the idea since this has more weird ingredients by the looks of it!

Wet N Wild’s:  Sorry, I meant Mega Slix, but the formulation of these include acai palm butter

 

Jordana’s formula description feels really complicated when I looked at the ingredients on Ulta’s page about them, while the others have more natural ingredients and it seems as though Wet N Wild is getting into the natural ingredients part since they are adding more oils to their products with their new lines. I do feel as though Cover Girl’s product is a bit drying to the lips whenever I wore Berry and Plum Twist  which it looks like Plum got discontinued according to Ulta’s site and it was on the CVS Big Winter Discount Block last year, still a bit drying. I find the Revlon stains smell more like mint than sweet and they do feel moisturizing but I disagree with the idea  with some that they are more moisturizing than the Lip Butters, I find ttthe Lip Butters more moisturizing than these. I am using Flirtacious right now and I find the moisture and tingle of it when I put it on but at the same time I find Cupcake more moisturizing from the Lip Butters. The Jordana one does have moisture when I first tried it on, I kind of feel more moisture from Wet N Wild’s in their price range.

W

Inner for Best Formula: I would have to say Wet N Wild since it seems that they are starting to breach their bondaries in making products with more natural ingredients and I do love that about make up products, plus it leaves a nice tingle and you can build these up to give more moisture along the way. Make sure you use tissues after application so you won’t have a Joker smile. I love the ones I own in Pinky Promise and Rico Mauve and will be using these again!

 

Packaging: Even these have similar packaging and similar sizes, I will be basing these when you pick these up! Why? Because there are times when packaging gets annoying when we try opening these items and well I do find the Wet N Wild ones the most annoying! There was plastic wrapped around it and it was pretty hard to get it open, I had to leave the plastic on on one of them to help me out in which one was what. I did like how there was an easy pull tab on the Jordana one but there is one slight problem with their packaging and that is the cap on the stick. It seems shorter than one of my other stain balms but it seems as though that Jordana didn’t make the cap to fit tightly on their lip stains or is it just Tropical Frenzy, which is the only one I own. Unlike the Rropical Frenzy one, the rest of the caps fit snug and don’t damage the product while TF does a little, which the tip of the lip stain gets diminished a little without use since the cap is always falling off. The Revlon ones and Cover Girl ones have easier packaging which I saw the price tag just sticking to them at Target and I think they do the same at other stores, still it is easy to get off and easy to open once you buy them. Another great thing about the packaging is that these stains all have a tip ready to use and you don’t need to sharpen, you just twist the end and you are ready to go! Plus, these are easy to travel with, I may use these during coventions!

 

Winner with Packaging:  I would have to say Revlon since they weren’t wrapped in annoying plastic and the price tag just held them in place, and Cover Girl also gets a win since it was easy to open as well!

 

Staying Power: I know this would be great with formula but this seems to be a great thing to mention separately. The staying power is pretty amazing since I used the Wet N Wild ones so far, the Cover Girls, and one of the Revlons. I didn’t wear Tropical Frenzy yet but I did hear in videos that the staying power with the Jordana one is pretty good, which I will have to see for myself. The Wet N Wild ones do have really good staying power and do stay on pretty well, you can drink and eat and they will stay put! Even Emily Noel is pretty amazed when she got her press sample of these! One thing is that they do leave a stain that is different from the tube according to her, which I can’t see since I can’t see a mirror but I do feel how it stays on my lips and does have that nice minty tingle! Revlon also has a nice staying power which I don’t have to apply so often as much as the WNW ones and I do like the feel! I do feel as though that Flirtacious, the one I am using from the Lacquer Balm line, stays like crazy like a Lip Butter! I worn it to my workout today and never had to reapply afterwards. I can see why a lot of people went crazy for the Revlons! And finally the Cover Girl ones, I remembered these had to be reapplied so often and had to be layered a little bit for the moisture and some staying power.

 

Winner for Staying: I would have to say Revlon Flirtacious since I feel as though I don’t have to reapply as much as the Wet N Wild and Cover Girl ones!

 

Pricing: I know you guys want to know what price ranges you will expect from all of these and which would be more affordable! Both Jordana and Wet N Wild are around the $3 range like their other products. What is great though, on the new Balm Stains that WNW had released, they do have a $1 Off coupon so it would bring it down to $1. 99 for each! If you want to go for more higher end, Cover Girl and Revlon are around the $8 at most drugstores but they do go for $6 at Target and their website and of course, WalMart tends to sell Revlon for around $6 at their stores!

 

Winner: Wet N Wild takes this due to so many people like to get items affordable when it comes to cosmetics and of course these come with that coupon I mentioned above!

 

Final Verdict: I would have to say I like Revlon’s lip stain line a bit better than the others since I tend to like the staying power on them and they do feel moisturizing but not more moisturizing than the Lip Butters. My runner up though is Wet N Wild due to it being affordable and you do feel a nice tingle but you need to apply a little more often than the Revlon ones.

 

Which Would I Use for a Convention? Both WNW and Revlon would be the best to use since these do have pretty good staying power, but as said above you may need to reapply WNW’s product a bit more. Plus, these won’t take too much room in a purse or a fanny pack if you want to do that.

 

Well, that is it! What is next for Nerdy Shique Universe? Well, another convention spotlight! I will be aiming it on MetroCon since me and Gondras will be going back to the West Coast of Florida for another year of Metro and this time our press stuff will be better and this year there will be better panels by what I saw on the schedule block. Stay tuned for the next post!