Monday, December 12, 2011

I love wetsuits...and Resident Evil

Long, long overdue, but I finally picked up Resident Evil 5 Gold for the PS3. I originally bought RE5 for the 360, but my save file was corrupted when my system red ringed. Since I have to start from scratch, figured I'd change systems as well as getting the extra content on disc instead of DLC if I went the 360 route.

This got me into a RE mood and it just so happens some new screens of Revelations for the 3DS appeared. The game is looking amazing. If there's one game that still has me tempted for a 3DS it's Revelations. The addition of wetsuits is an interesting twist to the RE costume repertoire. Especially the half legless variety which makes absolutely no practical sense. Maybe the lady prefers a completely legless swimsuit, but has horrible scars on one leg so wants to cover up?  Who cares, it looks damn cool.

As good as this looks, I'm hoping beyond hope they do a Vita port. Imagine how great that would look! Even if it happens, it's most likely a year out to preserve some sort of exclusivity window for the 3DS. Maybe Revelations GOLD for the Vita?

Speaking of ports, I'd like to see the Gamecube RE remake get the HD treatment ala Metal Gear and Ico collection for the PS3. Even though I've played it a hundred times, the original is still a ton of fun. I was a bit surprised that it didn't happen when they released Code Veronica and RE4 HD. There's still time to make it right Capcom!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Dead or Alive facelift

It's not a complete re-imagining, but it does appear the faces of the Dead or Alive characters have been tweaked. I'd say slightly more adult looking and less cartoony.

I'm an admitted DOA fanboy so these latest screens have got me pumped! 2012 has some blockbuster fighting releases. Street Fighter vs Tekken, Soul Calibur V, and Dead or Alive 5 are all top tier titles. I'll pick up Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 when it comes out for the Vita next year as well. Very exciting!

In a strange twist, I've started playing with the PSP lately. More on that in the next post. 

Thursday, December 01, 2011

GamePro and the birth of CostumeGet!

I wrote the strategy guide for Luigi's Mansion. Probably some other previews and reviews in the issue too. Man what a fun game even though I had to play through like 3 times. Cover image courtesy of The Mushroom Kingdom.

GamePro was my third (!) games media company I worked for, but it still holds a special place in my heart. I met so many great and wonderful friends there and made lots of memories that I’ll cherish forever. There were plenty of tough, frustrating, and sad times, but no regrets. Any mistakes I made were things I learned invaluable lessons from.

One story most relevant to this blog is when I reviewed the first Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. I remember taking home the debug Xbox system, eating dinner, and starting to play at around 8PM. The next thing I know, it’s 10AM! 14 straight hours. I’ve never pulled a gaming session like that before, even when I was a teen.

The way Team Ninja designed the costume collection system really hit a nerve (or weakness?) in me and it was then I recognized that this was a major feature in games that spoke to me in an unexpected way.
Sometime after, I wrote a blog for GamePro called Bikinigamer that began chronicling this obsession. It quickly became the most popular blog on the network

When the GamePro off-shoot magazine/website I worked on Gamestar folded, Bikinigamer lived on with the company under a different author and thus CostumeGet! was born. I was able to maintain pretty high traffic until I was employed again a few months later. After that I fell into the usual trap of sporadic updates.

Even now with a hugely demanding job and a growing family that severely limit my game time, I still love gaming and this blog. I’m most excited about the Vita as I’ll be able to play a lot more with a portable system that is as powerful as a console.

But I digress.

I still remember picking up the premiere issue of GamePro and periodically picking one up here and there. I used to buy at least three or four game mags a month during high school and college and I’d decide which ones at the newsstand based on how thick the issue was and which ones covered the games I was most interested in.

Little did I know I’d eventually work for these magazines I grew up reading. That first happened with EGM and then later at GamePro. It really was a magical time.

I don’t know the people were still at GamePro personally, but my heart goes out to them as I’ve been in their shoes before. You’ll move on to bigger and better things. I’m sure grateful for the places I’ve landed since the GamePro years.

Full disclosure, my enthusiasm for the Vita is not tied to being employed by Sony. Honest!

Friday, November 18, 2011

New alternate costumes for Street Fighter X Tekken

This is one of the most bizarre yet wonderful ideas I've ever seen for alternate costumes. The key piece of information not revealed in the blog post is "how much is this gonna cost me?". If it's free, I'll be a happy clam. If not, then the price of the outfits will determine my buy-in. I'm guessing it won't be free.

I can totally understand the premium DLC logic though. Fighting games sell to an increasingly smaller audience, but that smaller audience is ultra enthusiastic. If it means supporting a fighting franchise I want to keep alive, I'm willing to shell out a few extra bucks. I would be embarrassed to tell you how much I've spent of Rumble Roses DLC hoping that would spur a third game.

It remains to be seen if SF X Tekken makes me a fanboy enough to pay for DLC.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Soul Calibur V is back on my hot list!

The character creator in SCIV was pretty good, but this one adds the kind of features that really get me excited to see what I can make.

With these tools you should be able to re-create most any  famous characters although the facial feature portion still isn't as robust as some other games.

Hope they soon reveal how and if the PS3 and Vita versions will work with each other.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Side Gig for Soul Calibur's Taki

The Queen's Gate PSP game was released this past July/Aug. A domestic release is highly unlikelyso if you want to check out some Namco characters in um...interesting situations, you can check out this trailer for a small taste, or you can check out the role playing books.

A book for Ivy was released a while back and now Taki gets her turn.

The Queen's Gate/Blade books are pretty filthy without showing outright nudity. These shots shown here courtesy of Moeyo are about as clean as I feel comfortable posting.

You can check out the rest here. Definitely NSFW.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Onechanbara Z: Kagura shots

Unfortunately, there's still no news of a US release date for Onechanbara Z: Kagura on Xbox 360, but there are some new screen shots to look at.

As if the original bikini wasn't already pretty skimpy, a pre-order DLC bonus grants one even more outrageous.

The thing that cracks me up about it they went and added some flare to it. It's hard to be sure from these screens, but it looks like some sort of gem stones.

Leaving no stone unturned, they added some to the back too.

I like that the series has a new look and based off the trailer, it does appear to have new play mechanics as well appearing zippier and less like a budget title.  

Source Kotaku via

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dead or Alive 5 Announced!

Dead or Alive 5 was just announced at the Tokyo Game Show. It will be released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2012. The teaser image above looks like it's either a slightly more mature Kasumi or perhaps it's Hitomi. Of course it could be someone new altogether.

My biggest hope is that it will also come out for Vita. Cross play and save file importing between the Vita and PS3 versions would be awesome.

The first gameplay trailer is looking pretty good. Very much DOA style fighting, but very nice upgrades in lighting and arena effects. It's hard to judge character model detail in this movie though. It does look beefier than DOA 4.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

For Setsuka Fans

Since we're on the topic of Soul Calibur, I attended the J-Pop Summit Festival in San Francisco Japantown this past weekend and watched uber cool group Layla Lane perform. For the first half of their performance, Valerie Stern wore a sweet kimono that reminded me of another blonde in Japanese formal wear Setsuka from Soul Calibur.

J-Pop Summit Festival 2011 Part 5 from Wataru Maruyama on Vimeo.

Here are two of several clips I shot. These were taken with the compact video powerhouse Sony HX9V in 1080p 60p mode. The quality is pretty nice. You might have to be a Vimeo plus member to download the clips, but if you are able to, I highly recommend you copy the file and play it on your PlayStation 3 for the full experience. The wind started whipping up so sorry for the noises. I created a DIY windscreen for next time.

J-Pop Summit Festival 2011 Part 6 from Wataru Maruyama on Vimeo.

This is one is shorter, but has a section where Valerie is singing in Japanese which she seems to do for about half of their songs.

You can watch more of the videos from the J-Pop summit here. You can read the report on the J-Pop summit here and here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Soul Calibur V Heating Up

I haven't been keeping up with the many Soul Calibur V reveals, but ran into these two latest images and wanted to share.

Both characters are receiving tweaked outfits and so far I approve. I'm probably sounding like a broken record, but I really hope they make this for Vita with some save transfer ability to the PS3 version.

I'll start digging around for more interesting Soul Calibur V asap.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I choose you Pikachu!

Went to an auto show over the weekend to try to capture some interesting images. There was a smattering of cosplayers. More here if you're interested.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dragon's Crown Art

Dragon's Crown for the PlayStation 3 and Vita isn't due til March 2012 (!), but I can get my fix for DC content through some amazing artwork around the web. There's a decent amount on DeviantART, but the major action is on pixiv.

A wonderful Amazon piece by タコヤキネコさん.

The best part for me is that there is an pixiv iPhone app so I can explore art on the go. It's about all I can do to get my fix over the next seven long months.

An incredible Sorceress painting by HOMEX

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More Dead or Alive Dimensions DLC Costumes Coming

Famitsu just posted some new costumes that will be included in the next round of DLC costume for Dead or Alive Dimensions. Starting in August 15th in Japan, they will re-distribute the initial batch of DLC costumes, but a few new ones will be added to the mix. My Japanese is a bit rusty so some details may differ.

Thanks to GET! reader Josef Axner for the heads up!

I would normally be more tempted by this news and the recent price cut, but I'm in greater need of a new computer.  Hopefully we'll see a version DOA on the Vita as that looks to be my main gaming machine of 2012.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Interview GET!

I’m not sure why I’ve never done an interview on CostumeGet these past 6 years since I’ve conducted countless Q&A’s in my previous day job. That oversight gets rectified now with a chat with one of the photographers I’ve become a fan of on flickr, Mr. Muggles. 

CosGet: How did you get started in photography?
Mr. Muggles: I'm a huge Harry Potter nerd and was introduced to the world of fandom and cosplay in 2006 when I attended my first HP convention in Las Vegas. After returning home, I quickly regretted not having a single photo of the great costumes I saw, or the new friends I met so I purchased a basic point-and-shoot. Long story short, I had so much fun playing the event photographer at the following conventions that I began to pursue photography as a hobby.

CG: Do you have any formal photography training?
MM: No, but I've spent countless hours scouring the web for tutorials and reading everything I can find about photography and lighting.

CG: Who influenced your style or is/was an inspiration to your work?
MM: I can't think of a single dominant influence, but I certainly owe much to folks like David Hobby and Zack Arias for their tutorials and generous knowledge sharing. Aside from that, perhaps the biggest influence comes from wedding photographers as they shoot with many of the same challenges as hallway cosplay photogs--that is, low-light, high iso and a hybrid of photo journalism and narrative.

CG: Is cosplay your favorite subject? If so why, if not what is your favorite?
MM: Dramatic visual narrative is what I'm artistically and creatively drawn to capture and create and Cosplay set me on that path. I've been experimenting with more deliberate editorial styles lately, but I suspect that I'll always be rooted in photographing people in lavish costumes whether the inspiration is Anime, literary characters, or drawn just from my imagination.

CG: Describe your routine when preparing to go to an event like Anime Expo?
MM: Shooting a convention like AX can be thoroughly exhausting--it's not uncommon for me to go non-stop for 8-10 hours with only a brief lunch break. Given that, I try to travel as light as possible. The night before the event, I'll review my gear and whittle my bag down to just the essentials. Also, I try to get lots of sleep beforehand, although that never seems to happen somehow =P.

CG: What is your workflow after getting back from an event?
MM: I shoot raw and import the files into Lightroom. From there, I typically crop if necessary and adjust the tone curve to give the image more punch, sharpen and then export. I don't often round-trip into Photoshop, but will do so if there's heavy spot removal required.

CG: Is your day job photography related? If not, is photography something you want to pursue professionally full time?
MM: My job isn't (typically) photography related, but I work for Yahoo! and have had the good fortune of being asked to cover events such as Blizzcon and E3 as a direct result of coworkers hearing about my cosplay photography. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there will be additional opportunities in the future.

CG: What are you shooting with now? Are you satisfied with it?
MM: I'm currently shooting a Nikon D700--it's light years ahead of my abilities, so if I ever complain, take those comments with a grain of salt ;-). That said, I wouldn't mind dual memory cards as I've had two separate memory card scares where, for one heart-stopping moment, I thought I had lost a good chunk of my day's work. Other than that, I wouldn't mind even better low-noise performance, but that's always a given.

Poison, a CosGet favorite character and outfit.

CG: Any tips for others who want to attend events and shoot?
MM: Know your gear. Get to the point where you're intimately familiar with your camera's quirks and begin to think like your light meter! Also, spend the time to size up your environment before you start shooting. In particular, look for interesting backgrounds and especially "pools of light" if you're shooting natural light. As you begin taking photos, don't be afraid to provide gentle direction to your subject--"quarter turn to your left", "chin up slightly". Also, think before, during, and after every shot. Ask yourself what you did right, or what could be improved. Perhaps most important, though, is to be polite and considerate--don't interrupt a cosplayer if they're obviously busy (eating), or rushing off to a panel. Besides just good manners, a little professionalism will generally put your subject more at ease which improves your chances of getting a good "performance".

Thanks so much to Mr. Muggles for your time and keep up the great work!

There has never been a Kiki's Delivery Service game, but this pic too damn cute not to post. ADORABLE!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Expansion GET!

Followers of my Twitter may have noticed an inordinate amount of iOS and cosplay links. While I won’t really have more mobile games featured here, it’s time to break down the wall on the latter.

From henceforth you’ll start to see articles on cosplay as well as the usual in-game costumes. 

When I started up this blog over six years ago, the state of cosplay was a bit uneven. In the last two years (at least this is when I noticed) the sophistication of costumes has ramped up to amazing levels. Sure the level has always been high in Japan, but now it seems across the globe the standards are amazingly high. 

Images courtesy of Mr. Muggles
The expansion of coverage also coincides with my other great passion, photography. Great costumes can be ruined by average photography so the items I showcase here will ideally be a marriage of great costume construction, modeling, and photography.   

Images courtesy of Mr. Muggles
 When schedule allows, I’d love to eventually go to a cosplay event, but that’s probably a bit further off from now.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Dragon's Crown. Dragon's Crown. Dragon's Crown!

Uncharted 3 is my most anticipated game of 2011, but 2012 is all about Dragon's Crown. I enjoyed Princess Crown, but it wasn't until the release of Odin Sphere and Muramasa that I became a Vanillaware fanatic. The games certainly had flaws, but the look of the characters and worlds combined with interesting gameplay really captured my imagination.

To be clear, it's not the fact that Dragon's Crown is a new Vanillaware title that has me amped.I would be more excited about the upcoming Grand Knights History or finally get around to playing Grim Grimoire if it was as simple as that.

 It's the combination of the Vanillaware magic with my great love of the Capcom Dungeons & Dragons side scrolling brawlers that's truly ignited my passion. Dragon's Crown is the videogame equivalent of jam coming together with peanut butter or chocolate hooking up with...well just about anything.

I also love that this is for both PS3 and Vita. I can see the vast majority of play time on the Vita as any spare free time I have these days is on the road, but the option to play on a big HDTV when time permits is just awesome. I hope there is a package that comes with both versions in one.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Soul Calibur V

The Soul Calibur/Soul Edge series has always held a special place in my heart so I really, really hope SCV can maintain my interest over the long haul once its released. Word is that there is a 17 year gap between the story of Soul Calibur IV which is a great opportunity to reboot some elements. Tekken tried a similar time gap, but the only noticeable difference was Paul Phoenix grew a beard and we played as some of the kids of some of the older characters.

An Xbox 360 and PS3 version were announced, but my fingers are crossed hard for a NGP version that interfaces with the PS3. There is supposedly a character creation function similar to SCIV that would be perfect for tinkering and building up on the road.

3rd Birthday Update
I'm starting to warm up to 3rd Birthday the more I play. The first missions were kind of boring, but the upgrading bits are kicking in and the levels are starting to have slightly more variety. The jury is still out on this one.

Friday, March 25, 2011

3rd Birthday Countdown

I'm still undecided on whether to pick up the physical UMD of 3rd Birthday or buy the digital version on PSN. While I ponder over this, let's take a look at the costume unlocking goodness that awaits.

Siliconera posted a collection of outfits a while back which I bookmarked for this pre-launch post. My favorite of the bunch is probably the Knight Armor. It's rugged and protective, but also fetishy at the same time. A good combo.

Second favorite is the OD Suit. It seems like your run of the mill leather suit, but there's something about it that feels right on Aya.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Aksys Japan Benefit Sale

Clothing item from Record of Agarest War

Aksys is having a sale where 100% or the proceeds go to charity efforts in Japan. Any game in the Aksys store counts, the sale ones are just highlighted for reference. I picked up BlazBlue Continuum Shift for PS3 (really wanted this one for awhile actually) and Record of Agarest War 360. Lots of interesting titles to choose from. Well done Aksys!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dead or Alive Dimensions Costume Downloads (Japan UPDATE)

It's funny how things can change so quickly. Just a week ago, there was no chance I was picking up a 3DS till later in the year, but sneaky old Tecmo goes and announces free costume DLC for Dead or Alive Dimensions every day starting from the game's launch. According to theFamistu via Andriasang there will be a total of 28 costumes starting March 24th (in Japan) with a new outfit everyday except for Mondays.

The outfits previewed so far are all true alternate costumes and not palette swaps. It remains to be seen if that will hold true for all 28.

So the two big questions for US fans is 1) What is the actual release date for Dimensions here? 2) Will the costumes follow a similar release pattern?

As far as incentives to boost day one sales go, I think it's brilliant in both the timing and the scope of what's on offer. It's certainly more motivating for someone like me to get the game right away versus the current  pre-order DLCs which usually turn out to be fluff no matter how cool it sounds (cough, New Vegas costume/gear packs, cough). 

What should I do?!
To get breaking updates to this blog or just to show support, please take a moment to Follow at the box under the Amazon ads. There is also the CostumeGet Twitter for other shorter thoughts. It's rad!

It's really hard to concentrate on anything but the disaster in Japan right now. I've decided that any money that would have gone to the 3DS and DOA will go to charity to help. If you'd like to help as well, this is the recommended site for charities that are definitely going to support the Japan. (via Gizmodo)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dissidia? Dissidia!

Dissidia 12 drops in less than two weeks and it has officially snuck on to my short list. I've only played the demo of the first Dissidia, but it impressed me enough to deem it worthy of a purchase. The only question was whether to be satisfied with the original which can be had for $10-15 (if you shop hard enough) or just jump right to the sequel for $30.

Two factors come into play and both involve costumes of course. The first is the pre-order bonus from Amazon. A Tifa Lockhart alternate costume based on a design by Yoshitaka Amano. It looks nice, not great though. The Cloud alt costume for GameStop pre-orders is far cooler.

The other bonus is the Aya Brea costume for Lightning which you get it if you also purchase 3rd Birthday (which I plan to). Now this is a cool look for Lightning!

From my basic research, it seems like there are tons of items and goodies to unlock in Dissidia 12. I'll probably wait till the last moment before deciding.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The March Outlook

I’m about at the 70% mark in Dragon Age Origins with plans to soldier on through Awakenings so I haven’t paid much attention to what’s on the horizon. HOLY CRAP. There are TONS of interesting titles that pique my interest. Of course the no brainer is Dragon Age 2. I’ve also built up quite the back log of iOS games, but we’ll discuss that at another time. For now, let’s take a look at just the top tier for March:

Vagrant Story (March 1st)
This is an instant purchase at $5.99. Not really sure when I would sit down with this one though.

Dragon Age 2 (March 8th)
At my current pace, there is no way I’ll be done with Origins/Awakenings/DLC by March 8th. The release of Marvel vs Capcom 3 didn’t help. I did wait nearly a year to get to DA so I’m not in a crazy rush to dive into DA2.

Ar Tonelico Qoga (March 15th)
Very unlikely I will pick this up, but stranger things have happened. The story seems goofily entertaining and the character designs are eye-catching. I’ve had a strange JRPG craving that could get worse.

Yakuza 4 (March 15th)
I got bored of the first Yakuza halfway through and spent only a few hours on part 2. If the Yakuza 4 demo blows me away, I might be inclined to track down Yakuza 3 to catch up. Loved Shenmue yet the Yakuza series has left me wanting.

Tomb Raider Trilogy (March 22nd)
I beat Legend on the PS2 and remember enjoying it quite a bit. Never got around to Anniversary or Underworld so this is an exciting package of value. Wonder how it will hold up post-Uncharted 2?

The Third Birthday (March 29th)
Thanks to the PSP price drop, Third Birthday will be mine! I’m a bit torn on whether to pick up the UMD or digital version. I can sell the UMD when I finish the game, but what if I want to keep it long term and give it a play on the NGP? Then I need the digital version. Plus the digital version will load faster and consume less battery power. Unfortunately the digital version is $30, same as the UMD. Guess we’ll see how things go.

Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection (March 29th)
Like most folks I dearly love both games. Of the two, I played the hell out of Colossus beating it twice. I have yet to complete Ico once. This baffles me. I will correct this once I own the collection. Yes I will.