Saturday, 25 January 2014

Ground 'Zero'es?

With little over two months until the much trumpeted return of the Metal Gear Franchise in the form of a prologue game to Metal Gear Solid Five (“The Phantom Pain”) GroundZeroes is awaited with baited breath.  I for one am looking forward to purchase, hopefully on a new PS4.  Yet, the more I look at this, the more perplexed I become.

It feels like the Tanker Chapter from MGS2.  An incomplete story, which will leave MGS fans waiting (for another year?) for the concluding part.  It won’t be a full packaged game – I surmise this for several reasons.

Firstly, I’ve noticed some retailers placing the game at a pre-order price of around £25 for the PS4.  £25?  Most eagle-eyed people know PS4 games never come in as cheap as that.  Seems like there won’t be a lot of content to this, so in fairness, perhaps the price is right.  Initially the game was going to be sold as DLC on the PS4 – but this has changed (so no meltdown on the PSN site on March 20th – good move!) due to demand from fans?

Secondly, unashamedly it is being sold as a prologue, fair goes for that, and good to see that rather than call it Metal Gear 5 Prologue (other franchises have done this) they’ve given the prologue a title.  But will this prologue have teeth?

Thirdly and possibly most importantly, is the lack of a demo of the game.  We’ve all seen two demos of this game being run at various game shows in the past year or so and despite my own haranguing of KonamiUK with regards to this, I haven’t been provided with a copy and as far as I am aware no one in the public has yet to try either of them out.  I’m reasoning that this is simply because the mission is as simple as just rescue the captives (Paz and Chico) and then return to see Mother Base blown off the map – cue “The Phantom Pain”.  I’m also guessing that these demos may be part of the ‘side missions’ promised during some of the play through we’ve all seen on the Konami website and YouTube and ‘bonus’ material for GroundZeroes.

From a marketing perspective this is actually a very sound move, selling one game as two but I’m wondering if there is going to be any bonus to GroundZeroes such as a pre-order for “The Phantom Pain” included in the package?  I would like there to be…

Though not keen on having to wait (for an unspecified time?) for the full MGS5, I’m glad to be able to play ‘Snake’ again, even if the play time may only be in the region of an hour and thirty minutes (real time?  Well, well, perhaps the first in a list on ironies - see below).

To weigh in on one of the big debates out there, about a decade ago Kiefer Sutherland was pretending to be ‘Snake’ in ‘24’ and now he gets to voice his ‘Father’.  Ah, the irony; a game inspired by movies inspires a TV show (okay not directly but there are a lot of parallels) whose actor then takes over the role of the main guy of the game.  I’m still a big fan of Hayter as Snake but as Big Boss too?  Something isn’t right if he plays BOTH.  For now he’s still MGS3’s Snake and that’s all that counts for me… at the moment…

Just to finish up, I understand that ‘The Phantom Pain’ has got a higher than usual certification due to content of a sexual nature.  I suspect no-one noticed trailer starlet (and Cosplay phenomenon) ‘Quiet’ getting some ‘special treatment’ from what looked like Ocelot during one of the trailers… it didn’t look fun and no doubt has resulted in this certification being given.

Any thoughts?  Post away or Tweet – you all know where.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Getting back into the Swing of things...

Time to start posting again - but unsure as to what, given that most of my time seems to be caught up in the Twitterverse or scrabbling about at home.

Was thinking of using this as a reviews thing but then all the venom that that would no doubt create would cause me issues.

Then I thought, what about your building projects, what about that? Of course that is an idea but it's not exactly what Beyond the Launchpad was set up to be.

I'm giving myself a window until the new year to start thinking what next.  Any ideas - well, you know where to comment...

Sunday, 30 June 2013


Sometimes, when I'm not building Gundam, I set about modifying 'toys' and such to make them look cooler.

This weekend I have progressed with several projects, some nearer completion than others, but I thought I'd give you a peek at something more or less complete - a 1/6 scale Jawa I purchased last weekend at the Maidstone Vintage Toy Fair.
When purchased I thought I'd just got a lump of plastic to display only.  Wrong.  It seemed it was one of the 1997 Special Edition releases, which did have a neat little gimmick of light up eyes, however, the contacts on the on/off button were not in a great shape and worse still the button was a contact switch - so the light came on only when the switch was pressed... Time for some Martin magic.

(turn me on!)
Hidden in the back of the Jawa, an on/off switch (the silver thing in the illustration above) which, following some slight modification of the switch opening at the back of the Jawa and a now hollow chest area, fits like a beauty and is virtually unnoticable.  A little soldering work to connect wiring and presto, secured new button.  I had hoped to get a button on/off switch which would have been completely hidden but no luck in finding a small enough component.  Oh well...

Following resetting the Jawa in one piece a quick photo of him with his vision 'restored'.  Something to impress guests to SafeHaven in the future, or to freak them out...

(Wanna buy an Astromech?)