Howie’s photo session with cosplayer Yel Zamor

My attempts at doing photos this year brought me to a cosplayer called Yel Zamor, aka cosplayer Cos Moustache, cosplaying as a post-apocalyptic version of DC’s Captain Cold. To be honest, I was quite nervous when doing this shoot because this was a character about whom I knew very little, and my pre-con research only brought up very limited ideas in terms of putting something together for a shoot. Lucky Yel was more than happy to help me out with more information about the characters and more ideas though, and I managed to get some quite amazing photos back from the Captain Cold shoot with Yel. I gave Yel’s series of photos a post-apocalyptic dusty look. Oh and as a bonus, I’m giving Yel’s series a little animation as an apology for making Yel run about like a crazy person multiple times!

“Yel, can you run along the wall… again.”

Howie’s photo session with cosplayer Little Miss Metamorph

I met up with Kristen, aka cosplayer Little Miss Metamorph, today for a shoot of her Darth Vanitas Sith cosplay. This year is the first time I’ve done any proper shoots from behind the lens, so I need to thank Kristen for being such a wonderful cosplayer to work with, and for being one of my guinea pigs this year. Oh, and sorry for the wait when I got lost trying to find the exact place within the ExCeL car park!

Howie listens to Symphonic Fantasies London

Tonight, the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), conducted by Eckehard Stier, played a wonderful concert at the Barbican Centre, titled Symphonic Fantasies London, which saw the world class orchestra perform a medley of pieces from four classic Square Enix series: Kingdom HeartsSecret of ManaChrono Trigger / Chrono Cross, and Final Fantasy. The orchestra was joined by the London Symphony Chorus (LSC) with David Lawrence as chorus master, as well as soloists Slava Sidorenko on the piano, and Rony Barrak on the darbouka.

Programme for Symphonic Fantasies London.

Being an avid gamer and a musician, I notice a lot about the music of computer games and how it adds to any given moment within a game’s plot, and having gone to a few video game music concerts already, I always manage to get transported to those iconic moments in any game by the orchestra, and certainly the LSO’s performance of music from Square Enix’s titles were no different. If I thought I was impressed by the LSO’s performance of Final Symphony II at the Barbican Centre on 12 September 2015, I was absolutely blown away by the concert tonight.

The addition of the LSC to the mix gave the performance a lot more depth, and allowed the music to be explored from a totally different angle, for example, using the LSC’s singers to replicate the sound effect of rain and storm for the Secret of Mana medley.

The music of Kingdom Hearts and Secret of Mana, though iconic, was soon over taken in the second half of the concert by the medleys of music from Chrono Trigger / Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy. Being an avid Final Fantasy player, you may all think me to be slightly biased, but I genuinely thought the arrangement for the Final Fantasy section in tonight’s concert was beyond expectations and by far the best arrangement of the evening. It certainly made the musical geek inside me squeal with delight as I sat there in the stalls.

The harp prelude gave way to the ever joyful chocbo theme, which then proceeded to give way to big and bold battle themes, with a hint of the chocobo’s theme in the background in a different key to give some comic relief. But it was the finale of the Final Fantasy section which blew me away, as the woodwind section shared responsibility for the main theme of the series, beginning in a minor key before transitioning to a major key into the recognised version of the theme, then handing the motif over to the violins before the violins gave the main theme motif to the LSC singers.

With an encore of Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy VII medley which was not listed in the programme, the LSO, LSC, and the soloists truly deserved the full house standing ovation which they received at the end of the concert.

Very much looking forward to the next concert!

Howie plays Turnabout Time Traveler

Last Thursday (29 September 2016), the latest DLC instalment for Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice was released, priced at £5.39 / $5.99 / €5.99. The DLC this time does not contain a 3DS theme, but a full episode consisting of a two-day trial. I was quite excited at the mention of time travel, especially with Phoenix’s mention of not being a time lord in the main game.

The episode is a well put together with quite a number of twists and turns. The only thing which really bugged me was the length of some of the animations, especially when you’re trying to make sure you present  every piece of evidence during the investigation stages… yes Sorin Sprocket, you know I’m talking about you!!! Don’t get me wrong, the animation and 3D modelling is really well done, but the animations could have been slightly shorter, especially since you can’t skip them!

The episode has enough twists and turns along the way, with the usual people perverting the course of justice to keep the player entertained. I must have got at least 6 hours’ worth of gameplay on that episode alone. If you just wanted to get one DLC for Spirit of Justice, I would definitely go for this one over any of the Asinine Attorney ones.

I have to say though, for twists and turns, it still does not beat episode 5 of the main Spirit of Justice game!