News: Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Box Set – UK English Version UPDATE

“Make some room in your life…”

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Studio: Studio Ghibli

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Release Date: 8th December 2014

Following on from my previous post about this great box set bargain, which is basically all of Hayao Miyazaki films as a Blu-ray Box Set. The picture of what it’s supposed to look like has finally emerged from the producers, and I’m in love with the clean looking design.

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Each disk is housed in a cardboard sleeve, with the official artwork for the film encasing it. If there was ever a reason to pick up all the movies from the legend Miyazaki, this is the time to do it.

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The box set is produced by Studio Canal, who have handled the rest of the Ghibli releases in the UK, so I’m expecting both English and Japanese dubs on the disc.

The set contains twelve discs, of which eleven are movies, and there’s one mysteriously titled Bonus Disc. I just can’t think of what it could be, possibly short films or commercials?

Soundtrack? (*fingers crossed*)

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I’m disappointed that more films weren’t included. Yes, I wanted a Ghibli box, instead of just Miyazaki, just to save me the hassle of collecting those stray films, but maybe the price point would be driven even higher, and it’s already making a hefty dent in anyone’s wallet at £180.00 down from previous RRP of £250!

Get the Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Box Set here.

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News: Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX Official Game Guide Trio Box Set Pre-Order

“Everyone can just fangirl now”

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Release Date: 4th November 2014

While I’ve been doing my regular rounds through my favourite shopping spots, I spotted a mysterious new entry for a Final Fantasy Box Set.

It’s billed as a deluxe hardcover set of three books, which are the official re-rendered and updated guide books for Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, and Final Fantasy IX.

Yes, I think everyone can take a moment to just fangirl at this statement.

Each of the three books comes with a ribbon marker, similar to the treatment the latest Final Fantasy Limited Edition Guide’s have been receiving, see Final Fantasy XIII-2’s Guide Book as an example.

I think it’s fairly easy to get excited about this! Who doesn’t want to get their mitts on more Final Fantasy merchandise, especially books? These things don’t really see much of a release in the UK, and even so, they’re a bit of an abridged version compared to their Japanese (and sometimes even US) counterparts.

This Box Set version published by Prima Games however, claims to have 752 pages of goodness, which works out at roughly 250 pages per book. That’s a full-sized book if I ever saw one!

The cost of the box set really pushes the boundaries of what I want to pay for three books, with an RRP of £80 or $129.99. Happily, however, the books have been heavily discounted, and I’m just going to pre-order my copy before I explode.

These are available from Amazon.com and Amazon UK. Preview image from Barnes and Noble.

 

Book: Aesop’s Fables (Wordsworth’s Classics)

“Lions regularly team up with asses. There’s a fox somewhere too…”

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Author: Aesop

Genre: Fantasy, Classic, Animals, Age: All

Do you ever think that some stories are familiar, but you can’t pinpoint where you’ve read them before? Reading Aesop’s Fables is like stumbling into that experience over and over again.

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(The Crow and the Pitcher)

Of course, as the book’s introduction is quick to point out, Aesop didn’t really *write* these stories, he merely collected them. This version from Wordsworth contains around 250 short tales, which feature anthropomorphic characters and situations that make them cross paths. Each story is a quick read, taking roughly three minutes to read at most, and I found myself finishing the book in a couple of days, since I was using it for light reading before bedtime.

There’s nothing amazingly complex about the experience,  since each story starts and finishes with few plot-points. For someone used to reading long, epic fantasy books, this was such a refreshing experience and almost a mental cleanse; I could stay with the characters for a few minutes, and then abandon them, and only take the central  message forward.

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News: Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Final Mix Limited Edition Preorder

“Time to save some pennies for December”


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Release Date: 2nd December 2014

I must have been living under a rock to miss this! For some reason, I started out 2014 eagerly checking for the pre-orders of Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Final Mix Limited Edition (*phew* mouthful…), and when the pre-orders do open, it’s almost like I’d forgotten the game existed.

This is of course the HD update for the original Kingdom Heart 2, and also contains the Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. I can’t seem to figure out if Re:coded is actually the game or just the cutscenes? Regardless of whatever it is, I know I’ll still end up purchasing this.

Sadly, there’s no mention of an artbook like in the release of Kingdom Hearts 1.5, but for your hard-earned cash you get an *Exclusive Pin*. Yes, the artwork for Kingdom Hearts 1.5 wasn’t brilliant, but at least it made me look forward to getting the package, now it’s a…a… PIN.

Hard to get excited about that.

You can see the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix Limited Edition (PS3) here.

See below for synopsis and trailer:

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News: Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Box Set – UK English Version PRICE DROP

“Being a total steal.”

miyazaki box set

Studio: Studio Ghibli

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Release Date: 3rd November 2014

There is a fantastic deal I’ve spotted on Amazon UK for the Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Box Set. This is basically the collection that got released in Japan, and is the 13 discs that features all of Miyazaki’s movies. The price has actually dropped drastically from £250 to £160.40! That is insane, it brings down the cost of each Blu-Ray disc to around £13.33!!

It couldn’t have come at a better time really, with the fans fretting what will happen to Studio Ghibli. Retail therapy may be required…

Admittedly, details are not yet confirmed about WHAT will actually be on there (the picture shown above is the Japanese version), but a good guess is all of the fan favourites (Spirited Away, Howl’s, etc) will be on there. Since this being released by Studiocanal, it will likely contain the English dubs as well, even if the only language mentioned is Japanese with English Subtitles. The English dub feels forgotten in the description.

The big difference between this and the Japanese version is that, this is twelve discs, the Japanese version had thirteen, but, still worth investing in.

Get the Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Box Set here.

Purchased: Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD – UK PS3 Limited Edition

“Obsessed”

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Studio: Square Enix

Released: March 2014  (UK version)

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD was released over a month ago, and even though I have gushed about it for ages, it wasn’t even until recently that I could open the packaging. The Limited Edition packaging that I have handling ever so carefully, that it even gets a place of honour in my drawer.

The cover of the packaging shows the new models of Yuna and Tidus, in what could be called a “new” image. I’m sure fans love it, and won’t get sick of this solitary image that is constantly being repeated on pretty much every surface. I wouldn’t say I’m a big fan of the new model for Tidus, he looks a bit more feminine than Yuna, which is strange, since his character is a jock, I would have expected him to be “machoed-up” or something.

 

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The cardboard box that you get is just the beginning is the lusciousness.

More information and pictures below:

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News: Final Fantasy X HD Limited Edition Preorder on Amazon UK

“So close, so close to my hands….”

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Release Date: 21st March 2014

I’m sure a lot of people got this email from Amazon, but for those that didn’t; the Limited Edition of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD is still available for preorder. This is actually around the £30 mark, which was the same as the LE pre-orders taken before.

See the Pre-Order page here.

The game is, of course, going to sell bucket-loads, and be the saviour of Square Enix’s review ratings, after the travesty of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. I can’t wait to get my hands on my own copy, when the game comes out on 21st March, which at this point is less than a week away.

You get limited edition packaging, an artbook disc-case, and new models of Tidus and Yuna to drool over, but the big satisfaction is in replaying an old favourite. They don’t make games like this anymore.

Update: Pre-orders are now closed.

News: Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness Book 1)

“Is this a new revival for Tamora Pierce in the UK?!”

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Author: Tamora Pierce

Genre: Action, Adventure, Romance, Age: YA+

Released: 28th August 2014 (UK version)

This is something that I have been checking up on for the past few months. A mysterious new listing has appeared on Amazon
, for a Red Fox Publishers’ re-release, of Tamora Pierce’s bestselling YA series.

Alanna: the First Adventure is one of those books that I can credit for getting me into the fantasy genre, and the rest of Tamora Pierce’s books can be said to have kindled a lifelong love with fantasy.

Pierce’s books are notoriously difficult to find in the UK. They were published in the early 90s, but seem to have gone out of print, and brand new versions usually have to imported from the US.

Red Fox Publisher, a division of The Random House Group has listed Tamora Pierce as one of their authors, but haven’t listed any books under her name as of yet.

The listing on Amazon confirms the release date, but doesn’t confirm the cover. Is this going to be a release of the original Red Fox publication from 1986, shown in the picture above? I hope not. Personally, I will hoping for a revamp similar to the Point Fantasy series’ covers.

At this point, very few details are known. It may be a low-key book release for a lot of people, but this is a great opportunity for British readers to experience an amazing author.

Amazon Blurb below:

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Purchased: UK Final Fantasy X HD Preorder

“I have never been more excited to enter my card details….”

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Final Fantasy X HD is now available to pre-order from ShopTo. Not only that, but this is the limited edition that I was crying out for in my previous post.

I’m not sure why ShopTo has such a strange pre-ordering system, but you will have to:

  • make your account
  • add card details
  • go to the game page, and click ‘Buy’
  • confirm your purchase
  • check your details in your Account page, under Preorders

Was Amazon ever this complicated? No. But neither does it have a pre-order for FINAL FANTASY X HD!

I can rest easy now, knowing that I will soon be looking at a revamped epic game. Oh, and of course Final Fantasy X-2, which is not as epic, but I still like it.

News: What is going on with the UK Final Fantasy X HD Preorder?

“I want to listen to your story, I really do…”

finalfantasyxhdpreorder

 

Final Fantasy X HD is a much awaited title all over the world, so I guess I expected it to be readily available for pre-order when Square Enix made the announcement a few weeks back. Truth is, it is proving notoriously difficult to find for UK customers.

Amazon UK is normally good at following Amazon US a few days later. Similar to Kingdom Hearts 1.5: the pre-order was announced two weeks after the US version. The limited edition was ripe for the picking, and even though it sold out within a few days, it was still available.

With FFX HD, there appears to be a dud listing on Amazon, and no news of the limited edition (with the artbook), and no news of the standard version either.

UK customers usually get rubbish offers. Yes, thanks for making us pay a little more to get that “bonus” artbook for Kingdom Hearts 1.5. No free upgrades with each pre-order for us. Nope. However, I wouldn’t mind paying a little bit more to get the limited edition for FFX HD.

Is the only option to import it from the US at a ridiculous cost? It will cost roughly £40, which seems a little too much, even for my collecting niggles.

After scouring through the internet, a dead pre-order button was found at ShopTo, which seems to have the limited edition… but out of stock.

Backing up here, I understand that this is “just a game”, and “just an artbook”, and my life won’t explode in a fireball if I don’t get my hand on it. However, as someone that missed out the original FFX craze (I was a humble student in high school with limited money), I would love to jump on the bandwagon and enjoy the ride.

I am keeping fingers, toes and eyes crossed that Amazon gets a pre-order page ready.

Update: See my post here for the preorder information,

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