BY: LEWIS MEDEIROS
Timing can be an awkward thing sometimes, and in this case, the fact that Johnny was offered this LootCrate promotion at the same time as BrainScratch is an example of that. I’d considered doing a video on the box, but I figured that’d be redundant after John’s little end-bit on the same thing. And let’s face facts: LootCrate unboxings, regardless of the exact sub-service subscription being shown (in this case, Loot Gaming) are overplayed. They show up on virtually every channel ever and while the service itself is good, there’s only so far it can be taken before seeing someone unbox the same stuff becomes a bit like watching toothpaste commercials.
That thought was what prompted me to start this blog in the meantime, so that we could cover things like this, alongside other content that doesn’t necessarily fit the format of a commentary or really make sense to spend the time on for editing a video, making it all less-intrusive on the whole. Don’t mistake me as saying LootCrate itself is a waste of time or money (I’m quite happy to have gotten this particular box, myself), but there comes a time when “much” becomes “too much.”
The box arrived around the same time John did his dual-review of Sonic Labyrinth and Sonic Blast, so I’ve held off doing anything with it to give people who wanted to use his referral link to do so. BrainScratch has its own link as well as a 10%-off coupon code (“BrainScratchComms”) that can be used to sign up for the service. What is LootCrate, and what is Loot Gaming, asks a small portion of the audience that hasn’t seen the zillions of sponsored YouTube plugs for it? Well, it’s a monthly subscription box full of nerd swag, of course! Standard LootCrate seems to be a mix of stuff, but they offer several other options such as Loot Gaming for those who want to narrow it down to one specific area of interest. The cost typically runs at about 60% of the collective retail value of what’s in the box, so that’s a nice pocket of savings assuming the month features stuff you think you’ll like.
What an edge-tastic black box. Don’t mind the scuff marks, this thing has been bumped around in my room a little bit since it arrived. It’s considerably cooler on the inside:
Every month’s box has a theme to unify the content, and the them for this box is “Mystic Loot.” They do a cool job prettying things up to fit the theme, and going by this box, they have good taste when it comes to fitting to stuff to put inside it. There’s not a single thing in here that I’m not glad to have gotten, as I’m a pretty big fan of fantasy-adventure stuff and this month’s box shot right up my alley as a result.
My favorite thing is actually this poster, which is frickin’ huge, by the way, and features some really nice fantasy artwork. I don’t think it’s from a specific gaming franchise, as it’s just a generic fantasy maiden-mage-person and a really imposing griffin, but this is one I’m going to enjoy having on my wall… as soon as I can find room for it. As I said, it’s quite large, and I might opt to frame it rather than pinning or taping it up.
The reverse side doubles as a pamphlet detailing the stuff inside the box, as well as the rare inclusion that, apparently, a small handful of lucky subscribers might get in this box. Sadly, I’m not one of the “five lucky winners” this go-round, so I can’t show that one off.
The first of the two figures that come packed in (apparently this is the first-ever box with two figures in one shipment) isn’t a type of figure I usually go out of my way to get, since I prefer more realistic-looking statues and action figures when I can get them. But it is the first official piece of Dragon Age merchandise I’ve ever owned, and of a character I quite like, at that. Morrigan is a cool character and I’m quite happy to have a representation of her I can sit on my shelf, even if it’s one I’m pretty sure she would give the meanest look if she saw it.
It’s a nice little figure, although there’s something kind of terrifying about seeing Morrigan’s face on top of a cartoon body. Interestingly, this is specifically based on the version of Morrigan that appears in the “Sacred Ashes” CGI trailer, not the design used in the game. It’s difficult to tell with the body and limbs so chibi’d-down, but there was a significant difference between both the outfit design and the facial features compared to her face and default attire from the game. But then, basically nothing from the CGI trailers for Dragon Age: Origins looked like it did in the game — you couldn’t even come close to creating a protagonist that matched the Trailer Warden.
Ōkami fans will appreciate this cub-like statue of Chibiterasu from the Nintendo DS sequel, Ōkamiden. This figure feels quite well-made and is nicely detailed besides. Which reminds me, I really need to get around to finishing Ōkami. I’ve had the PlayStation Network HD version for ages and haven’t played more than a few hours of it. It’s quite a nice game but I wasn’t in the mood for a Zelda-like adventure game at the time.
I confess, I am not a fan of the second Lords of Shadow game, even if I was able to shut my brain off to the Castlevania stuff and enjoy the first one as a fantastic God of War-like with a somewhat-less-unlikeable hero and a pretty cool fantasy-horror atmosphere. I am a fan of cool swords, though, so I’ll take a letter opener fashioned in the shape of one no matter the franchise it’s connected to! Unfortunately, according to the poster’s ass, German and Australian subscribers won’t be getting this, due to import laws, and will instead receive an unspecified replacement item of similar value. That’s too bad — I don’t know much about letter openers, but this looks nice and feels both weighty and durable, so I’d say it’s a fine piece of merch.
Like the poster, this is a Loot Gaming original. A nice, sturdy-feeling coin pin with a griffin emblem printed on an official looking stamp seal, with the month, year, and theme on both the packaging and the pin itself. It’s not the most expensive-feeling thing in the world, but it doesn’t feel cheap either. As welcome an addition to the box as the poster, in my eyes.
The last item to show off is the obligatory shirt! I believe a shirt should come packed in with each month’s box, and since subscribers specify their shirt size when they sign up…
…it fits quite nicely. This month’s shirt has long sleeves rather than being a t-shirt, which is thoughtful since it’s the winter season and all. Quite a useful bit of swag if, like me, you have a girlfriend who can’t get enough of Assassin’s Creed and lives in a state where the winter air regularly reaches near-frostbite temperatures.
And there you have it, everything contained in November’s Loot Gaming box. The December theme is SPAAAAAAAAACE and will feature loot from Mass Effect: Andromeda, Destiny, Ratchet & Clank, and X-COM 2. Once again, anyone who’s interested in subscribing and wants to support BrainScratch at the same time can do so using the following link and the 10%-off coupon code listed below:
Coupon Code: BrainScratchComms
As for me? Timing can be an awkward thing sometimes, but sometimes it also makes sure you get the free box for a promotion that hits just the right genre for you to be happy with… and a shirt that scores points with your lady-friend. It all balances out in the end, eh? At least some of the time.