13 November 2012
D-Arts VAVA / Vile Review
After X and Zero, the third character introduced into Bandai Tamashii's D-Arts line for the Mega Man X series is the villain Vile, also known as VAVA in Japan.
I actually got him since June, but procrastinated reviewing it until now. For the review I will refer him as "Vile" as mentioned in English versions of the games.
Vile was released as a Tamashii Web Shop exclusive figure back in June, which means overseas buyers would have to use proxy service to acquire it.
Vile is a recurring villain in Mega Man X video games. The original games provided litle details of him, apart from being a lackey under the main villain Sigma. His background is explicated in the PSP enchanced remake Mega Man Maverick Hunter X, and is even featured as a playable character there. Originally in the same organisation as the protagonists X and Zero hunting malfunctioned and dangerous Mavericks, Vile's circuits went haywire one day and became unstable, acting ruthlessly in his missions. He was locked up for being too dangerous and ruthless, but chaos broke out in the headquarters (an act secretly carried out by Sigma, then leader of the Maverick Hunters but now a Maverick), and Vile used this oppurtunity to escape, while developing a strong desire to defeat X. Ultimately Vile lost to X, and Sigma retrieved him and revived him as his ally for the future.
Vile comes with 2 shoulder cannons, joints for the cannons, a special leg joint for a leg cannon, firing effect, ammo belt, open muzzle parts for inserting effect parts into the cannons, as well as 3 hands - a pair of open palms, and one extra right hand for holding a glass of bourbon.
Equipped with Vile's signature shoulder cannon. It is connected on his blue backpack via a joint, with ammo belt linking from top of the backpack to the top of the cannon.
The back of the cannon. The ammo belt feed and the joining arms can be seen.
Effect parts can be inserted by swapping the muzzle part
The leg cannon can be deployed via part swapping. A shortened left thigh comes attached to it as well. One needs to remove Vile's existing left thigh and insert this part.
Vile sort of dislocates his left knee to bring out his leg cannon. While it's not used as often as his shoulder cannon, the leg cannon is by no means a weaker weapon.
A closer look on the leg cannon itself. Nice details are displayed there, including the red gem for the cannon muzzle, as well as the red and black cables.
Closer look on the head. Unlike most reploids, Vile's eyes cannot be seen, but apparently they do exist beneath the dark T-shaped visor (which resembles Star War's Bobba Fett in a way). The symbol on the forehead is Sigma's logo, which indicates allegiance to Sigma's maverick forces.
VAVA also comes with a glass of bourbon, which needs a special right hand to hold it. The bourbon glass only appears in one of the manga adaptations, where in one of the encounters with X Vile states that the glass could have been filled with bourbon or mud, but it would make no differences to Reploids as they wouldn't be able to identify them, challenging X his identity before he smashes the glass.
Vile also comes with an extra shoulder cannon for his left shoulder, so he can have two shoulder cannons at once like the Guncannon from Mobile Suit Gundam. This does not appear in any other media, but only as an original feature for the figure.
Random extra photos before concluding the review
The shot effect parts seen on the shoulder cannon here are from D-Arts Mega Man X
Showdown with X
Tea time with WRS~
Comparison with X and Zero. Vile has a slightly better finish with pearl-like coating overall rather than the raw plastic surface on the other two.
Vile comes with a fair bunch of parts, which is nice to play around with and to accompany X as well as Zero. It's a pity that he ends up as a web shop exclusive item; future Mega Man X related figures may also end up as so.
One main complaint I have with Vile is that some parts, especially his shoulder plates, pop off way too easily. The same can be said for the shoulder cannons as joints don't hold on well to the backpack, which can be a pain when one is posing them. It can be frustrating to play with as a relatively expensive limited figure compared to the X and Zero, which are regular release figures!
Overall, Vile is a nice figure to have if you like the game, the character himself or his accessories. I somehow quite like his bourbon glass there even though its purpose is not for drinking. The loose parts are little difficult to play with, and its price may make it not so appealing to acquire due to its exclusivity, but then there are hardly any alternatives apart from 10+ years old kits which may even be harder to acquire.
Several more Mega Man X-related figures are showcased in Tamashii Features event recently, including Sigma, a black version of Zero, and even Vile's own Ride Armour. I do have my eyes on them, but we shall see whether they will end up as exclusive items or not...