Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Fire Emblem Warriors: "It was successful" "It was successful" "It was successful", just cause you repeat that, doesn't make it true

Does anyone else think this game was sent out to die? I don't mean that as a hint of what I think of the game, I genuinely mean it. The reason why this game took so long to review was mostly due to the timing of its release, one week before Super Mario Odyssey came out. I didn't actually get the game until the new year, just after they announced that Hyrule Warriors was coming to the Switch. Combine that with Dynasty Warriors 9 being in development around the same time, and the best way to describe its development are things like "rushed", "potentially understaffed" and other similar words and phrases. What also didn't help was how the game was critiqued prior to release due to how it was handling its roster and DLC, and there's a strong chance this game underperformed. Did it deserve to underperform? Well, one way to find out.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon; Gates to Infinity: Well this world's in trouble

WRITER'S NOTE: Most potential cold puns are unintentional

If there is one series that's easy to collaborate on for this site, its Pokemon, especially the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games. Red and Blue Rescue Teams were the first ever video review in the site's history, followed by the three Explorers games, and we've had Super Mystery Dungeon waiting in the pipeline, clawing to get a review since it launched in the US (because they decided to delay the game here in Australia so I had to make Marissa bite her tongue every time she considered spoilers). However, neither of us were on board for reviewing Gates to Infinity, the third generation of the Mystery Dungeon series. Part of it could have been neither of us really jumped on the gen 5 bandwagon back when it was in its prime, part of it could have been we were more excited for Gen 6 and it flew under the radar. Part of it could have been (in my case at least) that I was in Year 12, and there were more important things for me to focus on then it. Regardless, it took a long time for me to get the game, and I'm pretty sure Marissa still doesn't have the game at all. Well, its time to give Gates to Infinity the chance it deserves. Now to see if there's more to why we were hesitant to get the game.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Captain Underpants; The First Epic Movie: Still a better Superman movie then Man of Steel

Yes, that joke is relished. Like it or not, the DCEU is not a good series of movies overall (and no conspiracy theorists, Marvel is not paying me to say that. That would require either Marissa or myself being paid at all).

You know how I said that I had next to no comic book experience, that Blackest Night was my first comic book? Well... that's a half-truth. You see, there was a series of comics I grew up with when I was younger, though I saw them more as books and not comic books. Captain Underpants, a parody of superhero comics by taking their ideas to the extreme... while keeping the stories grounded in an Elementary School (you have no idea how hard it was for me not to write Primary School). They were entertaining books to read, with some of the stupidest, yet somehow surprisingly awesome names for the books such as "Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds)". I am not kidding, that is the name of one of the books. In the era of Superhero movies dominating the box office (there are at least nine of these movies coming out this year alone), its still somewhat surprising that anyone would greenlight this movie, even if it had a budget that is still somehow smaller then any Illumination movie's budget. No joke, I was genuinely surprised when I learned that this movie existed and I was always curious to see how the end result would turn out. I saw it at the cinema, and did enjoy it, but how well does it hold up now that I know how the movie goes? One way to find out.

The story can be best summed up as a fusion of the first four Captain Underpants books. George and Harold hypnotizing Principle Krump into Captain Underpants in book 1, the giant killer toilet (and then the army of smaller human eating toilets right before the credits) in book 2, Captain Underpants getting his powers in book 3, and the main villain (or rather the Supervillain, as a trend these books go for is that "all adults are evil") of the movie, and no I am no kidding by this, I even got it quoted from the script of the movie, "Professor Pee-Pee Diarrheastein Poopypants Esquire" (who came from the forth book). If this was a youtube video, this would be deemed inappropriate for advertisers. The books themselves tell the story from George and Harold's perspective, two children with a strong sense of humor, overly large imaginations, and know each other so well they know what each other is thinking. As a result of that focus, the stories tended to be very simple, something that is translated well to the movies.

Krump and Poopypants are both deliciously evil in their own ways, such as Poopypants barely hiding his evil agenda, and Krump's love of crushing the souls of children, including getting rid of the entire arts and music program in order to buy a multi-layered steel door. Melvin's a traditional suck up, the rest of the student body is just crowd filler, but considering the focus of the story it works. As for the plot itself, Poopypants wants to rid the world of laughter because people keep laughing at his name. To achieve this, he makes a size alteration ray (I forget the in-universe name), turns a child's robotic toilet into a doomsday device and said child as the neurological power supply for a ray that destroys the part of the brain responsible for laughter. Cause if you're going to do it, you may as well go all in, especially when the event that started this was George and Harrold making a comic book about him. For the first half of the movie though, the plot is that George and Harrold don't want to be put into separate classes, so they hypnotize their cruel principle and turn him into a superhero that fights in nothing but a cape and his underwear. While the big problem of this is that there isn't much of a traditional structure, in that event A doesn't lead to event B which leads to even C etc. Don't get me wrong, those events are there, but they're kinda thrown in as an "oh yeah this is why/ Moving on". "Why did Poopypants come to the school?" Because they're looking for a new science teacher. "Why are they looking for a new science teacher?" Cause Krump fired the last one cause he wanted to be with his family on Saturday and not at school. Its the same kind of logic that says school cafeteria waste is so toxic it's on the level of radioactive material and it can power a giant toilet and give someone superpowers.

A lot of the story simplicity can come down to the tiny budget the movie has, which is something also shown in the animation as it is very basic, even too basic at times. Yet I don't find that a problem, in fact, I love it. While the main 3D animation style looks simple, it also looks like the characters have come right out of the books and the simple style means that they do a lot of movement in the movie. It's really bouncy, very cartoony, like a modern animation version of something like Animaniacs. At points in the movie, the style changes to things like 2D animation that looks like it was drawn with crayons, a jpeg of a tiger for a cutaway gag, sockpuppet animation at one point (which is as amazing as it sounds), even replicating a feature of the books, "Flip-O-Rama" which just alternates between two frames of what would be animated to show the effect of something like Captain Underpants being used as the ball of one of those Paddle ball toys among other moments. There's a genuine charm to these sorts of moments, even if its a way of masking how low the budget was. When the movie does go all out though, like in the final battle, it looks great and has a lot of great moments in it, such as Poopypants flying away on a bee which Captain Underpants (instead of catching him), flicks away. Like with the visuals, the music has an air of "done for cheap" to it, most of the music is predictable license songs but with an original score and an original theme by Weird Al Yankovic (which I've put below).

Is this a flawless movie? No, but a lot of the flaws are going to appear if you were looking for something more. This isn't a Marvel or DC movie, this isn't trying to do more then what a superhero movie is known for. To be fair though, the name of the movie is Captain Underpants The First Epic Movie. Why were you expecting something more? For what it's trying to do, it's a great movie and I am glad I enjoyed it. Next up on the Toy Box is Dinobot Swoop, and next up here is Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

TMNT Marathon: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012: The fandom must REALLY hate Venus

I'll explain that point later.

And so we come to the end of January, and the end of the TMNT marathon, while thankfully avoiding the Bay turtles for now. However, something tells me I might not be able to do that next time I try and tackle this franchise. We've gone to the 80's, we've seen the 2000's grit, and now we come to a point in time where the ones who own the franchise is... the house of the annoying sponge. I'm honestly kinda surprised it took this long to get back to Nickalodian, and that my next review of theirs wasn't going to be Spongebob Squarepants. But alas, t'was not meant to be, and the sponge's time is not today. Join with me as we go back to the sewers of New York one last time (for now) as we tackle the 2012 reboot of the Turtles.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

TMNT Marathon; TMNT: Why are the turtles fighting Bulk Head alongside Captain America, Uncle Iroh and Captain Pickard?

I never thought I'd say that about this movie, or any movie for that matter.

Allow me to take you back to Autumn 2007. I was 11 turning 12,  my Uncle and Step Aunt were preparing to get married (in fact we saw this movie right before we went to look at the limo they were hiring for the event), my excitement for the first Transformers was growing as it would be out next school holidays, and myself, my parents, my sister, my cousins and aforementioned uncle and step-aunt went and saw TMNT 2007. Our reactions to it back then were... mixed at best, though I haven't gotten the opinions of most people who saw it with me. I'll admit that I wasn't a fan of the movie back then, but by the end of that year, I saw the first Transformers movie several times to take that with a grain of salt. I'll admit its one of the reasons I got out of the series, aside from going to High School in 2008 and last weeks review not really getting much air time of free tv. This is the first time in almost over 10 years I've seen this movie, and in that time many things have changed, for better or for worse. So, how does it hold up in the eyes of a 22-year-old compared to what it did in the eyes of an 11-year-old? One way to find out.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

TMNT Marathon: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): Ow, the edge

Gritty, realistic, anime like in style. Three things you wouldn't associate with something like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would you? An argument could be made on those first two and the movies, but that would depend on if a Michael Bay movie matches the description of the word "realistic". I will give him this, his version of realistic is better than some video game definitions. From the late 80's to the early 2000's, allow me to look back at the series that got me into the Turtles originally with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003... and here I thought Transformers was bad with reusing the name "Robots in Disguise".

To get into some backstory here, while I once owned these episodes as a child, I have not seen them since watching next weeks review subject when it was in cinemas. While vague memories did clear up, they were vague enough for me to basically be going into these blind.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Emerald Test


We are looking into getting into LP's again, so don't expect this to be the last test.

Mediaholics Podcast Episode 13: 2017, The Year That Was


Something far simpler this time, and as the length suggests, we do get more and more exhausted as the recording goes on.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

TMNT Marathon: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987): Yikes, this has not aged well

And already from that title, some will see it as going from insulting one original generation of fans to another. Well, let's just hope that some will actually let me explain myself. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, something that continues to linger around in pop culture, and one that will try everything it can to get your money, even if it makes absolutely no sense for it too. No joke, I've seen TMNT Transformers, and some of those old toy commercials for them make you go "what were they smoking when they designed that?". I won't lie, I was into the Turtles as a kid, not from this series, but from the next one in the Marathon because funnily enough, in research for this marathon, there haven't actually been many different TV shows, just that those shows last a really long time. With the turtles joining the roster in Injustice 2 soon, let's see how they've faired over the years, starting with the original series. And before anyone asks, no, I'm not reviewing the Bay Movies in this marathon.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

How Would I Fix: Live Action Transformers Movies (Bayformers) Part 3: Cinematic Universe ideas

I hope everyone has been enjoying the holidays, regardless of if you celebrate it, and what you celebrate.

While this further stretches the definition of Bayformers, though at this point some people are probably just looking at the title of the post, thinking I'm insane and moving on... They're partially right, at least for that insane part. This post looks more at story ideas that could work well for in a Live Action aesthetic, and tweaks that could be made to bring them to the big screen. It'll be going through the Generations one at a time, so with that out of the way.

Generation 1 and Generation 2 (I'm lumping them together): Let's piss off a lot of fans right away, I don't think there's much worth bringing from G1, at least from the show. The problem is that the show was so ingrained in the 80's kids show design mentality that not much of it would work well without having to do massive rewrites to the point where it might be the stories in name only. Take Dark of The Moon which is basically the space bridge arc from the show (I want to say the Season 1 finale based off what I remember off the top of my head, but I could be wrong). If anything, I think the Season 4 episodes (all three of them) would be worth bringing over as I think it could be interesting to do the Nebulos story around the Headmasters and Targetmasters. It could even borrow elements from the Japanese exclusive cartoons to have a mini-series of stories. In terms of the comics though, I think more could come from them, such as Bludgeon, Jihaxus, the Underbay saga (heck for fun I'd like to see them do Ratbat's evil carwash). I will admit that I don't know too much about the G1 and G2 comics (both Marvel US and Marvel UK) as I haven't looked into older comics from most lines (the exception being the old Archie Sonic comics).

Beast Wars: Beast Wars is something that I think could be really interesting to do, just due to the nature of the beasts. There are lots of different ways I could see it brought in. It could be brought in with the Time Travel gimmick of the show, and maybe have that be the justification of the legends of monsters, akin to how the Predacons from Transformers Prime were the reason the legends of Dragons exist in the show. I think it would be funny that the reason the legend of Big Foot exists is Optimus Primal. Another way I could see it is to borrow an element of Cybertron, and have the stories be on the Jungle Planet, turning it into a place for all the Beastformer Transformers. Imagine Cybertron Scourge being aligned with the Beast Wars Predacons as an example. Another way I could also see it happening is if it was brought to Earth in the modern day, adding elements of RID 2001 and maybe doing some actual monster movies with Transformers, rather then the pseudo monster movies the real movies have been so far. This could also be used as an excuse to do Beast Wars versions of other Transformers, such as Starscream as that Basilisk concept from The Last Knight. Beast Machines could also be brought into the story, with the Vehicons being an experiment made by the Predacons to bolster their army, eventually leading to the Transmetal technology.

Beast Machines and RID 2001: See above, I haven't got any ideas for them solo. What I will say though about RID 2001 is that the concept of it (and Rescue Bots), Autobots being common knowledge and don't have to hide in order to save people, can just be a side part of a story once the set up for it is ready.

Armada: With the main exception of the weapon Mini-Cons, I could see most of the Mini-Cons being something more like a commercial product in a Live action universe, the new version of small vehicles like bikes, scooters etc. Some could be used to add versatility to the Transformers akin to the PS2 game, and the Decepticons could be weaponizing the technology. It could even be used for things like the Apex Armour being a Mini-Con weapon.

Energon: The collection of Energon story would only work once (as evident by the fact that Energon is one of the worse entries in the franchise, and it did the "collect Energon to power Unicron" twice. However, turning Prime's Combination Spark into a power of the Enigma of Combination could be good for stories, just as long as they remember who can combine with who. It would be good for keeping things fresh in combat without needing to rely on 5-6 bot combiners, as they could have any of the two bot combiners from the trilogy, or even 3 bot combiners like Rail Racer. Some Autobots and Decepticons could even have "power armor modes", such as Energon Landmine and Bulk Head, or to use the one G1 fans know, Powermaster Prime.

Cybertron: I can easily see the Omega Lock and the Cyber Planet Keys being a multi film arc, though with one big change. I would keep the Jungle Planet, Velocitron and Gigantion planet keys where they are, but move Earth's key to Caminus, if not tying the planet keys to the Titans, so that there are 13 Planet keys, each with a power either tied to the Titan, or tied to the planet. Such as a key from Necrotitan allowing for resurection of the dead, or the Gigantion key able to make things grow or shrink. Combined with the Omega Lock, the keys would give an ultimate power to anyone who weilded the weapon. If anyone is wondering, yes this is inspired by the Infinity Gauntlet and the Infinity Gems.

Animated: While in terms of story ideas, there's not much I'd take from Animated. I would however take characters, such as Blitzwing's split personalities, Lugnut, Lockdown and Sari. Bulk Head would be a combo of his Prime and Energon incarnations.

IDW: A lot of stories from IDW I'd like to see in the Live action style, such as Last Stand of the Wreckers (as teased in the first post) and Dark Cybertron. In terms of characters, the Decepticon Justice Division would make for a great series of villains for a story, and remember that arc based on the Omega Lock I mentioned before? Well, I'd personally do that story not with Megatron as the villain, but Nova Prime, with the goal to use the Lock to make him stronger then a god, using the Dead Universe as his personal prison. To those wondering why I didn't bring up Dreamwave, well its the same as the Marvel comics.

Prime: I've got nothing more to add from Prime that hasn't been addressed in other paragraphs. It would be cool for the Decepticons to use the Nemesis as an aerial base in a story, and I would use that incarnation of Shockwave for stories as it could be cool if he was the one that opened a gate to a Live Action Shattered Glass universe, or was the one who freed Nova Prime from the Dead Universe.

RID 2015: Mainly as a side story at first, though maybe as a main story later, the idea of an Autobot team trying to capture Decepticons would be a nice idea. Maybe lead by Sentinel Prime who in this timeline would be an Autobot enforcer, capturing Decepticons causing trouble for other planets. It could be a way to use the DJD for a main story, as both see the other as getting in their way.

War For Cybertron/ Fall of Cybertron: Aside from acting as a good base for the stories of the war, one idea that I admit I'm tweaking from a post I saw on Facebook (If you read this sir and want your work shared, please let me know and I will edit this page), based around the idea of two seperate Autobot factions. Optimus's faction, and while the original had Ultra Magnus as the more war driven leader, I'd rather use Zeta Prime, who would survive the war, but would see both the Decepticons and Optimus's Autobots as an enemy, leading to an Autobot v Autobot battle.

Ok. I think I've the general points covered now. If anyone would like to see a full pitch for any of these ideas, let me know and I'll come back to this topic. For now though, the year is almost done, plans are underway to do a Podcast looking back on 2017, but if that doesn't happen next week, then I'll be starting a new marathon. Not on robots, but of another franchise I was into as a kid, but didn't stick with me. Keep an eye out for either the 2017 Podcast, or the start of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles marathon with the 8