drunkenpandaren: (PrinnyPlease)
In this moment, I'd like to at least point out to everyone that despite the title of my post, I am not making light of our profound tragedy. Everyone in Japan, our hearts are out to you. Instead, just to give us some hope, Gokaiger 4 has been watched by me today and I have a few things to share about it.

Knowing ahead of time that this episode was a Joe focused one, I sat down to see the torrent and I was pleasantly surprised at how well the character was lending himself to this one. Instead of really divulging into his backstory, it seems that Joe has been well known in the group for being the stoic one, and while Ahin is still new, she worries because she's his comrade. It's just that everyone else has their own ideas towards being comrades.

Storyline aside, I think it was a nice establishing piece of what Joe is really about, the one who is dependable and able to fight the way he wants to, by himself in a legit man to man duel. His motivations are getting clearer as everyone else's and I'm rather glad to see that the Gokaigers weren't able to access any of the mecha forms of everyone right off the bat. All they have is MagiGokai-Oh and it pleases me to see that they're not getting the whole thing all off the hop.

Also, a final wave being done by a single person with five swords at once? Yeah, that is fantastic.
drunkenpandaren: (Omegahare)
For once I'm using LJ to jot my thoughts down instead of a plurk. I suppose it has something to do with the length and I hate hitting enter every goddamn time I need to post.

Pirate Sentai Gokaiger Episode 1: In Which Badass Is Immediately Assumed

I've touched on this before on plurk but I'll reiterate my thoughts here. From the outset, it has a very strong presence altogether. Heropower could probably sum it up better than I could but my thoughts on it is that from the get-go, it immediately distinguishes itself from Decade's Rider War. Instead of fighting each other, they're all united as one to defeat the bad guys who are pretty much invading from space as usual. It takes the powers of 34 generations of Super Sentai to defeat them.

Flash forward a few years and a motley crew of pirates are approaching Earth, looking for the Greatest Treasure in the Universe. As mentioned rather cynically on the heropower review, it's more than likely that the greatest treasure is love and justice and friendship and in which learning that, Luka will choke someone. More on her later.

They immediately set to work, launching a brilliant offensive against the empire who's name I cannot spell for the life of me, and wipe out an entire advance fleet with little effort. They land on Earth and inquire random strangers on what the Greatest Treasure is all about.

Now that the setting is established, let's look at the characters in general. From the outset we have Captain Marvelous, a cool and confident character who has all the good plans, all the courage, and all the skills to make him inexpressibly cool. However as demonstrated by the entire team on the outset, they are kind and caring, the perfect anti-thesis to uncaring unfeeling plundering pirates who try to be aloof badasses and fail remarkably.

Don or Doc as they like to call him is their strategic planner. He comes off a little whiny at first and Luka likes to hit him a lot. Luka is his nemesis and foil, a tough talking no nonsense yellow ranger who follows in the tradition of "Not taking your shit srsly" characters. Joe is the calm swordsman from any initial impressions and Ahin is the princess of the group, polite and caring but able to deal with things as they come along.

From impressions of episode 2, it is clear that Don and Ahin are the newbies on board. Doc makes the plans and Ahin is unsure of their captains motives when his Shinkenger Key is stolen by a random kid of the street who tries to steal it head-first last time. However, they are definitely a team by any stretch of the imagination, and Joe and Luka are obviously been with Marvelous for a long time now.

Here's where things get wiggy. It is established in Episode 2 that they have no fucking idea of the power they wield. The term Super Sentai is alien to them, despite their team name of Pirate Sentai Gokaiger. To them, they're a team, rather than a legendary task force that they are mistakenly labeled as. And they refuse to believe they're the 35th team meant to defend Earth despite all need to prevent this world from falling to the empire.

The end of Episode 2 showcases the arrival of a familiar face to people who watch the originals, MagiRed who really doesn't give his name at all. Still, being the person he is in episode 3, he makes a bet with Marvelous and Doc that they have to catch him but can't transform. That's the real centerpiece of this episode as it's a character building storyline, focusing primarily on Marvelous and Doc's dynamic with the second string plot being the empire's goons fighting the other three who bust out black and white henshins.

On a note? Go-On Black. With a skirt. Somewhere Dillon is having fits and if Dan Eiwig is watching this series he is busting a gut right now.

The real focus and drive of Episode 3 is in the title Courage that makes Magic or somethign close to it. Courage was the power of the original MagiRangers, and when the powers of the MagiKeys are accessed, they get a full transformation sequence in CGI and background effects, and then from there, actually perform the team pose. In terms of ability, this is rather interesting. Normally when someone transforms, they simply get a Rider-style henshin, done in real time. But this time they pulled out the stops, pushing the Gokaiger and MagiRanger transformations together.

The unanimous "... wtf?" feel they had after transforming with the MagiKeys was quite loud, as there is a notable pause. They are clearly confused. Why are they calling themselves Mahou Sentai MagiRanger? We're fucking Gokaigers! But no, this is the true power of a team. And thus begins the build to the true powers of the Super Sentai they wield. It's going to be a fun row.

Episode 4's preview hints towards a Joe episode, and the advent of possibly the mastery of the GekiRanger powers. Can't wait till next week.
drunkenpandaren: (Agent M)
Watching Cats and Dogs The Revenge of Kitty Galore. From the very beginning, I am QUITE impressed with this timeline they've been establishing from the beginning to the mid-part where I am right now.

To understand CaDTRoKG (what a horrible acronym, worse than LOVEMUFFIN), one must understand that it takes place some time after the original Cats and Dogs where a kid rookie named Lou saved the world from the evil mastermind Mr. Tingles. From this point, the PAWS grup has managed to move on, incarcerating Mr. Tingles in Alcatraz but more on that later.

Fast forward to a few years later and a new mastermind has been rising up calling herself Kitty Galore who is an obvious parody of Pussy Galore. While obviously this movie is a send up of every spy movie, it's most likely a major send up of Goldeneye.

Plotwise, we're looking at a usual spy movie set up: trouble cop being picked up by a veteran agent of PAWS and it's your usual spy tag team duo till then. A agent up in a major area breaks radio silence by noting he saw Kitty Galore and there's an alert. Short on manpower and needing a "dog who hates cats", they select Officer Diggs to join a veteran agent. The pair head out to retrieve a informant who is a pigeon, (go figure) and they fight a cat in a big aerial battle. And as such, realize that she's a member of MEOWS, a counter-agency to PAWS. Her name is Catherine and that's where things go from there.

From the story, it spirals from there. Butch, the experienced member of the team is assigned to track down Kitty, and for the first time, a cat is brought into PAWS HQ much to the freak out of everyone.

The movie proceeds with several incidents hailing back to the original series, including a encounter with Mr. Tingles who is quite literally trussed up like Hannibal and pretty much freaks out all three of the agents plus the stool pigeon.

Proceeding to the remainder of the movie, both cats and dogs are working towards defeating Kitty, and there's quite a few surprises in there but I'm not getting into it to keep the movie fresh. In all, it's really a well written movie that has a great ending to it. And with the new advances in both animations and cgi, the animals are even more believable than before.

As it stands, the movie establishes a great level of continuity and by fucking hell I have a Catherine muse. This is probably one of the biggest awesomeness level I've seen in a movie in a long while.
drunkenpandaren: (Omegahare)
So the last part of Map Quest has been aired and in it, we see yet another fantastic episode focused around the team, starting right after When The Magic Happens. In it, we see a lot of interesting facets of the character dynamic being utilized, remarks of previous series events and other such points of interest being used.

I think what fascinated me immediately was the use of The Cube setting, in that it wasn't quite an unsolvable death trap like the Cube movies were, but always had a point to it. Even with its long and unwieldy name, we finally see the team doing what they do best, and with the best writing too. I think everyone was hit on correctly, and they did the sequences well.

I'll let Akino do the actual analysis but right now, I think that The SuperCube (yeah it's a whole lot more easier to pronounce), was one of the best episodes yet.
drunkenpandaren: (WowRage)
Ladies and Gentlemen my name is Shaun of the Gamer Podcast This is my Gaming Life WTF coming to you live on livejournal dot com with another ranty rant disguised as a tldr short.

After some deliberation I got my brother to install Final Fantasy 14 onto his computer, and had him play it for a while. He rolled a big burly warrior, no big surprise there and decided to give it a whirl.

Starting up was a bit choppy, he tried watching the video which is easily found on youtube. You know, those fancy intro movies that Square likes to put in front of everything they create. Some things that comes to mind while watching him play last night brings a few valid points.

1) They need to really port this to the consoles. I don't care how LONG it takes, this is a ruddy console game, there's no doubt about that. While the layout is inherently meant for the PC, there is no big surprise that they included an option to play it on a PC-based controller. This tells me that they are bringing it over. But if it's just going to be the PS3 or the 360, well time will tell.

2) Awkward, awkward, awkward. The quests get you off to an extremely jumpy start. You're plopped right in the middle of action from the get go, and here's where things get a little jumpy to say the least. The controls are not that intuitive, and can't be fixed with a little button mashing. Attacking an opponent means you have to be face on towards them, you can't just sit around and sort of glance, no it doesn't work that way. You must be facing them with your torso presented to the opponent in order to even ENGAGE the enemy. It's not like WoW where you run in and attack them from any direction.

Now I might be a little unfair comparing FF14 and WoW together, but the functionality of this game really needs a tune up. Not only you are fumbling around like a sightless kitten for the first part of the game, but you are ALSO aimless as you move along the story which so far, seems to be slightly linear in nature which means Square intends you to follow up whatever cosmic bollucks that happened.

Take the Port city for example, a fancy name I don't remember right now. You would think for a game modeled as a MMORPG that there would be clearly marked quest hubs everywhere, big glowing question marks and blinking turn in points on your map. No that's not really the case here. For one thing, you're trying to find the quest objectives with not-exactly-clear goals in mind. Sure they go tell you to attune yourself to a crystal, but Kyle spent about twenty minutes trying to find out where he could exit the goddamn city. No Square, it doesn't WORK like that. Games like this you have to hold the players hand in this sort of context. You need to make clearly marked NPCs with big bubbles over their heads in order to show them where to turn in. You can't just expect us to go "hey look at that, it's a NPC maybe I should talk to them on the off chance that it's my questgiver's target."

Another flaw in the game is the lack of levels being displayed on opponents, and yes, even on your own character. You have your own interface and all, but it's not really there, just a couple of bars at the bottom indicating HP, MP and something called TP which I doubt means Toilet Paper. The indication of how badly a mob is about to hand you your ass is directly proportional to how BIG it is. We fought a rat, no big deal, it took some damage off us. We can live with that. Killed two more. Fantastic now we're cooking.

And then we attacked some kind of knee-high thing that completely and utterly subjugated our backsides. That probably was the icing on the cake that was piled high with Square's ineptness to have a smooth launch. For goddsake Square a few marked levels would be NICE. Maybe some kind of buffer? Mark too high mobs in RED for all we care, just let us know that going over and saying hello will get us a nice teeth-shaped mark carved out of our asses.

All these problems and I haven't even gotten to the good part of it. The loading times. I don't know if its a streaming issue with their servers or whatever, but when you walk around, you shouldn't be all alone for about twenty minutes and not see a single soul for twice that long. No, fix it. FIX IT. There needs to be faster loading times because the sheer volume of ridiculous from walking around in a deserted city causes me to froth something fierce.

All this being said, while the PC experience has been less than stellar, so much so that I'm canceling my account for now, I will LOVE to see this on a console. This is inherently a console game, Square is a console DEVELOPER. Even with less buttons and bells and whistles, this game is meant for the sheer raw power of a 360 or a PS3. If it's just for PS3 fine I'll save my cash and buy it then and a machine just to play this game. That's how much I like this game despite it's incredible flaws.

I can say with certainty that if you are going to buy this game for the PC, make sure you have MORE than the minimum 4 Gigs of RAM recommended to run it. It's choppy even at 6 which is my brother's laptop. I swear to god. It's not as bad as Crysis but then again Crysis requires materials bought from a inter-dimensional shop that involves Talking Sentient Aluminum. Graphical quality is fantastic but needs to be toned down for the gamers who are running older machines. And the options interface NEEDS to be adjusted. Really, give us a more friendly adjustment from beautiful to crap.

This is Shaun and I'm signing off. Maybe sometime later I'll actually post something that ISN'T a Totalbiscuit monologue in my head review of a game I shouldn't play because of money issues.
drunkenpandaren: (Default)
10 years ago, I sat down to watch a new show on YTV called Beyblade. With the tag line of Let It Rip all fart jokes aside, it was engaging as the first episode left you hanging on a thread. You were introduced to the characters of Kai, Tyson and Kenny. Ray and Max would be introduced later. As such with no real knowledge of the anime, and the fact that I had just gotten through Medabots and Johto Arc of Pokemon and my torrid love affair with Yu-Gi-Oh had yet to begin, I watched it with curious eyes.

"Tops. Really?" was my first impression. But I watched it, and I loved it. The sleek anime designs, the engaging characters and the animated tops was more than enough keep my interest.

And then the second series premired. And I hated it with every fiber of my being. They had changed the designs and the new CGI tops looked like shit.

Flash forward to the year of our lord 2010 and Metal Fusion airs. A little disinterested, I turned on the TV and flipped to YTV with only the vague notion that Metal Fusion was airing.

The first thing I noticed was that due to the progression of On Television Airing with the exception of 4Kids offerings, they had foregone the inclusion of giving them dub names. Instead of being introduced right away to the main character like we were introduced to Tyson, we're given a look at a kid who was good enough to take the Junior National Championships, a small green haired kid named Kenta Yumiya. He's your average kid and there just happens to be a group called Facehunters who is an organized gang who gangs up on bladers and bullies them into battles. A point system is used which marks national standings, and since Kenta's too small to do anything, he's got to get himself saved by Ginga.

Upon looking at Ginga, he's your average Shounen hero. Not serious but fun loving, he's sort of a little bit like Judai from GX with the point that everything comes from the heart. His signature blade is Storm Pegasus, a attack type blade which excels in aerial attacks. Seriously, don't freaking kick this guys blade into the air, you just cost yourself the battle.

After trouncing the Facehunters blades in a 5 v 1, Ginga and Kenta become fast friends.

A few other things happen but you're also introduced to the protagonist which suffers from the Kai Syndrome, a teenager and leader of the Facehunters named Kyouya. Like his opponents, he has a blade that is based on the Lion. Also you're introduced to the character of Madoka Amano who functions as the "Kenny" of the group in the way that she's the so-so blader, but her real strengths line in with repair. She's more of a Winry than she is a Kenny. Kenny just offered advice and strategy, Madoka can actually bully people into doing things.

Off the bat, there's a central Constellation theme to it. Pegasus, Lion, Wolf, Bull, Sagittarius. While I figure there's a underlying mystical theme, there's also a point that these blades are commonly used, and seem to have at least some form of rudimentary AI. I mean, seriously. Highly Advanced Technology used as playtoys.

So yeah, Beyblade Metal Fusion. While it hasn't exactly grabbed me and twisted, the fact remains that I did enjoy the first four episodes, and I'll be watching this every saturday.

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drunkenpandaren

May 2013

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