Comics, Movies, Video Games, and More

"Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."

~Ephesians 5:16

Friday, April 26, 2013

Teen Titans GO! Premiere Review

Teen Titans GO! to many people was going to be a huge slap in the face for two reasons. The cancellation of Young Justice and Green Lantern was met with a pretty big emotional response from fans. The fact that they were replacing these two amazing shows with an episodic comedy was pretty hard to take in. That's the first reason. The other reason is that this would be a 'sequel' to Teen Titans, a pretty great show with really good storylines. So the fact that we'll never know what happened with Terra or other things but instead have to sit through comedies was pretty painful to bear. But, I am open to things, and thought maybe this would be a funny toon with the characters. It has the original voice actors as a plus. Unfortunately almost everything I don't like about modern cartoon comedies is here, this premiere really is slap in the face to viewers of the original show. It's also pretty mindless.

Like Powerpuff Girls or Dexter's Lab, the episode is divided into two segments. The first one, 'Legendary Sandwich,' is easily the better of the two. Here we have Robin, whom claims he makes the best sandwiches. So Raven, to get everyone out of the house so she can watch Pretty Pretty Pegasus, sends the rest of the team on a mission to find the legendary ingredients to making the ultimate sandwich. It's a silly premise, but it works. The main charm is hearing the original voices. Some of the comedy is alright here, such as Robin hating the supermarket. (Where he knocks down a Batman cereal mannequin.) The biggest thing however is definitely the parody of My Little Pony, where we see that Raven is a PegaSister.  It's pretty awesome stuff (Sparkleface is the name of one of the characters,) and hopefully continues to be a running gag like the Star Trek one in TMNT. Besides Raven and maybe Starfire however, the other characters are sometimes painful to watch as seen in the next segment...

Pie Bros. revolves Cyborg's birthday. Beast Boy finds out that his best friend wants an ultra expensive video game, so he tries to get a job. The comedy is painful to watch here. Cyborg is a pale representation of his former self and if you thought Best Boy was annoying sometimes in the original show, picture that ten times increased. The pie song is painfully cringe worthy. There's not too much else to say about it, it's pretty much just slapstick using parodies of the characters.

Overall, Teen Titans GO! is off to an un-impressive start. There are somethings that work, such as Raven, Starfire, the original voice actors and bringing back the nostalgic theme song. But in the end it's just a parody, and not a very good one. I don't see it lasting too long. You want comedy? Go watch The Looney Tunes Show instead.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Monsuno: Combat Chaos 'Flash' Review

The second season of Monsuno premiered last night. To this day I'm honestly surprised that we actually got another season. It's really hard to find people talking about the show, it's not exactly the most popular thing. But, somehow it was popular enough to warrant a second season, which is pretty cool since there's a lot of potential. The first season introduced the characters, concepts, villains, and how things would go. Overall it was a fun monster battle toon like Pokemon or Digimon, but there were some problems preventing it from being called 'great.' Really generic villains, the writing was average, and it just overall needed a better story. Searching for Jerdey got old quick. So I was looking forward to this season because it would be a fresh start, no more searching for the dad, and a new plot with (hopefully) better villains. Sadly the premiere retains some of the same problems, but the ending does make up for it.

The story is usual Monsuno fare. Interestingly, the show is fully under the impression that you've seen the first season, because it jumps right into the action with the characters. Chase is on a mission from his father to retrieve a device, but before he can get to it a double agent S.T.O.R.M. trooper steals it. I will give the show credit, it can truly surprise. This is one of two plot twists. The second one involves Drezz, Jerdey's 'source.' It turns out he's actually working with a brand new evil group called Forge. It was a pretty good twist, considering the fact of how well he played a crazed lunatic. So these two are the new characters here. While not fantastic, they are serviceable as side-villains. I say side because they're working for someone called Professor Tallis, whom is thankfully not Dr. Klipse. (Though sadly it looks like he will return.) He's basically Cobra Commander, and already a far better antagonist than Klipse. Of course that's not saying much, but he's off to a decent start.

A major plot point of the new season are these core-bombs, which are capable of destroying cities. (So that makes two G.I. Joe inspired things.) Such a powerful scene when it ignited, which literally destroyed a whole city. Already the second season looks to be slightly darker than its predecessor. Naturally there's a new theme song. It trades techno for rock, it doesn't have that 'classic' feeling like the previous one, but still isn't bad. Charlemagne (whom appeared in this episode) and Dr. Klipse are returning, which is disappointing. Now I don't mind Charlemagne too much, but Klipse is by far one of the most generic villains of all time. I hope his role is being canon fodder to Cobra Commander 2. There's quite a few new Monsuno making their debut. The designs never fail to impress. The standout is Drezz's, a three-headed dragon named Ghidorah Afterburn. Interestingly, between seasons the heroes seemed to have picked up some new Monsuno, which is pretty cool. One of the new things established is the use of cyborg Monsuno, which is a great concept. Sadly the fights are rather lackluster, with sometimes the Monsuno literally just standing there and getting hit, truly disappointing for a premiere. Animation is crisp, though the facial expressions aren't that great, virtually no emotion is conveyed. They always react the same to everything. While the majority of the episode is average, the ending is quite amazing, because it features...


This was truly shocking, and by far the most emotional moment of the entire series. Here we have Bren telling Quickforce to make a barrier against the fire. Once that was done he ordered him to return, but Quickforce wouldn't. With a look back at his master, he disintegrates into the fire, but in the process saves everyone. This was truly an amazing moment, the show literally killed off one of the major Monsuno. The look Quickforce gives Bren before being engulfed by the fire was tear-inducing. Now the challenge is staying dead. Quickforce is one of my personal favorites, so I technically wouldn't mind him coming would just destroy such a powerful scene.

Overall, Season 2 of Monsuno opens up with a just above average premiere. If it wasn't for the ending, it would have just been another episode. The city getting blown up followed by Quickforce dying might be the greatest scene in all of the series. I hope as the episodes go it can shock us with more surprising stuff. Surprisingly, the fights aren't that great here, so I hope to see some memorable ones soon...and a much better soundtrack.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ultraman Manga: Chapter Twelve Review

The Ultraman Manga keeps getting even more interesting. The previous chapter had the story move with pretty big plot developments. Alien Z-Ton revealed he has deeper plans no one had been aware of, and on top of that Shinjiro confronted a new alien menace. This invader is revealed here to be none other than Alien Baltan, or at least something that looks exactly like him, which puts a whole new spin on things.  Despite that, this chapter takes break from the action and shows us what's up with the cops whom are curious of why the Science Patrol has taken over the investigation. While not an overly exciting chapter, it's still pretty interesting and gets you scythed for the next one.

Officer Endo is a curious man, so curious that he goes to investigate against orders. What he and his partner find is some disturbing stuff, and then they chase an alien down the street. Meanwhile Shinjiro comes crashing down, it looks like Baltan's going to be trouble. It goes without saying that the biggest thing about this chapter is the arrival of Alien Baltan. Technically he appeared in the previous chapter, but here he takes on his more familiar form. What's interesting is that it's not outright stated it's him. In fact, it could very well not be him, but the design is ultra similar. So that in itself is cool. However, the focus is not on the fight, but the officers' investigation. It's an interesting thing when a manga takes a chapter away from the big action to develop another part of the story. I will say that it's pretty unique, it echoes stuff you would see in Ultra7, very down-to-earth. We also have the return of Rena, whom I was rather critical about a few chapters ago. Not much to say about her here, it'll be what she does next time.

I love the choreography here. I particularly like when Shin crashes onto Rena's car. There's a sense of danger and power that the art conveys greatly. Baltan from we see of him looks really good. Moroboshi appears for a page, it's interesting to mention because of his bewilderment of Z-Ton's objective. It's plot points like this that make the story even more engaging for the reader since there's a slight mystery element.

Overall, the Ultraman manga keeps getting more intriguing by the chapter. Plot points are established subtly, and of course we have a classic foe(?) established. The next chapter could be the biggest yet.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Ultraman Manga: Chapter Eleven Review

The Ultraman Manga has passed double digits. The previous chapter was light on the story, it simply was about Shinjiro getting acquainted with being Ultraman. Not bad, but it was time for some plot progression with a villain. This chapter gives us that. The story is interesting, there's a great fight, and the ending will have you very intrigued of what's to come.

Here we have Moroboshi, whom was about to take on the alien threat inside the warehouse. But Shin arrives on the scene. He goes into the warehouse and makes a startling discovery...this alien is feeding off of humans. Time for a big fight that leads up to a revelation about Alien Z-Ton. This chapter is definitely the best one in awhile. The first villain since Bemular is here, and he's pretty intriguing. The design is definitely something out of the original Ultraman or Ultra7, in fact I could have sworn I've seen him before. That's how good it is, it looks so much like something out of the shows that you begin to think it is. Moroboshi comes off as a complete jerk the entire time, even saying "as expected" when he sees the alien escaping. He's an alright character technically, just extremely unlikable and probably would be the least likable if not for his ambiguous name. Shin is slowly becoming a solid protagonist. It started in the previous chapter, now it's coming full force here. I'm actually really liking Shin now, his more righteous persona is a great clash to Moroboshi's arrogance.

Regarding the alien, he's handled very well. If it's one thing mangas are good it, it's making villains cool even if they have a small appearance. This guy's personality is rather different, having a hint being slightly insane. The art captures the battle very well, it's not quite as detailed as the Bemular fight, but still isn't bad. The entertainment factor is still there. The most interesting thing about this chapter is the ending with Z-Ton. Does this guy have hidden motives? It looks that way...but is he actually evil? This will prove to be an interesting plot point in coming chapters.

Overall, a great chapter. This is exactly what the manga needed after a rather light story previously. We have a new alien established, there's a great fight and there's some really good plot progression. The Ultraman manga continues to be a great read all around.


Monday, April 8, 2013

3D Classics: Kid Icarus Review

The years 1985 and 1986 were golden for oldschool Nintendo. Super Mario Brothers, quite possibly the greatest game of all time, released in September of 85. That game was pretty much the big one for the company. Then we had the first Legend of Zelda and Metroid the following year. Together they made up Nintendo's trinity. But, there was another supposed-to-be big game in 86. It goes by the name of Kid Icarus. This game was released right around when Metroid came out, which greatly overshadowed it.  It's a shame really. Mario, Link, and Samus all went on to have franchises of their own while our little angel Pit was left in the dust with a sequel that's been forgotten by pretty much everyone. I managed to download the 3DS port of the original classic thanks to Club Nintendo. Most gamers have most definitely played Super Mario Bros. and know a lot about Zelda and Metroid...but Kid Icarus? It's all thanks to Super Smash Bros. Brawl that Pit is enjoying a revival. (I'll be checking out Uprising soon enough.) But let's take a look at one of the most underrated of Nintendo classics.

Like with all of Nintendo's oldies, the story is nonexistent except in the booklet and ending. Pit is on a quest to rescue the goddess Palutena from the sinister Medusa. Along the way he has to battle terrifying monsters and get through some pretty intense fortresses. The story is as standard as it gets, pretty much like Super Mario Brothers, just switch up the setting and characters. I find it interesting that we have control of an angel in a Heaven-like world, which is called Angel Land. Like with retro games, Pit isn't given any significant character and sadly thanks to not being a success it wouldn't be until over two decades later when Super Smash Bros. Brawl gave him a personality. The gameplay is identical to Metroid, in that it uses the same engine. The difference is the style. Metroid is more about exploration and the dread of being stuck in a dark underground cave while Icarus is about going from level to level to rescue the goddess. Unlike Zelda or Metroid, you know where you're going for the most part, since it's level based as opposed to exploration based. The difficulty level is very, very high, This is definitely one of Nintendo's harder games. It's about a 6 hour playthrouh, but you will die a lot during that time.

The soundtrack deserves some praise. There are four worlds, each with its own unique theme. The opening levels has the very familiar Underworld theme, very catchy. I was worried it would use the same theme the whole time, but thankfully each world is unique. The boss theme isn't bad, I was expecting something better for the final showdown however. Speaking of that, it's one of the few faults. Medusa is too easy, I didn't even know that was her until I had won. World 4 is just one stage when it really should have been four levels like everything else. After that the game kinda ends a little too suddenly. The boss fights are very challenging and will require strategy. (Especially Hewdraw.) I think they should have been a little bigger, mainly Twinbellows, since I'm pretty sure they're supposed to be monsters when compared to little Pit. Our angel is equipped with arrows. It's also cool how you can buy other items in the store. And then there's this guy called Zeus whom will see if Pit can face hardships. (If you leave he'll call you a that was funny.)

Kid Icarus is a vastly underrated game from Nintendo's retro library. It's a fun and extremely challenging game. The 3DS port greatly enhances the experience, such as replacing the blackness with actual backgrounds. If you've never played it, give it a download. The only fault I can give it is the anti-climatic final boss. Everything else, from gameplay to the unique enemies, (you will never forget the Eggplant Wizard) is superb.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Ultraman Manga: Chapter Ten Review

The Ultraman manga enters double digits with this chapter. Right now things have been rather quiet in the story. Volume One was kind of a prologue, introducing us to this universe, the characters, the villain, and how things would play out. Volume Two seems to be focusing more on Shinjiro becoming Ultraman and winning the crowd's approval. Not too much happens here, it's basically about Shinjiro slowly becoming happy with the thought of being Ultraman. Despite no real villain or anything major occurring, it's still a solid read and gives the main character some much needed development.

This one starts out with some guy holding a clerk hostage inside a supermarket. Shin arrives on the scene and quickly takes care of business. Meanwhile we see that this Ultraman has a very...lovable fan. And later Alien Z-Ton receives a transmission from Moroboshi...there's some serious trouble and he wants Shin to take care of it. There's no denying that Shin is making for a pretty cool Ultraman now. The amazing art helps, but now I'm liking this guy as the protagonist. It's good to see him upbeat as opposed to being down-in-the-dumps. What's interesting is that Shin actually stops a hostage crises. We have never seen something like that in the Ultra-verse before, it shows how down-to-earth this manga is compared to the shows. One of the major things about this chapter is the introduction of the character Rena. (Well technically she appeared in Chapter Seven.) Now I'm not sure if she's going to be a focus at all, but the way this chapter has her, it looks that way. She is horribly written and the most generic and stereotypical manga female character I've seen in awhile. Z-Ton is still awesome. The art is very good, lots of fantastic shots of Shin as Ultraman.

Overall, another solid chapter in the Ultraman manga. This is a big stepping stone for Shinjiro as a character, now I can officially call him a good protagonist. In terms of story, not too many important things happened. Rena is by far the worst character this manga has seen. Hopefully she improves, cause her few lines didn't help matters. I am expecting some villains to appear next time, it's time for some heavy plot development.