When I’m not cleaning out pool filters or checking the water’s PH levels I can often be found organizing my bad games alphabetically. Fugitive Hunter can be found under the letter, F, not for its name but because it’s Fucking dumb.
For nearly two days I had absolutely no notes on this game except that is was mind numbingly stupid.
But that would be letting it off too easy.
Developed by Black Ops Entertainment – a gaming studio developed by four dudes that somehow graduated MIT. The game was published in 2003 by Encore Software – which looking them up – really doesn’t seem to deal with publishing games very often. As they shouldn’t.
The shear amount of ways to attack this game are almost overwhelming. It’d be impossible to cover everything that is wrong with it, to be honest. So I’ll just start at the macro level.
There are different types of terrorism. You have Narco-Terrorists (Cartels, traffickers, drug kingpins etc). There are politically motivated terrorists.. like the IRA. Then your garden variety (choose your religion) extremists and lastly there is a much less violent form of terrorism. A slow, bloodless coup of sorts. A war waged on the mind. Intellectual terrorists like the idiot, Bhad Bhabie or the Kardashians. Stupidity and pointlessness of such a dangerous scale that on a long enough timeline begins to indoctrinate an unsuspecting mind. Thats the territory the minds behind Fugitive Hunter belong to. Intellectual terrorism.
Now that might seem a bit harsh but it’s how I feel.
Post 9/11 America was a weird place. Nationalism was at an all time high and I fucking hate nationalism. Every day in high school for lunch you could find yourself cornered by a recruiter for the Marines or Army. The more punk or alternative you looked the harder you were pressed. You couldn’t drive to the store without hearing a country song about kicking, “Usama-Obama-Ali-Muhammad’s ass” and every fucking Football game would have Jets fly over it. Because that’s what America does. We pay for Jet Fuel to fly over football stadiums instead of housing for the homeless people freezing to death outside of them.
So… I hated the ultra patriot bullshit back then as it is and Fugitive Hunter is the perfect reminder as to why. Macho-bro-American-flag-waving-bullshit. It *just* falls short of satire. If only the writers were just a bit smarter. Or didn’t actually believe the shit they were spewing.
Thats to not say it doesn’t have it’s funny moments. Objectively – fist fighting Osama Bin Laden in an arcade type fight is ridiculous enough to make anyone laugh.
Outside of that however the game just tries too damn hard. It just wants to be cool so bad. It’s really kind of sad to watch. Fortunately, it even seems like the developers realized about halfway through the game what sort of monster they have created and wrap it up abruptly. You can basically beat the final four or five levels within an hour and a half. It’s almost as if one of them woke up and really re-examined their lives.
As far as actual gameplay is concerned it is a First Person Shooter without an aim button. So that should sum up the mechanics of the game for you pretty well. The enemies respawn at a maddening rate – usually directly behind you. All great fun.
The dialogue is basically non existent and when it is there you wish it wasn’t. You can’t make it through a level without the main character tauntingly saying, “Yo Mama” to an enemy he has gunned down at least 15-20 times. The sound is awful. The music is shit. I’m pretty sure Dr. Dre and Eminem could sue them for ripping off the main chords/music to, “Kill You” off the Marshall Mathers LP.
The graphics are awful especially for the time it was released. It’s almost as if this game was created to be bad.
And then it struck me. Like a bolt of lightning – electricity traveling through the universe landing in my head and shooting out my fingertips. This game WAS created to be bad on purpose. This game is a weapon of mass disfunction.
So maybe… just maybe … back in 2003 when the government (that can see through buildings from outer space but inexplicably couldn’t find number one most wanted man worldwide, Osama Bin Laden) had to unleash the ultimate weapon. They would feature him in one of the worst video games ever. That would surely flush him out. Right? At the very least bring him to the brink of suicide. A fate deserving of such an evil man. – Periwinkle
(Definitely DON’T) PEE IN THE POOL
Periwinkle’s Lowing Hanging Fruit Punch Ingredients
Why do we like certain Anime? Is it the quality of the animation?! The depth of the story, the characters? I have noticed that quite often I can’t follow the opinion of the crowd. I very much dislike anime like Sword Art Online, Code Geass, Attack on Titan, Death Note and am less enthralled by My Hero Academia and Re: Zero than most. I think all of them are good series in their own way, I also like a lot of anime the public doesn’t think is very good! Mostly childhood classics.. but is that just Nostalgia or is it something else?
<Disclaimer> This is my personal opinion throughout, even if I decribe them as factual that is only because this is the truth in MY head for me as a person if you prefer to think of it another way, you are not wrong for doing so, nor am I for feeling this way. Multiple opinions can exist and for each and every one of us our opinion is true please respect each others opinions in the comments as well <End of Disclaimer>
Charisma over Quality?!
If you have read my favourite anime A-Z challenge you know that I do not necessarily favor the BEST anime. I have always preferred the one that speaks to me the most. Sometimes it can be a really low quality anime. I prefer Cardfight Vanguard over Clannad or Code Geass. Now I dislike Geas so that is not saying much..but I still recognise the quality of the latter. It is a good show! It just has no appeal to me! I do think the writing style is pretty bad too.. but I can’t really say I think Cardfight does story better. However Vanguard feels much less pretentious to me. Where Geass aims high and in my opinion strikes out due to some plot events feeling incredibly forced. The card battle anime basically aims to be a commercial. Within their respective parameters I feel the trashier anime of the two exceeds my expectations of what a show like that should be, while Geass to me fumbles in being that high stakes political war game. It doesn’t fail badly but enough for me to be dissapointed.
Compare it to two passengers on a plane. Code Geass is the hot woman sitting next to you and Cardfight Vanguard is a plain mousey looking woman with a baby. You expect the baby to cry and have a hell of a journey, but it is surprisingly quiet. Even though it is still a baby and doesn’t offer much in terms of conversation .. you still think… WOW that was such a sweet child. Meanwhile the Hot woman next to you yawns and despite being nearly perfect in every way she has one blacked snaggletooth in her mouth. It’s just one tooth and you can probably get over it, yet you can not help but think about that one element that is wrong with it. It’s NOT that I would not date Rotten-Snaggletooth if the rest is good enough don’t get me wrong but as for a general impression one is much more likely to talk about that thing that was not in line with your expectations than the things that are. You could pretend to be the one that would not do that.. but as humans I think we are kind of rigged to spot that one off element.
Every anime has an innate charm. Which can be anything. Sometimes you see this really is a passion project of it’s makers. Like for example the sort of anime Oban Star Racer. There is this effort in it to present itself well, people clearly wanted to make this, and even if it is not perfect that anime has an amazing vibe to me. You can see the intent to make something unique and something they cared about. Big companies never talk about that in their reviews its just visuals, story sound and usually some fourth metric.Lots of stuff in Dragon Ball isn’t that well written but there is a charm in the way Toriyama forgets things, in the way he cheats things. You see the humanity behind the creator in the series if you pay attention. You see that through its flaws.
As such I find Dragon Ball a much more human product than say My Hero Academia which to me feels much more “mechanically” constructed. It feels as if Dragon Ball really is a story Toriyama wanted to tell versus my MHA being a story that was made because people want to see it. The Mangaka’s most of us know by name aren’t know because of their amazing work.. They are often named with their quirks. Toriyama forgets, Araki has this weird thing with dogs, Miuara put some people on a boat for a few years to play with Idol-Girl-Games. It brings humanity to the manga and anime medium. This also explains my draw towards the weirder shows it is a story a person really wanted to tell. Then take Geass again for example where Mecha’s were added to the story to make it cooler, while not a thing in the early manga and you can see that the anime is not a passion product of one person. It is that vision of a person of a person, shifted by a marketing department and maybe a think-tank on how to sell it to the public. While it has all it’s flaws polished out.. it lost a bit of personality or charisma if you will.
It is no secret that I really like Dragon Ball and all it’s series. I love Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh and even Beyblade and Medabots. I like Zoids New Century, Yu Yu Hakusho, heck I had a lot of fun with Shaman King as well. While plenty of us love at least one show in this list, much less would put them in their favourite list. They are too silly. they have too simple plotlines or haven’t aged well. Yet if we take a look over the internet.. millions of people are still talking about the Yu-Gi-Oh anime, analysing Dragon Ball or doing Sailor Moon fan content. Now there are a few newer big anime who get this too..but it’s still on a smaller scale. Re Zero and My Hero being the most noticeable exceptions. Yet there is a difference. My Hero is less quirky then those old shows.. no pun intended. Back in the early days there was much more ambiguity on how a power worked, less was explained about the world.
Did you know for example that it took until Dragon Ball Z Kakarot to explain why the King of Central City is a dog?! Why do there live animal people?! Techniques were forgotten, more loopholes to get around problems were needed.. and then the fans came together and tried to find explanations to it. To this day people still try to polish the mistakes out of Dragon Ball with weird theories! We do that to certain games or western series as well. Is it all due to nostalgia?! No! That would blind us to a lot of their mistakes but we are aware of them! We just have grown to love them DESPITE these flaws. The modern modus operandi however seems to really nitpick the shows that we love and even go as far as drop them and shun them for having one character that portrays a gender or race in a less than adequate way. It’s easier for me as well.. because I don’t feel like I am demeaning Horikoshi’s work when I say My Hero is something I think makes a few wrong choices… it’s more sterile.
Modern anime have so many benefits that it makes them objectively better. They have the internet to easily look up what happened before, they have fans point out a flaw so it can be retconned immediately. Yet because this happened in anime.. and media in general for that matter feels much more like a team effort. It does no longer feel like it came from the pen of a single man or woman. Teams are often very big and we get a joined effort that is always increasing in quality! I really think anime is getting consistently better over time. At least objectively! Stories make more sense, animation has less and less flaws.. (at least in a situation where corporate doesn’t force people to use cheaper studios..but cheaping out is a whole other problem) but because of it. .that airplane is more and more filled with “generic” people. With a whole team monitoring who gets on board you get less weirdo’s. So no tranquil baby and no Snaggletooth woman. Maybe a woman with a slightly loose tooth and a baby that cries at a less annoying pitch..but they now fulfill much more their intended roles.. everything is as it should be .. but does it really have to be?!
While it might seem like a critique on big names only it is not. Isekai Cheat Magician, Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two Hit Multi Target Attack and Uzaki Chan wants to hang out are for me deeply flawed products. But their main gripe is the same. They are boring and generic. They lack a passion. They are made for the audience as such if they offer you what you seek they can still be a hit with people. Yet once they stop providing that they die out quickly. Dragon Ball Z and One Piece might have tricks in them for cash and to sell more figurines but they are also MORE than just that. Märchen Mädchen that I watched recently was also more. It’s not just what fans one.. it’s a love letter to classic stories but also an awareness on how poorly they aged. The author was in there.. somewhere!
You will always remember your first kiss. You will always remember your first anime. What defines a classic to you is also up to your age. To some Naruto is a classic.To me.. it is a transition period. For everyone that golden point will shift. Too many people much younger than me Naruto may already be that cheesey flawed product that Dragon Ball was to me. Something they love despite what they see as flaws.. as Anime become objectively better and better and more mainstream accessible.. much more tools are being used, sales are being measured so precisely, polls on the internet, fan magazines whatever.. no matter when you start anime, in a few years that gateway of yours will show some cracks and you will learn to appreciate them I think.
It creates a much stronger love for anime for me at least than a series that just is good. Would I use the visuals, music and story metrics to measure what I think about all the anime I watch? I would be much more positive about most anime At least if I compare it to the quality I need, not so much if I compare everything to the 10/10/10’s out there. Yet to me they often lack the charisma Sailor Moon has. When I hear that poor quality transformation music I become genuinely happy. Even the quiet shrill sounding opening song bestows me with so much more emotions. Even though the Soundtrack of MHA is vastly superior to Moon’s.. the highs I can reach with Moon are much higher than with the more recent anime. I do love You Say Run a lot and rock out to it, but I like it because it IS good. I am not sure if the Sailor Moon transformation song IS good..but I love it for it’s personality! That retro vibe, the over usage, I don’t like it because it is good. I like it because it is the Sailor Moon transformation theme. Somehow that love feels purer to me.Less earned maybe.. but that makes it more intoxicating.
It’s all relative
This is a weird kind of love, though as it has zero base in objectivity. There are people like me who love Dragon Ball.. but I can’t tell a random anime fan I love Dragon Ball and expect to be understood. When you love something despite of its flaws you really need someone who loves it as well to get that. Goku’s Japanese voice actor for example gets a lot of flack from the Dub loving people. “He sounds like a kid that is so stupid”. No he does not sound LIKE anything, he sounds like Japanese Goku.. that is the voice of Goku. I find Japanese Goku to be more versatile than Sean Schemmel. Still, Sean Schemmel is also the voice of Goku. There is nothing wrong with him…well that might be pushing it.. there is nothing wrong with his voice acting. However, to explain why Goku works in Japanese.. you gotta like Goku in japanese ..because it is one of those things. My love for the Digimon universe is much the same. The new show really does show me how poorly the first run did on storytelling.. but it doesn’t make me love it less. It just makes me glad I now get a good story in addition to that and makes me enjoy both even more. Yet to understand that.. you really have to love Digimon like me.
I can safely walk up to someone and say “You Go Run goes with everything” and a random animefan probably will go heck yeah! If I walk up to a random guy or gal at a convention and tell them I genuinely love Digimon, they have a much bigger chance to be weirded out. It is because all guides on blogging or journalism tell us to be objective. To write objective reviews. It made us believe anime can objectively be bad. It made us afraid to love something that isn’t well reviewed. It allows us to unify behind a single vision or at least with confidence step up to someone and say! Hey the visuals for this anime are stellar! Yet in the process we lose something.. the ineffable part of loving something. When I fall in love with a girl it is never because she has pretty eyes or a nice rack. It’s not because she has a great personality either because otherwise I would fall in love with all of my friends and most of you too! It’s not because of her voice or clothing choice either.. It is that hidden factor , something unspeakable, something that can not be put into words. It can only be stated. It can only be understood by peers who fell for that girl before.
Let’s say that girl I fall in love with is an anime… Let’s say she is also on the plane I used earlier, because why not! I see her much more in the past. If she is Digimon she might tell me some weird stories or maybe she is built a bit awkwardly. If she is Dragon Ball , she might not be the prettiest and has a bit of a weird voice.The girl is out in the open though.. not hiding displaying her flaw for me to see and acknowledge. If she is a modern anime…she is wearing the make-up that got the best rating.. We now know what tests best. She is a pretty smooth talker because she saw a youtube video on how to talk to strangers. As we now know so much more about properly fleshing out dialogue and there are bigger teams who proof read stuff. She wears the most popular clothes as found on review sites. All in all in her modern form the girl is a lot more marketable and she will find someone who will like her , heck it still could be me. Yet I have to look much deeper to see her true self beyond that stuff everyone wants. I will like her faster because she is wearing a pretty as heck mask that I can deeply enjoy! However it would take me much longer to fall in love, because for that I have to see behind the mask. I am not saying it doesn’t happen but it will take me longer to fall in love.
So my plane experience has shifted. From an uncomfy ride with one or two people who rock my world I now found myself in a plane full of pretty and acceptable people..I have a much more pleasant flight but by the time I take off next season I will have forgotten most of the pretty people… while that girl I saw 20 years ago is still haunting my mind. She had her quirks.. but she wasn’t there for me.. she was there for her! That is a charisma I like to see in everything I love. If we only judge and measure objectively at one time that experience might fade away. For now it’s fine.. in general it’s as simple as switching over to a smaller airline and taking some risks. Just remember that if you review something it’s okay to look at quality.. but look at the charisma sometimes. It might not be as useful to the people reading your review but I do think it would be healthy in the long run!
I really hope I have not offended you guys or that you think I am super shallow now! In the end we all like what we like! If you came here for objective reviews , I might have shot myself in the foot! Because you will not be getting those! I am just a pink avatar, telling you what I personally like and what I don’t like! Speaking of what I like! I would really appreciate it if you support my Kofi by clicking on the link below! Or if you can’t spare or want to part with the money leave a comment below! I really appreciate you all in every way you support this blog! So while I might not approve of your favourite anime! I approve of all of you!
Look at the past, my darling Island Guests! Game are and Strange and Vast, Filled with wonders and tests. Face each old game with eyes clear and true! Today will be awesome..as I play Ducktales Woooohoo.
Pinkie is going to piss some people of with these opinions
Incredible respect for those who were able to sing that opening rather than reading it! We are kindred spirits. Today I re-review what is possibly a contender for my most favorite game ever. Along with Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger this game means so much to me. So I will already tell you it might receive a high score! I wanted to see if my treasured gem still could stand the face of time. It sure did. While it’s length is very short in this day and age, that applied to many other games. What it still gives is an amazing unique mechanical platform experience. A game that heavily inspired Crankey’s Moveset in the later Donkey Kong games and of course the noble Shovel Knight. This without a shadow of doubt in my mind is the single best licensed game ever made. Beating Turtles in Time, Epic Mickey , Kingdom Hearts and even GoldenEye.
The reason it’s better than those last two, DuckTales hasn’t aged as poorly. It’s controls are still butter smooth in its simplicity, the enemy attack patterns still work and challenge you, the hunt for the best ending is not that hard because the game lasts about an hour or so if you are a bit thorough but well versed in it. Maybe a bit less even. Despite of it being easy there is a sense of joy in hunting these treasures and playing these stages which all are quite diverse. We have a jungle theme level, a horror themed level, an underground one, a snow and ice themed one and of course the moon. Home to my most beautiful memory and my favorite song ever..probably. Every stage has just a bit of a different feeling and some secrets to unlock. Mind you.. there is not much secrets.. but is just a great joy to boot this game up a few times and just play through these great stages. GoldenEye’s controls now deeply disappointed and Kingdom Hearts gameplay really shows its age when it comes to collecting and progress.
She is totally being genuine though she really loves this game!
The graphics are vibrant for NES all sprites are very recognisable for what they should be. Even the tribal guys I can still very distinctly tie to when they encountered similar character in the series. Yet for some weird reason Dewey wears green look Louis.. why?! It’s a quirk I always wandered about and one the excellent remakes fixes, yet now that I played the original I can say I vastly prefer it over the remake. The speed of which you can run through this game is what makes it so timeless. The Remake added some extra exploratory requirements to all stages, that are much more in your face. You need to do so.. in the original .. you COULD do that if you want. If you want the good ending it is probably wise. You can also make things very hard for yourself and try to get the bad ending (which is extremely hard to do.. without hacking nigh impossible) It’s that type of game that isn’t very challenging but you make your own challenge for.. We can do that to old games but Ducktales lends itself even better for such things than Mario because of its unique jumping system (at the time).
This whole game is build around the pogo jump! A bouncy but deadly way of attacking using a cane. I guess if Dr Jekyll tried this out he might have not had such a sucky NES game. The pogo stick is unique to Ducktales even though it later got mimicked.. this was the main gimmick of the game and boy was it used well. In a way Mario stole from ducktales when they came up with the spin jump as it basically does everything the pogo jump does. It allows you to bounce of spiky objects or in mario’s case spike enemies. It can break blocks and it destroyed enemies. When Mario steals from you when it comes to platforming you know you are on the right track. The life system is also nicely done in Ducktales. Lives are finite and a single game over makes you start all over but you can spend money for extra lives as well as find extra lives and health upgrades across the stages. This means that you always have to balance exploring and clearing with each other. Getting sidetracked may drain your life..but you might gain life as well. Even if there is not you can buy lifes using your overworld score make sure you reach the end.. but without having the best ending. Balanced!
Seriously if this game was an anime girl she would waifu it!
Ducktales is not hard to beat, not even on the harder difficulties , it’s fairly forgiving and any mistakes you make are your fault, there is little cheap enemies here or impossible to dodge attacks. You just need to learn…or remember by heart because you played this game so much. Yet Ducktales would have been made for younger kids most likely so it makes sense they get a game of this difficulty. When I was a kid it had the perfect difficulty for me and now.. now I just need to expand my challenges from time to time. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s this was a common practice in gaming. “I challenge you to beat Mario 1-1 without collecting a single coin’ ‘Beat Glass Joe without taking a single hit’ we used to egg each other on for extra challenges. In fact Nintendo even made a few retro collection games around this concept.
Ducktales is very cleverly designed in a way that this game can be used in such a way. We have a money score we can use for high-scores, there is a timer we can race with, there is several routes and additional tricky obstacles and several methods of traversing obstacles that making challenge each other or yourself is super fun. While maybe not especially designed around it back than that was possible. Nowadays games hold your hand to much or offer you so much freedom that a choice of playstyle is irrelevant. Playing a game alternatively now doesn’t work because either a game tells you to finish this boss with X or there are 20.994 ways to defeat a boss and your chosen options is just.. one.
While the Ducktales game could use some more iconic bosses the whole world building still feels like a part of it’s world. Of course we have the boss from the African Mines which directly links to the show and the Magica Despell fight in Transilvania , a moon rat and and an amazone statue feel a bit meh. Why not Glomgold or Mother Beagle? Yet I do feel the statue and the moon rat really make sense at the same time.. like they are supposed to be there. Where most video game enemies can feel forced in, I never had that much with Ducktales.. except for some Beagle Boys underneath the surface of the moon. Effort went into building this world and back then.. Capcom basically was the only one to really do that.. at least in such a diverse setting. It is simple but it works and thus it becomes timeless.
Yep she is gonna talk about THAT again! Crazy Fangirl Alert
Of course Ducktales biggest charm is it’s presentation. All the characters except for Dewey look like their series counterpart. You can tell everything apart. Purple was a colour that could not be implemented in the game so Magica Despell and Miss Beakley have some weird moments, but they are in there, you know who they are without reading a manual and they do what you expect.
Everything does what you expect..well maybe not Turbo because he doesn’t crash but can actually fly! Still despite of it’s limited graphics I never had trouble imagining how it would look like, plenty of iconic characters are hidden throughout the game. There is just a lot of love for the series and gaming in general in this little cartridge and it shows…. and is audible Yes time to gush about the moon theme as well. One of the most iconic video game music pieces of all time. Yet also the opening theme using the actual series theme was great, the sound when you climb up a vine or rope, the theme in the amazon.. the sound your pogos-tick makes. It’s all fantastic.
I seriously spend about two minutes in the amazon just climbing up and down on the first rope just to hear those sounds again..searched for the hidden room in Transylvania so I had to do a lot of mini pogo bounces. It all is just perfect for a platformer. This is what my childhood sounds like. Wiggu Wiggu Wiggu and the Moon Theme. This music still leads a life to this day..making its way into official new products, becoming cannon in ducktales lore. Capcom where the masters of video game soundtracks and this one is amazing once again.
I could stretch this post out and pretend like I care about the minor flaws like how it was not needed to press down to activate the pogo, or how the mine carts have a bit of a sticky control scheme making them needlessly tricky. I could tell you about a scene where Scrooge actually tosses his cousins off a cliff with a minecart he is riding and telling you they could have done that differently. No.. that all doesn’t matter. Nowadays we think a 10/10 game should have no flaws and we should remorselessly point out everything that is wrong with it. That is not right. A 10/10 game to me is a game that is so fun to play that despite its flaws you will boot it up again. Each time you play, regardless if it crashes regardless if controls can glitch a bit or some elements seem wrong, you smile.
Ducktales is a game I love so sooo much that whatever flaws are in there.. don’t matter to me. It has no impact on my experience with the game. Each time I beat this game and I think I have beaten it (across both version) well over 30 times now (if not closer to 50) and each I keep on smiling. Each playthrough as fun as it was my first. Ducktales was the first game I loved.. so in a way this is my Number 1 Dime.. this is what made me a gamer and when I play it today I still feel.. this is why I am a gamer. No matter if listen to the soundtrack, play a single stage or complete the game, when I play Ducktales I feel like the richest person/duck in the world.
Normally I have this reserved for movies that deserve some praise but this week I thought I would change it up. Today we look at a series of my childhood that I really got into. I love some good western fantasy series as well as some anime and secretly I also enjoy teen comedies like saved by the bell or even Lizzie McGuire. Luckily there is one franchise that combines it all in one hilarious and captivating mix.
Now it is commonly know how this show came to be. In order to adapt the Sentai genre for western audience, which of course would not be very relatable to western audiences in its pure form some very smart tv makers decided to splice footage of the original sentai show, of the costumed heroes, with shot in america footage with western audiences so that we as the viewer could connect to these heroes. The Sentai show chosen for this was Kyouryuu Sentai Zyuranger which translates as Dinosaur Squadron Beast Ranger, which aired about a year earlier as Power Rangers. Zyuranger was the 16th season of the Super Sentai series and features some significant differences from it more well known western counterpart.
The most well known difference is that the yellow Zyuranger is not actually a female but rather a boy named .. well Boi. This is why Trini does not have a skirt unlike the pink ranger. Which is kinda funny because the season before that DID in fact have two female rangers.. but I guess based on Birdman it seemed less cool. The most notable difference however is in the way things are themed. Power Rangers is not just an acted out dub it is a completely different series with a very different tone. Where the Sentai series focuses on ancient magical powers, Power Rangers usually spin their series with a very technological aspect. Which kinda makes more sense to me given that for the biggest part is about combiner robots.
Zordon does not exist in Japan, the team is assisted by the immortal sorcerer Barza, whose footage is used for back when Zordon was NOT an interdimensional being. The rangers are not random teens but ancient warriors of five clans kept in stasis for 170.000 years until the witch Pandora escapes. Pandora and Rita are the same person however in Zyuranger she is not the ultimate villain of their season.. it’s a floating head called Great Satan. There is no command center, no alpha 5 and no Angel Grove High. These are fairly serious warriors. The Green Ranger is the brother of the Red Ranger and he eventually ends up dying, so this series had a bit more consequence something that would take power rangers five seasons to really kick in. In the first Sentai series one of the team members already permanently died.
Another difference is between the tone in narrative. While Power Rangers is episodic with only a mild tread going through their show, the Zyuranger have a much larger journey to go trough. They do not get their signature weapons right away they have to find them. Also they have to find their power crystals to combine their robots. They earn their powers as they go on. Which makes a much more compelling show to follow compared to the rinse and repeat power ranger format that seems to borrow more of it’s narrative structure from Sailor Moon than the actual Sentai show. This is usually the argument that Sentai fans throw in your face for liking Power Rangers, their show makes more sense.. which is fair.
Yet I usually reply “If A super powerful being has the power to bestow you with magic power to fight of great evil, why would he hide the keys to your weapons and zords?’ In the world of Power Rangers that set up would make very little sense. Since they are american they can’t really go with the asleep for 170.000 years either.. or else by the first series standards they would all have to be native americans and all red rangers. While the Sentai Series is definitely worth a watch and does indeed make more sense, I am on team Power Rangers. Though I might see if I can track down Battle Fever J the third season of sentai based on great nations! Can you imagine if these were our first rangers?
Now enough talk about Sentai for now it is time to look at the Western product. Apparently to make colourful superheroes in spandex and helmets interesting to us we needed something else. No not giant combiner robots that still was not good enough! Saved by the Bell! That’s it we need some highschool drama about bullying, school projects and dating. We need teenagers with attitude… and with attitude we mean that they have to be so squeaky clean they could be on the Disney Channel. Their favorite hangout is a juice bar and they all take sports and are very well performing students, that on the side do a lot of charity work as well.
Kimberly Hart is the only Power Ranger that actually has some attitude. She would rather go back to gymnastics and read fashion magazines when this show starts but after their first move she also flips over like a leaf. However throughout the show she keeps at least a slight bit of pettiness making her the most teenager feeling in the show. To know surprise this makes her my favorite ranger in the earlier episodes. Amy Jo Johnson portrays a wonderful character that we can see and grow. While the Zyurangers grow as a team, I rarely see them grow as people.
Billy Cranston is another good example of this growth.. while definitely not having Attitude as promoted he grows throughout the series so much. David Yost to me is the BEST blue ranger ever to this day. It was such a shame when he was bullied to leave the show. Even when he stopped being a ranger he was such a welcoming and warm presence. In the first episodes he talks needlessly complicated and completely unhuman which is so stereotype and cheesy.. I love it.. it feels wrong.. but in the right kind of way. The auditory stimuli of this social gathering hub is perceived as pleasurable and I wish to express this sensation by applying motor skills to said output.. would be a way Billy says he wishes to dance. In fact he even talks more complicated than that.. so I could not remember an exact example.
MMPR has it issues but these are part of the beauty of the show. While Trini Kwan and Zack Taylor are oftenly subject of debate because of the colour of the suit they were put in let’s not forget that the yellow ranger was hispanic first, but got recast because of failed contract negotiations a theme that would follow the series. Regardless wether you find some choices offensive one can not help but be amazed by how iconic Zack’s Hip Hop Kido was. Back than it was super cool. Zack was my favorite guy in the team. I liked his zord the best as well.. but hey I got a thing for clunky animals so it makes sense I’d choose a Mastodont. Because of the anime-esque stereotyping of characters all these guys became dear to me.
I never played with barbies when I was a kid, but I kept had a lot of barbie like dresses and some Ken clothes I used them to dress up my Power Ranger figures, and most of what I played was romance between Tommy and Kimberly because I was a big Tommy fan, like the rest of the world. Jason David Frank plays the most iconic ranger ever. To this day he is deeply involved in the franchise and loves the character so much. No matter if it’s the comics , which are quite good too by the way, or the newer series, we can always wait for Tommy to make an appearance.. and even though he is such a 90’s product that tells you how well this series has aged.
Dinosaurs Lighting and Metal
In a weird way this show has aged well by aging poorly. While the Ranger action itself has clearly aged and has long been surpassed, the teenage drama the weird scenario set up are so dated they become timeless. Set in the 90’s has become part of these first four seasons. It gets a bit Wonky when we enter age of Zeo and nearly came crashing down when we enter the Turbo season. While Power Rangers in Space saved the series with some actual amazing storytelling and belongs to the top seasons for me and many fans, this first one i’d classify as cult. It’s zanier, more repetitive and not always acted out the best but something about it is just so fun to watch.
I’d even argue this show is better now than it was before Power Rangers was so in your face nineties and cheesy that back than it polarised people but now… it’s like Fudge Yeah that’s the sound of the nineties. If we compare the opening of Zyuranger to Power Rangers there is not a shadow in my mind of which is the best opening. Zyurangers one is forgettable while Power Rangers one is iconic. Now you can blame Nostalgia for this but I actually prefer Head Chala over Rock the Dragon so I would say I have an open mind about this. When you hear the Zyuranger theme you think “Oh dear Arceus this has not aged well” when you hear Go Go Power Rangers you are like “Heck yeah 90’s’. Synthesizers metal, the clothes , the simple mindset it was something I really appreciate.
Where the, at times , hammy acting, bad effects and clunky dialogue often annoyed me in Star Trek TOS and caused me to drop it here, I find it much more tolerable Again part of it is the setting but also the pacing. With 20 minute episodes and two to three stories to tell per episode this show doesn’t linger it rushes past everything. Some episodes are very strangely cut together, like the rangers being transported out their zord for no reason..the giant monster “won” and apparently shrank without damaging their zord.. he just allowed it to leave, now being in tiny form again the rangers defeat it with new weapons. It made no sense to see all those lighting filled transport effects within a minute but I sure was entertained.
When I watch this I feel like a kid again. I can shut down my brain because “it’s Power Rangers’. It’s like how you do not question the logic in a Jojo series or apply fluid simulations to the debate on how to eat chocolate croissants in Lucky Star. Power Rangers is in the so Bad that it’s good kind of category when it comes to world building yet if we look better it’s ALSO actually good. The whole lore of the Morphing Grid that was later tacked on still kinda makes sense today. The whole reasons how rangers are chosen, what the colour of their suit represents still matches up. Tommy Oliver always being an exception. Tommy has been a green, white, two reds and a black ranger by now as well as becoming the iconic villain Lord Drakkon in the comics. That being said extra rangers are always except from the colour rules so even he makes sense.
Power Rangers is filled with clichés but there is so much commitment to these that they can get away with so much. A monster based on traffic lights would suck in just about everything but Cute Earth Defense Club Love… yet in Power Rangers it works too. A piece of wall that turns the team into bricks from which they are freed by treating them with pollution sounds like a very bad Captain Planet episode yet with Power Rangers it works.
In fact it’s something we WANT to see from this show. We dont care about the episode with this dark edgy knight guy.. we want to see a the rangers face a lipstick martial artist, a turkey in an armor made of an oven, using a baster as a blaster or a evil tentacled pineapple that turns people into cardboard cutouts… these are all real examples by the way. This show made a candle threatening. Where like half the episode is images of a green candle slowly burning down… we all watched in horror as it became smaller and smaller and we lost our beloved icon. Because obviously Ranger powers can be linked to candles.
In many ways MMPR introduced me to staples that would cause me to fall in love with the anime genre. I loved the randomness and over the top storytelling. How it was more imaginative than anything i saw before. While the Japanese story in part is responsible for that .. much also comes down to the american writing giving us something truly unique. As a kid that is what I saw in power rangers. It wasn’t like anything else. It was different from Turtles, it was different from Saved By the Bell. It helped me learn English AND German.
Sentai as a genre is unique in western media. Though VR-Troopers tried (which almost cast Jason David Frank as the main character after Tommy lost his powers) and Masked Rider made a fair attempt.. only Power Rangers really stuck. While I enjoyed Big Bad Beetleborgs, nowadays there is only one contender. It is a show that has been running for 27 years now. While not everything is as good as In Space, or Time Force , I am looking at you Mega Force, it is hard to deny the work the first season did. Heck in fact Jason shows up for the new season of Beast Morphers and people are really excited about it. The classic theme is still being used in mash ups and even main themes. The show has adapted and grown.. and dialogue even for MMPR would get better as the show goes along.. but some things never age. While not all do it..plenty of rangers still shout out “It’s Morphin Time”
Did you ever watch Power Rangers? Have you ever watched A Sentai Show? Let me know in the comments! I will look at a certain Sentai show next… a very unique one at that. Once I am done with the first season expect a review coming up! Until then, Keep smiling! May the power protect you!
Now that I have cast the TALDIG aside and no longer try to teach people bad history trough mediocre video games, instead I will play some retro games I REALLY want to play. We start with one of the few main line mario games that I never finished. Today I take a look at Super Mario Bros. 2
Doki Doki We Know This
Now I assume most people know this but we need to go over this so you know what I am actually reviewing. I played and completed the western Super Mario Bros 2. The game that Japan knows as Super Mario U.S.A. Should there be someone out here reading who doesn’t know. When Nintendo released their Super Mario 2, people thought it would be to difficult for your standard Western audience.. and having played it myself.. I can agree to a point. This would have polarised the american and european players. In order to still release a new Mario a game called Doki Doki Panic was given a bit of a Mario overhaul. The original game had you pick from a quartet of arabian/middle eastern looking characters, which explains why you see so much desert levels and fly on a carpet so much.
It is also why this game does not feel like a Mario game. The mechanics in this game have never really been used after that anymore. You could attack by throwing vegetables or throwing enemies after jumping onto them and picking them up. So one can make an argument that this is NOT a Mario game. However this game gave us so much of the super mario culture we know today. Shy-Guys, Pokey’s and even Bob-ombs would not have existed without this game. Well .. at least not as Mario enemies and some of it’s most iconic music would also be missing. Most importantly.. without it most likely we would not have the Super Mario Brother Super Show.
It’s a me… kinda!
So for the first time I played the game and moved past the third world.Which was where I left before. This game can be fairly difficult and cryptic at times. At least for younger gamers. Where Chibi-Pinkie believed in being an absolute murder hobo when it comes to enemies Super Mario Bros. 2 requires you to use certain enemies as platforms or ride projectiles. There even are some minor puzzle elements on how to use bombs to blow up certain obstacles, factoring in distance you have to cross. It’s nothing special but it’s very different. Much like how Zelda 2 veered very much from its original as well. While Mario Bros and all subsequent games are pure sang platformers, this one is more of a puzzle platformer. One that is fairly stingy with its resources.
As a result this game is fairly, but never overly, challenging. The problem some puzzles are trial and error and on rare occasions this can softlock you into losing a life. This would not be that much of an issue if lifes were made more available. Super Mario 3 did that very well. Handing you 1-up mushrooms in the more trial and error like stages. This is a bit more relentless. I recommend playing the GBA version as it has a save function. I think the Super Mario All Stars one has one to, but that is definitely welcome. You have two continues but given that most 1-ups are hidden behind RNG that still is harsh. There is nothing fun, nor was there ever about hitting a game over simply because you did not have enough lives to “learn” the game, being forced to start over. Luckily trough emulation.. and mini consoles we now have acces to save states which can help you deal with this gripe.. or you just play the superior ports.
Now don’t get me wrong this IS still a fun game to play but over time it has gotten some vastly superior versions. Since the NES version is just a sprite swap in most senses of the word, it feels more “floaty” than other Mario games, Controls do not feel as tight. The Luigi Jump and Peach abilities do contribute to that.. and of course since she is pink I cleared the entire game with Peach. I have no trouble landing on a single block in any mario game, yet in this one I could rarely pull it off. As if there is a landing delay, which feels very un-mario. That being said the stages are mostly very well designed around this control scheme so it never killed the joy for me. Just in the core you can sense you are playing Doki Doki Panic.
It’s a Me REALLY!
Everything actually Mario, everything rebranded everything first party however feels great. The game oozes personality and much more than Mario Bros. feels part of the mario world. By now Mario had more personality he dons his actual red and blue colours rather than that brown jumpsuit. Peach, Luigi and Toad are actual characters here. I love the music and tossing an Ostrich is legitimately quite funny. I loved whenever I could do that and just waste my time respawning them and trying to kill as much things with a single ostrich thing as I can. I am even considering playing the GBA version to hunt for the red coins .. because I heard it could unlock Yoshi which seems like a fun addition. Also I really want to do a toad only run!
The reason for that would be the games ending, this game is infamous for being only in Mario’s dream.So I would really love for him to have a dream about Toad Pickup up ostriches going around beating up pink transgender dinosaurs and beating the evil king to save a group of magical bees or something. This game introduced Birdo one of the first Transgender video game characters ever and we beat her up a lot during this game.
The game has seven worlds each with three levels. The first two levels of a world almost always face you off against Birdo in the end. Even in some final levels she can sometimes be there as a mid boss.. or as a means to use her eggs as platforms towards a new part of the stage. Still I wonder what would cause Mario to dream about a mushroom kid beating up the transgender Birdo and take down an evil toad (as in frog ..not mushroom.. confusingly enough) to save some magical bees. But hey its my head canon now which is awesome so thank you Mario 2. <Disclaimer.. I do not approve of violence against Transgender in any shape way or form, nor do I ship Toad X Mario.. I just really enjoy the fever dream fantasy. scenario.. thank you>
My least favorite Mario
While this is in fact my least favorite mainline Mario that is rather a testament to how incredible the series is rather than a strike against this game. The first half of this game is truely amazing and just a joy to play. A bit like Mario Sunshine the second half can get a bit “stale” where the difficulty picks up to something that feels more tedious than challenging. Each door for example is a checkpoints, some later levels just challenge you by having doors further apart or let you collect an item on the far left which you then have to bring back to the far right. Instead of jumping to the next platform we have to use mushrooms to build our own way. Which could be nice but across game over and continues and regular loss of life stacking the thing over and over again can feel more like labour than a challenge.
Again like Mario Sunshine (which is my second least favorite Mario by the way) that however gives this game it’s uniqueness. I was much more inspired to try hard in this game than for example in Mario 1 or 3 where repeating stages feels less cumbersome. Where in Mario 1 I could turn of the game and say.. i’ll try again later this was the game I was really determined to beat. I wanted to conquer it and see all the worlds. Mario 2 is much more diverse compared to its predecessor at well, though there is some looping stuff after the fourth world. Out of the seven worlds only world six I sorta disliked while in Mario 3 there are two worlds I sorta dislike. So all in all this had a strong line up of levels and ‘puzzels’. It’s not bad yet overshadowed by greatness.
This game is often called the black sheep in the Mario Line up and I do not think that is completely true. It’s more that annoying sheep that doesn’t really stay with the heard.. the one that always wanders aff and is the most mischievous doing some pretty weird things for a sheep. Yet for that very own reason you do always remember that sheep and tell your wife in bed about what that sheep did today. It’s a loveable odd piece of gaming memorabilia that has just so many good stories. For example the Koopa Shells in this game used to be Black-Faces you can toss as a power up. Controversy around those arose which may have led to the idea to make that particular game Mario. It already needed new sprites for the Western world anyway?! Could that be what made it ideal choice to be the new Mario? The other game was too .. controversial anyway.
Where would Mario be now without the Shy Guys and Pokeys, what if those masks never inspired the sun in Super Mario 3. Without this game Pink would have never been able to hover with her dress and Luigi would not jump higher and floatier than Mario. Which proves just how powerful games can be. Mario Mario would not be the man he is today without this game.Luigi Mario might never have differentiate from his brother without this game and the mushroom kingdom these days is hard to imagine without bob-ombs or shy guys. I still hope that Wart makes his return to the realm one day as well because honestly he fits in quite nicely… not the bees though.. not the bees. We later got better bees , mostly in Super Mario Galaxy.
Like I mentioned this game heavily inspired the super mario cartoon which I hold fond memories of because of how campy it was..just a guilty pleasure and in a way this game is very much like that show. We all can tell it doesn’t feel exactly like Mario.. but still it is such a part of it’s history that we just can’t help but love it. I mean mario’s canonical voice comes from a mini game collection featuring go fish so why not embrace this part to the fullest as well. Yes it’s the least good part of the series, but people treat it like that is a bad thing… yet there is always a worst part.
If there would be one Mario game.. that would also be the worst game. It doesn’t say anything. Well maybe one thing? If you actually enjoy this Mario, there is so much more out there for you to enjoy. I had a great time with this game. Frustrating sure.. I said some very unpink words.. but so did I when I played Shovel Knight or The Messenger (great games btw). This is not the game you play because you want to play a Mario game… this is a game you play because you love Mario and that is A-okay!
We live in the era of great convenience nowadays. With all the streaming services we can watch whatever we want when we want it. Yet when Pinkie was a kid, she would have to get up at 6am to watch the first episode of her favorite cartoon. We had to take bathroom breaks and snack runs during commercials, and we had to watch through a lot of stupid series for the next good one to show up. It was amazing!
Pinkie the Grey
Yes I know I have grey hair! I dye it that way as cool colours really complement my pastell wardrobe a lot okay?! Today’s post is not about how things used to be better but about an emotional component that we have kind of traded in for the sake of convenience. There is something to be said about both. I love being able to see what I want and being able to pick from so many things. Yet I also notice how this has changed our mindset. Back then we used to love just about all cartoons, even the ones we disliked became tolerable after three or four weeks, by the end of that anime arc we were following that series that fell in between Yugioh and Dragon Ball was part of our beloved ritual.
Today I wonder if having access to everything doesn’t kill off a part of our viewing experience. Is it the reason that we have become so hyper critical trying to highlight the bad? I am not such a boomer that I think the old shows were better, because they were not. If we see how far writing and animation has come since the 80’s , we get a much greater consistent output. Back then there were 5 anime that were super great and 20 that sucked, with cartoons it was even worse!
For every Scooby Doo, we had 10 shows about 90’s kids spouting already outdated taglines, trying to save nature with their instruments and rad attitude. Yet back then… those shows were “okay I guess?” Now when we see another Isekai show being made we Hiss and tell it’s the worst thing ever .. for picking a genre. Something changed and I think it might have to do with what South Park described as the “Death Of the Living Room”
Finish your homework, choke on your cereal
Watching anime or series has become relatively effortless. You do not have to plan your schedule around catching the latest episode of game of thrones, you do not have to finish your homework in time to see the latest episode of My Hero Academia. You don’t have to ride home your bike with all your might to catch the latest episode of Ducktales. All we have to do now is pay a few extra bucks. It’s worth it for convenience.. but that rush of making it in time for a show is gone, that sensation of telling a friend “not tonight because it’s the final episode of Seinfeld” is gone.
When I ran home from playing with my friends to catch Dragon Ball in the late afternoon and I scraped my knee getting there.. I didn’t care so much the episode wasn’t that good, my knee throbbed in excitement for this show. .and it was worth it! Even if nothing happend we would find a reason to validate why it was worth it! OMG! Goku and Gohan just did normal things but in super saiyan for.. to save on energy from transforming so cool! They just beat up some normal humans!… Sugoi!
Part of this is of course not looking through stuff as a kid anymore, but even when I already was grown up, in my early twenties on saturdays we’d watch Crime Scene Investigation with the family. I’d had to give up whatever game I was playing at the time, save my pokémon game and put it away to watch with my family. Not waiting till I finished a boss fight.. it was on NOW and we could not start it later. It was back in the time before tv channels began to endless loop their content so if you missed it you could catch it again six hours later. If you missed that episode, you had to illegally download it to catch up or miss it , until rerun season.
It’s this inconvenience that truly forged you into loving a show.. you had to plan your schedule around the show instead of planning when you’ll watch the show around your schedule. It sucked… but it must have meant we really loved these shows. I have great memories of rushing my breakfast because Biker Mice from Mars was about to air.. and it was a to continued episode, I ended up nearly choking on my sandwich and still I was trying to crawl to the living room to put on the episode so I would not miss a thing.
Paying the Time-Bill
Our time has become more expensive, more valuable in recent years. Ten years ago my time was worth less than the newest episode of CSI, or the first Season of Australia Master Chef. Now my time is more important than these shows I still watch them, but I watch them at my leisure, not when they air on tv… there is a different source to watch them anyway! Websites where I can rewatch them as aired on tv, but also websites that also stream these. If I want to finish that game first I easily can, if I want to get some groceries and leisurely eat my dinner before watching them, I can.
All the effort of watching a show is gone. I don’t even have to pay attention to a show, if I miss something crucial I could just watch it again, so if Mom calls during the show I can easily answer. Back when Pinkie still had a Nokia 3310, her phone would be turned off during tv night so I could not be disturbed, because if I missed a clue in CSI, the episode was ruined.
All we have to do now is somewhere somehow have 20 minutes and we can watch an anime. On any device we want… it’s there for us when we are to sick to do anything else.. it’s there instead of the magazine whilst making stool, it’s there the moment we get bored of backtracking again in the video game we played. Anime and cartoons have become our best friends, always there for us, but it’s kinda easy to be mean to someone who is always there for you regardless if you are shitty to them.
Plenty of you guys will probably know this, how people walk over you because you are always the good guy that will support others regardless how mean they are to you. Back in the 80’s and 90’s we were trying to get Senpai (the show) to notice us ( the viewer) now we are the Senpai and the show is pleading for our attention and we can be pretty Tsundere, because we also got so many other worshippers.
If Fruits Basket is no longer worth our time we can easily fill it with something else. It’s only logical that we only pick the shows that resonate the strongest with us. Yet with this attitude we have all become somewhat Chinese Tiger Mothers to anime, cartoons and tv shows…games as well. If Midoriya isn’t amazing enough we disown him and focus on Touru. Midoriya still can be an 8 out of 10 guy, but we have the possibility to only surround ourselves with 10/10 stuff.
Now this is an exaggeration of course but I still think that since the living room died, the tiger mamma attitude is there. We had to make some effort to spend time with little Goku and even though that play he did about Garlic something .. was passable at best.. we loved our time spend together.. now if Little Carole misses one beat.. we take out the Twitter Ruler and bash at little Carole! Our time has become more expensive and she just wasted a few seconds of it.
Our perspective have changed, saturday morning Pinke could strangle Angela Anaconda and got fed up seeing Bobby’s World with Howie Mandel but Shin-Chan would show up after that, or Medabots. Which also weren’t the best in the lot..but it was what we got and we are proud of them. Back then , during the Saturday Morning Cartoon Arc, we were looking for love. A show that stuck with us despite its flaws. We saw the flaws but we did not care , like meeting a girl on the street by bumping into her. She has a plain looking face and poor taste in shoes, those big boots nearly broke your pinky toe, but she has the sweetest smile.
To see her again, you have to do your groceries at the exact same time you did last time when you bumped into her.. and there she is walking on the other side of the street. She isn’t always smiling but when she does you just melt a little inside. Eventually you see her so much something deeper grows, something you had to bleed for and inconvenience yourself for. There was something magic about watching shows on Saturday morning, about setting your alarm clock about nearly dying on a spoon of rice krispies.. to see her smile.
Now that we have entered the “Content on Demand Arc” we aren’t looking for love anymore, we are looking for art. Imagine that plain faced girl again..but instead she is on a picture, with a thousand other girls, maybe even on Tinder for a more elegant metaphor. Now she isn’t always smiling on her pictures there is one.. but on she just poses at an exotic location and on the other she is doing a weird pose and there is this jarring catchphrase slogan like “believe” on her profile as well.
There are ample more beautiful girls on the picture or on Tinder and you share what you swiped with your friends would you really spend a right swipe on that same average looking girl with just the super cute smile? Many of you will say yes…but be honest. Anime will always swipe right… even the prettiest once that are out of your range and they will talk back to you when you talk.. would you still swipe on the average girl?
Bringing back THE INCONVENIENCE
I think I am going to bring back my saturday morning cartoons! Just open My Anime List and pick five or six series based on their cover art alone picking something that resonates with me . Assigning them to a certain time like BNA at 9:00 , Yu Gi-Oh Sevens at 9:30 , Bofuri at 10:00. With commercial breaks at the 15 minute mark. If I am few minutes late I have to skip those minutes, if I miss the time slot, next week I have to watch the next episode skipping the one I would have seen. If I don’t like a show and want to drop it I will have to wait until it reaches mid season to drop it having an open time slot in between.
No pausing allowed only during the commercial break. Better make sure I have my breakfast ready! Better make sure everything is set up in time! Or else I will miss parts of the episode! This way I’ll have to commit a bit to anime.. I will have to go out of my way for it! Giving it the value it deserves again. Anime is greater than just my free time! It deserves my attention and dedication! “Oooh” I can add season two of DuckTales into the mix.. I still need to watch (most) that! You see I am in love with this idea! Let’s make our shows something we need to work for again! Let’s show our love! Pinkie’s Saturday Morning.. is starting! It will be inconvenient as heck!…It will be glorious. I’l be ready!
I have always preferred the red plumber over the blue hedgehog. Sonic has never been my defacto platformer hero. Sonic Adventure 2 changed that because I had my Chao Garden. After that it would take me until Sonic Mania to fall in love with a Sonic game again. When the movie was announced I and many people to expect a disaster of the likes of Sonic 06. Yet what we actually got was one of my favorite Sonic products ever.
Rolling around at the speed of sound
As a kid sonic always confused me, the multiple path to the finish were something I did not particularly enjoy. No matter what route I took it all felt kinda samesy and the jumping felt stiffer than Mario to me. The two player mode in the second part felt odd to me and it took me until the third installment to thoroughly enjoy the blue bluer. I liked the first two just fine but I played better. As a result I mostly grew up with the old cartoons. Yet I can happily say that no matter what incarnation of sonic you grew up with, if you have had any encounter with OG sonic you can get behind the hero in this movie. So maybe for those who grew up with that scarf wearing monster from Sonic Boom this might feel a bit odd but if you play some Sonic Generations this Sonic will suit you just fine.
The movie opens with a young sonic back in his homeworld. Through some forces of evil in his homeworld Sonic is forced to flee. Since he has a lot of power evil will always be drawn to him. It’s made clear to us that Sonic has been bouncing around many worlds and Earth is the first planet he really seems to have taken a liking too. However Sonic is also very lonely using his speed to be undetected. In a moment of loneliness, sonic runs away his sorrows.. causing an EMP pulse of immense power. The Army sends the weird Doctor Robotnik played by Jim Carrey to investigate and within the first 15 minutes the movie sets up their entire plot, shows us the motivations of all the major characters It makes clear that this movie like sonic will move fast. Like it should be. The story is very basic like a sonic story should and it doesn’t linger or pad out screen time with exposition. We are here to watch sonic go fast and maybe see Jim Carrey be Jim Carrey.. and that is exactly what we get.
It’s Hedgehog not Edgehog
Sonic is a delightfully light hearted movie aimed at the young but with enough visual jokes to entertain those who grew up with Sonic as well. It takes them back to their childhood trough visual jokes, nostalgia and old school cartoon humor. We don’t really get inside jokes that us adults will get but the kids won’t. No innuendo jokes, no weird looks between actors that we as adults can respond to with. “Oh he ain’t gonna get anything tonight!” Sonic’s comedy is all about going over the top. Sonic is a kid..which is in line with how he was in the 90’s cartoon and the earlier games. Humor comes usually from movement. Fast movement or the fact that Sonic is so Hyper he rarely ever shuts up.
The 3D Sonic.. the one we have known since Sonic Adventure , is a minimalist he acts all cool through minimalism. A rocket is launched at him and he will just take a quick sidestep in the split second before he is hit. Movie Sonic is much more a kid, when a missile is fired on him he plays with it, rides it for a bit, uses it as a drumstick or runs to the other side of the world just to find a silly item to use in a convoluted plan to stop all attackers , kinda thing. It’s a bit like how Dante from Devil May Cry would yawn when a train is derailing moving to him as a projectile. He kicks his chair against a brake while taking his jacket off the chair and putting it on. DMC Dante.. you know the black haired kid would flip his sword 27 times in the air, would do an acrobatic jump create explosions and other and somehow the train is stopped. Movie Sonic is like the later.. stuff is done in access and whether that is sonic or not sonic to you is what will make or break this movie for you. Sonic has zero edge in this movie. This IS Sonic but it will not be everyone’s Sonic.
Clearly they Played the Games
Sonic is a nineties movie trough and trough. It uses tropes from that era, it uses storytelling of that period it even uses actors from that period. Jim Carrey plays Jim Carrey in this movie and he is great… Wait.. he plays Ivo Robotnik? Nah! Jim Carrey plays Golden Age Jim Carrey and he is just called Ivo Robotnik. We get Jim Carrey from his classic days. He shines in this role like he did in Ace Ventura, The Mask or Dumb and Dumber.. mostly because it’s that exact same type of character again…but evil. Which in my opinion works even better. Like the Mask for example it gives Robotnik a sense of loonesy it makes him more unpredictable and dangerous. In his own way a villain as weird as this can be menacing.. in a child friendly and funny way. For example if we go back to the Edgehog universe, Eggman is made out to be some kind of dark brooding evil genius.. which makes no sense on account of how easily he needs to be defeated. Jim Carrey’s variation is an incredible nutjob. While potentially very dangerous his weirdness makes him flawed and credible to be easily defeated. It really worked for me in this movie.
This feeling of understanding is met throughout the entire movie. They know what game elements do work and do not work. Robotnik in a Ufo with a giant Wrecking Ball would probably not work. So they made him a master of drones. Which is up to date and makes the “boss fights” still against him.. but more credible. Sanic is there! The meme drawing that is rather beloved and took on a life of it’s own! Yes they put Sanic in this. A boss fight against robotnik where Sonic has to hit the cockpit of his flying device? It’s in there. Logically you can’t have Sonic lose all his rings when he gets hit… but believe me it’s in there. Of course it’s not as in the series that as soon as he gets hit his rings scatter anywhere, no they are an important plot device this time and each time Sonic happens to get hit he has a good reason to hold them at that time. It’s great that little things like this are woven into the plot. I really loved the creative ways they managed to do this. Of course they will not be able to keep this up in sequels if there will be any, but darn they sure went all out in making this feel Sonic. These people love the orginal games…they do almost completely ignore the 3d era though, they must not like them. The opening flashforward would have been the perfect place to play City Escape.
After having seen the movie I do get why they made the first trailer with the Gangsta’s Paradise music. This like I said earlier is not a product of the current times. It celebrates the age of Sonic’s glory days in its fullest. From it’s road trip comedy roots to 90’s superhero is final act. This movie hits that nostalgia beat for beat. Doug Walker the Nostalgia Critic reviewed this and told the movie came out 30 years to late.. and I think that he misses the point. No it’s not 30 years to late. It takes you back 30 years to the mindset where Sonic was the hottest thing. Where Sonic was cool. Nowadays Sonic’s name isn’t exactly stain free. All those years ago he was new and hip and there was no Sonic 06 and no Sonic Boom, and no .. Werehog.. and .. well I can go on for a fair bit more but you all get my point. Genesis Sonic was the best sonic or at least the untainted one.
Yes the story of this movie is extremely basic.. to a point that it is barely existent. “Sonic gets detected and has to go to another world.. but he lost his rings because he got hit and now he has to find them before the evil guy can get to him” That is it.. and yes it’s predictable, we all know Sonic will face off against Robotnik.. whom he calls eggman because because guy uses numerous egg shaped drones all the time. Yes the human characters are super predictable as well.. blablabla critique , critique ,critique. Yet again.. that’s kind of the point. The Sonic 2d games never had a deep story. Yes Edgehog Era sonic games do have intricate plots about ultimate life forms, falling in love with a princess and being cursed to turn into a sonic with an incredibly annoying companion but what this is based on was simple. Get from point A to B and beat a boss. This movie nails those beats so is it a valid point of critique? I did not like that Sonic does a Fortnite dance when he is happy.. because I HATE Fortnite , but I will not expand that on my blog. Does that mean I should say this movie is bad because he doesn’t do his traditional finger waggle thing instead? This movie is intended for younger kids so obviously there will be childish jokes and I am sure some gamer kids will like that reference.
Super Sonic Rating
Sonic by no means is a perfect movie but clearly it is not trying to be either. It won’t win any oscars and the human characters, except for Robotnik are a bit throw away but that again is partially intended. We do not go see a sonic movie for the story of officer Tom. We want to see Sonic fight Robotnik, that’s what we get. If you you want to see a modern superhero movie this flick may be something you pass on. In fact I could come up numerous reasons why this movie is not for you. That’s not how this movie is made. This film not made to to be larger than life. It’s not made for people who think the first h in hedgehog is silent. Will you like this movie can be answered in three simple questions.
1. Did you ever play and at least liked a 2d sonic game? (Spinball and the slow one don’t count)
2. Do you like Jim Carrey in his classical roles like Ace Ventura, Dumb and Dumber and the Mask?
3. Do you still enjoy 90’s movies along with their cliché’s and despite their flaws?
If you at least said yes to one of these questions Sonic will be a fine movie to visit. If you selected at least two I am sure this movie will be something that you will thoroughly enjoy from beginning to end. This might not be the best movie ever.. but I am pretty sure it is the best Olive Garden commercial ever. If you answered yes to all my three answers with yes.. the conclusion is very easy. You GOTTA go so see it… and you Gotta go fast.
My dear island guests, I am gonna take you back to the past! To play some shitty game that suckd (Feeb)as. When I first came up with Pinkie, I wanted to make Pinkie’s Playroom. A youtube channel that would combine Angry Video Game Nerd, Kizuna Ai and Tamagotchi in a very Moe way. Pinkie would hatch from her egg in an empty room with just a NES and a single bad game to play. Trough likes, an unknown force releases more games and later toys and decoration in her room. She would start with bad goes and occasionally get a good one. Today I’d like to talk to you about that game in the first episode. Adventures in the Magic Kingdom for NES however my blog is not about hating things! So I just had to play it again and see if there was something to love!
Frowny Stormy Cloud
Adventures in the Magic Kingdom is a Disney Game that launched in europe in december 1992. It was one of the first NES games I got and my most glitchy cartridge. While the US got this “gem” of a game, a whopping 2,5 years earlier than us , there was no internet to tell us how much this game would suck. Nor was there much objective game magazines out there. At least not that I was aware off. Let alone that I would read as a six year old girl. I was not prepared for the unfair and poorly designed game what awaited me. The game places you in the role of a young boy that you can name yourself visiting Disney’s magical kingdom. Goofy has lost the seven silver keys to Cinderella’s castle and now the parade can start. It’s up to you to find the six silver keys in the rides scattered across the disney theme park.It seemed like such a nice idea but the AVGN would probably call this game, a shit load of fuck. Of course Pinkie would not be as profane as the iconic internet character of James Rolfe. She would swear with very clean curse words… stuff like “Unicorn Sprinkles!” Buuuu! (just a sound) or Frowny Stormy Cloud and trust me there is a lot to frown about in this game..but that is not what this story is about this story is about love.
For a kid who had never been to disneyland herself it was a dream to play this game. Which only got better after I visited. I could first discover these rides. Then finally seem them for real myself. After I went to the park, I could finally recognise these and I could see.. the lay out….sorta .. kinda… fitted. Of course Euro Disney was a bit different so it might have been that. I could still ride Thunder Mountain, race in Autopia, survive the haunted mansion, escape the pirates of the caribbean, travel the galaxy in space mountain.. and take part in a trivia treasure hunt. It’s everything a little kid could want. However all these games are bogged down with artificial difficulty, patterns you need to study, RNG you need to overcome and a very high difficulty wall to overcome. It isn’t really fit for it’s targeted demographic, so back than I never beat it.. but now as an adult I surely must be able to beat these. Isn’t it amazing that you grow into a game like into all the rides of Disney? Wait.. I died how many times! … I have to STOP during a race to wait for an random element to appear? Even if I finish the Thunder Mountain minigame have to stop at a specific station to get the key?! Fuuuuuudge-muffins! Bag of not so tasty Chips! Crab …Cakes! Frowny Stormy Cloud. FROWNY STORMY CLOUD!
Learning About Disney
Okay Okay, that wasn’t very nice of me to say when I was a kid I had fun with this game it’s all that counts right? Okay half the game … okay I liked two out of six mini games. I could beat four of them! The first one I ever learned to beat was the quiz. It was fun to learn about Disney stuff and test my knowledge and since..young Pinkie could do it surely I should be able to do it as well. The first question that I was asked “Which is the smart and the most responsible dwarf’ Such a cute question, I remember these. Next question “what was the first Mickey Cartoon” … hmm well I know this but I think little me would have not known that. Nani! Donald Duck’s Middle name is Fauntleroy?! I never knew that! Cool!.
“ Flowers and Trees was the first academy award winning cartoon?! “That’s not stuff a kid would know. Let me tell you that these questions are impossible, the only way a kid could get all these (again in the time before the internet) was through trial and error. Of course these questions are randomised and you can actual game over trough wrong answers…. Well at least it’s more fun than doing homework hey?! I mean we can learn what year cinderella originally came out in! I never knew Snow White made Gooseberry Pie for the dwarfs. I figured it would have been an apple pie, or a strawberry pie! What even is a gooseberry anyway? I do know Yennefer smells like them!
Finally I managed to study enough to clear this trial I did in my past. Time to move onto space mountain, the second trial young Pinkie managed to clear. This one is a quick time event. It says to press the button prompt on the screen. Surely I can do that! There it says A… Oh… it meant I was on planet A…the button prompts are below. Well that is one hitpoint down. This one is fairly doable, until you get to the halfway point. This one is about memorising again. About learning to recognise small cues instead of the actual button prompts because those arrive way to late. Still all in all this is actually a fun minigame and look I can actually buy hit points from the menu!….But I can’t get any stars in this stage… this one is meant to play last. Darn.. I lost a life.. wait.. Game over?! Of course that means new questions to memorise! At least I am getting real Disney smart.
Where are the disney characters though? With the quiz I just talk to random humans. Why not make it disney characters. Wait they aren’t on any of the rides either.. we just get some still images. During one event we race against Petey.. but of course he is just another car sprite…. hmmmm. that kinda… “No Pinkie .. this blog is about love! Tell us what you love about this game!” Well the music is pretty catchy! I love the space mountain theme. I love how it makes me appreciate the actual characters so much more and want to visit the actual theme park. By now I could really impress them with my big Disney Brain. I now know Mickey’s Birthday is 18 november 1928. Disregarding the year our birthdays are just a day apart. I really love knowing that.
Training your brain
The two stages I never beat as a kid where the platforming stages, my sister could at least beat Thunder Mountain so we did get close to beating this. Yet I was pretty good at platformers. I beat all the robot masters in mega man 2, I completed Super Mario Bros 3. Yet I never could finish Adventures in the Magic Kingdom? Let me investigate this. I actually had fun finding out where I struggled with this as a kid. Though it did not take me long to find out. These stages are very challenging. Both the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean are challenging platformers with unique mechanics. In Pirates you got to rescue some girls and in The Haunted Mansion you have to defeat a ghost with limited candles as ammunition. Pirates has you dodging projectiles and is composed of mostly evasive jumping, where the Haunted Mansion mostly relies on precision jumps and well timed actions. I got to give them credit they still feel very different from each other.
However once again they do seem to be way too difficult for their core audience. My younger self should have been it’s core audience, yet the three hit point system is way to unforgiving. While these two stages ACTUALLY hold stars that allow you to buy extra hit points, so much cheap deaths are thrown at you that you are mostly training your brain again. While this was common for games of that time, these stages kind of linger on. A game over resets all progress which makes this a very long stretch to remember. Perhaps if you somehow could SAVE a moment in Retro games ..to pick up after we could beat them.
Now it does seem like this post will end with me being very negative about the game, but somewhere in my end struggle something happened. I actually began to find the magic, I actually had some sort of fun. I found back the fun young Pinkie had. Old Pinkie has become spoiled. She played better, young Pinkie.. kinda did but never in the same genre. Never could young Pinkie experience some a hub world game that lead to several kinds of games. Never could she walk in a theme park like in this game. When old Pinkie reached the zenith of her annoyance .. she realised there was nothing like this anymore. Nowadays games are meant to be beatable by everyone, enjoyable to anyone and we have so many tools around herself to make gaming never be the same again. People tell us how we should play games on Youtube, if we die in a game there are no consequences and we have so many ways and tools to make a game great and extensive.
Back in my old days we had no such options. We had artificially difficulty , a game wasn’t just about how well we can hold a controller it was about remembering patterns and actually being punished harshly for it. We weren’t massive game addicts in that time because these game could frustrate us so much we had to take breaks and since our progress was wiped anyway. Adventures in the magic Kingdom is a game you can beat in 18 minutes… like most games of that time. Yet we needed strategy guides, intense training , memorising everything, every pattern and learn it by heart. I can dream final fantasy VI and VII by heart even if it took 100 hours to finish, I caught every single pokémon in Galar in two or three weeks.. and yet this below mediocre Disney themed game. Yet this 18 minute game took me 29 years to beat. I did not put that many hours in .. but it was never meant for that.. It was meant to frustrate you and push you to get a little better each time until you eventually beat it. Yes it’s incredibly unfair, there is way to much RNG and pattern memorisation, the looks and theming is lackluster and it certainly did not cater to it’s audience..but it was good enough for Tiny Pinkie. This dumpster fire of a game pleased me, because I just wanted to play games and this was another I enjoyed. Everyone has a game like this, their Bubsy, their Bebe’s kids, their Skate or Die. That one stinker you really enjoyed because it was still a game.
Nowadays we boycott our favorite developer, because the new game is slightly shorter than the game before it. Now we make angry tweets on how “Generic Shooter 5 has only 190 guns, while Generic SHooter 4 had 250, therefore Generic Shooter 5 is not worth full price.. and what’s worse they will make those other guns accessible in a free update that comes with dlc! For shame! A game as terrible as Adventures in The Magical Kingdom makes me appreciate how far we have come, how great games have become and how enjoyment isn’t always strictly in the quality of a game but what you as a fan make of it yourself. I remember my sister and me playing the quiz over and over..roleplaying we were on big tv quizzes, making up stories about the Haunted Mansion level being a game show where you had to survive giving each life a personality of its own. It was great. Games like these make me appreciate games that much more and showed me what it truly meant to love gaming. And for that it genuinely is a magical game that I will cherish forever.