Sunday, 29 May 2016

Transformers Combiner Wars Bruticus, Part 2; Blast Off: We need a Doctor here!

It took them 30 years, but they finally did it. They finally fixed the problem of "Why is there a space shuttle on the army guy team?"

Part two of Bruticus, and now we come to his right arm, Blast Off. Who is a repaint, and repaint of Slingshot (or rather, Quickslinger) who is a remold of Fireflight (Firefly). The mold reuse is real here people. At least he still looses to Vortex who's been Alpha Bravo, Blades, Vortex, and the twins in Victorion.
False advertisement, that landing gear is not purple on mine!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Opening Impressions: Fire Emblem Fates: "You are the ocean's grey wave"

"You said that Opening Impressions are for TV shows, Fire Emblem isn't a TV show you idiot" And you'd be correct, however, this is something I really want to bring up, at first, quickly, because its not going to get a review for a while. "Then what took you so long you idiot, Fire Emblem Fates came out ages ago." Well I don't have a US 3DS, and we didn't get the game until last Saturday, to which I was at the midnight launch for. So then, assuming you're still around for this category shake up, shall we?

I should say first, no, I don't have the special edition, I have a physical copy of both Birthright, and Conquest. And right of the bat, that is my biggest problem with Fates, and it has been since the announcement. The point of the game is "the choice", after Chapter 7, you will be on one of three sides to the war, and I think locking the choice to the game versions weakens the choice. Now granted, you can buy all three versions on the one game, but that is pricy (though probably not as pricy as my method, I just like having a physical copy when possible).

Before getting into the other thing that would make that moment better, let's actually tackle the plot, or what I know of it so far (currently at chapter 11 (roughly) of Birthright), You take up the role of Corrin, a prince or princess depending on what gender you chose (which to me, I prefer female Corrin's design, so for the rest of this I'll be reffering to Corrin as a woman). her role in the bigger story, is of a grey, for you see, she is Honshido by blood, but was kidnapped and raised in teh kingdom of Nohr. While Honshido is more peaceful, colourful, and heavily based on Japanese culture, Nohr on the other hand, thanks to their King, is more of a war culture, more closely resembling previous Fire Emblem games like Awakening, in comparison. You spend three chapters with your brothers and sisters of Nohr, and then three chapters with your brothers and sisters of Honshido, with Chapter 7 being when you make the decision of which side you fight for.

With the exception to what I said above, about the multiple games, and that they portrey the king as the "big bad guy". That choice is heart wrenching. It's brutal, and after what happened in Chapter 6, its a real feels trip, something the Fire Emblem games are known for (see the death of Chrom in Awakening (no spoilers, its in the prologue of the game) and sacrificing one of your troops in Shadow Dragon (might review that one some other time). I'm almost dreading making having to do the choice another two times, with the worst one possibly being the Revelations "stand alone" option.

What helps with the choice is that Fire Emblem is well known for its strong characters, and Fates is no exception. The brothers and sisters are really interesting, Corrin, like Robbin, has a strong, defined personality, and isn't just a shell for the player. My personal favorite, in terms of personality, from Honshido has to go to Hana, who to me is basically this game's Nowi, not in role, just in charm. I love how she's portreyed in this, and I'm curious as to who I'll meet in Conquest and Revelations, who the stand outs will be there.

I've not had the time to try all the new features, however I have unlocked several of them. Including... that one... Now before I get probably everyone on the internet pissed off in some way, hear me out. I haven't had a reason to use it, I don't want to use it, for two reasons. First, as I said, I'm playing as female Corrin, and I don't want to pet grown men in this, its creepy enough as is for the women. Second, while I love the visuals for this, I love the art style, I don't like the close up 3D models for the characters. They feel amost like they're in an uncanny valley. It might just be me, but I much prefer how expressive their in battle models and 2D portraits are, expecially with the art direction they went with the portraits.

I'll save a full music review for when I review the game, but I will openly state that the full version of the main theme is one of the best songs I've heard from the franchise, and I would even put it up with one of the best video game songs I've heard, period. It's absolutely beautiful, and to me, its one that I would use when I get people asking me "Why do you listen to video game music?". The song itself is called "Lost in thoughts all alone", and seriously, go listen to it. Right now! In fact:
And if you can't see it:

Yeah, encase it wasn't obvious, I'm loving Fates so far. What issues I have, most of them can be negated as they're still really solid. I wish I didn't have to refer to them as multiple games, just leave them as the one game, but I'm guessing that was a marketing "lets milk this for as much cash as we can" decision, and hopefully not a designer decision. See you on Sunday for the review of Blast Off, the other arm of Bruticus.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Transformers Combiner Wars Bruticus, Part 1; Vortex: No, I'm not going to make that joke

It's too obvious.

So, lets take a stab at some Generations figures, the continuation of Classics, which is basically re designs of Generation 1 characters. With Titans Return on the way, and the combiner wars concluded, I figure it would be interesting to take a look at the, at time of writing, the only combiner from that line I've completed, Bruticus. As a forewarn, I'll be reviewing them in the order I got them, if it comes off as random, that's why. Time to begin the drone coverage with Alpha Bravo... I mean Blades... I mean Vortex.
I'm no photographer, but still, would you rather my bad photography skills, or promo images?

Starting with the helicopter mode and... its a helicopter. It has nice details, but what does suffer from is the problem with the line. It's Alpha Bravo as a decepticon. Critiquing the mold itself, its pretty long, but personally I think in the wrong places. The front end has pretty much most of the mass in the copter, making the tail look rather small in comparison, boosted by the fact that the "stabilizers" are just as far back. There are reasons why, but it still makes it look kinda awkward. Adding to that, looking at the underside... and you see most of the robot. The chest, the head, the arms, and you can guess how the legs are going to work. Yellow missile's aside, the paint is also pretty good for a retail release, very fitting of Vortex. If there was someway to bring the arms forward though and a way to compact them better, the look for the copter would look so much better.

Combiner Wars Deluxe figures, like Vortex, have four modes. Vehicle, Robot, Leg mode (or rather, shin mode), and arm mode. So for these, I'll be doing them in order of transformation, so first off, Leg mode, which to do it, you transform the cockpit of Vortex into his feet for Robot mode, put the complimentary Hand Foot Gun into its foot form and plug it into the now exposed port for it, compress the tail and propellers and then flip out the combiner peg. And now, you have a shin. And this will probably be the last time Vortex will ever be in Shin mode, because for one, there are better shin bots then Vortex and for another reason, scramble city gimmick or not, Vortex is an arm. In arm mode, he looks a lot better, with the robot mode legs being the elbow for Bruticus, and the arms... just hanging there, which is a common problem for arm modes in the line. I personally bend the arms back, having the missiles pointed out, just for the sake of the arm mode. But yeah, it's an arm... Next!

Robot mode then, and its a pretty competent robot. Far, far, FAR better then the last batch of combiners reviewed. Vortex isn't a brick, having articulation in his head, sholders, elbows, waist, and knees. Everything is also secure on him, nothing's too tight, nothing's too loose. Gun's a little on the bland side in terms of paint, just boring grey plastic, and the combiner peg sticks out like a sore thumb, but overall, its a great robot.

Nothing feels tacked on aside from the Hand Foot Gun, it probably would have worked better to have a separate hand and a separate foot, there's no reason they couldn't do it that way, as you need four of the things anyway to make a combiner. The arms suffer from the simpler, smaller transformations, but apart from those, I do really like the mold, worth picking up if you can get one. Next Sunday will be Blast Off, a new video is coming in the next few days, and I want to try something a bit more casual for Wednesday, so bare with me for it.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Opening Adventures; Rick and Morty: Time for a science question...

This show is aimed more at a maturer audience, airing on Adult Swim. As such, the language used in this review is meant for a more mature audience.

What do you get when you mix Back to the Future, with crude humor? You'd basically get this. I've had this on my radar for a while now, ever since December 2014, always with teh intent on giving this a proper look. I still haven't, but hey, that's what Opening Impressions are for, judging how well the opening episodes of a show work to sell the show. So let's see how well this show does it.

This is a Fan poster by 3FrogBoy on Deviantart.
Link found here:

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Avengers vs X-Men: So tempting to do a Birds of Prey joke

Not the original plan, but being honest, I couldn't find ways to word it, so I picked another arc, this one, with thankfully better sucsess. So, what could bring the two biggest teams in the Marvel Universe to go against each other? Well seeing as this will probably not be the last hero v hero comic covered, let's find out. I should note, I'm only covering the direct plot of the arc, not before it, and not after it.

The Phoenix force, a power unlike anything you'll find in the MCU (for legal reasons). Its an entity of pure destruction, and its returning to earth, to merge with a girl called Hope Summers, the mutant messiah. The Avengers try to put her into protective custody, but the X-men, refuse. Using a portion of the Phoenix Force, hope flees from the battle, causing the two teams to try and find her. Hope wants to use the Phoenix to reignite the Mutant kind, and trusts Wolverine to, if need be, kill her should she not control it. Before the Phoenix can fully bond with Hope, Iron Man and Giant Man fire a device to try and stop it, but only splinters it, making it bond with Cyclops, Emma Frost, Neymor, Colossus, and Magik (hope I'm spelling some of those right). After defeating the Avengers, the Phoenix five, as they are now going by, are reshaping the planet to their desire, providing free energy, food and water to everyone, all really good things, but because their powers are going unchecked, they need to be stopped. After the first part of their plan, to rescue Hope, barely succeeds, many battles take place, eventually leading to them defeating Neymor, but having his portion of the power return to the other four, making them more powerful.

The rest of the main story is basically that, leading to Cyclops becoming the Dark Phoenix, with all the pieces, killing Professor Xavier, but eventually losing to Hope and the Scarlet Witch. While I can say that this is more then what I was able to do for the Dark Phoenix saga, everything else aside from the visuals and the situation is pretty meh overall. It was more style of the situation, over substance. Might it be because of my lack of time dedicated to it, to get the review, maybe, I hope not though.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Transformers Energon Perceptor Mini Con Team: Why did you want this?

No seriously, why? I put that poll up as a joke, thinking no one would want to see this. How wrong I was. is it just because this is one of the transformers that even the big Transformers Toy reviewers don't do? I don't follow every one who does Transformers reviews, but looking at who I primarily follow, Emgo316, BensCollectables, Thew Addams, Lazy Eyebrow Reviewer and TJ Omega, none of them have done these figures, and I can only confirm one of them has them at all. Last chance to say no... fine...
You wanted them

Allow me to show you what happens when you try to make a combiner small, and cheep. Starting with the vehicle modes, which for Mini cons, they aren't that bad. From left to right, we have High Wire, who's a motor cross bike, and in my opinion the weakest of the three, as you will see later. Sureshock, who's a quadbike, and Grindor... who's a hovercraft... one of these three isn't like the others. Generally when there are Mini con teams, they tend do have some sort of theme. During Armada, these three were the street mini con team, a bike, a skateboard, and a scooter, which makes sense. How does a Hovercraft fit in with a dirt bike and a quad bike? I'd even settle for a hover board, which is how Grindor was used in Energon. Standard features for those vehicles still work here. Grindor is a brick, Sureshock moves with all rolling wheels, along with Highwire... but its a toy motor bike, they don't stand on their own, at all.
I swear there were some good looking Mini cons back then

Robot modes then... can you tell these three are going to combine yet? Have you noticed how much they've had to sacrifice for the combined mode? Then allow me to tell you about them. Highwire first, no, that isn't a miss transformation, and no, that's not a factory defect. Highwire genuinly has no paint on his face. It was so bad that promo images actually showed him with Perceptor's head as his head, which just makes him look super awkward. He (and before I get angry comments, I've had these three for over a decade, I've just always referred to them as male) is also one of those mini cons where a gentle breeze will tip him over. Highwire is very back heavy, as he is the head of Perceptor, and with barely any form of feet, he will just fall. While he is pretty posable, being the only one of the three with standard articulation (head swivel, movable "arms", waist swivel, and two joints in the legs, you can't do much with them, because again, he falls easy, not to mention, HE'S MISSING AN ARM. Again, not a factory error, one of his arms, is his front wheel. There isn't even something that gives him at least a left hand. Sureshock... has been spending to much time in a gorilla cosplay costume. He's all arms and sholders, which can't do much. His arms can do a full 360 movement thanks to the ball joints on them, but that's all you can do. His "legs" lock into place, so you're not supposed to bend them, his feet can be posed in a broken ankle position, but that's it. but at least he's better then Grindor, who is again, a brick. That pose he's in now, is one of two, the other being having his arms back in their vehicle mode configuration, to have it look like his arms are on his hips. Now I'm sure you're probably wondering, if all of them have this many flaws in robot mode, it must be in service to the combined mode.
And you thought Power Core Combiners sucked

See for yourself. This is Perceptor, who is just as much of a brick as what made him up. Starting from the bottom up. Grindor makes up the legs, and due to how his transformation works, they may as well be locked into the position I have them in for this picture. They don't bend at all, and the only thing you can have them do is the splits, not even a high kick because of the weight distribution. Sureshock's cut backs at least make sense here, as he's the main torso for Perceptor, and as a chest, he works, but those gorilla arms don't even work here. They're on a slider joint to get the length right, which is fine, but they molded his arms in a way so that they don't bend forward, only backwards. Combined with the lack of friction in those arms from the years, and move his arms up far enough, and it will look like someone tried breaking his arms. Now then, know all those things Highwire had to give up to be the combiner boss. All he is in Perceptor is the head, and the back pack. He is a Headmaster who fails at being a Headmaster... or should I call him a Titan Master now. Could they not get the rights to Headmaster? He does so many of his forms so badly that I wonder why he was even a thing here. Yes, his head moves, but thanks to the joints its on, move it in any way, and you break his neck.
Some size comparisons, and yes, the three mini cons are in scale with RiD 2015 mini cons

Encase you couldn't tell, this combiner sucks. Every mode has sacrifices, but none of the sacrifices benefit any other mode. The only modes that work are the vehicle modes, but even then there are far better Mini con vehicles. To try and counter this, next toy review is going to start a more recent combiner, Bruticus. But before we get to who'll start it, Vortex, Avengers vs X-Men.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Mediaholics Cinema: Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea

Welcome to the Mediaholics Cinema. Tonight, we are airing Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea. Do note, THIS DOES NOT SHOW THE ORIGINAL MOVIE. This is a commentary on the movie.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

PSA: May content plans and beyond (and finally furfilling a promise)

So there are some things on the way this month that I should bring up. Don't worry, none of it bad.. I hope...

As many of you would know, as according to blogger, most of my audience is there, the summer holidays are coming up for America. This will mean Marissa is going to have a lot more free time coming up. How much, no idea. But she does have some plans during the free time, one of them being a review of the anime Zoids, so that's something to look forward to sometime soon.

A joint project both Marissa and I are working on has been given the name of the Mediaholics Cinema. We're going to start doing movie commentaries. The current plan for this is to have both a video and an audio file of the commentary, but in order to not have the copyright bot go after us, the movies won't be in the videos, you will need to find copies of the movies in question. Sorry, but I don't want to be slammed by the copyright bot... probably still will anyway, but one step at a time.

Last sunday, I released the addendum review for Hyrule Warriors Legends, Well, the reason for it is because more weekly content is coming. The planned schedule is for Wednesdays to stay the same from me, Sunday's to be for more smaller things, such as PSA's like this one, Addendum reviews, First impressions and maybe music reviews if I have any, and a new thing from me, Toy reviews.

I am going to say now though, Toy reviews won't happen often, and will probably be selective. The reason being is because doing toy reviews is really expensive in the long term, so I'll only be reviewing what I naturally pick up. I do have plans to review the Transformers Combiner Wars Bruticus, I did promise a review of Energon Perceptor Mini con team, and I am going to be picking up other things, such as some of the Titans Return line, the new wave of BIONICLE, Amiibo reviews will probably happen, things like that. I have told Marissa about this, and she may be doing some as well, but again, its what we naturally get in some way.

So yeah, that's what's coming in May, Hope you all enjoy it, and I'll see you all for the Dark Phoenix Saga. Before I do go, it is Mothers day today for me, so to my own mother, and to any others who do read my work, who aren't from that particular group, a happy mothers day to you, hopefully you can get some rest and relaxation

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The Dark Knight Returns

One final jab at Dawn of Justice, as this the last DC thing I'm doing for a while. It should come as no surprise that a part of the inspiration for Dawn of Justice is The Dark Knight Returns, and while I'm not reviewing the comic, I do want to review the animated movies. And yes, I said movies. There are two parts to this. So let's just go in order

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Addendum Review: Hyrule Warriors Legends: Now you can take your one man war on the go

Seeing as I've only recently reviewed Hyrule Warriors, and now there's a 3DS version of the game, consider this a continuation of the WiiU's review. I'm not going to repeat myself, as a lot of what works for the WiiU version carries over to the 3DS version. What is being covered here are the differences between the two.