EG American RX-78 is a Gunpla That Can Be Defined In a Single Word: ;aewbfewbfewjk;bwekfbeafb

Since I was back home and had access to ma baby car, I took the opportunity to buy and complete an EG American RX-78 Gundam. If it says exclusive, you’re d@mn right I’m gonna get it.

This is actually my first RX-78, albeit a repaint from Breaker Battalogue. Until I get my hands on the Origin, RG, or Revive version, this’ll do. Since it was non-canon, I decided to do my own custom job. It’s nothing too complicated like others (I’m still stuck on my first paint job); just used decals. The idea needs some explaining, so sit back and listen to my ramble. I’m about to spoil Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, so go watch that.

At the end of the OVA, a remnant of Zeon, who were the antagonists of the first Gundam Show launched Operation Stardust, a colony that hit central North America to deplete the Earth Federation Forces’ food supply. This event led to the rise of the Titans, an elite EFF force who manipulated the events to get backing so that they can rule over the Earth and Space Colonies. They become the main antagonist of Zeta Gundam 5 years after this event.

My custom job was decaling the American Gramps to be a sort of propaganda tool by the Titans to get support from North America after the event. Although, the operation was apparently kept secret, so I guess I’m a fake fan! Either way, I stuck with it, I did it, and no one can stop me.

Gonna get right into the pictures before giving my thoughts on the kit itself.

Gallery:

The Entry Grade Experience

The title tells it all. Want to get into the hobby? Get an Entry Grade RX-78, Strike, or Nu Gundam. The best part is that nippers are necessary (unless you care about artistic integrity). Just go monkee on the runner with your bare hands. Seriously, the plastic was made to handle the force of your greasy, thicc fingers. At the fastest time, an Entry Grade takes 10-20 minutes to complete. Pretty good compared to the days a HG takes.

Admittedly, I wasn’t into the Entry Grades due to the EG Kamen Rider Zero One. That thing’s a statue. But not the Gramps! Old man’s got moves! While they aren’t as articulated as, say, the HG Zaku 2, it can still do a lot of poses. The only issue I found was the arms and elbows, which can’t do complicated arm movements, and the waist, which can’t do a full 360. Either the peg is too tight or there is no peg. I have no part separator, sooooo…

For about $10, the American Gramps isn’t bad. You get the figure, a Beam Rifle, and a Shield. Plus, you get an interesting color of the OG Gundam and stickers that are matt flat so they don’t look gawdy on them. But, unfortunately, it’s not the full weapons EG Gramp set that comes with much more so it’s not the best EG Gramp experience. However, I enjoyed it and it, and every EG, makes for a great template to start and learn how to detail model kits.

Probably should have taken pictures of it before I transformed it from the source material, but you live and learn. Let me know in the comments what you think of the EG RX-78 Gundam, and what your first Model Kit was? Hope to read your comments and really comment when I can. See you then when I finally finish the dang RG Mk-2 Gundam!

Oh, wait a minute…

“This guy…is an ace!”

Look forward to it~

-Samuel Argueta

I Fixed Maxie and Archie’s Team in Emerald Cause I Got Bored

I took a more casual approach to gaming this spring and see what I wanted to review rather than pressure myself into one. Which is why I got into playing Pokémon Emerald alongside Mother 3. One for casual play, and the other to cry like a little baby. I plan to have a personal retrospective on Emerald when I finish, but, until then, I decided to share my pain when I decided to fix Maxie and Archie’s team.

“Hahaha, welcome the republican party! Where our mascot is an Elephant and Texas is our homeland. (If you’re either party, I’m just having fun.)”

For those of you who are boomers, the 3rd generation had two evil teams instead of one, split into both versions. Team Magma, run by Maxie, were the land raising team of Ruby (or Omega Ruby) trying to revive Groudon. Archie, on the other hand, ran the sea-faring Team Aqua of Sapphire (or Alpha Sapphire) trying to revive Kyorge. Emerald brought the two teams together in the same game, both now the antagonist now fighting each other as they both revive the legendary Pokémon.

For those who do know, you might be asking, why did I bother fixing their teams? Pokemon is meant to be an easy game and they’re just a part of it. What’s wrong with both of them having a Mightyena and Crobat while Maxie has a Camerupt while Archie has Sharpedo? Yes, them having that kind of team fits with the casual play of Pokémon.

What Gamefreak got wrong with Maxie and Archie’s teams, extending to their grunts, is how much their Pokémon choice represent nothing relating to them or their plans. When I think of Magma and Aqua, I think of teams who use Ground, Fire, and Water types. The problem is, although the grunts use mons like Carvahna and Numel, many of them use Poocheyenas and Zubats, which becomes very tedious quick as you make your way through Emerald. I don’t understand why Gamefreak relied on those two. Although Hoenn is in short supply of original fire types, with only 3 lines including the start, but there are still 6 lined with the Slugma and Vulpix line. Ground types have a solid amount, with such new lines as Trapinch and Baltoy with a return of many such as Geodude and Sandrew. In fact, keeping with the theme, Maxie and Team Magma could even use Rock types like Solrock, although I didn’t give Maxie any rock Pokémon, and Grass types such as Seedot and Oddish.

“Is the sea the Democratic homeland?”

This sin is more headache inducing with Team Aqua, who operate in a region criticized by IGN for having too much water yet barely use any of the water types in that water. Hell, in Emerald, there are so many water types that the game, if you count Archie, has 3 water type bosses. Yet a pirate themed team only uses one Carvahna with one dude using a Wailmer. What the hell are they gonna do with their Poocheyena’s when they flood the world? No wonder Psyduck gets headaches in this universe. Gamefreak ended up turning both teams into discount Team Rocket, which is a disappointment. We could have had something unique with the teams, at least with Magma. I’m gonna have to move to a 3rd world country when I say that IGN was right in a sense.

But I got a bit off track. There is a huge missed opportunity that lays hidden between Maxie and Archie. Gen 3 introduced weather effects such as sun and rain, which Gamefreak would use the box legends to embody this new mechanic. Yet, only two bosses in the Elite Four utilize weather. Pretty good that Gamefreak actually decided to utilize on of their team strats through a trainer. But the Team bosses, who you’d think would showcase this mechanic based on their goals to revive the weather legends, never utilize this mechanic. Although Pokémon is a casual experience, I would expect the bosses of the teams to be some kind of challenge instead of “durr Crobat. durr I lost!” The problem with their team is that it ends up making them forgettable among the various Team bosses. It sucks because there was a simple solution. But nah, Gamefreak. Instead of doing something in ORAS, just give them a Weezing and a Muk. And don’t worry about giving Muk to the sea dude. Sure do love the mental image of Archie achieving his goals and Muk giving him the finger as he melts into the sea.

Because this sh!t bothered me so much, I straight up sacrificed a night of studying to go on Showdown and make a better team for the two. One that represents them as characters, represents their goals, and represents the weather brought into this Generation. I took this as a damn challenge. Now, although I say that I “fixed” their teams, this is my opinion. If you have any problem with the choices that I went, or have your own changes, let me know in the comments. I am but a Hispanic college student who just found out the hood is just slang for neighborhood. I am the farthest thing from being an authority.

The Ground Rules

Now to the meat of things. When it came to changing their teams, I placed a few rules onto myself that range vastly. This includes the games I used as the basis since both of them appear in gen 3 and gen 6, the changes based on both of them together, finally the changes based on both of them individually.

For the game related rules, I used the gen 3 mechanics as the basis for how I structured their teams. This means that I could only use Pokémon found within Hoenn during the 3rd generation, no other Pokémon past that, and I had to consider the lack of the physical-special split. Now, while there were some decisions made based on the remakes, I primarily stuck with gen 3 because I’m playing Emerald. Emerald is, to me, the definitive version of the story, even if ORAS are better mechanically, so I wanted to use the 3rd version as the foundation for the team.

For both of them together, the first decision was keeping their signature Pokémon. Although Camerupt and Sharpedo (especially Sharpedo) are terrible in gen 3 due to the lack of the physical-special split, and I really wanted to get rid of them, I wanted to respect the decision Gamefreak made when making them the signature. The second was only allowing them to use 5 Pokémon, as this is the team you would fight before the last gym. Also, they ain’t the champion. The third was structuring their teams around weather, and I’m sure you know which weather strategy is going to whom. This is to better reflect their goals of reviving Groudon and Kyorge and make them stand out amongst the other bosses in the game.

The fourth will be expanded upon in the section about them individually, but I wanted their character to be the defining choices of their Pokémon choice. Pokémon teams have the power to tell a story without words, as a person’s choice of mons and moves can say more about their character than simple dialogue. Finally, although Emerald is the basis for their team, I decided to use ORAS for their character. Maxie and Archie barely differentiate from each other in Emerald due to the fact that, in Ruby and Sapphire, they were characterized to be interchangeable. ORAS expanded upon their characters, making one a champion for humans and the other a champion of Pokémon. This was not in the original Emerald. However, I feel it best to use the improvements ORAS brought to them to better fix their teams.

With that, let’s get into both leaders individually.

Maxie: Leader of Team Magma

“Thank you game for putting a speaker in his voice so that this dialogue makes sense.”

For Maxie, based on his goals, I decided to go for a stall team consisting of only land Pokémon. Basically, no water types. As a man who wants to expand the land to further expand human civilization, and who is seemingly a scientist, I saw Maxie as the cold and calculated type who would see Pokémon as nothing more than tools. This is also why I made his team a lot more competitively viable, where the EVs are at their most perfect for each Mon. I thought perfect IVs would be too much for his boss fight. This culminates in a team with the best stall strategies, where they wear you down slowly while barely taking any hits. Maxie’s team is a team given to him.

Camerupt

His signature Pokémon that, admittedly, was difficult to fit well with the team structure that I went with. It does have a decent amount of bulk, mostly in hp, with an attack and special attack to hit back hard. As a fire/ground type, however, it dies the moment water even grazes its feet. Not only that, but its own secondary typing kicks its ass. Since I had to keep Maxie’s signature, I decided the best thing to do was a HP special defense tank combining with a resto-chesto set. Just to note, I highly doubt only the player character uses TMs, so I have no qualm using them for Maxie’s Pokémon. Resto-Chesto, for those who don’t know, is a combination of the move Rest, which induces the sleep status, with the sleep healing Chesto Berry. That way, if in a pickle, Camerupt can heal and wake up with no problem. However, in the likelihood of being in another pickle jar again, I gave it Sleep Talk, which allows the Pokemon to use any random move while asleep. Although risky, this allows Camerupt to fight back with either Earthquake, a stab 100 base move, or the deadly Eruption, which its power does decrease based on the Pokémon’s Hp. It ain’t much, but I think it’s something to make it a threat.

(Image from Bulbapedia)

Claydol

Maxie’s sunny day setter and one of his all-around tanks. With use of Cosmic Power, this thing will set up and take hits all while dealing damage with Earthquake and Solar Beam, the latter using the Sun against those pesky water types. Alternatively, there is also Explosion but, by the time you fight Maxie, his Claydol shouldn’t have it since it learns the move at lv 55. Yes, you do fight a level 25 Camerupt in the game when Numel evolves at lv 33, but I don’t want this team to be way too unbeatable. There’s also Toxic like Vileplume, to deal continious damage, and Refresh to heal status effects, which Maxie would replace Sunny Day with once he gets Groudon.

That’s the thing with Claydol. Although it’s the Sunny Day setter, it can do much more without it’s praising of the sun hindering it’s moveset. Since the weather rocks don’t exist yet, weather only lasts for 5 turns. The exception is Groudon, who’s ability, Drought, creates an endless burning sun just waiting to melt the Artic caps. I could have given every mon Sunny Day, which is an option since trainer A.I doesn’t understand the concept of switching. But then every mon has one move slot wasted for Sunny Day and one wasted turn to make the democrats angry. So, Claydol requires Maxie to use his actual brain. This team benefits a lot more once Groudon is awakened.

There’s also another reason for Claydol’s position. Trainers, in Omega Ruby, describe Route 11’s desert, where Baltoy are found, to have possibly been a bay. Okay, a lot of this is based on that exhaustive video on Omega Ruby by ShayMay, but I loved his interpretation of what this area signifies. It symbolizes Maxie’s dream to dry the sea for more land, yet this area is such a desert wasteland that it makes you wonder if Maxie’s paradise will never come.

(Image from Bulbapedia)

Skarmory

I didn’t Crobat, a Pokémon that evolves from friendship, to really fit well with a cold and calculated type of person. Instead, I thought, “why not give him Skarmory, a Physical tank found in the volcanic ash section of the region.” This also happens to be a place near Mt Chimney, the location of Team Magma’s base. Why Skarmory? Because Skarmory is an annoying tank so overused I’ve lost several times in Gen 3 OU battles on Showdown because of it. What makes Skarmory a threat is its combination of Roar and Spikes. Spikes is the only move I gave Skarmory that deals any damage because, if it gets 3 spikes up, Roar allows it to give continuous damage by singing Fnaf songs so cringy your Pokémon will physically leave the battle. If the opposing Pokémon isn’t fast enough, it’s back in the ball for the others to get spikes damage. Now, it’s not as perfect as I write, as Skarmory’s checks are other flying types and Pokémon faster than it. I actually learned Stealth Rocks wasn’t in the game, which surprised me. Like Camerupt, I also gave it the rest sleep talk strat for recovery except I gave it Leftovers for continuous healing. I’ve seen Smogon do toxic and taunt, which I think is a good strategy as well. All of these work in the end. Skarmory’s role is support, to give the enemy continuous damage with each switch in.

(Image from Bulbapedia)

Vileplume

What’s a sunny day team without a grass type? And I thought Vileplume fit that need very well despite being found in a route full of rain. Vileplume acts as the toxic setter and team healer. God job Gamefreak, you completely invalidated Oddish’s own existence in this region. Thought of putting status effects on Maxie’s Pokémon? Vileplume’s aromatherapy will quickly get rid of that. And then itshows you it’s twitter page to induce Toxic. For this mon, however, I made two movesets instead of one just because I wasn’t sure on which to go with. The first has leech seed and Giga Drain for more continuous recovery, while the second has Solar Beam and Synthesis to fully utilize the Sun. I think either one is fine, though let me know in the comments which one you think is better.

I thought it best to use Vileplume for the role of a bulky Grass type because of its secondary poison typing, allowing for them to not get poisoned themselves. Vileplume does take a lot of hits from different types, and doesn’t have a lot of attacking options besides Solar Beam or Giga Drain lest it be given evs for its attack stat to use Poison moves. However, Chlorophyll gives it the speed boost it needs to do what it needs to do.

(Image from Bulbapedia)

Dusclops

Found in Mt. Pyre, and is Maxie’s last team member, Dusclops is another overall bulky Pokémon like Claydol. However, rather than Claydol using Cosmic Power to raise both defenses, Dusclops role is to use Substitute to take more hits. This is combined with the dreaded Focus Punch, a powerful fighting move that needs to be charged without the mon getting hit. So, you can see where the combo’s strength is. Besides that, Dusclops has Night Shade to give set damage based on it’s level, so about 43-45 fixed damage, and then Will-o-Wisp to cripple you’re physical attackers. Because of Dusclops’ ghost typing, it’s a good switch in for fools who try to remove Skarmory’s spikes with rapid spin.

Another reason for Dusclops’ position is where it’s found. Mt Pyre is the Lavender Tower of Hoenn, where the graves are found, and is where Maxie gets the orb to revive Groudon. But the graves are the significant part for Dusclops inclusion. Basically, it’s the edgy visual that Maxie is gonna kill a bunch of people in the process of reviving Groudon.

(Image from Bulbapedia)

Archie: Leader of Team Aqua

“I’m an independent. I vote the Green Party and nobody can stop me!”

Archie, on the contrary, I decided to go for a hard-hitting team consisting of only Pokémon found within or near the sea. So, one of the things that made Archie hard to figure out a team for was how redundant he was. Gamefreak decided to have one of their evil teams be based around Water, only to then decide to make the final gym, Juan, and the Champion, Wallace, also water based. All three of these wet boys are also surrounded by water routes. At this point, I think IGN had a point and I never thought that’d be possible.

As a man who wants to expand the sea for Pokémon’s sake, and as someone who seemingly lived along the depths with his hardy crew, I saw Archie as the passionate but misguided type who sees his team as almost a part of him. This is also why, when using Showdown for this team building, I randomized the evs and ivs for his team. He doesn’t care about their stats (although he would care for their moveset). This is a man who caught and befriended his Pokémon, and damn it all if he isn’t gonna use them. This all culminates in a team that benefits from the rain so that they can hit hard and cripple you long enough to not stop them in their tracks. 

Sharpedo

If Camerupt was a headache, then Sharpedo was an aneurism. Now, in my actual retrospective on Emerald, I will probably say that I liked the lack of physical special split because it made choosing a team much harder and required some more thought than other team building I’ve done in other games. However, in practice, the game really is the rock, paper scissor game we joke about it being with little to no thought with each battle. Every rock is physical, and every dragon is special. What I thought would be a fun dive back into the past actually revealed its glaring problems.

Sharpedo is the embodiment of why the physical-special split needed to happen. The Pokémon is a physical attacker, yet Water and Dark moves are all special in this game. Meaning its best stat can’t be used to use its actual typing. It is Archie’s worst mon, but I gotta keep it because it’s his signature.

So, what did I do with this meat sack? I went with a Subtitute strategy where it sets up agility in order to get a similar speed boost alongside its Swift Swim brethren. I gave Hydro Pump, but Crunch is also a good option as well. Finally, rather than go for Slash, I actually decided to give it Return in order to exemplify how I see Archie as the one who loves his Pokemon. And…that’s the best that I could.

(Image from Bulbapedia)

Gyarados

Originally, I wanted to go for a Walrein because of its bulk as a Rain Dance setter and good coverage. However, Juan uses a Sealeo, while Glacia uses two and a Walrein. I thought giving Archie would cement his role as redundant further. So, I decided to go for Gyarados.

Gyarados, although it doesn’t get Dragon Dance due to it being learned at level 50, is still a harsh threat. It gets options like Earthquake for Electric Types and Hydro Pump for stab. Combined with it being one of the Rain Dance setters for the team, Hydro Pump will hit harder than Will Smith on Oscar night. It also has the ability Intimidate to cripple physical attackers. Finally, in case you put a status effect on it, I gave it Facade to double the base power.

So, why Gyarados over other water types or even Pelipper? The reason is because I would see my interpretation of Archie raising a Magikarp up into a Gyarados. Magikarps are known for being terrible Pokémon that evolve into an amazing one, if someone puts the time and effort. I think having one would tell a lot about Archie’s character more than dialogue.

(Image from Bulbapedia)

Lanturn

In case you think of one shotting everything with an electric type, this Pokémon can come in and absorb it like the Thing to the crew in Antartica. While another Rain Dance setter, I also gave it Thunder Wave to cause guaranteed paralysis to slow your team down. I gave it Hydro Pump for stab, but Lanturn’s greatest strength is using rain for a 100% accurate Thunder which will slap foes harder than Will Smith on Oscar night. I originally thought of giving Archie only tough and fierce looking Pokémon, but I thought the adorable Lanturn represents his softer side. With Kyorge’s awakening, Rain Dance would be replaced with Ice Beam for more coverage.

(Image from Bulbapedia)

Relicanth

Found within the depths, a mon that represents the ancient world that Archie longs to bring back, is a Relicanth. I can only imagine his face when he reels one in, as it’s one of the rarer mons in the area. Unfortunately, Relicanth’s only benefit in the rain is swift swim as its low special attack means its water type moves are virtually useless. Thankfully, it’s got the attack stat to use Ancient Power, which has a chance of raising all of its stats, and Earthquake as another Electric check. I also gave it the good old chesto-resto strat and even Toxic to cripple mons. A fast little rock that symbolizes the world Archie wishes for.

(Image from Bulbapedia)

Kingdra

What I thought would be Archie’s sweeper until I realized Dragon Dance does absolutely nothing for it since it’s a primarily special user. The physical special split really hinders Archie’s team alot. So, instead, I went with a substitute strat where it can dish out Hydro Pumps and Dragon Breathes to paralyze the foe once again. I thought a Water/Dragon type would be an interesting challenge for the player and an interesting addition to his team. Like Relicanth, it’s ability swift swim boosts its speed to hit fast and hard. Also, it’s a rain dance setter, but with Kyorge it’d be replaced with Disable to hinder an opponent’s move. With Dragon giving it some good resistances and a decent offense, I saw Kingdra a good addition to the team.

(Image from Bulbapedia)

Honestly, a lot of Pokémon fit Archie’s team well. From Tentacruel to Gorebyss, the sea is full of mons that could have made it onto the final team I made for him.

And that just about wraps it up. I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on how I would fix Maxie and Archie’s team. This was a weird post, but I was really invested in seeing how I could change up their Pokémon. Thank you for reading and, like I said, let me know in the comments how you would change Archie and Maxie’s team. Welp, see you again next time~

-Samuel Argueta

Quikee: I finished the HG Revive Char’s Zaku 2

Welp, I gave the series a chance and now my wallet is crying. I also have my eyes on the RG Tallgeese EW Ver sooooo hurray to being in debt!

Anyway, with the release of the second Saber post, I decided to do a quick Quikee about the Zaku 2 I finished. I absolutely love this thing (except for its loose hands), and I love the character so dang much. The Zaku 2 is such an iconic look. One of the best designed Mobile Suits in the franchise. Compared to the Wing Zero and Unicorn, this kit is incredibly solid and articulation that I’ve never seen in a figure. It makes me question how a 20-dollar HG kit can have a wider range of articulation than the $35 Wreck-Gar and the somewhat $40 WFC Beast Wars Megatron? I can hold it in my hand and shake it like a mad man, and it doesn’t feel fragile at all.

I will say, I have not painted this kit, I barely got rid of the nubs, and my lighting isn’t the best. I’m so invested in finishing painting my Unicorn that it’s made the look of the Zaku 2 compromised. I’ll be sanding sometime, so don’t worry. I’m planning to paint it as if it’s pristine propaganda in a museum, rather than the war-torn realism I’m trying to accomplish with the Unicorn. Though this kit was designed to be animation accurate to the 0079 show, I’m gonna replace the redish-pink with pure red (maybe metallic or some kind of candy-toy look) to get that Origins look. Something that appears to have stayed in mint condition. Nothing wrong with the OG colors, but I rather have something that looks perfect for the “Red Comet.” For the first time, I’m gonna use decals which I’m excited for. If anyone has any suggestions for paint, leave them in comment and I’ll take a look.

With that, enjoy the gallery of pictures!

Hoped you enjoyed! Like I said, I’m planning to get the RG Tallgeese but I may get the Gouf Crimson first. The first one is because I love the Tallgeese in general, since its such a simple yet sophisticated Mobile Suit. But the second one is because I plan to make it my next painting project, since I wanna make it into the OG version from 8th MS Team. Come on, who doesn’t love Norris? Anyway, that’ll be the next gallery…soon. See you next time!

(Correction)

“Kamille is a man’s name!”

Make that the RG Gundam Mk-ii (AEUG Color). I actually watched and enjoyed Zeta Gundam, and have more personal attachment to the character. Seriously, watch Zeta Gundam. Not the compilation! Do not watch the compilation movies.

-Samuel Argueta

Kamen Rider Saber: The Book of Ruin and the Phoenix Swordsman-A movie?

If you read through my post about Kamen Rider Saber, you’ll know how much I hated yet appreciated the first part. Although I was angrier than usual in that post, I kept going because I wonder if the rest of the show will improve. Also, I already promised it and I’m going to finish it unlike my Mother 3 post. But we’re not here to continue the adventure. We’re here to talk about the sidequest that’s almost important to the adventure.

This show came out during the height of the pandemic, when the actor who played the Red Ranger in Kirameiger (the Sentai of 2020) contracted it. That moment was not only frightening because of how young he was, but also halted much of what Toei was doing. The sets were shut down for a while, meaning Kirameiger and Kamen Rider Zero-One was postponed until further notice. Kamen Rider suffered the most, as Zero-One lost 4 episodes from its 49 episode run and the summer movie was pushed back to December. This would not only be one of the few shows of this current generation to not have a summer movie, but also the first time there wouldn’t be a crossover movie known as a VS movie. Or the Generation series; it’s kind of complicated.

All this meant that Saber, in the long run, would not get a standalone, non-V-cinema film in the summer since Super Hero Senki, the crossover, was pushed to the summer. Although part of me was happy, it also felt strange and sad. But, Toei came in and rectified it by making a short film rather a feature length one. One billed next to Zero-One…which also meant no Super Sentai film. Jeez, this was a strange time. This film, the first ever gekijo-taban in the franchise, would be called Kamen Rider Saber: The Phoenix Swordsman and the Book of Ruin. A poster was released to showcase Saber, a book, and a floating ghost to act as our antagonist.

“Protecting the world from temptation, one rider kick at a time.

Coming back to be our villain, Kamen Rider Falchion, was veteran Tokusatsu actor Masashi Taniguchi, the blue ranger from GoGoV (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue in America) and Amazonz Alpha in Kamen Rider Amazonz. A movie form would also come as well. Although not the same as a feature length film, this movie became a replacement as if the pandemic never happened.

I haven’t watched it for the obvious reason. Why watch a movie from a show you despise? But, this film would continue providing many firsts since Falchion, because of a later plot point about the Seiken, has a Seiken, meaning he would become important to the show. So, I thought it’d be good to watch it for the overall review in order to have the context for later. And…this movie sucked. Not bad, yet far from good. 

Side Chapter: The Immortal Swordsman Sends All to the Void

“Sir, please put your mask on and stop talking to me.”

We start with a loser kid watching a game of soccer like how I stalk my neighbor. Intense, with hands covered in Dorito chips. Just then, a mysterious stranger sits down next to him. Nothing bad happens. The guy just tells him to put the chip bag down and get a life.

Back in Wonder World, a man named Bahatobama steps off a cliff. Like a teenager who just discovered nihilism, he opens up a butthole into the sky and starts sucking out the life out of everything. Tassel opens up his window and smells the cringe like, “ooooh, that funky.” The shithole was created by the Book of Ruin, which came frooooo-well, it’ll destroy both worlds.

Touma: “Bahato. You shall not destroy all in your quest for those Gravure pictures.”
Bahato: “What! I can’t hear you. Speak up, I can’t hear you from down there!”
Touma:” What! Speak up. We can’t hear you from down here!”

The hole opens up in the sky, sucking up Japan like a political talk in a party. Everyone runs away while Tou Mama Caught Me Yankin and his band of bitches walk through the crowd, swords in hand. They appear before the portal, promising to keep to their abstinence and also to survive. They scream at Bahato that his twitter comments are cringe and unproductive. Bahato laughs at their ideals, before revealing his Wonder Ride Book: Eternal Phoenix. With the power of a poor understanding of nihilism he watched from anime, he unsheathes his sword, Kyomu, and becomes Falchion: The Void/Immortal Swordsman.

Touma and the gang transform and enter Wonder World with the power of abstinence and friendship. While the non-protagonists fight a horde of Shimi and Megid, Bahato takes Touma head on. Touma spouts about how fighting is wrong, while Bahato spouts how humanity is always set on obtaining power and will betray each other for it. Touma becomes Crimson Dragon and slashes Bahato so hard the explosive cells in his body activate.

However, as Touma lowers his guard, a single orange feather falls. Gas Money base boosts as Bahato returns. Touma’s gets stunned by the sick beat (seriously, listen to Gas Money by Xavy Rusan) that Bahato gets the hit on him. Touma falls down the cliff.

“Null? Void? Phoenix? Hotel? Trivago.”

Meanwhile, back on the homeworld of Albert Einstein and Hentai, citizens watch in awe as the world is close to being destroyed. However, Meiby it’s Meibaline tells them that the Kamen Riders will win. From their combined will of literally 3 bystanders, Jake the American Dragon leaves Touma and flies up to the butthole to bring out Toothless and that dragon from Shang-Chi. They all combine with the others to become a new book for him: Emotional Dragon. With this new power of wholesome youtubers, he becomes Emotional Dragon and faces Falchion one last time.

Touma: “Me and my friends will protect the world from temptation. You must not obtain those pictures.”
Bahato: ‘What in the world are you talk about?”

Swords clash and bodies fall as the others destroy their targets. Falchion and Saber fight until Saber gets the upper hand. With Falchion shown videos like Girlfriend Reviews before Rekka slaps him in the face, he becomes immobilized. Tootless and the Shang-Chi dragon deform Touma as they drag Falchion into the butthole. Falchion vows to return.

“It’s an eclair btw.”

With life returned to both worlds, everyone has a happy ending. The boy takes all that trauma and plays soccer with the kids who managed to survive. Our heroes watch when Mei suddenly whips out four black cocks. Rintaro gets excited and tries to take them to eat the cre-okay, I’m done. Hahaha…I’m sorry.

Cons

The Entire Plot

“Dammit book readers! You released hell on Earth.”

Since this is a 23-minute movie, I’m basically combining a bunch of sections. Anyway, what plot? This movie is basically a distilled version of every standalone Kamen Rider film. A dark rider appears to face our main team, they threaten the world, the good guy gets a movie form, they beat up the dude, and the day is saved. It’s very by the numbers with nothing making it stand out amongst the many others out there.

Bahato’s character gets expanded in the show, but here he just comes out of nowhere. None of the riders question why there’s a random dude with a freaking Seiken, even though up to this point everyone with one has been a member of the Sword of Logos. Sure, the fate of the world is at stake, but at least indicate something to the audience. The Book of Ruin comes out of nowhere, with no time to explain what the heck it is. Touma’s Brave Dragon flies into the butthole and pulls out 2 random dragons. Granted, most movie forms come out of nowhere anyway, but this one aggrieves me more than usual. There’s no time to explain anything in this movie, so it just jumps right into a fight for the rest of the screen time. 

The rest of the movie puts focus on these 3 civilians because the theme of the film is that “we live our lives normally while there are those fighting in the background to keep our lives in peace.” There’s a kid, a high school student, and a dad. However, it is so forced and blatant that it hurts. Understandably, the kid would stay with Mei since she’s an adult, but then she just makes him watch the Rider fight while parts of the city are getting sucked up. It might be a cultural thing, but wouldn’t this kid want to go to his parents or something? I love how they show his face, inspired, as Mei tells him about the theme of the story. It’s exactly like when Sophia ranted about how powerful books are to Touma. It’s so obvious.

“Well, now you just ruined it. Thanks Mei.”

When Mei helps the kid and tells him that her friends will help, the student just stops running away from the apocalyptic event to listen. Also, conveniently on center stage for the camera. Then, as Mei’s explaining the theme, the same student and the dad are just conveniently there, and the movie puts more focus on them than any other civilian. One, why are none of them running away and hiding in a bunker? Second, although there’s an apocalypse threatening the world, there’s nothing here to get invested in these random people. The kid? Yeah cause we had a scene establishing him. But the rest are these cardboard cut outs meant to be the beacon for the theme. I didn’t care when they go back to their normal lives at the end of the movie. Who were these people? 

Touma: “Here you go, Ren. Go play with your friends.”
Ren: “F@ck you Touma!”

The movie relies on two sets of cliches, both embedded in the franchise and within superhero movies in general. All the dialogue is non-stop exposition about good and bad, faith in humanity, and the friendship. Nothing about it is organic. Everyone talks like they’re in a TED Talk. When the beliefs of the 3 random civilians go into Touma as he gets Emotional Dragon, ironically, I felt no emotions from it. Nothing has weight in this film. This movie tried to be ambitious like the show but, also like the show, it falls hard on its face

Pros

Falchion Suit

“I don’t appreciate you calling my mom that!”

Alright, here’s the cosmetic stuff. Falchion is one of the best-looking riders in this show. Seriously, he got the good end of the stick. The orange and black contrast well, becoming uniform with his sword and belt. Something I forgot to talk about in the first review was how every rider’s mask are based on a sword swing. Saber’s is a cross slash, Blades’ is a vertical slash, Espada’s is a horizontal slash, Buster’s is a downward crash splitting a mountain, Kenzan’s is a cross but in the shape of a shuriken, and Slash is a thrust that resembles both the impact of the sword and the cartoonish bang used in cartoons to signal gunfire. Calibur does a downward slash as well, but his mask is more like a standard knight. Falchion follows this trend by having his eyes resembling explosions, which are things that reduce things to nothing. It’s one of the few consistent things with this series.

There’s also his main suit, which is just gorgeous. I love how inverted his armor is, with the phoenix head on his right shoulder, while the tails act as a skirt for the left side unlike the other Seiken Swordriver users work. It’s like a phoenix resting on him. I also love how the tails go around his base suit like chains or cracks. It’s visually pleasing, as if his own existence is breaking apart. As if he was corrupted to his core.

“You stealing ma look?”
“I can say the same for you, buddy.”
“*muffled screaming*”

On a side note, Falchion is an example of a rider suit reusing parts from previous suits, albeit very subtle. This is standard within the franchise, since it seems they don’t have the budget to always have new parts all the time. Not sure about that, since it’s not readily available information. For Falchion, his left side shoulder pad is taken from Kamen Rider Build’s TakaGatling form. Yes, there is a form where it’s a Hawk with a Gatling gun. Don’t question it, it gets explained in the show. The entire base suit was taken from Ghost’s, which painted over the translucent parts. It’s not very noticeable, and I only learned that from the wiki page pointing it out. A more obvious one is Emotional Dragon, which reuses the Hedgehog mask from Espada to be the white dragon head. The Brave Dragon shoulder pad from said form is mirrored to become the black dragon on the left side. The cape is taken from Kamen Rider Tsukuyomi from Kamen Rider Zi-O, while the shield was taken from the Shield Module from Kamen Rider Fourze. 

“Can I come onto your show? I need more screentime.”
“Nah, but I’ll take your cape.”
“Mom, Dad, I sh!t on the bed.”

While it may seem lazy, the best part of reusing parts is seeing how creative the team can be went retooling it for another rider…sparingly. It’s okay for them to reuse stuff for movies and specials. For the main show, it can be pretty abhorrent. Trust me…we’re gonna get to that soon.

The CGI

“Can we have a normal camping trip one time!”

I’ve always enjoyed the CGI backgrounds of Saber. Sure, it’s Tokusatsu CGI, meaning it looks like garbage, but it at least varies the locals that’s typical of these shows. Even if the concept was too ambitious for Kamen Rider, the CGI allows Wonder World to be fully realized as if it actually exists. This movie takes place primarily in Wonder World, where Touma fights Bahato onto of a tall mountain from day to night. While it does transition back to the same cliff area in every Tokusatsu show ever, it blends with the CGI. Nothing feels jarring, and, if you accept the CGI, the finale is an amazing spectacle. Seeing Saber fight Falchion under the night sky as a large portal is sucking up everything made the movie bearable. I wish the rest of the show was more like this, sparingly, since CGI be expensive, because this is really one of the last times Wonder World is explored.

The Credits?

“Yes? Hello, police? Hi, this Power Range is dancing in front of my house and causing a ruckus. Yes, he’s a Power Ranger-oh my god! He just fired a pink sidearm at a crowd of cosplayers. He’s stabbing them! Oh my god-“

The credits are pretty charming. Not because it’s the end, but because it’s cute. It has scenes of each character doing something as a picture book, with each scene being transitioned by the book turning the page. Ryo cutting down boulder after boulder, Kento flying in the sky, Daishinji testing out the gun mode of his sword, and other brief moments that give character. It’s visually appealing, fitting the book theme, and it’s one of the very few times I enjoy these characters. If the whole show was like this, I’d enjoy the hell out of it more.

Overview:

This movie is a hard pass for anyone who’s a veteran Toku fan or even a newcomer. There is no substance whatsoever, the plot is nonexistent, and it relies on cliches so much despite not doing anything different with them. I would even say I made a mistake. Though this story introduces Falchion, his introduction here is about as random as someone watching the show without watching the movie seeing Falchion come out of nowhere. I don’t think you need to watch this film to enjoy the show. It’s best left untouched.

At first, I thought of making an argument that this movie would be a good start for newcomers to Tokusatsu. I wouldn’t say it would make for a good Kamen Rider introduction, as the franchise is more story based than Power Rangers or Super Sentai. But, as an introduction to Toku, I think it may work. It has a villain who wants to end the world, as many Toku villains are. It showcases the toys that do plague modern Toku but isn’t so much that it’s overwhelming. It has all the themes of these shows, albeit cliché. And the main rider gets an upgrade form, which is something to be expected. Plus, it’s a short film, so they have all the time to watch and finish it. But what do you think? If you’re an expert of Toku, or have watched this movie, would you show this to someone looking to get into the genre as an introduction? Let me know in the comments.

“Hmmm…I wonder if we’ll see this guy soon. Also, don’t question this room. It’s briefly shown sometimes.”

Anyway, next time, we return to Touma’s adventure as he tries to discover who the traitor is; the person who’s caused all the events in this series. However, he’ll learn that such a quest won’t bide well with his companions, so he’ll need an ancient one to survive.

-Samuel Argueta

Kamen Rider is owned by Toei and Bandai. Please support the official release.

Quikee: Top 10 Xbox Games that I Played On the Game Pass

December came and I was doing my rounds when I was recommended the X Box GamePass. It was a dollar for a month, so I was like, “hell yeah!” Now I was late for so much because it was just so good!

You might be thinking, “and? What’s so exciting? It’s Xbox.” Let me explain. I am a Nintendo person. Over the years, I’ve only played consoles from their lineup. Gameboy Advance, DSI, 3ds, Gamecube, Wii U, and the Switch. I have played Steam, which was my first outing outside of Nintendo, but I’ve never played anything from the other two big boys in the gaming world. So, to be able to play the big lineup from X Box was an exciting juncture.

Admittedly, I accidently played for the next month. That gave me 2 months of full access to a slew of games I never thought I’d ever play. This post is going over the top 10 I played over the course of that period.

This is based on how much I played them and enjoyed them. This isn’t to say that one game is better than the other. So, please don’t get mad at me. Leave down in the comments what games you liked on the service or any recommendations for when I inevitably get it back.

Number 10:

Ark: Ultimate Survivor-I guess you’re in this list

Truth be told, I only played about 12 games. You’ll see by like number 2 why. So…Ark. I wasn’t a big fan of it. I played about a night of it because I saw dinosaurs on the cover and I was like, “sweet. I’ll try it.” Yes, it’s that simple for me to just play a game.

I haven’t played an MMO since Cartoon Network’s Fusionfall, and it showed. So many menus to keep track of, the leveling system, and the pretty okay graphics. Not all bad points, but a lot to get back into. If I had one big issue, it was the weight system where too much inventory slows you down. That’s not bad, but the game gave me a bunch of special sh!t I couldn’t use as some kind of event, but I didn’t want get rid of it. So, I couldn’t get a lot of materials because then it would weigh me down.

Then, and I probably could have gotten used to it, but the menus were a mess. Like, you have a menu for crafting, but you can only craft when it’s on the hotbar (just learned what that i)?

Finally, didn’t really find a lot of Dinos. That’s it, that’s the con.

Maybe it’s because I haven’t played an MMO since I was like 10, but I don’t think this was a good re-introduction to it. (I do regret not taking a screenshot of it).

Number 9:

Destroy All Humans

Wanna live out your dreams of being an alien from “Mars Attack!” Well, I’ve got for you today Destroy All Humans, where you can just conquer the world by destroying everything! Just commit war crimes all over the place in your conquest.

This is one of those stress relief games because all you do is throw cows around and blow up buildings with a giant UFO. I only got to the 2nd level by the end of my session, but that starting level is just peak fun. You really feel like a space invader by the end.

Can we bring back grey aliens again? They’re such a classic but perfect design.

Number 8

Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer Simulation

Close your eyes. Let me throw some imagery at you. You’re in a pastoral city. You’re a deer. A normal, peaceful deer. Now hook shot onto buildings with your head. Walk over to victims like a macho 80s film character. Shoot down building with guns strapped to your horns. Okay, now you’re being tracked down by cops throughout the city. The cops are sheep, the cars have pandas under them, and their boss is a giant freakin dog. Now open your eyes. How do you feel? Good? Bad? Well, however you feel, I’d like you to get of my house now.

Very much like Destroy All Humans, you’re basically throwing yourself around the city to cause as much damage as possible. It’s very much about insanity and fun. I got a little chuckle every time I just wobble around the map. I love the complete madness of just attaching weapons all over my face to fire everything like a monster movie general losing his mind. The whole map can be destroyed, so it’s your own little sandbox of destruction.

I stopped around the first boss, but I won’t spoil it so you can experience the goofiness yourself.

Number 9

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare?

Okay, I played this one with a friend before I had my own game pass, but he had it so I’m counting it. Out of the shooters on this list, this is my least favorite. Only because the other 2 were more of my style.

With this game, I wasn’t expecting a lot since COD gets so much slack. I’ve seen people call it mindless, some kind of generic shooter, and all kinds of negative comments. I will say, I don’t remember which one it was. I swear to god, I didn’t do this on purpose for a bit. I legit don’t remember which one it is. I looked up a list, and they all look the same! I can’t use my memory because they all-

Anyway, from what my blanked memory is remembering, one of my favorite things was how balanced the maps are (please forgive me if they aren’t. I’m a noob). It introduced me to how there is no safe place to camp out in modern shooters. Yes, you can camp out, but it’s not like an invincible area where your safe forever. Yes, this seems bare bones and basic, but as someone who’s played the OG Star Wars Battlefront 2 by myself due to poor internet this was my breakthrough into the online scene.

Number 6:

Dragon Quest 11: Playin as Android 17

As someone who loves RPGs. Dragon Quest was a foreign land to. Like, I’ve heard more about Final Fantasy than Dragon Quest. All I knew was that the art style was made by Toriyama, and there are slimes. Other than that, nothing else. That actually made me more excited to play this game when I found it.

This one is more complicated to me. The game drew me in with its high fantasy, which has been my trend with RPGs, and I really liked the environments due to Toriyama’s art style. Made me realize how much I loved the locals of Dragon Ball, and I hope it gets as much love as the fight scenes. The first area was gorgeous, and it made me want to run around even if I was on bare time.

Two problems, however, ruined the experience. I never got into the combat. So, it’s the standard RPG battles I’ve done several times before. Basic attack, magic, run; the usual. However, they added the ability to run around while performing actions. But what rubbed me the wrong way was how, from the first few battles, this mechanic didn’t change anything. I could run around the enemies, so I thought that being too far away would not allow me to use basic attacks and I had to utilize magic, and vice versa. But that’s not how it went. It’s the same turned based action of FF and Pokemon. IT doesn’t matter how far you move away from the enemy; they still land direct hits. So, what was the point of moving around if it didn’t affect anything? It felt like a cop out.

Secondly, and this is more so towards what I played it with, the game would not run properly. This is because I was using my work laptop for all of these games, so it had trouble running anything super modern. Especially when it was on a browser using campus internet. So, I didn’t continue because I didn’t know if it would run or not.

Does that mean I won’t play Dragon Quest ever again? Not really. But I will say that, even if I did get the pass again, I don’t really have interest in this one.

Number 5

Doom: Rip and Tear, Until It Is Done-oh wait that’s the sequel

Basically a transcription of me playing the game:

*Laughing madly*

Oh sh!t I died…

*Goes back to laughing madly as I rip and tear the demons of hell*

This is the most Christian game ever made! I’m making my crusader ancestors proud!

Number 4:

Halo Infinite: A Title That’s a Declaration

Yep, this is the first Halo game I’ve ever played, and it’s a pretty good introduction to the multiplayer…I think. This is coming from the most casual perspective ever, so take that with a grain of salt. I’m a Nintendo Gamer who’s bever touched this stuff, so I’m trekking into unknown territory.

The multiplayer is really good, but there are some meh areas. I like the standard game mode, 4 vs 4, but it got really repetitive after a few matches. I like having a large team pool between each side since it unlocks the bigger maps. The maps that I had played in 4 v 4 were so small that they ended up becoming boring. I’ve seen a few videos, such as the Act Man, talking about a lot more major issues like low map count for each mode. When I played, I just found the normal multiplayer repetitive.

I’ll admit, it took a while for me to realize that enemies will have a red aura as an indication instead of being completely red. It’s still a bit confusing because other shooters like Splatoon and Battlefront have a clearer indication based on color coding, but I did eventually get over it.

I remember trying my best to be a lot better at this game. At least, in my own weird and flawed way. I remember feeling like a complete loser, getting t-boned every second, so I tried my best to understand the basic controls rather than letting it get to me. Sure, I found moving the camera janky compared to Battlefront 2, but I ended up getting used to it. I learned to rely of smacking people during close combat, I almost getting good aiming with the controller (not gonna lie, I can’t aim with an X-box controller to save my life), and using the event I at the time to learn how good the other weapons work. I never truly mastered it, I would even admit that mastering multiplayer isn’t something that I can get fully invested in, but I did really enjoy getting just as good enough to not feel like a hassle to my companions.

Can I just gush about how effective smacking people with the gun is. Destroying their shield and bam! Turn your enemy into a ragdoll. It’s so fun when you take the chance.

Number 3

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order- It’s so beautiful!

I’m a Star Wars nerd. My Republic Commando post goes a little more into it, but I’ve loved the franchise since I was kid. But, the sequel trilogy left me disappointed and left a hollow piece in my ehart. It didn’t have the same intrigue and storytelling that hooked me, and they’re not good movies in general. It’s why I loved Dark Forces 1 and 2 because it was the OG expanded universe, territory I never trekked before that actually capture the spirit of the franchise.

Fallen Order is not in the OG Expanded Universe, it’s a new game with a new story between Ep 3 and 4, but it radiated the same giddy from me. The combat system is basically “parry, parry, force slow, slash, watch the attacks, and rinse and repeat.” It’s easy to understand but fun to master, though the game will kick your ass if your not good. My one complaint with it is none of the Stormtroopers being cut into pieces after dying. It bother me to no end when all they’re left with are pathetic little slashes. Dark Forces had that and that game is old.

For example, the first giant toad fight (called a Oggdo Bogdo. Really broke out all the word bank for that one), I remember rushing in and getting my a$$ handed to it. Then, after coming back, I took my time and finally beat it. I loved how my brain decided to win right after I fell into the boss pit when I gave up. This may seem basic like “oh wow, you beat the toad.” But that feeling of accomplishment kept me going. I love that it was intentionally made harder but optional if you really wanted to get good.

Like with Dragon Quest, the only reason why I ended up not continuing was because of my set up. Especially during Dathomir, where one session ended up slowing down my input with the controls due to poor internet (I blame the night sisters). Anyone looking into PC gaming, do not do what I do. I have to rely on what I have, but if you have the spending cash buy a better computer.

You think after this game, the main character joined Disney Channel to star in the hit movie, “Zombies 3?” I didn’t even need to joke about him being in a 4th one. There are apparently gonna be aliens in the 3rd movie. Yo, can we get our main boy in Zombies 3?

Number 2

Dead Space: Covid Omega

It’s The Thing meets Alien. This was made for me.

One of the best aspects of the game is its sound design. Being in this hostile mining ship with the Necromorphs, hearing the whispers, the ambience, and the distant roars helped aggravate my anxiety. Despite the point being to be afraid, I was mesmerized and drawn to how everything was crafted to create this perfect horror experience.

By far, my favorite mechanic is stomping the monsters after they’re dead. Just taking it all out on them too be able to release the anger after being jump scared and attacked. Best decision made. Best part is when our mute protag vents out his frustration. The way he grr’s is such a mood. Having a relatable mechanic made me want to play the game more since I had a break in between the scares to let it all out. The story too, but the gameplay really kept me going.

So, why is this not number 1? Well, it’s because I found this gem around the last 2 weeks of my membership. Had I played early, this would have easily been number 1.

Also, Zombies 3 should totally include the Necromorphs. That would easily get me back into Disney Channel.

Number 1

Star Wars Battlefront 2: EA addition

Growing up, I used to play the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 (which was my brother’s) on our old computer. Though I could never play multiplayer, I had a blast going to all the Star Wars planets I knew and absolutely recking the enemy army. Though the dumb AI made things easy, I still managed to make a lot of memories

Admittedly, I was one of the guys who hated the remakes without ever playing them. In my defense, when I heard all the controversies on the lootcrates, it made me think they messed up what could have been a great remake. But, playing it in December, any fears or biases I had were blown away.

This became one of my favorite Star Wars games of all time. The look of the game is gorgeous (especially each character model), the maps are expansive and recreate everything from the movies, I love dying to Darth Maul every few seconds, and the points system made learning the base classes viable. I love how much variety there is as well. There’s Conquest, Galactic Assault, Heroes vs Villains, Blast, Space Assault, and Ewok Hunt. Surrpisingly, the lootcrates that were left didn’t really affect my enjoyability with the game at all since I felt I was on the same level as everyone else playing, even if veterans were on the field. It’s a really good casual experience, but there is something veteran shooters will love.

Now, the question might be: did I like this more than the original. Now, before you shout at me like Kylo Ren to choose which ever one you like more, here’s my take. A comparison is not fair. I only had single player in the original. What I love about the new one is that I can actually do multiplayer. I’m not gonna say I had more fun on one over the other because of that. I love both for different reasons. They both have a special place in my heart as being amazing Star Wars games.

Yes, I did come at the end of its life. There are apparently no more updates. But, what I experienced was something amazing, and I hope a Battlefront 3 happens. One that doesn’t include the First Order.

Can we just get Legends content? Ea, you gave the sequels enough love. It’s time to give the real sequels a spot in the spotlight. I want Mara Jade, Omega Squad, the real Ben Solo, and whatever else happened after ep 6.

*Here is me reliving two of my favorite moments.

My remember when me and a random person just got together and just stood at an enemy spawn point to decimate them with the gatling gun. I know that sounds like an asshole move, and I did try to leave. But when we looked at each other, he nudged me with some shots, and we just turned back to continue, I knew we became bros that day. Or they were a girl. Idk.

Another was when, in Kashyyk, I was with a whole squad in one of the Turbo Tanks just defending it from droids. There was so much to do in that map, yet we all banded together to protect this one spot. There was so much tension, so many times I died, yet we did it…I think. I can’t remember it well.

I’m very sorry that most of these screenshots are the menus on the game pass, but I want to save up some money before I get the pass again. If I do get it again, and I remember, I’ll try to replace these screenshots with actual gameplay.

And that’s it for my list of reasons that kept me from actually doing my job. Next time, I go back to Kamen Rider to talk about what in the world the Saber movie was. See you next time.

-Samuel Argueta

Kamen Rider Saber Chapter 1: The Awakened Rekka, The Megid’s First Move, and The Mysterious Calibur?

Introduction:

Kamen Rider Saber came out during the 2020-2021 period, during the 50th anniversary of the series just 3 years after the 20th anniversary of the Heisei Era. However, while Super Hero Senki is tied to Saber as a commeroation of the franchise, Revice would be the official anniversary series. So, technically Saber is an anniversary series but only in year.

Since this is the first Kamen Rider series I’m covering, I’ll quickly go over the basics. I would advise to go to my blog post covering Kamen Rider in general. Like every season, Saber has a weird ass gimmick that leads to a lot of genius, physical puns. This time, it’s a combination of books and knights. Many seasons before, especially in the last 6 years, lean heavily into science fiction as a homage to the Showa era. Saber, on the other hand, stands out as a high fantasy show with its own lore and alternate dimension, making it more of a homage to a lot of earlier Heisei like Kuuga and Blade.

“In this coming back to fight back the nut, his resistance will be a symbol for others to follow.”

When the first scans of the show were released, I had a mixed response. I loved that we were returning to the mystical side of rider, since it was what got me into Kuuga back in the day. While I still love the science fiction aspect, it was getting pretty stale by Zero One. The books looked interesting, considering how small the toys were, and the sword and knight aesthetic had the potential for more sword-based combat that would make Saber stand out. However, Saber’s Base suit was, and still is, not impressive. Not only did it lean more towards the design aesthetic of Build, but the idea that all of the dragon armor was on one side made it look incomplete. It also made the belt an eye sore. Drivers with multiple items in it to initiate a combo have all its slots filled most of the time, but the Seiken Swordriver allowed only one book to initiate the transformation. With just one, it just didn’t look right.

But I kept an open mind when the first trailer hit, which revealed that the show would be utilizing full CGI scenes. A new world, called Wonder World, with a rider possibly from it fighting monsters made of books while an indigo knight waited in the shadow. This show had promise. They may not have gotten through it all, but the world building they can do with the knights and this alternate dimension couldhave been it one of the most unique rider seasons in a while. After a year and 36 episodes…

I wanted to buy the hardest liquor.

To spoil a little of the overview post, Kamen Rider Saber became one of the worst seasons in the franchise (consider I haven’t watched every season yet), and a fundamental lesson in how to not write a story or create a tokusatsu show, in my opinion. Poorly executed characters, repulsive inconsistencies all around, and a mess of a plot from start to finish. Revice’s bare minimum, just the bare minimum, was enough to reinvigorate me back into the franchise. In my initial week-to-week viewing, I quit entirely because it was hard to get through.

“All the readers reading this wondering why I would do this to myself. The short answer to the paragraph is that I’m a sadist to myself.”

So, why the hell am I even reviewing it if I hated it so much? Well, because it’s still minty fresh in the mind factory. Before I came into this review, I wanted to trash the absolute hell out of this stink pile. It wasn’t until I sat down to plan this post that, instead, I wanted to not only finish it, but re-watch it in its entirety. I had the thought that maybe, in my numbness, I missed something that might have actually been good. I wanted to review the whole show bit by bit to understand why I didn’t like or what I might appreciate more. Something to make it more analytical and fairer rather than 10 pages of pure anger. Was I wrong, or was I right?

I’ll be splitting this review into different parts based on the 4 arcs of the show, including the short film with Falchion, before the overall finale. For those who have watched it, I will not include the swordsman chronicles series in the overall show synopsis, or the Sword of Logos saga for now, but I will use info within for clarification and character insight when needed. You do not have to watch the swordsman chronicles (due to it containing 2 new scenes and a bunch of repeat scenes) and you cannot watch the Sword of Logos saga until you’ve finished the second arc (due to spoiling said arc).

The next page will be a full story review for those who need a refresher before I give my thoughts or if you don’t want to watch the show. I will then split the rest, from characters to worldbuilding, into their own pages from pros to cons. Saber does have a lot, even in just one chapter, so I want it to be digested as easily as possible.

“My sanity getting dragged back into watching the show.”

Quikee: SD Barbatos featuring Mandalorian and Knuckles

Just a gallery of the model kits I got this Christmas. Included is the SD Barbatos Gundam from Iron-Blooded Orphans and the miniature Razor Crest from the Mandalorian.

Admittedly, the face for the Barbatos needs work since I accidently put topcoat on some scruffs. I’ll be fixing it on my own time. Until then, enjoy:

And…that’s it. But, for the next model kit pictures before or after the painted Unicorn, I’m gonna free your soul from the weight of gravity.

“And three times faster than my usual schedule.”

-Samuel Argueta

Join the journey to space

Join the mailing list to get all updates

The 100 Songs I liked: 2021 Edition

Like before, it’s songs I liked this year that weren’t strictly from this year. Remember that there’s no ranking, just all the one’s I found listening to more than once.

1. Day in Life by the Beatles

My day in life is full of me coming close to depression.

2. Prayer for the Dying by Seal

A moment of silence for all those who participated in the Area 51 Raid

3. Living in Another World by Talk Talk

“Hi, police? Yes, my neighbor is blaring this old song in his house. Can you please go over there and snuff him out?”

4. It’s My Life by Talk Talk

Every teenager to their parent ever.

5. No Diggity by Black Street

“I like to back it up~” Me to the park car behind me.

6 Summertime Magic by Childish Gambino

Love the summer romance mood this song gives.

7. New Donk City from Mario Odyssey

*Pauline intensifies*

8. Tadow (Extended Version) by Maseago and FKJ

Truth be told, the beginning is better than the second half.

9. Kashmir by Led Zeppelin

This song is like an ancient folklore to me. If it played for high fantasy villain, I’d buy it.

10. “The Wall” Album by Pink Floyd

One of the best musical experiences in a long while. It all feels like one song due to how connected each individual piece feels.

11. Dogs by Pink Floyd

A harsh reality check for all businessmen

12. Electric Shock by Gorillaz

This song never got an official release. It’s more of a beta song for Plastic Beach. Yet, I wish both versions were officially released in some capacity.

Feels So Good by Chuck Mangoine

Hmmm… trumpets

14. Us and Them + Any Color You Like by Pink Floyd

“Remember the good old days-days-days-days-days” A man before the drugs kicked in.

15. Soft Rain by Paul Hardcastle

I wish my home state weather would be soft, you know what I mean?

16. My Eyes Adored You by Frankie Valli

It’s either a very beautiful love song or a creeper song to you. Take your pick.

17. Lisztomania by Phoenix

There’s a high energy, playful nature to this song.

18. Magic by Kylie Minogue

The good thing about working on the 100 songs of the year before the New Year is being able to change it literally as you work on it.

19. Echoes Rising By Paul Hardcastle

My brain listens to this when I travel to a new world.

20. Everything Now by Arcade Fire

“Sir, you say the Arcade’s on fire? Everything has changed…”

21. The Smooth Loft by Paul Hardcastle

22. Garden of Eden by Micheal E

The only bliss we’ll ever hear from the place we’re not allowed in.

23. All Eyes on Me from Final Fantasy 8

This title becomes more horrifying in the sequel

24. Lucid Dreaming by Micheal E

Dreams and drug trips in physical form

25. Somebody Else by 1975

There’s always somebody else.

26. Forever Young by Alphaville

The anthem of Man-Babies

27. I Always Kill The Things I love by Claudia Brunken

Her boyfriend starts sweating

28. Music Sounds Better With You by Stardust

Me to my headphones

29. Peaches by Justin Bieber

I don’t think he’s talking about the fruits or the butts

30. Leave the Door Open by Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak

This song is about to cause another boomer generation.

31. The Way You Are by Timberland

I miss the 2000s

32. Louisiana Hero from “Falcon and The Winter Soldier”

One of the most badass ending themes for a show. If only the show had a good ending.

33. When Am I Gonna Lose You by Local Natives

Today.

34. It’s Not Living by 1975

Said everyone in the Walking Dead.

35. She’s American by 1975

The colonists when they saw North America

36. You by Regard and Tate

Probably the most listened song on this list.

37. Sweet Emotions by Aerosmith

“Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-“

“Just keep going. He’ll be at this all day.”

38. Looking For Love by Jody Walter

Aren’t we all!

39. Piano from “SSSS Dynazenon”

A somber theme to a melancholic robot anime.

40. Love’s Theme by The Love Unlimited Orchestra

At least one doesn’t make me want to cry. *Cough* Mother 3 *Cough*.

41. The Oracle from Secret of Mana

The remake version is maniacal genius.

42. Montero by Lil Nas X

The music video sucks but the song is catchy.

43. Ride or Die by The Knocks and Foster the Kids

All going into the world should listen to this song.

44. Our Story from Mother 4

An exciting introduction to a new fan interpretation to this cult classic

45. Layon the Line by D-selections

A badass ending song to an anime I never watched.

46. LiveDevil from Kamen Rider Revice

One of the best Kamen Rider openings since last year.

47. Star Cave from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky

A place that made Bidoof more than an HM Slave

48. Fabulous Secret Power by Slackcircus

A surprisingly sad song for a funny meme

49. Stargazer by Rainbow

First time I ever headbanged to a song?

50. Rasputin by Boney M

I now want to know a lot about Rasputin because of this song.

51. Sugar from Super Crooks

A chill RNB song for a great anime.

52. Zeta Suite from Zeta Gundam

An epic opening that fits well with the militaristic opera of Zeta Gundam. Finally, an American change that’s good.

53. Travelogue by Leavv

Vibes.

54. Stars over Lake Verity by Braxton Burks

As a Gen 4 fan, this rendition put a tear in my eye.

55. Gold Dust Woman by Fleetwood Mac

A slow but tough song perfect for a Western

56. Goofy’s Trial by Pink Guy

The demon’s told me too!

57. Three Evil Weapons from Gundam Seed

Never watched the show. Might become a druggy.

57. The Entire Album of Char’s Counterattack

A perfect conclusion to the love between Char and Amuro.

58. Deja vu by Gorillaz

Yeah, I get that too.

59. Tracer from Gundam Hathaway

Oh sh!t, they’ve been traced!

60. Kiss Me More by Doja Cat

My inner soul loves this song.

61. Signs of the Times by Harry Styles

My inner soul cries to this song.

61. Watermelon Suger by Harry Styles

My inner soul’s just hungry.

62. I’m an Asshole by Denis Leary

We’re all one from time to time. I’m just worst.

63. Death Theme rendition by Yo Yo Ma

As if the original wasn’t sad enough.

64. The Spirit of the Radio by Rush

I listened to this during a workout and now I’m a Pillarman

65. Alapu Upala (All Versions) from Godzilla Singular Point

Japan is on a mission to make Godzilla the most terrifying eldritch horror of our time.

66. Met Him Last Night by Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande

I guess hot men are the devil?

67. Save Your Tears by The Weekend and Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande is the only reason why I like this song. Ariana Grande makes every song better.

68. Rain Song by Led Zeppelin

The Zeppelin as it flies through a thunderstorm.

69. 34 +35 by Ariana Grande

Nice!

70. Paperback Writer by The Beatles

I relate to this song a little too much.

71. Memoria from Final Fantasy 9

When I finally got here, my jaw dropped. A fascinating final dungeon that makes you ponder more than excited.

72. Necron’s Theme from Final Fantasy 9

One of the few times a game made my skin crawl.

73. Find Your Way from Final Fantasy 8

The mystery of the way in musical form.

74. Thriller by Micheal Jackson

They play this in Transylvania a lot.

75. Have Yourself A Merry Christmas by Sam Smith

Anyone else experiencing an extremely hot December? Now, no one in the comments answer from Arizona.

76. Fly Like an Eagle by Seal

Move over Space Jam, this was the movie’s real standout!

77. Who Dat Boy by Tyler the Creator

Literally every time a superhero changes from their barely disguised civilian form to their barely disguised hero suit.

78. Hot Winds Blow by Tyler The Creator

A short song that hits hard!

79. Mother by John Lennon

To learn what happened to John and what he did, this song just makes me sad to think about.

80. Gonna Fly Now from Rocky

Best workout song

81. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Vallis

Necron, stop watching me!

82. Stay by Justin Bieber and Kid Laroi

The only song where Kid Laroi doesn’t sound like a broken record.

83. Phantom and a Rose from Secret of Mana

A somber song perfect for a fantasy adventure.

84. I’ll Be Lucky Someday by John Campbell

Fall off your horse!

85. Hey Ya by Outkast

You know what, this song is better than sex.

86. A Bell Is Tolling from Secret of Mana

So like, Santa’s in this game. I gotta get it.

87. Patches in the Sky from Child of Light

Shameless plug here but go read my blog post about this game! Maybe I’ll even get a sponsor from Raid Sha-

88. Through the Sea of Time from Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky

When the mainline game fails, return to dungeon.

89. Midna’s Lament from Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

The moment I truly felt something in this game. If only the stupid enemy music didn’t cut it off!

90. Lower Brinstar from Metroid Dread

When this played, I knew this game was something special. Special enough to break for speedruns!

91. Message from Nightopia from Nights into Dreams

I’d put the whole soundtrack, but this truly was my favorite song. Nights is truly something special, and I wish they’d make a new one.

Also Baland Wonderland sucks.

92. Xi from Gundam Hathaway

The grim reaper won’t come when you’re read, Hathaway.

93. Sleeping Springdale (Past) from Yokai Watch 2

This song puts a tear in my eye, knowing the fate of Yokai Watch.

94. The Trailer Song from Oddity

It’ll come when it’s ready.

95. The Entire Metal Arms Soundtrack

You know what, I am a robot! And I’m gonna- Oh jesus christ, stop firing at me! *Releases an inhuman scream*

96. Jupiter’s Lightning from Child of Light

How dare she take it from that slut Zeus!

97. Crystal World from Final Fantasy 9

To make this a corrupt version of the Prelude is pure genius!

98. Raven Beak Theme from Metroid Dread

One of the most badass villains this year. To rip off your own wing, that’s special.

99. Christmas Time is Here from Charlie Brown Christmas

No matter what, commercialism will never be the point of Christmas. Even if Santa became popular due to Coca-Cola….fu-!

100. Vast Ice Mountain from Explorers of Sky

Haven’t gotten here yet in the game, but this seriously a climatic song. I can’t wait to experience it.

All photos not of my own belong to their respective owner per all copyright laws.

And that’s my list this year. I mostly stayed within my comfort food since this year wasn’t so great. Have a good rest of your year and let’s hope… You know what, f it. Last time I hoped for a better year, 2021 happened.

Happy New Years anyway.

-Samuel Argueta

Quickee: A New Mother 4?

Because Saber requires me to wait after my final exams to review, plus the mental capacity to deal with it, I decided to pad out the time with this out-of-nowhere post! This time, it’s my thoughts on a newly revealed Mother 4 fan project, perfect for the winter season.

“Mario, hold in your excitement. We don’t want daddy to hear you in your room.”

I know the people reading this know about the original Mother 4 project, or at least have heard of it, so I won’t delve far into its history. But it is known that the original was later retitled into Oddity, with its release date pushed back to who-knows-when. On the one hand, it’ll very interesting to see what this new take will be as a spiritual successor without the references to original franchise, and I do think it was a better decision that it became its own thing since the team worked for many years on it. On the other hand, it meant that the fan’s continuation of the series wouldn’t come to fruition, and the wait for so many might have felt unsatisfied now with this rebranding.

But now, a new team is coming in with their own struggle to create their version Mother 4! I was completely blind sighted by this reveal because, when I saw the thumbnail, I didn’t think much of it besides a “fan trailer.” Watching it for the first time was a surprise to me because I didn’t expect it to be an actual new game. I was left with both excitement and fear, but I’ll cover that after an analysis of the trailer.

The Trailer: Watch the Trailer Here

Right away, the visuals scream “Mother,” but come across as an “HD” evolution of Mother 3’s graphics at the same time. It starts off exactly like Earthbound as our protagonist, Aaron, is sleeping in his house at night. Just then, something can be heard falling towards the earth. But, as a subversion of expectations, the object zooms past the window in a large flash of white light. Already, this fan-game is taking us back to the alien roots that started the original Mother.

The Dark Dragon shrine of Mother 3, the being held by the 7 needles. Yes, I now “have” Mother 3.

With the way the location resembles one of Ness’s Sanctuary, I’m starting to ponder if the story of the game revolves around finding out about the events of Mother 3, since that game’s McGuffin was needles. These new ones appear in the logo of the game, signifying their importance. I also think that, since many theorize that the Mother series is in some kind of loop, it’d be cool if this game plays on that idea to become both a sequel and a prequel at the same time. Now if I just spoiled it later down the line, do not call me a prophet.

We then get a first look at the world, and the first thing that’s interesting is that it’s America, the world in the first game. As a theory, this suggests that this is either a prequel of Mother, maybe around the time George returns to Earth, or that this is the recreated world after Mother 3. After a look of our characters, which the art resembles the American clay models of the Earthbound/Mother 2 gang, we get a look at something peculiar. In a cave, we see a needle in the hands of some buried stone person. The trailer tells us that the characters are “discovering Ancient History.”

Finally, story wise, the end shows the new Earth design within the logo, with one of the pins inside of it. Then, a bunch of UFOs zoom on in to hover above the forest, reinforcing their return. Whoever this species is, they’re probably up to no good. I’m really interested in what will come with what the trailer shows.

In terms of everything else, the game succeeds in being very “Mother.” We’re back with 4 main characters: the MC (Aaron), the mechanic (Maggie), the loner (Troy), and some flower girl (Triste) who will probably pray or something. I can only imagine the fresh hell that awaits at the end if she does have the pray option. In my opinion, I’m not a big fan of Aaron’s design. Not to fully compare with Oddity, but what I like about Travis’ character design is how unique of a design he has, aka the brown hair. Put him next to the others and he stands out. Aaron just resembles Lucas. It was cute and funny with Ninten and Ness, but it just feels uninspired here. Hell, some of the fan art portray him as an inverted Lucas (Go to the Mother 4 twitter to see what I mean). Unless this was intentional, proving one of my theories, where he’s somehow Lucas’s kid or descendent, his design is very lazy. The others have that very cute design aspect that comes with Mother while bringing something new to the table, especially Maggie. The enemies are as weird and humorous as they should be, especially Paper Boy. I always love a good pun in a Mother game, and this game delivers. Lastly, the locales are the standard snow, town, and desert places, but I’m getting a western vibe from this world. It’d be interesting if it goes that route, with some possible western references. All in all, the trailer manages to bring familiarity while being something fresh as well.

Why I am Worried

“A visual representation of the company fighting Nintendo in the future if successful.”

It’s no surprise that Nintendo fan games aren’t “beloved” by their parents. One of the more infamous examples is Another Metroid 2 Remake, a fan game made for the same reason Mother fans make fan games: they want something dammit! You can still download it, but Nintendo made sure all official download spots stopped. This is just one example, but it’s now common knowledge that the company can get pretty strict when it comes to fan games. Oddity probably changed from being Mother 4 because they feared all their years of hard work could be stopped like that.

This is why I am very worried about this fan-game. Spiritual successors are what the community have, such as Omori and Undertale, but people really want a new installment in the Mother franchise even if Itoi stepped down from that, possibly forever. When you know the hell that many games went through, it’s easy to see why. Mother 4 can be that for fans, hell it’s promising it will, but it would really suck if Nintendo brought the hammer down or if this studio decides to rebrand in fear of that. Spiritual successors are great, but the fans are the only people really willing to continue the franchise. Nintendo sure seems to not want to, even when the 30th anniversary came and went.

I understand that the team did address this concern in their own website, making the point that only fan remakes and controversial games get strikes, but I’m still worried about that being proven wrong. Who knows really; maybe I’ll be the one looking dumb? So, I really want this project to succeed, that way the Mother fans will have the spiritual successor and the “next” game in the series.

I’m looking forward to cry at the end, and maybe you will too. Idk, do what you want.

“Let’s hope this optimism saves us.”

P.S Listen to the soundtrack being released on the official Mother 4 youtube. It’s incredible.

-Samuel Argueta

Child of Light Part 2: The Music, the Graphics, and The Little Things.

Last time on Child of Light, I discussed the essential parts of the game in the attempt to mask my horrible scheduling. From the story, the characters, and the gameplay elements in both a critical and, admittedly, bias way. Now it’s time for me to discuss the other aspects, from its stellar music to its side quests that were alright. Was this a necessary post? Maybe. Was it for quantity? Ask my dead integrity.

Music: Beats by Coeur

“Igniculus shined like the sun and melted my eyes…”

Video game music is my sh!t, and Child of Light delivers a soundtrack that slaps hard! Admittedly, I am not the best when it comes to talking about music. Like, how do you I put the feelings I have about onto words in the most accurate way? Well, I’ll give it my best shot. The music, by Coeur de Pirate, has this fantastical yet melancholic feel to it, relying on pure instruments emphasizing on piano, violins, and flutes, to amply the adventure. It’s a symphony fit for a fairytale, giving the game its own identity.

Traveling around Lemuria is a musical dream, presenting a crisp orchestra as you solve puzzles and fly around the sky. From “Patches in the Sky” to “Pilgrims of a Long Journey,” it sets the tone of magic and wonder while reminding you of the torment brought by Umbra. I can only compare it to how Metroid sets the tone with its music, creating a soft ambience the amplify the eerie feel as you travel through the planet or the space station.

Coeur’s music is like a classic Disney movie, at least what a classic Disney film is meant to represent as a kid. It’s beautiful on the first run but still retains the magic on subsequent listens. Basically, when it was good.

I personally love “Patches in the Sky,” which plays as you go to the Temple of the Moon. The piano has this soft soul underneath its violin, telling how close you are to the “end” of your journey. It captures the wonder of this flying…city? I don’t quite know what the structures are supposed to be in this section. Ruins? The circus? An abandoned town? Whatever Tristis decided to kill himself in, the pure sight of it fills the imagination and the music helps create an awe-inspiring feeling. It’s the track I give subsequent listens to for studying.

Now, the battle music is the peak of this game. It actually contrasts the peaceful melodies of the overworld music. Like this is some Lord of the Rings level of epic and triumphant. The music makes every battle feel like you’re in Mordor, winning even with the eye of Sauron is just above the horizon. Especially “Jupiter’s Lightning,” this trumpet loving song that’s a regular battle theme disguised as a boss theme. It makes fights spectacular, and I’ll admit to getting pumped. It makes me want to fight enemies just to hear it. The other battle themes are great too, but Jupiter is the best one. Coeur managed to create one of the best regular battle themes in JRPG history, better than the many Final Fantasy or Pokemon themes. I’ll play more, I swear. I hear Legend of the Dragoon is good…

“Oh no, my Golem is going to be hit by a grass move. Why did Gamefreak also make him ground type!”

Maybe it’s just me, but Couer’s soundtrack is something to behold for yourself. I really recommend the video about how she made the music, going from simple to orchestrated when it came to the boss fights.

Graphics: A Moving Painting

“Yo, Aang is to the west. Pay attention for any fishermen huts, they’ll have the monk your looking for.”

The game utilizes the Rayman Legend’s engine for its animation but has such a different presentation compared to whatever the hell Rayman is supposed to be. Seriously, every time I watch my brother play it, I ask, “the hell happened to his limbs?!” Child of Light on the Switch is a visual beauty, a moving painting that compliments the game’s high fantasy. A lot of the game’s cool color scheme has this nice blue hue to it of varying degrees, but it does journey into warmer colors for places like Bolmus Poppuli. The developers made it so the background wasn’t static or lifeless. Many characters and monsters roam around in the landscapes, giving the world more depth. Sonic did this all the way back in the 80s, showcasing spanning cities or luscious forests as a backdrop, but 2d games (at least the one’s I’ve played as a gaming scrub) in recent years are able to have these backdrops so animated that its visually stunning. I love when a game leaves a lot to the imagination. The most iconic moment is the beginning, seeing the giant roam Lemuria as you walk across a small stream.

Animations for Aurora are equally impressive, especially her hair physics. It sways everywhere you go, raising up when being healed by Igniculus and sometimes covering her face. Her hair is like Medusa from Marvel; The locks have a mind on their own. Though, Aurora and her family are the only 3d models in the overworld. Everyone else is a 2d “sprite,” if sprites were just bio pics. This never becomes jarring since their animations are just as fluid as Aurora’s. It’s a few head nods but it keeps them from becoming cardboard cutouts. I’m surprised the writers didn’t have a moment where one town was struck frozen by Umbra to the point where they did look like a drift store prop.

The battle animations are great, specifically with the monsters. Each are given 4 kinds of movements, individual to their design. When attacking, archers fire arrows while rocks just hop in place (at least this one has an excuse Gamefreak!). Some are better than others, since the archers have this weird lag with the sound effect with firing. Monsters have a “push back” animation when hit, making attacks feel powerful. This is the same with the heroes, so battles end up with more weight to it. Monsters have a charge up animation, which vary in quality. Some reflect their design, like how the archer backs up like he’s charging the bow, while many are just “get big!” These compensation ones are just boring since they revert to normal size. I wish they stayed in their big boy forms, then lose it when they release their charge. Finally, there is the “almost dead” phase, where they visibly look down as if they’re getting scolded by their principle for being creative. It’s small but appreciated since enemies don’t have life bars. All of this makes regular grind fodder have life to them.

And that’s what Child of Light’s presentation is. On the big screen, it’ll take your breath away how beautiful Lemuria is. It’s water-color, cartoon artstyle stands out so well, making it one of the most recognizable games on the Switch. There’s barely any lag, so visuals pop onto the screen no problem. I highly suggest playing on a large TV. the handheld mode is good, but the TV’s presentation is way better.

Sidequests: In this Time Frame?

“Miraculous! Something something french, something something I stalk a blonde boy…Miraculous!”

Yeah, the sidequests are all…okay. I’m primarily talking about the ones you get from NPCS. I’ll get into the secrets later. The main characters do have sidequests that fit their character, such as saving the Kategida clan or getting Rubella’s brother. My personal favorite is the Kategida one since it’s in a labrynth puzzle that has actual ties to the lore of the game. However, none of the others are fun to do besides the reward. They’re the kind of sidequests that are just chores, like “kill these spiders in front of my lawn” or “get my flying pig back!” Yes, pigs do fly in Lemuria so any excuse you have is invalid. You could honestly skip them because they add nothing to the plot or the NPCS’ character in an interesting way. It’s one of the game’s weakest points.

Secrets: You Found the Thing!

The most interesting of Lemuria’s secrets are literal flying paper. Scattered throughout the world are diary letters that go further in-depth of Lemuria’s lore, primarily focusing on the explorers that were the ancestors of Aurora and Umbra. They aren’t too hard to find since flying, ripped paper in a world full of monsters will stand out, plus they continue the poetic writing of the dialogue.

Alongside the paper are the stardust’s, which are the game’s stat increase items. Same idea as the other things around, but their very much in the open. They can be taken by Igniculus, so they’re the easiest out of the collectables. Some are even rewards for side quests, such as the trade sequence. They still do that right? I’m still behind the times on gaming, correct?

“Ah yes, the most challenging of bosses: Darumaka’s sentient turds.

Smaller “dungeons” lay hidden, mostly within doors with a gem or a random entrance in a dungeon. Most of them contain puzzles that are just “fly fast” or a boss. On that note, a lot of the puzzles in the game are pretty simple. It’s one of the game’s weaker points since most are just flying through wind, moving block, or lighting stuff up. Nothing really worth wild or memorable. The rewards are more of the same: gems and potions. I do like the idea of bigger versions of enemies acting as bosses, but many of them use the same strategies. They’re just…bigger.

Annnddd…that’s all I have left. Now for my 2nd overview.

Overview

“Don’t get all mushy about it. I want your gold you European murderer, now hand it over!”

Like I said in Part 1, I really enjoyed this small JRPG for managing to bring back that classic fairytale feel with a great story and fun battle mechanics. The smaller aspects of the game are just as good, especially the music and the graphics, though the side quests and collectibles are the game’s weaker points. Many sidequests feel uninspired and the puzzles, while fun for a while with some good rewards, become lackluster.

Anyway, these are just my thoughts on the game. I hope you had a fun experience just as I did. I highly recommend checking out how the developers created the game through their series on Ubisoft’s Youtube channel. They’re short and sweet, but a great way to understand the magic behind the game. Anyway, I’ll hope you’ll return whenever the f to read me write more swear words than the lord would permit because I’m tackling Kamen Rider Saber, because 2020 decided to spawn both a virus and this show.

-Samuel Argueta

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Compilation

Can you spot the new addiction throughout my recent posts? It’s not the heroine manning my writing.

I watched the entire original Gundam show through 3 compilation movies on the youtube channel GundamInfo. I thought it was an incredible show and start for the franchise, but the compilations themselves were pretty alright. Especially found in the second movie, I could tell that too much was put in and a lot of the fleshed-out details like character and story bits were rushed because of it. A great show, but okay movies.

The year UC 0079, and the Principality of Zeon have waged a rebellion against the Earth for independence, thus starting the One Year War. Also they dropped a colony. The Zabi Family, at the head of Zeon, lead their soldiers using the revolutionary change to warfare: Mobile Suits. On Site 7, young Nuke Amuro Gunray witnesses the terror of war as No-Goufs Boy 2’s wage an attack on the Federation’s secret weapon stashed in the colony. Amuro ignores his father as he enters into the cockpit of Earth’s greatest turning point, the RX-78 Gundam, to defeat the enemy soldiers.

Now, forced with other children to fight in the war in the White Base (yes it’s called that) Amuro and the Gundam (and I guess the Guntank and Guncannon) will change the course of One Year War while ignoring the other Gundams that come along later. Idk, I haven’t watched them all yet.

Ungifted

So, real talk. I didn’t plan a book post well because I had school and I didn’t know what to do about screenshot jokes. So, here’s my apology recommendation. I swear, it’s still better written than Captain Marvel.

Young Donovan Navonod is a middle school kid so reckless he makes my 1 am walks seem smarter. One day, he smacks the thicc @ss of a statue and causes it’s bronze world to smash into the nearby gym. Does he get in trouble? No, he gets accidently awarded by being transferred to the gifted program school. Now, with the school district superintendent on his trail, he has to keep low while having to fake his way long enough for the drama to die down. However, it turns out that the smart kids may value him more than they could have thought.

I really hope that read with that generic synopsis voice for all those kids movies. I thought of writing generic lines like “Now, he’ll learn that he may be the best thing for the smart kids” or something like that. That’s my critic on the back of the book, which was literally written by that generic guy voice in all those trailers.

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum

Hey, remember that weird movie review I did for that elf movie. Please don’t read it. Anyway, something that I don’t talk about much is my love for classic films. I mainly mean from the 60s to the 80s. Westworld, Logan’s Run, Dr Strangelove, Forbidden Planet, and a bunch of others. There is something beloved about the old ways they would create the worlds of the films, having to rely on the practical rather than today’s CGI reliance.

I watched this film for a drama class I’m taking, and it is seriously one of the funniest comedies out there. It’s very simple humor, but the physical comedy and clever dialogue is so witty it reminds me of a Monty Python film. I also love the camera work since it’s so good at adapting to the emotions of the scene, whether it be made into quick shots for the humor or angled shots for a character’s anxiety. It’s genuinely well-made for a 60s film and has some of the most unique visuals I’ve seen from a film from it’s era. At least to me.

In this adaptation of a musical and kind of Pseudolus, our MC is the conniving slave looking to obtain his freedom. When his masters’ son, Hero, wants to marry a girl in the slave house next door, he makes a deal that’ll get them both what they truly desire. What comes next is an elaborate plot of madness as the slave tries to hook the two up while more and more complications arise, especially in the form of the girl’s buyer Captain Miles Glorious, who will burn everything to get his bride. With some of the best actor performances and chemistry, with a mixture of comedy and clever writing, this is a classic that’ll make you holler every 5 minutes.