Apr 29, 2011

Looking back on final Fantasy X saga, ya!

Final Fantasy X, the first Ps2 Final Fantasy. The first Final Fantasy with Voice Acting and the first Final Fantasy to get rid of the "World Map". That's not what I'm going to talk about... Although I will mention some stuff on the... voice... acting! This rant is mostly about the characters, the story throughout the two games: Final Fantasy X and it's sequel X-2.

First I'll start with the story and characters of FFX: There will be Spoilers... (The game is over 8 years old, ya!)
A young man gets transported to another world by a giant monster named Sin. He travels with a Summoner (a Holy Warrior who is supposed to destroy Sin) and her Guardians, while he tries to find a way to return home.

Tidus (The player character): He's the young man stranded in a different world. He's our link to the story, since like him we don't know the customs of Spira. We're learning them with him as we go along. He's mostly cheery, somewhat whiny, a nice refreshing change from the moody heroes like Cloud or Squall.(Yes Zidane was a happy go lucky character too, but we're talking Tidus here!) He also has a bone to pick with his father, he will drop hints about that a LOT throughout the game.

Yuna: The Summoner whose whole purpose in life is to destroy Sin. Most, if not all of her actions are guided in the name of a greater good.

Wakka: Annoying Racist, close-minded bigot with a heart of gold. He's a Blitzball jock/Yuna's Guardian. Why do I call him an annoying Racist, close-minded bigot with a heart of gold, ya?
He's a bit annoying, whenever something clashes with his beliefs... (The Al Bhed people, machines can bring on some of his annoying side...) He hates the Al Bhed people for no reason other than his religion told him to hate them. Deep down he's a nice guy, ya!

Khimari: A Ronso warrior (a Lion like humanoid) Silent and EXTREMELY Protective of Yuna.

Auron: Badass Ronin warrior. He helped Yuna's Father defeat Sin 10 years ago. He's been looking over Tidus and Yuna these last 10 years. Yes, he's been in both worlds.

Lulu: Another of Yuna's Guardians. Grumpy, kinda insensitive at times, but looks out for Yuna like an older sister.

Rikku: A young Al Bhed... (as in the people that Wakka hates). Extremely cheery and upbeat.

Now this dysfunctional "family" help Yuna gathering the Summon beasts along the way needed to defeat Sin. Along the way they discover that things aren't what they seem... and that could shake their world to the core... (Felt like a comic book editor for a moment)
The Religion of Spira (Yevon) is controlled by a group of corrupt priests... Heck their Pope is undead! The whole destroying Sin is a bunch of bull, since Sin always comes back after a small period of peace. Yevon uses the summoners as pawns to keep the people in line. (Sin is their punishment for using machines, or whatever. You must obey Yevon in order to get atonement.)
The Summon Beasts (aeons) reveal to Tidus that he's part of a Dream from the past. Tidus' world is a dream and Spira is the real world... Still he helps Yuna defeat Sin (Who was Tidus' dad...) ands then they defeat the true "evil" Yu Yevon, the spirit of an ancient summoner who keeps recreating Sin... He looks like a weird Tick. Yuna had to sacrifice her Aeons to kill Yevon, then Tidus fades, since he's a dream of the Aeons. After the end credits Tidus rises from the water...
Then comes X-2...
Yuna went from this
to this...
To quote Matt Kennedy Gould: What is going on?

OK, Yuna is some sort of Treasure Hunter/Pop Star... that behaves like a Rikku Wannabe.
Rikku is Rikku... with less clothing... their new Partner, Paine, is like a female Squall Leonhart... (Emo kid from FFVIII)

Yuna became a sphere hunter because she saw a sphere of Tidus and she tried to find him. She got involved in a huge mess. Two warring factions, and the ghost of a guy who looks like Tidus hellbent on destroying the world with a Piano gun! but most of the story passes by without you noticing cause, you're to busy inducing monkeys to mate, selling tickets to a concert, running around dressed like a moogle, or other bunch of weird fetch quests, silly minigames while trying to figure out what's going on... (or obtaining 100% game completion) Basically you're going through this because you saw a dude that looks like your "imaginary" Boyfriend...

Yuna has de-evolved as a character. She's become a silly little girl! She is now more selfish and immature! (Not counting the whole skimpy outfits thing...) These changes reek of Fan Service, which pretty much sums up the game.
To be fair, it has it's good moments... (Wakka growing up as a character, um... that's pretty much it...)
and the "sad ending" Which in my opinion is the better ending. Bringing him back makes his sacrifice from FFX pointless...

What I'm trying to say is that Sequels and Final Fantasy don't mix... Especially those who rely on fan service to move the game...

Apr 28, 2011

Action Figure Woes: This is Cringer, my fearless friend?

Mattel kinda announced their SDCC stuff on Attack of the Show.
DCUC are Getting Swamp Thing.
Ghostbusters are getting Stay Puft Marshmellow Man (@$70)
Polly Pocket is getting a 3 pack inspired by Princess of Power... (Catra, She-Ra and Frosta...) PP gets a Frosta before we get a MOTUC Frosta! Son of a Shoopuff! (sorry playing too much FFX and FFX-2)
MOTUC are Getting Cringer and Queen Marlena!!
As I've said before... Main Characters as con exclusives scare me... It's almost like they want to punish us who can't go to SDCC and get these wonderful toys...
Sure Swamp thing looks kinda cool, but I can skip him. (Don't like the idea of him being internally articulated... Rubber pieces + Movement... Worries me a lot!)
Stay Puft it's too expensive.
Polly Pocket 3 pack sounds very tempting...
Marlena and Cringer... Obviously I'll try to get it!

Now on my thoughts regards this 2 pack:
Hookay! Where to begin: Cringer looks like a statue... (No PoA!? Not cool) Nice looking, but statue-esque.
Marlena: It looks like she reuses Adora's body but with She-Ra's boots and a few extra details. I' worried about the dress swapping mechanics will work... On the other hand this explains that Marlena IS from Earth.
Like her son before her, she apparently will be available at SDCC AND at Mattycollector.com
(The Matty version will be sold as Astronaut Marlena Glenn, while the SDCC version will be the Queen Version) Also Cringer has 2 PoA... Head and Tail... So said teh Spector... Still not cool... The Cringer thing.

Apr 25, 2011

Reasons why a Captain Planet movie would suck!

Captain Planet, He's A Hero... something something a big fat zero...

This is what I'm talking about... Part of me WANTS a movie made out of this. The other part, well it knows that it would SUCK SO HARD that even Ted Turner would be ashamed of Captain Planet...
Let's start with the premise:
5 teens from around the world try to promote eco-awareness while fighting "eco-villains" with their magic rings. When said teens combine their powers they summon a "superhero" to help them in their crusade.

  1. Basically the heroes are Terrorists. Sure they're the good guys and are fighting to protect the environment, but even in the intro you can see the acts of terror from these kids.

  2. The villains themselves are 1-dimensional. They pollute for the sake of polluting. Heck even their real names are awful puns on "Eco-evils" Looten Plunder, Dr. Blight, Sly Sludge? How people do business with people whose last names are Sludge, Blight and Plunder!? Not counting the fact that these guys do most of the stuff to piss off the Planeteers.

  3. Another point regarding the villains: They all seem to be White Americans, while the heroes are international... Capitalism bad?

  4. The Planeteers are a bunch of teens living in a commune without any adults. They also fly around the world on the only Solar powered air-ship... If their Solar powered airship is so amazing, why don't they patent the thing and help solve the fuel crisis?

  5. Ma-Ti's Power... Remember as kids when playing Captain Planet? Everyone wanted to be either Wheeler or Kwame... NO ONE wanted to be Ma-Ti... Why? Heart sucks! It's the same reason why no one wanted to be Aquaman when playing Superfriends, or Lifeline when playing G.I. Joe! No one wants to be the mega-hippie!

  6. Captain Planet himself. Picture Superman add Spidey's one-liners, and that his enemies are made of Kryptonite... That's Captain Planet in a nutshell... He's gets weak by the very same thing he's trying to stop!

As it is, the adaptation into a Live Action Movie would SUCK Big time...
We all know what terrors Hollywood execs could do to beloved children's cartoons... in the name of Adaptation!

Now here's a list of things that I'd fear about Hollywood making a Captain Planet Live Action movie:
  1. Changing way too much the source material, that it becomes Captain Planet in name only: See, Godzilla, Dragon Ball: Evolution, SF: the Legend of Chun Li, etc. as references of Adaptations gone wrong.

  2. Abuse of low brow humor... A lot of the "Eco Villains" are dirty folk. I expect some lame jokes about farts, poop, etc. Wouldn't be surprised if Suchi pees on one of the "Eco Villains".

  3. Weird Cast choices: A White Kwame, Ma-Ti, and Gi are part of my worst fears... Or a thin Hoggish Greedly...

  4. Michael Bay: Baysplosions anyone? He should direct a porn movie...

  5. The premise of the source Material is kinda preachy... I fear that Hollywood would amp up the Preachy elements for the movie.

    Yes, the Show went there...

  6. Trying to make this too "realistic"! You've got 5 magic rings, Gaia, Captain Planet himself, Duke Nukem, and Jeff Goldblum I mean Verminous Skumm (The rat dude... He was played by Jeff Goldblum)

There could be a miracle and something awesome would come out of this, but I'm expecting a steaming pile of turd...

Luckily the Captain Planet movie is in Development Hell... Probably hanging out with the MotU movie...

Apr 23, 2011

WWE's PG era is getting to my nerves!

I love wrestling... I loved the WWE back when it was the WWF.
My fave wrestler from the 80s. I admit that in the early 90s I kinda left wrestling, but returned in the late 90s. Later on the Smackdown! games revived the wrestling love in me. I was hooked once more. The WWE was going through a "mature" phase... Some of it was ridiculously over the top and a tad "disturbing", but it kept me hooked. Suddenly I stopped watching the WWE in the late 00s... Tried to watch once again, but I couldn't watch it anymore! It was like someone or something sucked the fun out of Wrestling Entertainment!

It's called the PG Era:
-Gone are the (in)famous Bra and Panties Matches! I can hear Jerry Lawler crying... Also Lawler's semi lecherous comments have been toned down.
-The matches are extremely watered down.
-The Red stains on the ring are virtually non-existent anymore... No blood... the few chairshots are only done to the back, because a chair to the face is a big no-no.
-Even the moves got their names changed!

The FU is now an "attitude adjustment"

-Worst part is that the PG era has infected the videogames! Gone are the days where I culd create a female wrestler and have her kick ass! You haven't exploited the CaW system until you see Hannah Montana doing a Pedigree on Big Show! Now that's impossible, because the recent WWE games don't allow a fair male vs female match... Just picture you're playing street fighter and you're using Bison. Your opponent is now Chun Li. She can hit you, but if you hit her you lose the fight... That's how it works now on the WWE

If this was a videogame Miley would lay the smackdown on both Cena and Jackson... PG WWE is almost as exciting as Hannah Montana... Then again, I'm a Hannah fan, but WWE isn't doing it for me...

Somehow my gut is telling me that the PG era of the WWE has something to do with Mattel...
or the death of Benoit... I'm going to go with Mattel, since they always give me enough reasons to complain about stuff... yet I buy their products... (Except WWE toys... I ain't buying those!)

I don't want the return of events like the "Katie Vick incident", but a WWE that is less neutered... with more "oomph!" Now that a lot of the "superstars" from the attitude era are either retiring or going to TNA, this is the chance to see new talent (with decent gimmicks and decent in-ring ability.) right now the WWE doesn't have this. It's kinda weird that the best heels in the WWE are not even real wrestlers

Apr 19, 2011

Hoooooooly Crap! The T-Cat Toys Are awesome looking!!

I saw the toys and I'm really impressed!
The classics look really awesome! Almost like they've stepped out of the cartoon!
Lion-O and Tygra rock! At least visually speaking...
The new toys look good... Honestly I'm not THAT interested in them.
The New Thunderkittens look a bit creepy.
These guys are coming in August!
Hooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooopefully they won't suck!

Apr 16, 2011

It Came from the Toychest! Battle Armor Skeletor!

Like He-Man before him, Skeletor got himself a Battle Armor! I did forgot to make a BA He-Man review... (lost the pics for that one.) but I knew Skeletor wouldn't be too far behind.
Now Skeletor is Here! What can I say about the figure? He's a MOTUC Figure so you already must have an idea of what you'd expect here... What's new? BATTLE ARMOR BABY!
Unlike the Battle Armor of the 80s, the MOTUC Battle Armor works with swappable plates:
As mentioned on the Palace Guards Review. Skeletor has three plates: No damage, one slash and two slashes! In addition to that he gets a brand new Skeletor Ax! (Inspired by the Filmation Episode: The Diamond Ray of Disappearance, but it's a purple He-Man ax in execution.)
Now let's get unto the ratings. You already know that 1 is as crappy as having a giant red useless dial on the middles of the back of your vac metal gold plain, undetailed armor and 5 is as awesome as Chuck Norris being ridden by Battle Cat!
Standard MOTUC Articulation here! Nothing new. The thick armor does restrict the ab crunch and shoulder articulation a bit... The Shoulders seem to be assembled correctly, no issues there... There is a HUGE Articulation issue: The waist seems to get "fused" to the loincloth and it doesn't want to budge unless you summon the Power of Grayskull to move it... BA He-Man seems to suffer the same fate to a lesser extent.
Paint and Sculpt:
Sculptwise, the only new pieces are the armor pieces. They're really nifty! No complaints here. Paintwise on the other hand... AWFUL!
Let's begin with the Purple Feet. Yes the Vintage figure had them... Yes this line is supposed to be a tribute to the vintage line... You also have 3 toed non-naked feet that barely get any reuse...
At least keep the toenails the same color as the "shoes". Fanboy rants aside Looking at the feet I found blue globs on both of the greaves... Moving higher up the armor has a few splotches of paint on the black areas. Things like gloss on some non glossy parts and flat black where some glossy parts should be. I can let that slide... What I can't let slide is a HUGE UNPANINTED AREA OF HIS ARMOR!!! To add insult to injury his twin slashed plate is underpainted on the slashed areas... (The single slash has a buttload of paint on it...)
Skeletor has the 3 plates and an ax. Just like He-Man. I would've preferred an Additional Havoc staff, but Logistics and all that.
Overall: 3.16
The score is so low because I really got a crappy version of the toy. It lost points because of stuck joints and craptacular paint job. I'm judging it harshly because this was MY Skeletor and dammit I didn't want him to suck!!

I'm using the Mo-Larr vs Skeletor head on my BA Skeletor... Considering repainting Skeletor's head... or at least the teeth!

It came from the Toy Chessssst: Serpos Worshipping Edition

The third evil faction leader has arrived! It's True! It's true! Finally King Hssss has come back to my Toy chest... Technically this is my very first version of the character... Well let's get on with the Review!
He's another Masters of The Universe Classics figure, so you already have an Idea what to expect.
As always 1 is crap and 5 is awesome! But before I start with the review I need to get something off my chest: Mattel Screwed up King Hssss. The shoulders were made backwards like Roboto (which I couldn't get.) and there is no plans for Mattel to release a fixed figure...
King Hssss has the average MOTUC Articulation, although the shoulders have a bit of trouble here due to Mattel making the molds wrong. The snake Torso has 2 bendy snakes and the main snake has 1. POA on the Jaw.
Human: 3.0 Snake: 3.5
Sculpt & Paint:
This Hssss is sadly 100% Pure Vintage. Part of me wished some of his 200X elements had been mixed with him (Like the Chief Carnivus loincloth). Aside from the stylistic choices the scuplt is top notch Very little parts reused and what was reused was masked well.
The Snake form is OK. The size is a tad impressive, but the amount of snakes is wrong. Also, due to some reason or what not; the sanek fangs look like Buck teeth instead of fangs.
Paintwise he has a decent paintjob with very little slop. but the slop on his face makes it look like Hssss's skin is cracking up and the snakes within may explode in any second.
Human: 4.5 Snake 3.5
Hssss has a Staff, and a shield. The staff has a cool snakesurrounding it and is in two tone metallic green! The shield is two tone red with a lot of Snake motifs on it.
For some reason the shield was made to be used on the left hand only AND that reduces some of it's fun factor.
Human: 3.83 Snake: 3.66
It's not that King Hssss is a crappy character, but a couple of flaws from the start also hindered his score. It seems that Mattel lost an opportunity to make this figure surpass all previous Hssss figures by making the snake form so short. If the backwards shoulders get on your nerves here's a video on how to fix them. It's very easy I tried it myself...

Apr 13, 2011

Action figure Woes: New Golden Age, or Ultimate Doom

G.I. Joe 25th Anniversary, and now 30th Anniversary + Masters of the Universe Classics + Thundercats Classics + Transformers Generations + Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics... All of the Big 80s Toylines are making a comeback. Some people call it the "Second Golden Age". Others are more doom and gloom about it. Like the 80s, again, it seems we're on a recession/recovering from one. (Depends on who you ask) Now the Toy companies are churning out/will churn out soon toys that try to recapture the glory days from the 80s. Now that the "Adult collector" business is no longer taboo, the companies are trying to cater to the former children of the 80s.

Some are keeping to the good old Retail experience while others try to use the internet to sell toys.
It doesn't matter how they're doing it/will do it... What matters is that they ARE DOING it!
The Nostalgia loving part of me is completely excited about this, but the creative part in me weeps at the lack of promoting new stuff for future generations. A huge chunk of the Action figure market is based on one-shot licenses (Movie deals mostly.) Card game inspired toys are around, but no one seems to care about them... Even if the toys are about the characters from the cartoon promoting said card game. Some modern cartoons that get toys are based on comics, meaning any new incarnation is just around the next cancellation.

With the exception of TMNT, the toys making a comeback for adults are pretty much stand alone IPs based on Toys... (Thundercats was a toon first, toyline second, but those two are so closely tied together that one associates the cartoon to the toys instead of the other way around.)

There seems to be no desire to take on cool 90s properties like Gargoyles. I won't say Power Rangers since Bandai did release some figures celebrating the Vintage Power Rangers. Now that I think of it, there weren't THAT many cool toylines from the 90s that I remember... (My toy-"hating" stage was from 94-95) Aside MMPR, I remember Street Sharks, GI Joe Extreme (BLEGH!) Obviously TMNT expanded to the 90s and the Marvel and DC Toys... I gravitated towards the Marvel figs, mostly because KB Toys had the 3 For $10 on Marvel toys. (I did have a second Toy hiatus in late 99 until 01 or 02 When I saw the Earlier Spider-Man Classics... Then ML got into full swing.)

The funny thing about this is that this is the start of the SECOND DECADE catering to 80s kids.
We started in the early 2000s with the TMNT and MOTU Reboots, Hasbro reinvented GI Joe a couple of times as well, Transformers had been reinvented in anime/toyform a few times. Now Thundercats are stepping into the plate. Yes the 80s were THE Golden age of toys, but we can't stay stuck to them and alienate the last true toy enthusiast decade, the 90s.

After we quit the lines, who will buy them in our place? While on one hand it's awesome that I'll be able to restore a lot of pieces of my childhood (dead relatives aside); I fear that too much can collapse, break the bubble and screw us all. Luckily I'm not that much of a TF fan, but I've gotten a couple of toys. Now that I completed the Sunbow GI Joe series, my urge for Joes has calmed down a lot... and that they seem to have become TRU exclusives... Heck I'm even considering quitting MOTUC... Too much crap with Matty (the site), Toy QC issues, and plenty of hassles that are almost sucking all the fun out of MOTUC.
I have faith in Thundercats and the New TMNT Classics "80s toys with modern sculpt and articulation" sound familiar?

It seems that the 201X is the decade of the 80s rehashes with modern articulation and sculpt.

This rant seems super scattered... way more than normal, but it's cause I'm torn on the issue. I'm glad that we're getting improved versions of the toys from my childhood, but at the same time I feel that the industry is alienating the kids who came after me... Furthering the so-called Videogames killed the toychest theory...

Apr 8, 2011

Odds and Ends April 08 2011

It seems that The Cobra that was MIA is now Mia.

No, not THAT Cobra! I'm talking about the animal that escaped from The Bronx's Zoo... The snake has it's own Twitter account... Then again Cobra Commander Has various Twitter accounts... to fool GI Joe...

Speaking of Wretched beings, Paris Hilton is apparently pulling off a Lindsay Formerly known as Lindsay Lohan. It seems that a Company lent Paris some jewels under the promise that they'd be safe in a safe when not in use. Then again, we know how Tight security is at Paris Hilton's place...

It's Friday! Friday! you know what that means! More Rebecca Black!
I got to admit, She's starting to grow on me. she's poking fun at herself and her (in)famous song! Got to applaud her for that. What I don't applaud is using parody to preach!
Going to Church on Easter... Hookay, there was no need for that... At least we didn't have Jesus rappin' in the front or back seat when "stalker dude" shows up in the original video...

Mattel is planning to release a Disney Channel inspired Barbie Line: It's called Disney's VIP:
Hannah Montana from Hannah Montana, Alex Russo From Wizards of Waverly Place, Sharpay Evans from High School Musical, Rocky and CeCe from Shake it Up, and Sonny Munroe from Sonny with a Chance... The dolls are semi-stylized meaning: If it wasn't for the outfits you'd have no idea who they are...

Apr 1, 2011

Odds and Ends: Friday, Friday, April 1st MMXI

It's Friday, Friday! Gotta get down on Friday! and It's my turn to talk about the Extremely disliked Rebecca Black song: Friday
If you've been living under a rock the video I posted IS the infamous song!
The video has been viewed over 74,000,000 times and it has about 180,000 Likes vs over 1,450,000 Dislikes!

Why the disgust against this song?
  1. The Lyrics. I'm no songwriter, but when you have t fill your song with Hyper "Duh!" statements such as:"Yesterday was Thursday" "Tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes After... wards"
  2. Autotune Abuse: I'm not sure if the girl is a good singer or not, but the Autotune makes her sound like a screeching little harpy. The screeches are almost ear-bleeding screams from tortured souls. That's just at the beginning of the song! The droning part comes after... wards!
  3. The Video: Yes it's "professionally made", but at the same time it's AWFUL! The video was mostly filmed in front of a blue/green screen and it can be noticeable at times... Not 70s noticeable, but noticeable that makes it kinda distracting.
    The kids are supposed to be around Rebecca's age (13) Why in the HELL is a 13 year old kid driving a car!? Not only that, but driving on a highway while three kids are practically standing on a convertible's backseat.

  4. What the Hell is up with the Rapper dude!? He's apparently stalking the kids. Kinda Creepy don't you think? (BTW that dude was the one who wrote this and one of the owners of ARK Music Factory.
Now those are the reasons to dislike the Video and song. I do find a bit over the top to hate the girl. Yeah she's 13 and not a pro, but asking for her head... That's a bit too much... Seems hypocritical from a Bieber hater...
The dislike of Rebecca black is not just for Mere mortals... A certain Celebrity who became a star by bonding with a hairy symbiote dislikes Black as well. To be more precise She dislikes the Popularity Black has gained, lashes against the Internet (Well, she used to tweet, mess around on a Youtube Channel and now those are evil?)

My biggest problem is that Rebecca Black is unavoidable... Friday has become the new Rickroll. Even on my local radio stations they had the "Friday! Friday! gotta get down on Friday!" jingle!

Mattel revealed Today at Wondercon TWO MOTUC Figures: Leech and Hurricane Hordak! I got to admit, They LOOK AWESOME!! Sure this won't help me solve the issues related to my order on the 15th (order sent to the wrong place and refused, forced to reorder on the 29th through CS)