The Land of ESH

Log OutLog In

Posts Tagged ‘Saignement’

"Magic Knight Rayearth": The Quest To Save Cephiro!

Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the very first manga to ever get me into the world of Japanese animation. To celebrate I dusted off the Magic Knight DVDs and traveled back to the land of Cephiro with Umi, Fuu, and Hikaru. Magic Knight Rayearth was one the very first magical girl series, and has defiantly stuck with me throughout the years as one of my all-time favorites.

The story starts with three high school students, all from different schools, on a class trip to Tokyo Tower, when the cries of Princess Emeraude, the pillar of the world of Cephiro, summon them from Japan into her own world, to help save it from the evil reign of the Lord Zagato.  Once there they team up with the Master Mage Clef and a small create call Mokona in order to save Cephiro and find the Princess. In this world, a person’s will-power gives them strength, and can alter the world. Evil will creates monsters, while good while creates miracles. The Princess is the pillar of the world because her will is stronger than any other, so she must pray for the world to keep it safe. The high priest Lord Zagato has her captive however, keeping her from praying for the world. The three girls are charged with finding and using the power of the ancient rune gods in order to defeat Zagato and restore order to the world.

While Rayearth may not have the shining new look of today’s manga, it still holds its own after nearly 20 years since its production. The magical girl theme may seem a bit stale in this day and age, to go back and see one of the very first of its kind is a whole different matter, but it is truly amazing to see the differences that have emerged throughout the years. It does have its obligatory cutesy moments with the girls in little chibi forms and cat ears, yet it still manages to maintain a level of gravity that most modern shows seem to forsake. The plot lines, no matter how big or small they all, are all very fleshed out and full of story. The girls meet a woman to forge their magical weapons which grow stronger with them, and find in her an almost mother figure in the harsh world of Cephiro.

In terms of honoring the story, the anime follows the manga during the first season almost perfectly, aside of the inclusion of one made-up character. The second season, however, has even larger discrepancies in terms of major plot points that can be a bit aggravating for fans of the manga. In general however, both seasons are still demanding of attention for holding to a time when the quality of shows was at a bit of a higher importance level. With modern shows sinking into more and more fan service and less and less plots, Rayearth is a classic. The classics will never be bad, just old, and they don’t suffer for it.

For anyone looking to go back in time and see what some of the classics truly are like, they should look into Magic Knight Rayearth.

FINAL GRADE:

Anime Version: 4.5 (out of 5)
Original Manga: 4.8 (out of 5)

Written by Saignement

Episode CXXXIV: I’ve Been Watching You Since You Had Two Braids

The Bastards would like to warn you of massive spoilers in this week’s episodes, but they just love ruining everything for you!

After almost OD’ing on laughing gas the B3 crew takes some good and weird shots at the new movie The Hunger Games, which has all the guys (and gal) on the fence on their real feelings towards it. Anvil gives his weekly sports report, revealing the latest in NFL trades and Red Sox spring training. Finally the demos for Sine Mora, Birds of Steel, Blades of Time, and Kinect Rush are reviewed.

May the odds be ever in your favor! It’s Episode 134: I’ve Been Watching You Since You Had Two Braids.

"DoA: Dimensions" vs. "SSFIV": The 3D Showdown

I’ve always fancied myself a fighting game kind of girl, something about all that button mashing and raging adrenaline just really does it for me, so when I made my switch to 3DS this spring, both the newest Dead or Alive and Street Fighter were pretty high on my priority list. While Street Fighter IV was ready for me on release day like a puppy on Christmas morning, Dead or Alive kept me waiting like the girl whose way too hot to be seen with you but still wants to go to the movies with you.

I launched on into Street Fighter on release day, taking on all sorts of foes with my all-time favorite: Crimson Viper. I was a little sad when I headed on down the single-player trail however, I wasn’t offer very much more than a single cut scene and occasional win statements to provide any sense of purpose to all the fighting, but  I was still kicking butt and therefore happy. The occasional mini-game of beating up cars and busting barrels kept things light and were a welcome break to the routine, but the whole thing got a little stale after not more than a few hours.  The multiplayer gave a bit more interest when I could go up against my friends, but the limited number of others with a  3DS really cut into that experience. Overall, when it came time for Dead or Alive, I was more than happy for something new to try.

So far Dead or Alive: Dimensions has not given me any reason to complain. The single player mode offers you in-depth story lines and character backgrounds through cut scenes and training sequences, making sure you’re getting better as the game gets harder. I did at times wish I was in control of which characters I was playing as, but going through each characters story line has been rather interesting, so I’m okay with it. I still am only halfway through all the chapters, and genuinely want to keep going, to keep learning more and to keep unlocking all the fun outfits and characters to take on my friends with in the multiplayer section.

Keeping on with the comparisons, another main factor in the worth of the games were their ability to fully take advantage of the 3D capabilities of the new system, because really, that’s the whole point of the crossing over. With Street Fighter IV I was presented with the fun over-the-shoulder view for the fighters, adding an interesting layer to the games visuals, but in the most part, I still felt like I was just looking at a flat screen. Dead or Alive, however, added depth into their layers, not so much in the popping out coming to get you way that most envision with 3D, but with making it look like the layouts really kept on going back into the screen. Last but not least, let’s not forget all those characters and their jiggling, which have only gotten worse, or better if that’s how you want to look at it, with the added depth and definition to all the girls’ curves.

All things considered, at the end of the day, I put in my Dead or Alive and take out a bit more in my single player mode, but when I’m out and about, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition seems to be more popular among the masses to battle with. Both games do have their merits, but for me, Dead or Alive: Dimensions was worth the wait and now has my full devotion.

FINAL GRADES:

Dead or Alive: Dimensions: 8.0 (out of ten)
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition: 4.6 (out of ten)

Written by Saignement

Episode CXXX: What’s He Doing With His Hands?

The Bastards get all patriotic on your ass on a brand-new episode. (WARNING: This episode will contain spoilers.)

This week the B3 crew look at the new movie Act of Valor, dissecting its story, realism, and portrayal of real-life SEALs in action. Anvil gives his weekly sports report, the demos for Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm – Generations, SSX, and Alan Wake’s American Nightmare are put under review, and Saignement and Anvil give their first impressions on the full version of UFC Undisputed 3.

Even the Camptown Ladies will be singing about this one! It’s Episode 130: What’s He Doing With His Hands?

Episode CXXIX: Even Twinkies Can’t Decay

Have yourself a good Valentine’s Day? Who cares?! It’s a brand-new episode that will cure all your heartache!

This week the B3 crew looks at the demos for Mass Effect 3 and Binary Domain, Blueonic shares his take on Warp and Gotham City Impostors, and King Baby Duck and Saignement gripe about the beta for Starhawk. The movies Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and This Means War are reviewed, and Anvil touches on the retirement of Tim Wakefield in this week’s sports segment.

No need for any finger-painting in this one! It’s Episode 129: Even Twinkies Can’t Decay!

Episode CXXVII: "Don’t Pay Attention To Us! We’re Mormons!"

Our Bastette-In-Training returns for an all-new episode!

This week the B3 crew looks at the week in sports, including a final wrap-up before Super Bowl Sunday (since this was recorded the Saturday before the game). The new movie Chronicle is reviewed, Saignement tries her hardest to forget Underworld: Awakening, and King Baby Duck gets riled up when the best movie of 2011 gets screwed over at this year’s Oscar nominations. Finally the demos for Twisted Metal, Syndicate, Gotham City Impostors, Happy Action Theater, and Rhythm Heaven are looked at, and Saignement shares her initial thoughts on Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Soul Calibur V.

A lot to discuss, and it all fits into place. It’s Episode 127: “Don’t Pay Attention To Us! We’re Mormons!” (You’ll have to see Chronicle to know the meaning behind today’s title.)

"Dance Central 2" Vs. "Just Dance 3": Epic Dance Battles Ensue

With the newest of the beloved Just Dance series finally making it out from Wii-exclusivity, I was able to give it a try with my Kinect for the 360, just as the sequel to the Kinect dance hit Dance Central hit stores. With both dance games sitting on my shelf beckoning, I was hard pressed to decide which of the pair would reign as my number one dance game of choice.

I admit that right off the bat Dance Central had a strong lead with the option to import all of the songs from the first Dance Central with the use of the code provided in the first game, making the two into one super game, a feature Just Dance couldn’t provide me with due to this being its first Kinect-ready title. Both titles provide the option of downloading songs from the market place individually, which is nice, but something I haven’t felt willing to spend my Microsoft points on yet.

Download options aside, Just Dance does lead with a larger song-base to start with. However, I found myself only play a few of the gems in Just Dance like LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” or Duck Sauce’s “Barbra Streisand”. Dance Central may have a smaller selection, but they will it with more hits and a better quality of songs, new and old. During parties with my friends we definitely give Just Dance it’s due time for its multiplayer possibilities, but Dance Central always works its way back in for our loves of it’s songs.

As far as actual gameplay and being sensitive to movement, Dance Central continues to pull ahead. When playing Dance Central it will tell me when any part of my body is about two inches off anywhere, while Just Dance doesn’t tell you where you are messing up, just that you are, but also doesn’t seem to have adapted to the Kinect well. Just dance was made for the Wii originally, focusing all of its motion capture on the hands, which it still seems to do, even with the whole-body capabilities of the Kinect.

One place where Just Dance leaves Dance Central in the dust however is multiplayer. This is the first time Dance Central offers multiplayer, and it is limited to two people only. Just Dance however has always had a wide multiplayer and can be up to four players. Just Dance also features a kind of open multiplayer where at any point in the song you can simply walk into the Kinect field and it will add you to the game. Dance Central will need to pause and sign you in to play, not nearly as smoothly.

Both games feature a workout mode meant to promote being active. With Just Dance you will collect sweat points to show off how long you’ve been at your workout, however these points don’t earn you anything and go away once you exit workout mode, making a rather small victory. Dance Central offers pre-selected dance playlist for different levels of workout, in which they track your time spent and calories burnt, which you can go back and view later, making it feel like a bigger accomplishment, and keeps you active by not having to select a new song each time.

One feature that Just Dance holds that you won’t find in Dance Central is the create mode, where you make your own dances to the songs in the game, or tweak the ones already there. This feature seemed really cool at first, when I went to try it out, half the time I found myself lost for dance moves and simply copying what had already been there. Maybe for a more creative dancer this would be fun, but I play these games because I can only dance with someone telling me the moves.

The final feature that really sold me on Dance Central over Just Dance was its ability to create your own playlist of songs to play through. Of course everyone has their select favorites when it comes to dancing games, and to able to store them all together and not have to go searching in between each one is a convenience I really enjoyed. Now I have all my hits like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and La Roux all together, just waiting for anytime I want to play.

FINAL GRADES: Dance Central 2: 9.0 (out of ten) Just Dance 3: 6.4 (out of ten)

Written by Saignement

B3 At The Cage Titans: Invasion Press Event


Anvil and the rest of the B3 crew check out the recent press event held by the folks at Cage Titans.

Episode CXXV: I’ll Show You A Ghost Protocol!

The three Bastards and Bastette-In-Training rev one up filled with tangents and topics galore!

This week the B3 crew review Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Green Lantern, and Colombiana, and King Baby Duck gives a rundown of the demos Final Fantasy XIII-2, EA SPORTS Grand Slam Tennis 2, Asura’s Wrath, Amy, and Choplifter HD. Anvil gives his weekly sports report, and a quick look at one of 2011’s best albums from The Knux.

Buckle up your seatbelt! It’s Episode 125: I’ll Show You A Ghost Protocol!