Dragon Ball Z Bojack Unbound Review

Looks like it’s time for another classic DBZ review! It really doesn’t get better than that right? This film definitely had me a little concerned seeing as how Goku wouldn’t be a main character. That’s just asking to be thrown under the average anime film, but this title actually manages to get past that due to some pretty good writing and epic action scenes. A certain scene also helped this film really hold its own and end up being one of my top films.

The Earth is hosting yet another big tournament as the film kicks off and Gohan has decided to enter to keep his fighting skills sharp. Tien, Piccolo, Trunks, Krillin, and Yamcha also enter to see who the strongest Z Fighter of all is. The tournament is interrupted as it reaches the final stages though as intergalactic pirates appear. Bojack and his men aren’t here to play and they intend to wipe out everyone on Earth. Gohan is going to have to step up as Earth’s champion even sooner than he thought. Can he really defeat this nemesis?

The film starts out with some solid fights and there is never a breather as the action continues to accelerate. It can be a little sad for Yamcha and Tien fans though because they look absolutely terrible against the new villains. They don’t even last a minute as they are dispatched without effort. Tien got a lot of hype during the opening scenes so that probably shocked his fans to the core. I’m sure that everyone was already rooting for Yamcha to lose though so that’s all right.

An interesting thing that this film points out is that the Z fighters have absolutely no experience with teamwork. They all go at the villains one at a time so they are systematically destroyed by the sheer numbers of the opponents. In the actual series, they never really had to team up against a villain group before, but I like to think that they would do a better job than they did here. The only battle that comes close to this one would probably be the group against Androids 17 and 18. There wasn’t a whole lot of teamwork to be seen there either. Maybe we have just discovered the weakness of our heroes.

Vegeta’s role is very small and unfortunately it is not great. It’s nowhere near as bad as in the Broly or Bills titles, but he basically just appears to get beaten up. He has a decent excuse since he had given up fighting and was clearly rusty, but I think he should have put up a better fight. He only got one or two hits in the entire fight and that’s definitely not what you would expect from the Saiyan prince. His streak of losses in the films continues here. At least he went out swinging.

Trunks is an interesting figure since he is the only guy to actually win his battle in the early part of the film, but then things go downhill for him from there. He is ineffective against the minions and Bojack. He is constantly being double or triple teamed so he never stood a chance. He really highlights the lack of teamwork issue as he is beaten to the ground constantly. He is a tough fighter so it’s sad to see him get so overwhelmed. At least defeating another one of the minions would have made him look better.

To an extent, the reason why all of the heroes look bad is because Gohan gets to look great here. He ends up taking the whole group on by himself. It’s great props for the young Saiyan even if he gets a little help from an old legend. Once he activates Super Saiyan 2, it’s basically over for the villains. It’s too bad that it still takes so much for him to transform, but Goku loves holding back as well so it may just run in the Saiyan family. Gohan is a good example of a solid character. He’s not as charismatic as your average lead, but he’s a good guy and he doesn’t fall into any character holes. I definitely wouldn’t say that he had any faults and he fought bravely until the very end.

Goku doesn’t appear very much in the film, but he still reminds me why he is such a great character. If we were just talking about the films, he would easily be my favorite character. He just looks so great in these titles! He decides to break some intergalactic rules to go and help Gohan, which gives him tremendous brownie points as far as I am concerned. A lesser main character would have just kept shouting encouraging words from the sideline without actually going to help. Going to help someone else escape imminent destruction is always the right move.

Piccolo’s role is even more brief, but he still looks pretty great as well. As always he comes at just the right time and his voice is still as impressive as ever. He is quickly outmatched by Bojack, but at least he gave it his all. His entrance was certainly dramatic and he’s another character who’s hard to dislike. He has an aura of confidence aruond him even if he knows that he will lose.

Bojack’s minions really get no character, but he certainly gets enough to discuss him. I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of his although I certainly like him as a villain. His design is perfect for him and wanting to exact revenge on Goku and the Kai’s is a pretty original goal at least. He doesn’t seem to comprehend the meaning of power levels though since he doesn’t notice that Gohan has surpassed him and he’s just not that interesting when it all boils down to it. I’d say that he’s probably around Super Android 13 level in power and certainly under Broly. He’s tough to be sure, but he’s lucky that he was freed when he was. Going to Earth during the next arc would have been pretty difficult for him.

There is a subplot with Hercule that doesn’t really go anywhere, but I suppose that he did contribute in one scene. It’s always good to see him in the spotlight, but it’s hard to beat his canon appearances where he actually gets to help save the universe. Krillin is also around, but he looks so awful that it’s easy to just overlook him. He didn’t put up a real fight at all, which is pretty disappointing. He basically gave up before the fight was even started.

The most annoying attack that the villains have is easily their wires. They can drain away your energy with them and they are extremely hard to break. It can be a little tough to comprehend that a few strings are so strong that a Super Saiyan can’t break through them, but I guess that is just how the ball rolls. I think that the writers could have gave them a more impressive looking attack since that in turn would also make the heroes look more impressive.

The animation looks great and you can tell that Toei put a lot of effort into it like with the Broly film. Once again, the battles take place in a city and it is during night time in this film so the fight scenes are pretty unique. I would still say that Broly looks slightly better, but this one definitely gives it a run for its money. The Kamehameha at the end is very detailed and looks great and I can’t complain about the designs either. This helps the film to be complete as it is solid in every aspect.

The soundtrack is very underwhelming since it’s just the same songs from the TV show, but that seems to be a staple at this point. Even Battle of Gods used a lot of old music if I am not mistaken. I’m assuming that new ones will eventually pop up, but as long as people continue to enjoy the old ones they may keep on appearing. It’s not a bad soundtrack, but I do think that a lot of the songs do feel more than a little dated.

The only negative would be….Roshi’s plot. He only gets a few minutes to himself, which is great news for us. It manages to be a really awful scene, but luckily he is written out after that so that things can go back to normal. There really isn’t anything else that I would consider as a negative. A missed opportunity is that Goku should have taken Bojack and his gang down, but I know that this would have definitely stolen a lot of thunder from Gohan so I can see why the writers decided not to do that. As long as the Z fighters show some more teamwork next time, I’ll be satisfied.

Where do the DBZ films rank for me? This is subject to change since they are all very close, but I would rank them: Broly The Legendary Super Saiyan>>Super Android 13>>Return of Cooler>>Cooler’s Revenge>>Bojack Unbound>>>Battle of Gods>>>>>Fusion Reborn>>Broly Second Coming>>>>Lord Slug>Wrath of the Dragon>>Tree of Might>>>Dr Wheelo>>>Bio Broly>>Dead Zone. It’s lightly possible that I missed one so bear with me here. The new DBZ film is looking like it could end up breaching the top 5, but that would make Bojack drop a spot so it’s definitely a double edged sword in that regard. It’s good to see that DBZ has so many strong films at his disposal.

Overall, Bojack Unbound is an excellent film. Gohan is a likable main character and Goku’s cameo was extremely awesome. They could have done even more with it, but just the fact that the scene happened was pretty cool. Goku should put villains in their place a little more often since that would be pretty fun to watch. The soundtrack doesn’t really get out there as it’s your standard DBZ material, but I can deal with that since the fights are so great. The animation is topnotch and there really aren’t any negatives to be found here. Master Roshi has a quick scene as expected, but luckily it is all over very quickly. I highly recommend checking this film out when you have a chance and then you can see that Dragon Ball Z is a winner with or without Goku.

Overall 9/10

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Heaven Is For Real

As Christians we know that truer words have not been spoken. Heaven Is for real and we know this to be an absolute certainty. This film explores an event not too long ago where a kid believed that he went to Heaven during a trying medical situation where he nearly died. This film essentially brings that story to the big screen and while they take some liberties, most of it happens as it did in the real. (“In the real” = Real Life) So…did this happen?

There have been many miracles throughout history. We’ve had many significant ones like David vs Goliath or the 3 men in the burning furnace. Many smaller miracles have happened as well and continue to happen. Think of the many times someone has had cancer or another incurable disease and then for it to vanish. It can even be something as getting delayed in a train for an extra minute so that you get to just miss a big storm. I’m confident that miracles happen each and every day around the world. We simply won’t hear about many of them and some may happen that we don’t even regard as miracles. We don’t always see what effects each event has on us even if it was something that critically changed our lives.

We don’t expect to see events like in the olden days where God would physically speak to crowds and perform incredible feats. It’s a different time and once we get past the New Testament and Jesus went back to Heaven after the resurrection; it is now a time of Faith. Would faith be as important if we were shown proof of God’s existence so openly? In his own way, he shows us this each and every day, but our faith is very important. We choose to believe in God whether we see proof of this or not. It’s just like how many people don’t believe in him because they don’t think that he exists. Free Will is granted to us and we choose whether to believe in him or not.

Coming back to the question…do I believe that this boy went to Heaven and came back? It’s certainly possible, but I am highly skeptical and I would be inclined to say no. Unfortunately, we live in a very difficult world and there are billions of people on it. Just as many live for the Lord and to spread his glory other live to tarnish his reputation and to take people away from this path. There are many people who claim to have heard directly from God and speak of many fantastic occurrences. While I have no doubt that some are true, the majority of them are probably not. I personally find events like this one harder to believe once they do get into the spotlight like this. It just seems all too easy and like it’s a way for us to renew our faith in the Lord. That may be a noble intention, but if the story is fabricated towards that goal then it is not worth it. There is always the chance that the kid truly believes that he went to Heaven and that he truly did, but there’s no way to know for certain.

I pride myself on being an optimist most of the time, but I can also be a very skeptical person. It’s tough to balance these two things out as I typically assume the worst when any situation occurs. Sometimes my hunches are correct like with The Interview and how that situation blew up quickly, but it’s always good to tackle a situation with bright thoughts. Expecting the worst can just lead to you not enjoying things as much as you should be. So, I want to believe that he really did go to Heaven, but I have a hard time believing it.

There are so many things that could have happened. He could have really gone to Heaven; He could have made the whole thing up; He could have had a dream; His parents could have made up the story and had the kid play along and he won’t change the story now; etc. The possibilities are endless. This line of questioning also arises in part from the fact that he is just a kid. He was quite young in the film and I forgot what age he was in real life when this happened, but he was certainly still a child. He grew up in a Christian home where his father was the Pastor. He had probably heard many fantastic things as he grew up and I’m sure that he was familiar with the Bible. He may have thought up the whole thing to impress his parents and he may even have forgotten that he made it up.

Ultimately, it does no good to go in circles about this forever. I’ve just been the type to never believe what I hear or see at face value without a lot of extra deliberation on my part. We all have our reasons for why we believe in God. Whether it be a connection that we feel in our hearts or an appreciation at everything that God has created, we know that he is real. No Big Bang created everything and life hasn’t just been in existence forever. So, you do not need any fantastic miracles or events to convince you of his existence. As long as you sincerely believe in your heart the words of the Bible and give your heart over to God, then you’ll be okay. You’ll be much more than okay! If you believe that this happened then that’s wonderful and if you don’t, then you’re still doing great. This is a story that has clearly given many people a lot of happiness and has strengthened many people’s beliefs so I still wouldn’t go around shooting it down. I can never say one way or the other whether it happened for not so maybe it’s just time that I started having more of a bright outlook on it. The last thing that you want to do is to discourage another person in their walk of faith so you just need to stay true to your belief in God and just take things from there. This is a formula that shall never fail you.

Debating whether or not this event actually happened certainly took up most of this article so I shall be brief on the rest. I still don’t care for the main protagonist to be a child as I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, but he’s not a bad character. I think the film went a little far when he told his parents to pay back the hospital and then a big gust of wind hit the house. I get that symbolic scenes are important, but that was probably stretching the sensationalism a bit. He’s still a good character and that scene is a good example of what a moral individual he is. The parents are pretty good even if there is one scene that comes out of nowhere. They just suddenly explode and have a big fight. I guess their tensions had been rising, but it still felt out of character for them. Not to mention that they were in a tight spot so breaking a pair of dishes is not in their best interest.

Their fellow church goers did not look good though. They really didn’t handle the situation well. I don’t place the whole blame on them as I think the father should get some of it, but I would give them most of it. They certainly did not act as you would expect a Christian too. The pastor had a very tough time and they didn’t make it any easier. They were practically glaring at him as he went on the pulpit and none of them gave him any words of encouragement. A simple quote or two from the Bible or some sign that they were on his side would have been nice, but they ran to the option to fire him.

The one reason why I don’t put all the blame on them is that the Pastor didn’t do a great job either. The fact that his kid may have went to Heaven shook his faith to the core and he wasn’t sure whether he should believe in God anymore or not. It may have been best to have taken a little more time off from the pulpit then instead of just going up there and admitting that he’s not sure of his faith. As I mentioned, one thing you never want to do is to shake another person’s faith in God. That’s an absolute no no! It was a small church though and I was surprised that nobody was willing to talk with him about that. I’ve been to many Churches in the past and there is almost always at least one person who is very vocal throughout the message and would have had no qualms about debating with him or simply talking about the situation calmly. There was none of that here as the audience was just completely quiet or just adding to his troubles.

Overall, Heaven is For Real is a pretty uplifting movie. It actually gets pretty sad during certain parts, but you can look forward to it getting happy again by the end. Especially if you are familiar with what happened in real life. It is certainly awesome to think about Heaven, what it’s like and how it’ll be to live there for eternity. Just talking about Heaven would likely take up a whole other article so I won’t go into that here, but I believe that it will literally be perfect. Whether it will look different to each individual or whether it has a single look doesn’t matter. What matters is that we will be going there someday and we can wish for nothing better. Whenever you are in a tough spot or just need some encouragement, just think of where you will be going. This life is just a small drop compared to the eternal life that awaits us there. Meeting God will be an event like no other and it’ll make every hardship and pain that you’ve ever experienced worth it! This is a pretty good film to check out for Christmas and while I am at it I also recommend God Is Not Dead. Both of these films are very uplifting and nothing beats checking out a Christian film in time for Christmas, one of the greatest events in history! (The Birth vs The Resurrection vs The Rapture vs The Day you got saved, you can certainly make an argument for any one of these days being the greatest. Naturally, the latter would just be the greatest for you, but boy did that day change your life!)

The Giver Review

The Giver is a film that I definitely heard a lot as I frequented the world. The poster was just about everywhere, but it was not very informative so I never had any idea on what the plot was. Eventually, I finally saw the film and it’s certainly a pretty good one. I think that the plot works better as a TV show or a movie series, but if it had been the former I may not have seen it anyway…so it’s a mixed bag. Nonetheless, it’s good to see a film with an original plot like this one since that’s pretty rare nowadays.

It is the year 20XX and….well, I guess you can just pick a year. Humanity has erected a…would this count as a spoiler? Hmmmm……all right folks, watch out for spoilers! This probably counts, but it needs to be mentioned…anyway, back to where I started. Humanity has erected a large barricade that stands at the edge of their territory and nobody is allowed to go anywhere near it. It is what keeps them safe by eliminating all emotions and creative thinking. Humanity lives with their assigned roles right now and they don’t know what happiness and sadness are. It’s a world without fault, but without positives as well. That’s where Jonas comes in. He has been selected to be the Taker and the government may have taken too much of a risk here. Jonas’ job is to inherit the memories of humanity, but with these memories comes emotion, color….life! Will he really be content with keeping things at the status quo or will he decide to revolt…like so many figures in history?

This is definitely a very fascinating concept and it’s one that’s fun to think about. The lines aren’t so clearly divided into good and evil here as you can make a decent case for both. The case for why humans should have free will and emotions is a little more obvious so I will be brief on that. Living without free will is like not living at all and emotionlessly just accepting your fate is terrible. You are essentially told that you will be a mother at home or you will work in nursery for the women and the guys are thrown into a random job with no prior preparation or experience. They won’t like the job either, but at least they won’t dislike it right? No matter how you look at it, this existence wouldn’t be great and it’s also logically impossible. Of course, we’re ignoring that tidbit, but it’s unimaginable to not be able to see in color and not understand universals and emotion.

Scientifically speaking, I’m sure that it’s possible to remove the part of the eye rather painlessly that lets us see color on everyone. Removing emotions through a serum injection is certainly more sketchy. Also, you have to have the shot every day for it to actually work. Would the “rebels” really not “slip up” once or twice and then realize that something was amiss? Of course, this is ultimately still science fiction so trying to rationalize everything may not be very rational if you really think about it. I’ll just take this at face value for now.

Now, why would this be a good thing? Well, let’s start off with two of the big obstacles in the real. (“In the Real is a term used in Accel World to distinguish the real world from cool cyber worlds and I rather like the term so I may use it once in a while…for style!) World Hunger and Murder. These two things have been eliminated from the Earth entirely.* (*Unfortunately, babies are murdered every day in this world to keep the population stable, but they are simply “released” as far as the people know. They don’t know what death is and just believe that the person is gone…interesting. These guys better have perfect health tech or there will be unexpected releases sometimes…) Nobody wants to harm other people and billions of tragedies would simply never happen. If you’ve ever turned on the news you’ll know that millions suffer with every passing second. There is none of that here so that is an overwhelming positive that you simply cannot afford to ignore.

I think the fact that they were essentially murdering their own citizens at the end was where the film clearly starts to point to why you should be rooting for Jonas. It’s a painless death and typically it is willing since they cannot feel emotions. This was a one time exception because of what Jonas has done, but it definitely makes the others look more like villains. I’m still on the free will side for many reasons with the main one being that it is really what makes us who we are. It’s certainly a fun debate to tackle with in your head.

Jonas is not a great main character though. I just don’t like him and I felt like the writers were trying to make him a little too…over reactive. He was sort of showing us how we should be reacting to every scene and he didn’t seem to have any actual personality. He has a good excuse at first of course, but I still didn’t like him by the end. I felt like he really pushed his emotions onto Fiona. She didn’t know what romance is so she really couldn’t comprehend what was happening. Jonas had liked her from the start so it was different. It was just a romance that I really couldn’t get into and think that it was very unnecessary. It’s a sub plot that I definitely could have done without and it cost the film a star.

Fiona is actually a pretty good character as she stands by her friends (Unlike Asher) from start to finish. She is always looking out for Jonas and she risks her career and future to help him when the main hero is in a pinch. I do think that the romance was unnecessary, but this is one time where at least 90% of the blame should go to Jonas. Learning emotions for the first time can be a rather confusing experience after all. I imagine that it’s like trying to play a video game for the first time without a manual and holding the controller upside down. Now that would be confusing!

Is it just me or did the film try to make Jonas’ mother extremely antagonistic from the start? She would literally correct him every time he spoke and she seemed to almost despise him. Keep in mind that none of these characters actually have emotions. They demonstrate them a lot, but I guess that just shows that no serum can be 100% effective. The dad is more tempered and he seems to know more than he lets on, but that sub plot vanishes when he decides to go through with the releasing ceremony. He definitely didn’t know what that meant so maybe he just acted smarter than he was.

Asher is Jonas’ other friend and he definitely wasn’t good. Of course, he’s made to be unlikable since he represents the average person who quickly loses sight of all his aspirations and goals as he just follows what the government does without any questions. He has his big moment where he gets to try and stop Jonas, but let’s just say that he’s outmatched. None of the character even know what a fight is so they definitely can’t comprehend that the best way to stop an incoming punch is to parry or punch back.

The Chief Justice is another intriguing character since she has clearly been through a lot, but that isn’t really explained. We are left to guess and we are given pieces to the puzzle. We know that her heir suffered an untimely fate and it helped her to despise emotions, but then we have to wonder just how long ago the barrier was put up. I would guess that it was only recently from that (Last 20 years maybe) but other parts of the film hint that it’s been like this for many decades. It also makes sense since a big change like that could definitely not occur in such a short amount of time. She definitely has a lot of determination to help her keep things the way that they have been while her counterpart…The Giver has other ideas.

The Giver is the original keeper of the memories, but he doesn’t do a whole lot with his position. He could give everyone back their memories if he makes it past the barricade, but he’s old and he worries about what will happen to the town now if he should be away from it. Unfortunately, he’s a little sloppy and memories that he didn’t want to be shared are given pretty soon. He makes this mistake twice, which isn’t great for him. He’s ot a bad character, but I guess he’s not that good. He could have certainly done a better job during the memory transfers with Jonas and with his former pupil as well.

Now, I have mentioned that I think this plot would work better as a whole show or series. The reason why is mainly illustrated in the ending. After the barricade is breached…the film just ends. You can imagine that the world will quickly be plunged into chaos and it’ll be interesting to see what happens next. Will they go back to creating wars and become corrupt like the Chief Justice believes or will they unite and stand as one? The former is more likely, but it’s still an interesting situation to watch. Alternately, they also could have shown this emotionless world more so that we can really contrast it to natural life. Achieving all of this in about 90 minutes is a tough feat to be sure. I suppose that the concept itself is what’s important though and we can just put together the unseen pieces.

Overall, The Giver is a very interesting movie. As I mentioned, my main problem with it is the romance. I just found it distasteful and it certainly does impact how much you will enjoy the film. Beyond that, I definitely enjoyed it and the concept is certainly a winner. There isn’t really any action to be found besides a short scuffle and chase scene, but the writing is strong enough to hold the film together. I definitely recommend checking the film out since it will pose some nice philosophical questions for you to answer. I do think that the concept is a little too broad for a film, but I suppose that it did the best that it could. My stance on the ending is that most of the survivors were thrown inside of the barricade, but a few rebels managed to hide out in the outside world where they kept their memories and got to continue the human race as it used to be. That’s just my 2 cents on the ending so you’re free to speculate on it.

Overall 6/10

Wario Land 4 Stats and Records

Stats time!

Money 125440
4/16 Green Portals
1 Gold Coin

Stage Stats

Hall of Hieroglyphs 007110
Palm Tree Paradise 005890
Wilfdlower Fields 004730
Mystic Lake 006930
Monsoon Jungle 004390
The Curious Factory 003790
The Toxic Landfill 007130
40 Below Fridge 005230
Pinball Zone 008990
Toy Block Tower 006470
The Big Board 005150
Doodle Woods 009850
Domino Row 005370
Crescent Moon Village 008450
Arabian Night 004230
Fiery Cavern 004070
Hotel Horror 008880

Wario Land 4 Review

This is the first Wario side scroller that I’ve played so far so it was definitely interesting to see how it would stack up against the average Mario or Yoshi title. I can definitely say that it’s not quite as impressive as those, but it’s good to see Nintendo taking a fairly original stance here. This title brings some more strategy into the typical side scrolling genre. It’s more of a miss than a hit, but fun nonetheless.

There isn’t much of a plot since Wario is just out for treasure as per usual. He wanders into a Pyramid and it has many labyrinths full of treasure and danger. Beyond all of the tombs is the legendary Pyramid of Gold. Wario will have to find all of the locks and jewels so that he can gain entry into this wondrous place. Can he handle all of the guardians who stand in his way? There is also a cat that seems to be guiding him somewhere the whole time….hmmmm.

The soundtrack is noticably different from the average Nintendo game. It fits Wario’s character I suppose….but I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of it. The music during the gameplay is not bad, but every level has a timer effect on it (Which I shall talk about in a second) so it drowns out the music for at least half of the level. What we do hear is good though. The cutscenes have odd songs in them though with lyrics that aren’t really pleasing to the ear. I think the game dropped the ball in this area.

The gameplay is pretty smooth. You can move and jump like in Mario and a lot of emphasis is placed on grabbing objects and throwing them with your super strength. One of the new features in this game is a shoulder throw which can let you break through blocks and other objects. Wario can also run fast enough to shatter walls that cannot be broken with a dash. The key difference in this game is that your goal is not to get to the end of the level. It’s actually to find 4 gems and a key that are hidden inside of it and then making it back to the starting point before the level’s timer runs out. There are secret passages to watch out for and you have to really be observant so that you remember where to go. Each level also has a puzzle area where you have to figure out where to go and all the things to do. You can only second guess yourself once after all.

Graphically speaking Wario Land 4 isn’t very impressive, but what Game Boy Advance games were? They were fun portable games to play and we didn’t really care about the graphics back then. They were simply sprites and those can look good or bad depending on how they are used. I don’t think that they look quite as good as your average Mario GBA title, but they’re still not downright bad. On the contrary, the blurriness actually works well for some of the spookier bosses.

Which, I do have to note that some of the boss designs were quite clever. We had a giant Teddy Bear and there’s even a mysterious being who has many faces. It’s pretty intense and it’s a fun way to wrap up the game since it has the abilities of all the previous bosses. I think some games could take notes on this since this is a very good formula to use for the final boss. It makes you think back to all of the old fights to remember how you should go about fighting this thing. One section involving a hammer took me a while since I forgot how to hit myself.

The game doesn’t really have any big negatives, but there is naturally a reason why I am only giving it a 6 and not a 7. Most side scrollers automatically get 7 stars so something did hold it back a little. The puzzle route of going through levels may be unique, but I don’t think that it worked out so well. Maybe if this just occurred for some of the levels, but it’s in all of them and sometimes you just want to jump your way to the goal. One of the reasons why Mario is a series that will always be considered elite is that the levels are always fun. Whether you keep losing on an insane long jump or breeze through a world 8 stage in under a minute, you will have fun. The game never feels unfair or intellectually challenging to the point where you’ll need to go watch a Transformers film to feel relaxed again. This game just wasn’t as fun as your average Mario game and that’s because the puzzles made it feel more slow paced than it should have been. I still can’t call them bad per say…the gimmick really wasn’t bad. The game just works better as a fast paced, race to the finish kind of game.

The game’s length is pretty decent. There are roughly 20 levels in all and each one can take 5-10 minutes. For replay value, you can try to get all of the jewels and swirlies along with the maximum number of treasure chests by beating each boss as quickly as possible. This will also allow you to get a longer ending so that’s a decent incentive right? I’m definitely satisfied with the length of this title and it’s worth the big bucks. (Although I got it at a relatively cheap price anyway)

I’ve now played around 3 Wario games and I’ll improve that soon with Wario Land Shake It or Wario World. His series definitely loses out to Mario, Luigi, DK, and Yoshi, but that can always change with one really great game. I haven’t played Super Princess Peach yet so I really can’t comment on that one. The gameplay also seems slightly different from the norm so it’ll be interesting to see how Nintendo switches it up. It’s a little regrettable that none of the Wario supporting characters have ever managed to be popular, but maybe they will someday. The Final boss from this game should seriously appear again because it was just that awesome!

Overall, Wario Land 4 is a pretty fun title. It’s interesting to see Wario play the lead character for once. The ending was a little much, but I can at least admit that I didn’t see it coming. Stay tuned for the after credits scene as well to see what Wario spends his riches on. It certainly fits his character and you have to wonder when he will go on his next treasure trip. I can safely say that I will be buying Wario Land Shake It at some point, but I also wouldn’t expect to see a review for it this year. Bottom line is that I recommend Wario Land 4 is you like side scrollers or if you want to see some strategy in a game. It can be a little slow paced, but it’s ultimately still a pretty fun game. The portable video game marathon continues next with another strategic game!

Overall 6/10

Scan 2 Go Review

Scan 2 Go is a show that I started a little over 2 years ago. It was a pretty solid series, but then it was pulled from TV…never to be shown again. Now, it has finally made it to Youtube so I got to blast through the final 7-8 episodes. Let’s just say that this is a great show that really manages to hit it out of the park in several areas. On the surface it’s just another awesome toyetic show, but it decides to go all Gurren Lagann on us in the final 2. This title is pretty obscure so let’s go over the plot first.

There’s a plot? Of course! Kaz Gordan is from Earth and he has three friends. Together, they form Team Jet and they are training to become the best racers in the universe. Scan 2 Go is a futuristic game that lets you mentally synchronize with your (tiny) toy car as you travel across dangerous tracks. The game never really hit it off on Earth, but every other planet is playing it. Kaz convinces his teacher to let Team Jet travel across the universe after he crushes him in a toy car fight. The heroes win tournament after tournament as they meet strange allies and tricky villains. There are many tournaments and training sessions throughout the show, but it’s difficult to call them actual arcs. One of the big story arcs was when the team went to Gurao to train since that’s where they got to bond with their allies. Finally, the team went back to Earth for the universal tournament. The final Grand Prix to decide who the fastest racer in the universe is. Unfortunately….an old enemy has decided to show up as well. There will be much more about that in a moment.

Scan 2 Go’s animation is actually pretty good. To an extent, I expected this, but it really shines during the space battles or really any scene with Ryu. The energy attacks are great and I’m convinced that this show could have pulled off a hand to hand battle scene. How does it stack up against other toyetic shows? I think that the animation is behind Cardfight and Buddyfight, but it beats Tenkai Knights and the original Yugioh series. Animation isn’t typically a gamechanger for a show, but it sure makes the racing scenes more exciting. I can’t say that any episodes had bad animation and that’s always a good thing.

The soundtrack for the show is one of its biggest strengths. There are technically not a whole lot of themes in the show since the old ones just play again and again and again. That’s all right though since they’re so good. From the starting theme, “Scan 1….” so Ryu’s theme, Scan 2 Go’s music selections are intense. The Ryu one is definitely intense and it makes for a very good villain theme. It’s in sharp contrast to the racing theme that typically plays since that one is very fast, but hopeful. Unfortunately, the opening isn’t very good, but this is the kind of show that can get by that thanks to all of its other strengths.

Let’s talk about Ryu. He changed the entire series, which is very impressive. Until he showed up, Kaz just had fun outracing everyone and showing them why his Falgor was the best car in the biz. That all changed when Ryu introduced the notion of racing to destroy the other competitors. His car is the fastest and the strongest in the series so none of the other racers can hope to beat him in a fair race. Luckily, that’s not what he wants anyway. He just wants to destroy the universe! As you can imagine, that was pretty shocking to see in this show. Until then, one could argue that the strongest fighters weren’t even planet busters…so how did we upgrade to universe busting?

Well, Ryu is a living embodiment of a black hole and the power gem that is on his forehead gives him additional power. His car has the ability to instantly regenerate injuries although it may just be Ryu’s ability that transfers to the car since they are fully synchronized. Ryu is so great that he actually pulls off a feat that people have been waiting for DBZ to show. He destroys a moon just by having his car ram into someone else’s. It’s a great scene and it’s pretty tragic since you’re not used to seeing other people get injured in this show. That being said, Ryu goes even farther than that.
Only one character is destroyed in the entire series and you can probably guess who did that. Ryu has a climatic battle with the greatest racer in the universe..or at least, the man who was the greatest racer in the universe. It was a very fun, high budget battle in space and we got to see both of them really put everything on the line. That was easily the darkest episode and the moment where the series had changed forever. It’s hard not to quickly begin to love Ryu as a villain. He toys with all of the heroes and he is the only one who seems to realize that their cars can be used as weapons. After all, they can shoot thunder, make tsunamis, black holes, etc. Why should they only be used in races?

Another reason why the final episodes were so great was because we finall got to see the mysterious council make their move. It really felt like a moment out of Shonen Jump when we got to see Ryu fight these new characters. They all had unique powers and they talked a good game so it was pretty great. I don’t think anyone ever questioned who would win the fight, but it was just fun to see. Ryu’s car also gets to smash through an entire army and it can move so quickly that it turns into a giant meteor.

It doesn’t stop there though as its gravity powers (Or Ryu’s) are enough to push the Moon out of orbit and send it crashing to Earth. Ryu’s universe destroying plan is also rather simple. His car just needs to win one more big race to have enough power to make a black hole big enough to suck everything in. (He absorbs the powers of those he has defeated after all) Naturally, Kaz and friends are here to stop him so it ends up being a 8-12 vs 1 matchup in the final battle. It’s pretty great to see, but the heroes sure look weak and completely out of their league compared to such a fighter.

The heroes are able to let their cars reach FTL speeds as well, although I found Ryu’s feat more impressive since he was doing it on his own. That being said, it’s intense to see them just cruising past planets on their way to victory. I also have to give the show some props since the easy way would have been to just have had Ryu die when they pushed him into the sun. Let’s just say that it’s not enough to stop him. I think that he should have been able to have just left and regrouped somewhere else, but it was pretty much impossible to stop him so they had to end everything somehow. At least the heroes got to try their luck at pushing a moon. It’s a good strength feat since we need to keep in mind that Wonder Woman, Superman, and Martian Manhunter teaming up couldn’t move the moon while the heroes from Gurao were able to move it. (Even more impressive is that the Moon was already crashing so it’s different from pushing a Moon that’s in orbit.) Other heroes come to help after that, but the heroes already got the main job done.

Now, all of this does bring to mind one big concern with the sport and why you have wonder about how safe it is. The show is rather inconsistent in showing just how synchronized you are with the car, but it seems to suggest that you feel the virtual damage that you car does. It’s why the humans will wince or groan with pain after a big attack or end up getting knocked down. They also seem to abandon the real world completely, but is this physical or just mental? At the very least, your conciousness leaves like in Sword Art Online, but other times we see the fighters just appear where the cars are. (Even if it’s thousands of miles away from the arena) So, it’s possible that their physical bodies are able to instantly warp to their cars or they are spirited away during the match. However, they stay at the racetrack at other times to trade insults with the others.

Ultimately, I don’t think that the show could really make up its mind on this. I’ll just think of it as throwing your conciousness into the car, which is why you feel the damage and wind up wherever the car is. After all, we can’t really look at Zero’s battle with Ryu any other way. How else could he breathe in space and follow Ryu there? (Ryu can breathe in space, but he’s not even human so it’s all right) I’ll just add that you can quickly go back to the real world as well or stay there the whole time depending how synched you are with your car. Naturally, this means that mind games work very well in this series.
I still haven’t mentioned what the risk of racing is have I? Well, if you feel the virtual damage, then you are put at great risk. One fighter ended up synching with his car while in space so when the car was blown up, the guy was either blown up with it or he ended up suffocating. Luckily, it seems to be the former. Another guy is obliterated by an energy blast because his car was. There’s no way that you can find this hobby safe and it makes you wonder about all of the one shot characters who got crushed throughout the series. It seems like the virtual damage doesn’t affect you if you don’t have a high synch rate so the throwaway characters might be safe, but it’s still hard to see how this sport is condoned. Maybe that’s why Earth isn’t exactly head over heels for it. Well, that’s enough about how awesome the series is for now, let’s look at the rest of the characters. (Since I basically already talked about Ryu a lot. He’s my favorite character in the series while I have to boot Kaz down to number 2)

Before Ryu took the spot, Kaz had been my favorite character in the series from the very first episode. He’s just awesome and a shining example of how I want my main characters to look. Kaz doesn’t pull any punches whether he’s racing against little kids or old men. In the very first episode he ends up beating his mentor so that he could escape Earth and race in the big leagues. It was pretty cool since the future is luckily safe enough that 10 year old kids can fly around the cosmos unchaperoned. (Unless you count their little robot friend.) Kaz always has a lot of determination and he constantly mentions how he wants to be the Fastest in the Universe. It’s a noble goal to be sure and one to be proud of. He makes quite a few rivals along the way, but he’s never outmatched for very long. His car’s special ability is that it can fly, which actually isn’t one of the better abilities, but it hasn’t failed him yet. While Ryu wields the power of darkness, Kaz holds the power of light and there are only two to three other characters who have wielded a similar power in the past. Zero and one of Kaz’s masters come to mind. Unfortunately, he only uses it a few times throughout the series and surprisingly not in the final fight. That’s a missed opportunity, but it doesn’t stop Kaz from being one of the best main characters out there. I agree with just about all of his decisions and he doesn’t make any huge mistakes throughout the series. No, Kaz is all about the win and then the team..in that order. His Galaxy Falgor is also cooler than almost every other car in the series.

Shiro is the main rival of the series, which guarantees him a spot in the top 5 of the series. He has ice abilities so he can freeze an entire battlefield and stop everyone in their tracks with minimal effort. Unfortunately, he can’t totally control this power and he ends up turning into a wolf sometimes. He seems to be part of a wolf changing species, but he looks pretty human while in..human mode. His car is pretty great since aside from ice abilities, he can also teleport. That is very handy to have in a race and it’s hard to see Shiro ever losing once he gets that power. To an extent..you’d be right, but it’s also partially because his role is lessened a whole lot by that point. By the end, he’s barely in the show anymore aside to just be in the background. No matter, he’s still a pretty great character. The only part of the show where he got to be a little annoying was when he was having a lot of internal drama and he let Ryu play him like a puppet. That was pretty sad, but luckily it was also very brief. Shiro is one of the only racers who can actually give Kaz a fight so he needs to stay in the game!

Zero is known as the greatest racer in the universe and Kaz has always wanted to surpass him. It’s a little sad that they never get to have a proper race since that would have been pretty great. Zero is essentially perfect, which irritates his rivals, but shows why he has so many fans. He doesn’t use any gimmicks or cheap tricks to win as he just races from start to finish. That being said, his decision to fight Ryu may not have been his greatest one. It was an awesome moment since Zero had gotten a whole lot of hype while Ryu was the mysterious son of the black hole. Zero put up a good fight since his car could shoot lasers and he held his own while in space. It was an admirable fight and it was a great way to wrap up his character arc. Let’s just say that I wasn’t going to forget him after that. I’d actually say that he is one of the coolest characters in the show and I’d probably place him at third behind Ryu and Kaz. That final fight certainly did a lot to help me gain respect for him.
Scan 1
Fiona is the main heroine in the series and she has a long lasting rival in Hebina. Her car’s ability is that it can navigate through a race track by using its gliders to look at the stage layout, but the writers probably realized that this wasn’t much of an ability so she gains thunder powers as the series goes on. Those are very useful to be sure so I was glad that she got those new powers. She likes to think that she’s just as good as Kaz in a race, although all of his allies seem to illogically believe that to an extent. Even if Kaz proves them wrong over and over again…their honor is at stake here! She’s definitely better than Myron and Diego, but Shiro would take the number 2 spot on Team Jet…if we decide to count him. She’s definite a pretty likable ally and at least her skills are considerable. She may be top 3 as far as toyetic heroines are concerned, which is a feat in itself.

Diego is the Dex/Bud/Bronx of the show. He’s always eating except when he’s too nervous or upset to do so. His car is pretty slow, but strong. The problem is that there are several other cars that are simply stronger than his, which takes away his only gimmick. How can he hope to win a true race with such a car? Typically, his will power is just that much better than his opponents so he is able to get an extra boost to win the day. I can’t say that I believed many of his wins though and he’s not one of the better allies. He gets a subplot where he feels like he is the weakest member on the team and the sad part is that it’s probably true. Kaz puts a lot of effort into training, but we never see Diego proactively decide to do this. He’s too interested in eating so why should he expect to be strong? It was emotional and all, but he really doesn’t add anything to the show. I still wouldn’t go as far as to say that he’s a bad character though. He’s just not that good.

Myron is one member of Team Jet that I definitely didn’t care for. He’s the smart member of the group, but that doesn’t stop him from still wanting to be one of the fastest racers in the universe. He’s asking for too much if you ask me. His Storm Slazer actually has a pretty good design and it’s gimmick is that it can drive well over ice, sand, and water. It can also drill under the track to hide if necessary. The problem is that Myron is always quick to turn against Kaz since nothing can ever be his fault. He’s worse than Diego and some of the allies from Gurao, which is pretty sad for him. He was definitely a little worse than I could have expected.

Dradd was Kaz’s first rival and he stayed with him until the very end. He has a rivalry with Ryu going on, but he has to get in line since Kaz and Taiga also have beef with the guy. His car’s special ability is that it can hit the ground hard enough to make it jump forward. It’s pretty nifty, but not that practical compared to the other cars. Power is his thing like with Diego and Ryu, but he’s probably second in that category. He talks tough and he is older than Kaz, but he had to start his training from scratch since he had stopped improving. He’s the best member from Gurao. That may not be saying a lot, but his races are fun to watch and I definitely wouldn’t call him a bad character. He’s outmatched against Kaz, but that’s just his bad luck right?
Taiga is Kaz’s second rival and I guess that makes him rivals with Dradd as well to an extent. He races so that he can become better than Zero and then a big rivalry starts with Ryu. He is a good racer, but his will power isn’t so great and he can be manipulated rather easily. He’s not bad, but he tries to act a little too cool at different points and it just doesn’t work. He’s a decent rival, but I’d say that Kaz is clearly superior in a race. I could probably take Taiga a little more seriously if he could have convincingly defeated Diego in the race, but it was a little too close for comfort. He talks really tough the whole series, but he’s usually on the losing end of a race. At least he learned the values of friendship by the end…

I’m starting to realize that the sad characters were not great in this show. I liked Shiro, Zero, Kaz, Fiona, Dradd, and Ryu. That sounds like a lot, but considering how many characters are in the show…that’s a pretty small number. I just ended up not really feeling like the other characters were that good. Kraken is no exception as he is a King who enjoys the game, but it rather overconfident about it. His voice doesn’t help matters at all, but the worst part is that he just doesn’t seem to be that good. His car can shoot large waves of water, which is a pretty great technique, but his car isn’t great on the ground…and that’s where almost all of the races take place. He bonds with the heroes at one point, which gets them all on his side, but he didn’t get me on his side.

Hebina might be the worst member from the Gurao team since she is clearly a villain who just happens to race. Her abilities are not great so she constantly cheats to ensure that she claims victory in her battles. None of the other characters call her out on this half the time and she certainly didn’t earn her spot with the best in the Final Grand Prix. Her theme is also awful and the only piece of music that I didn’t like. It’s not an exaggeration to say that she may be the worst character in the show. Her gimmick is that her car can make illusions so that it looks like her car has multiplied. It’s not very original though since a shadow council member could do that with his car and likewise with Kaz’s original teacher. She’s going to have to do better than that if she wants to be an expert racer and hopefully she becomes likable someday…but the sequel series would really need to change her character to make that possible.

Jack is a cop who also happens to be a racer and he’s definitely not likable. He’s probably the weakest racer from Gurao and it’s hard to even remember what his gimmick is. He definitely has something since his character needs a gimmick, but it probably wasn’t that great. He has a hero moment towards the end of the series where he destroys a meteor, but it just doesn’t make up for a whole series. He needs to just stick to one field and master it instead of dabbling in both. He constantly goes after Hebina, which would be okay if it was just to arrest her, but he doesn’t take his job seriously enough for that. He just likes to give her a hard time. He must have been lucky to have made it to the final grand prix.

Ray is Kaz’s teacher from Earth and he’s pretty cool. His attitude is similar to Kakashi’s in that he is always very confident and mysterious. It’s a little hard to take him seriously since he was defeated in the very first episode of the series and then disappeared until around episode 49, but he quickly made up for this in the final race. His skills are apparently up there with some of the world’s best and that’s pretty cool to see. From Kaz’s three teachers he was definitely the best. Master Hippopo is arguably the strongest master since he’s the leader of the super council and he fought Ryu, but he was certainly not very likable. The only good scene with Hippopo aside from his fight against Ryu was probably his “death” in one of the earlier episodes since Kaz got to have a rage moment as he dueled against Hebina. Now that was intense!

Antares was one of the less interesting members of the main guys. He is a publicity guy first and foremost. He like to always be in the spotlight and he acts as if his races are just shows for his adoring fans. That ultimate comes back to bite him in the final episode. His car’s gimmick is that it can use its tail to do a flip on the track so that it can dodge attacks. It’s pretty useful, but definitely not the greatest bonus for when it comes down to a contest of speed. I just don’t really find him to be that likable and I also doubt his skills.

I have to say that the ending wasn’t great though. I Loved the huge climax and how out there is got, but some parts were still a little disappointing. One part that I was underwhelmed by was Kaz’s big charge against Ryu. He decided that winning on his friends sacrifices wouldn’t be worth it so he attacked Ryu in a rage moment. Unfortunately, he is just thrown to the side and he couldn’t deal any damage. He didn’t even last 5 seconds so that was pretty sad. I also think that they should have just said that Kaz was the winner at the end instead of just saying that all fans of the series were winners. That’s a bit of a cop out right?
Overall, Scan 2 Go is a great show and it’s certainly not one that you’ll want to miss out on. The series mostly doesn’t have a whole lot of stakes in it since it’s just about seeing the heroes race as they get through their challenges, but that definitely changes once Ryu enters the show. Before Ryu’s appearance the show still would have gotten a 7 easily, but his battles gave it the push that it needed to reach the elusive 8. It’s a great experience from start to finish and the visuals as well as the soundtrack only help to enhance that. Kaz is a likable main character and Ryu’s a great villain so you don’t need to worry about the characters dragging it down. Some subplots like Shiro’s origin don’t really go anywhere and we could have done without it, but maybe it’ll be in a sequel at some point. Regardless, the show just wins on all accounts so you definitely want to see it as soon as possible!

Overall 8/10

King K Rool vs King Ghidorah

This was a battle that really depended on what kind of technology King K Rool had obtained in the past. I think King Ghidorah would win this fight if it was man to man, but King K Rool has been known to show up with cannons and hovercrafts. He should be able to outspeed King Ghidorah and dodge any attacks that are headed in his direction. He can then counter with his cannon until the King finally falls. King K Rool wins.

King Ghidorah vs King Kaliente

King Kaliente is a Mario villain that we probably all remember. His design is pretty fun and how can you not like a fire octopus? He is a king just like King Ghidorah, but I fear that his power is not really comparable to the Kaiju’s. He isn’t exactly known for his speed either so I’m afraid that he’ll simply be terminated by King Ghidora’s lasers. It’ll be a fun, but short fight. King Ghidorah wins.

King Ghidorah vs Anaconda

Anaconda is a pretty tough fighter and her bones are lined with adamantium. This means that her level of super strength is enough to damage King Ghidorah…although you may have suspected that from her brief fight against Thor. King Ghidorah does have lasers to even the odds, but Anaconda can stretch her limbs so it’ll be easy to hit such a big object. I think King Ghidorah would ultimately go down first here. Anaconda wins.

Sin Eater (Venom) vs King Ghidorah

Sin Eater (Venom) has a gun so you can tell that he’s pretty hardcore, but it simply won’t be enough to stop King Ghidorah. King Ghidorah is a powerful Kaiju of immense proportions and a single kick would take the fight away from the Sin Eater. This guy has not appeared a whole lot in the comics so he really hasn’t been given the chance to prove otherwise. He’s simply…doomed! King Ghidorah wins.