Mammoth (DC) vs Colossus

Mammoth (DC) has a decent amount of super strength, but he’s nowhere near Colossus level. Colossus has the edge in raw power and that’s before his Phoenix power up. Mammoth is no weakling, but I’ve never considered him to be much of a power hitter. He wasn’t very impressive in the Teen Titans show and I have a feeling that the comics wouldn’t change my mind either. Still, Mammoth has made his way onto the blog and you never know what can happen from there! Colossus wins.

Sinestro vs Teridax

Teridax is no stranger to the blog and he’s fought on several occasions. That being said, I don’t believe that he will prove to be a match for someone like Sinestro. Sinestro’s constructs are only limited by his mind and he has controlled the embodiment of the yellow ring’s energy for quite a while. His abilities are some of the strongest in the DC universe and none of Teridax’s many abilities would provide him with enough defense to withstand the onslaught. Sinestro wins.

Baby & Me Review

Now this is a series that I started a long time ago, way back in 2011. It’s been almost 6 years, but I finally got around to finishing the series. Needless to say, I’m afraid that it is on Vampire Knight’s level. The negatives are completely different and there are no fight scenes here. You may like the series more if you like babies a lot and find their actions adorable, but for someone who’s not particularly fond of them and prefers a nice action scene…it could be a looooong ride!

Takuya’s mom passed away a long time ago so he now takes care of his little brother Minoru. Their Dad’s also around to help of course, but he’s typically at work, which is why it ends up being Takuya’s responsibility. Takuya constantly gets upset at Minoru and they fight all the time, but in the end he learns that their bond is strong and shall never fade despite their mishaps. In theory, it’s a very touching experience. In theory anyway….. A plot never really develops since it stays as a slice of life for its duration so prepare for all of the characters to get into various situations, but none of them ultimately have the depth and charisma that you would see from the characters in Sword Art Online Lost Song.

The cast of characters is actually really small considering that there are 18 volumes. There are maybe 10 big characters or even less, although there are naturally more minor supporting characters as well. It’s a slice of life series so the whole thing resides on the fact that you need to like the characters. Unfortunately, I didn’t care for any of them, which does hurt the experience.

First up is Takuya. He’s supposed to be the nice guy as mentioned by quite a few characters, but you never see that. He essentially spends the whole series being upset at Minoru and this is what ultimately ends up causing the car crash scenario. Takuya is not a character to look up too nor is he someone that you will end up admiring. In the end, the pressures of raising a kid are far too intense for him, but rather than admit it, Takuya tries to power on and this is not a winning strategy. It would like be watching a Scooby Doo episode where Shaggy and Scooby never get along.

Minoru isn’t any better though and he’s a pretty terrible character. This is where the series really dies. You’re supposed to find Minoru humorous or entertaining, but instead he’s a very grating character. He can’t actually talk yet so you just have to watch him waddle around everywhere and that wasn’t fun the first time he appeared. I haven’t met a good baby character (Who wasn’t actually an adult in disguise) that I’ve actually liked in any form of media and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. Minoru just holds the series down and since he’s one of the main characters, that’s a pretty big anchor to weigh the series down.

Takuya’s dad is all right, but like Takuya he is always getting upset at every little thing. He gets a flashback of how he met Takuya’s mother, which was all right I suppose, but it didn’t make his character any better and he could have done a better job of making sure that Minoru had a baby sitter to help Takuya out. Gon is one of Takuya’s friends and I wouldn’t consider him a good character either. At this point, maybe I shouldn’t even bother saying if the character is good or not since you know my answer. The only credit I’ll give Gon is the fact that he doesn’t betray Takuya at the end and realizes that the newcomer is trying to drive them apart. Besides that, Gon doesn’t add anything to the series.

Akihiro and his family are main supporting characters in the series. There are 3-5 kids in the household of varying ages so they like to run around and cause a lot of tough situations. Even a birthday party gets dicey since the parents have to work and everyone forgets about it. They’re not bad though and I feel like this household would have made for a far more interesting series than what we got. Akihiro is probably the best character in Baby & Me by far. He see through all of the fake romance plots and just tells it like it is.

The final main supporting characters are another household which has a baby. I don’t remember the names of the two living there, I think one of them may have been Seiji. It’s not of any real importance in the long run though. One of them loves games and gambles a lot. He’s also a very laid back guy so he doesn’t mind just walking into the main character’s house whenever he feels like it. The lady is also pretty carefree and leaves her kid with the main characters to go watch a movie with “Seiji” once in a while.

As mentioned earlier, the main reason why this series tanked is due to the overall plot. With a plot so bad, it’s hard for anything to save it and the rest of the series didn’t try all that hard to correct this. One thing about Baby & Me is that it’s not actually a super happy/light series. It tries to be rather deep as you can tell with the final volume where Minoru is hit by a car. Can you think of any series where a toddler is gravely injured like that? It’s surprisingly not as kiddish as you would expect and that also comes back to bite it. The series bites off more than it can chew and I’d rather not even have the car crash scenario at the end since it’s a bit much. I’ve always considered little kids and senior citizens to basically be off limits as far as dangerous accidents are concerned.

There is also one annoying character who is always inappropriately grabbing Takuya as part of a running gag, which is anything but funny. It’s these kinds of things that hold the series back and guarantee it a place at the bottom of the totem pole. We didn’t get any fun plots that would have been a blast like team sport competitions, big races, or some kind of tournament. Now that would have definitely been exciting. There was a brief moment of danger with some gangsters and gambling though so that was neat.

I don’t really have much of a problem with the art. It’s not all that good, but it’s not very bad either. I suppose that I would call it somewhat standard or maybe a little sub-standard. It’s fairly clear, but when you don’t have a lot of action scenes to draw or anything of that sort, then it likely makes the job a little easier. It’s why just about any anime looks great when the characters are just standing around (Unless the character designs are faulty) but fight scenes can really vary in quality. Likewise with making something smaller scale like a sprite fight or a quick fan animation. You can take a while and make a really great still, but once you’re moving the characters around, it can get pretty intense! Of course, that’s what also makes the video since the fight scene is what everyone’s (Meaning me and all those who love fight scenes)

In the end, the series was just never all that fun. I can actually say that I’ve enjoyed Ouran Host Club and Vampire Knight more than I enjoyed Baby & Me. At least Ouran has some charasmatic characters which have started to save the series from the terrible pre arc and Vampire Knight had some good action scenes and (somehow) a better cast than Baby & Me. Baby & Me just never had that edge which could have made it a better series. I can’t say that there was ever a moment where the manga showed signs of getting better, but again, it’s hard to get better when your two main characters are not likable in the slightest. I took a lot of shots at Yuki and Zero in my Vampire Knight review, but they were still far more compelling than Takuya and Minoru.
Overall, Baby & Me was just a series that wasn’t for me. It was never a very interesting series and was rather dull like Go Go Monster. The characters were not interesting and the series took itself very seriously, which didn’t pan out. If you’re going to try to be a very serious series, then you need to either have a great plot like Dengeki Daisy or a lot of action like Kenshin. (Which still knew how to balance itself) The great plot is the most important part because I’ve read many serious series, which pulled it off. Baby & Me is about a kid who’s raising a baby…why is this a serious series? The plot alone should cause you some pause when you think about the concept. At least it did ensure that we weren’t blasted with crude humor all of the time. There may have been animal violence like the last pic hints, but I forgot, either way it may have just been one hit so it wasn’t terrible, but still terribly unnecessary and there could have been other moments that I forgot. If you want to read a good series about a kid who is actually trained by the baby, check out Hitman Reborn! Now that is a 9 star series, which shall certainly not disappoint you!

Overall 1/10

Vampire Knight Review

It’s time to take a look at a series that doesn’t sound all that promising from the title. Yes, I had a sneaking suspicion that Vampire Knight wouldn’t be all that good as it’s a vampire story. That’s reason enough for me to fear it. Moreover, it sounded like Rosario Vampire, but minus the action and fanservice. So, that’s a bad thing and a good thing, but it means that the series has absolutely nothing going for it except the blood sucking gimmick. (No worries, there is a little action at the very end of the series!) I was able to complete this series in a little under a year which is cool since I started it last January and I ended a few months ago. I forgot when exactly I completed it, but no matter, let’s jump into the review! No worries, this one doesn’t get a 0 so readers can rest easy that the manga managed to do something right!

Yuki Cross lives at a school where humans attend by day and vampires by night. Both sides are separated for their own safety and she’s one of the enforcers who makes sure that the two groups play by the rules. Her partner in all of this is Zero. With the two of them as the ultimate tag team, nothing’s ever gone wrong at the academy. What helps this situation run so smoothly is that the head of the school vampires is Kaname, a guy who believes in peace and justice. It all goes well for a while, but then things happen!

That’s more vague than usual! Well, it’s hard to say exactly when things went wrong since a lot happened in these 19 volumes. There are many different vampire factions who were vying for power. Towards the end, Kaname realizes that he must destroy all vampire nobles including himself so that only the weak ones will be left and then they can’t bully the humans so easily. Zero is corrupted and turned into a vampire himself so even though he is a vampire hunter, he will be confronted with many tough choices. Yuki also starts to get her memories back and realizes that she is a vampire noble as well, but this comes along with some spiffy new powers so it’s not totally a bad thing.

So, should I start out with the negatives, positives, or the technical aspects like the art? I decided which option to go with by heading to Smashfaqs and based it on the top 5 topics. They were surprisingly positive ones so let’s roll with that. A positive for the manga is the fact that it actually has fight scenes once in a while. Zero and Kaname get into a scuffle at one point and even Yuki gets in on the action thanks to her powerful scythe. Zero gets control over plants and Kaname has super strength, mental abilities, speed, magic, and a lot of other things to keep the other two in check. The fights are cool even if there aren’t a whole lot of them.

The art counts as a technical aspect as well as a positive one for the most part. The art can get cluttered during the action scenes at times. Especially when the plants are around, but it can also be quite clear during other moments and I’d say that the artist does a fairly good job. I’d say that the art looks a lot better than the average Shojo series. It’s clear, intense, and you won’t mix up any of the main characters. Supporting characters are a different story since you can only see so many random guys running around before starting to mix them up a bit. Kaoru and Hikaru are still confusing in Ouran, but at least one of them switched his hair color after a while.

Unfortunately, I can’t say that there are any real characters since they all get tainted at one point or another. If we’re counting super mild characters, then I didn’t mind Zero’s hunter boss. He was fairly reasonable the whole time and you could tell that he was experienced the whole time. He hyped himself up a little too much at times though and he’s only my favorite character by default, I’m certainly not a big fan of his.

A positive for the series is naturally the fact that there’s basically no fanservice to be found. That’s always appreciated even if it is the norm for Shojo, you still don’t want to neglect to give it some props for this. Unfortunately, this is somewhat negated by the blood sucking scenes and such, but that’s a different negative. So, here essentially ends the positives section, but I’ll try to think of some more while writing the review.
Let’s start off with the blood sucking. See, the problem with vampires is that they’re going to drink blood. Inevitably, one of them ends up contaminating a main character. (In this case, everyone was contaminated except for one of Yuki’s close friends who never evolved from being a bit player in the whole thing) After that, the main character will offer his or her friend to drink some blood so that the character won’t have to hurt someone else. That happens here of course, several times and shows that the characters have no will power. Especially the fact that they always go overboard. Another cliche is that Yuki for example may say to only take a little bit since taking too much blood can be quite dangerous. Zero agrees, but then he can’t stop himself once he actually starts and it’s always a very wince worthy moment since he is supposed to be her friend. It’s hard to buy the fact that he simply can’t control himself and this has even started to finally happen in Seraph of The End, which is regrettable. Why do the heroes ultimately lose control so easily!?

That’s a rather big negative and ignoring the whole blood angle, there is naturally a ton of romance here as well. Luckily, there was a twist towards the very end that Kaname wasn’t actually Yuki’s brother, but was an ancestor. This naturally helped since we don’t want the manga to have gone down that route, but romance is romance and it was poorly executed from start to finish here. Both Kaname and Zero use Yuki when circumstances arise and both of them never actually trust her enough to let Yuki know the full scope of what’s happening. Why should she bother to stay with them? Yuki never quite broke off things with either party and the romance just dragged on and on like a bad soap opera. There was even another character who tried not to get involved with such things, but he was forced to become a blood sucker, which essentially made him a prisoner and he could not help out the heroes anymore. There was nothing positive to say about the romance.

Now, it’s time to go more in depth about the characters. Yuki started out as your average main character. She was fairly lively and always saw the bright side of the situation. Romance plots aside, she wasn’t a bad character. Unfortunately, then she turned into a vampire and decided to cross more gray lines and act a little more like a vampire. One scene in particular that was bad was when she decided to erase Zero’s memories. Think of the situation in Justice League when Batman’s mind was wiped or Captain America from the New Avengers comics. Yuki may have wanted to do it for Zero’s own good, but she ended up crossing a line that should not have been crossed. Becoming a vampire also made her lose her happy personality as she became a little too wise and took on a more somber role. She decently handled that role, but definitely fell rather rapidly as a character.

There was definitely no way that I was going to like Kaname. He always acted rather polite and such at the beginning of the series, but it was always an act. He could never make up his mind and wanted to be with Yuki someday and preferred solitude at other times. He decided to destroy all of the Nobles randomly and while it may not have totally been a bad decision, it’s not like all of the nobles were evil or sought to destroy people. Luckily, a plot twist showed that Kaname did spare one of them so I’ll give him credit for that. Portraying himself as the villain was definitely an intriguing move and one that I still don’t see a whole lot of benefit from. In the end, vampires and humans will never be able to perfectly get along because both sides have so many bad apples inside of them. It’s just how the world works and there will always be another new villain to seize the throne. Kaname’s also the one who turned Yuki into a vampire, which doesn’t earn him any brownie points as a character.

Zero’s the other main hero and he’s pretty terrible. I liked him a lot more than Kaname for a while, but then he lost control and succumbed to the blood sucking temptations. That destroyed him as a character. Shojo series like to typically have two main guys, the nice one and the mean one. Zero served as the mean one and a fairly extreme version of the character type at times. He would even point his gun at Yuki once she became a vampire. I don’t see that turning into a healthy romance in the long term so it’s another plot that I couldn’t get behind and I found it hard to sympathize with Zero throughout the series. At least he has a gun/vine powers so he’s a decent fighter, but his fighting abilities can’t save his personality.

As you can see, I wasn’t a big fan of any of the main characters. With a series this long, there are naturally a lot of other characters, but most of them actually aren’t that important to the plot compared with these. We do have other villains, supporting characters, and other heroes, but they are all just around to add more detail to the world. In the end, it really just comes down to the three main characters and the choices that they make since they will drastically affect the characters around them. From the supporting characters, I suppose that I didn’t mind the headmaster or Yuki’s friend all that much. Yuki’s friend was always nice to Yuki and offered words of advice, but she never did all that much aside from that. The headmaster always knows more than he lets on, but he prefers to let the heroes fend for themselves.

Kaname had a posse around him at all times, but by and large you won’t remember them after a while. You have the girl member who also likes Kaname and naturally resents Yuki. That’s her whole character arc for the most part. There are a few guys there who have ties to other families and talk a good game, but they don’t do all that much of consequence. One of them is brainwashed and the others try to help Kaname even after he has earned a negative reputation, but that’s about it for them. One of the main villains was a noble vampiress who went around brainwashing as many of the human students as possible with her blood. Kaname eventually stopped her, but she definitely got a lot of casualties in the meantime. Shizuka was her name and her death is rather intense.

The manga was never quite as happy as the average Shojo series and was always serious business so it was not all that surprising that there could be some violent moments. It’s nothing toooo bad of course, just a heart stab here and there (Vampires are quite durable) and it works as Kaname hype. It doesn’t even feel all that out of place and I wouldn’t say that it goes too far. You’ll know the scenes when they happen. The other big villain is Rido. He’s so powerful that he thinks Kaname won’t make a move against him. Kaname quickly destroys him (Not a total destruction since the bond of master and student wouldn’t let him, but the guy was reduced to ash so it’s more or less the same thing) and that’s the end of that. I can’t say that either villain was all that interesting in the end.

This definitely isn’t your average Shojo series, but it ends up losing to those. This further cements the notion for me that it is almost impossible to do a good vampire story. They end up just not being all that good. Records of a Fallen Vampire is probably still the only good vampire story and it was impressive. Maybe someday a series can follow that example, but I suspect that many other series will try and fail to do so first. Such is simply how these things end up going down.
Overall, Vampire Knight is not for the faint of heart or for those looking for a good story. If you’re a huge vampire buff then this is probably up your ally. As it stands, the characters simply aren’t likable and all of the romance plots fall back. The series takes itself a little too seriously with all of the tearful origin stories lying about. I did enjoy the occasional action scene, but those are few and far between. Based on the pictures I used, the series certainly looks more exciting than I’m giving it credit for, but keep in mind that they’re images that are meant to be misleading. I wouldn’t use the boring pictures now would I? It’s certainly no Black Bird and at least earns 1 star, but you’re better off reading Records of a Fallen Vampire instead of this title.

Overall 1/10

Digimon Adventure Our War Game Review

It’s time for another Digimon review! This film’s definitely a classic and I’ve probably seen it 10 times or more at this point. It’s certainly the film that I think of whenever I see Digimon and now I can say that I’ve seen it dubbed and subbed. Naturally, the dubbed version wins out, but both versions are good in their own rights. Diaboromon will always be remembered as one of the best villains in the franchise. (Also due to Rumble Arena 2)

Tai and friends haven’t really kept in touch lately, but the DigiDestined are forced to join up again when a computer virus threatens to destroy the world. It’s hacked into electronics all around the country. Tai and Izzy were luckily already at home when this all happened, but Sora, Mimi, and Joe are currently busy. Matt and TK are ready to help though so the four of them will have to be enough to stop Diaboromon!

As per usual, the dub tries for a lighter, more intense angle on the film while the sub tries for a super serious and solemn approach. Typically, the music is what really illustrates this. Unfortunately, there are no good themes in the subbed version as a result. I wouldn’t call them bad per say, but none of them work as battle themes. Meanwhile, the dub keeps everything very fast paced, but you’ll also have to get ready for health drink jokes and the like.

I was never a fan of the animation for this film and it’s a step down from the Hurricane special for 02. The humans just look very, I guess you could say sludgey. It’s like what happens when you overly streamline a character. It can almost be disorienting since the character’s physical forms don’t seem to be too physical. It’s what I like to call the anti-theater effect. See, I’ve mentioned in the past how the theater effect can be awesome. It can make the colors really stand out and the fights awesome, but the opposite effect is what’s seen in many American films. Just think of any theater based American film, I’ve never seen one that actually had very good animation. They all try to be lifelike and as a result, they unfortunately succeed. Luckily, this doesn’t stop the fight scene in Our War Game from being good.

This was the debut of Omnimon and that was certainly a lot of fun to see. He was the series first Super Mega (Officially he’s just a Mega but when 2 Mega Digimon fuse I can’t consider the result to be just another Mega) and he certainly out ranked Diaboromon in power. We haven’t gotten to see Omnimon fight all that much in the franchise since then, but in Digimon Savers we saw that he’s still a powerhouse and I’m sure that in the new movie series he will get some big fights. Most of the other Digimon didn’t get to do a whole lot here, but it was a quick film so there wasn’t a lot of time to include them.

It also resulted in a pretty epic scene where Diaboromon attacked during the evolution sequence, which is probably a great speed feat since I assume that it’s almost instantaneous. I liked the subplot of how kids sending email to Izzy and friends was slowing down their Digimon. It makes sense since they had to rely on an old computer to power up their allies this time and rerouting their emails to Diaboromon’s account makes sense since that is actually a pretty easy feature to do nowadays. No plot hax there, which is how it should be.

As always, Tai’s a pretty hardcore lead character. He’s even able to infiltrate the Digital World like an old pro. I’ve never been much of an Izzy fan and I’m still not, but at least he booted up the computer for Tai to save the world with and showed up unlike some of the other DigiDestined. The other members really need some kind of communicator so they can always be in contact. The main member who looked bad was actually Kari since she picked up the phone, but didn’t want to leave the party. It was a case of international security so she absolutely should have showed up. Nothing should have prevented her from making it back even if she may not have been able to help all that much in the end.

One thing that I actually did miss in this film though was the fact that the humans and Digimon were separated by the screen. Fighting in the Digital World or in the Human world together as a team is always more exciting and especially when the human characters can fight as well like Marcus. In a way, it’s more like Megaman NT Warrior this way, but the separation prevented emotions from running quite as high and the stakes from getting a little more personal.

I like to think that this film is what got most of the characters so popular. Diaboromon and Omnimon certainly hit it off big after this and I’d still say that both of them are some of the most popular Digimon around. I’m hoping that Diaboromon appears at some point in the new films since that would be pretty neat. At the moment, Our War Game is definitely the best Digimon film at the block so it sets the standard for the others to follow and the line that they hope to surpass someday.

Overall, Our War Game is a solid Digimon film as always. It’s a little light on action, but it’s a short film overall so there’s not a whole lot that they really could have added on that note. I recommend either version, but the dub first and foremost. Maybe even watch both since the film has a decent amount of replay value. I’ve probably seen it over and over enough times to keep me satisfied so I don’t need to see it again for a long while, but if you’re looking for a film with monster fights, this is your best bet. Until then, I’ve got Tri to look forward too as well as the Diaboromon rematch film.

Overall 7/10

I Confess Review

It’s time for a retro film from Alfred Hitchcock. The style is certainly a little different from his other films in the sense that you wouldn’t necessarily know that it was by him. Most of his films are more mystery centered whereas here you do know who the villain is the whole time and the tension is on whether Logan will crack under the pressure or not. It’s a fun film where you have to decide if he’s making the right move or not.

The premise is fairly simple. Logan is a Catholic priest and one day he finds out that the man whom he hired to work at the church murdered a man. Unfortunately, the murderer is the one who told him while in the confessional box. It is strictly forbidden for a priest to use any knowledge learned during this period so Logan must decline to help the police with the investigation when they ask him who the murderer is. Unfortunately, the evidence now makes it look like Logan is the murderer and he can barely provide a defense for himself. Is this the end of the line for him?

Keller is the actual murderer and he evidently doesn’t care if anyone likes him by the end. He’s always trying to make Logan look bad and also doesn’t seem very remorseful for murdering someone. He goes crazy by the end to conveniently help the police realize the truth, but the character isn’t ultimately all that important in the story. Logan can shut him down at any time. As mentioned earlier, it really comes down to whether or not he will abide by the code.

His faith is strong and he never ends up buckling and telling the police what he knows. He does a good job in his Catholic beliefs. I’m a Christian myself and luckily we have no such custom. I definitely don’t fault Logan for not talking since he did well according to his beliefs, but I felt like he could have handled the situation a little better. Aside from not wanting to talk about anything relating to the murder, he also didn’t want to talk about anything related to Ruth, which caused more issues. This meant that he did not even want to create an alibi for himself and effectively made himself look all the more guilty. Not to mention that he tried to dodge the questions and sidetrack the arguments a lot of the time.

Even if he didn’t outright say that Keller was the killer, Logan could have easily explained that he knew who the killer was, but couldn’t say because of the confessional rules. That would have at least given the police something to go with and I don’t believe that this is against the rules. Of course, it could come down to the fact that Logan may have thought of this as “cheating” the rules. It’s like a “lie of omission.” I still don’t believe in the concept, but many do consider it to be a form of lying and essentially cheating the concept of a lie. You’re telling a lie without actually saying anything. If Logan subscribed to that way of thinking, then maybe he felt that he couldn’t even admit that this had anything to do with a confessional. I personally disagree with his stance.

I do think that ommissions are not the same as lying. Take for example the classic example used for the lying debate. 2 Nazi’s walk into your apartment and you are hiding Christians in your attic so they say “Are you hiding Christians in the house?” You have quite a few options without actually lying and they all involve sort of skirting around the whole lying concept. One option is to respond via a technicality. Maybe your home is an apartment, a villa, or something that’s not technically a house. Then you can easily respond with a No and it’s not a lie. You could use an exclamation like “What” “How dare you accuse me of such a thing!” which is not actually lying, while still insinuating that you are saying no and then depending on what they follow up with, you can say no to the question without saying no to the original one. There are many such loopholes that you can exploit in many scenarios, but it does boil down to the fact of whether or not you consider this to be cheating the rule. By the way, I am of the side that believes lying is the better course of action than telling the truth in that case. You are committing a sin no doubt, but saying yes means that you will be killing the people in your house and taking away their choice of life. If it’s just your life on the line, then by all means it’s best to tell the truth and proudly accept your fate as a Christian. When other people are in danger, then self sacrifice is the concept that I subscribe too (Whether or not you have the courage to back up your tough words is another story though) and you are willingly sinning, but I believe that it is different from simply sinning for personal gain. You will have to answer for each and every sin, but I believe that the lives you saved and your willingness to repent and move on from the situation is counted as well.

Back to the film, if Logan believes that admitting to the confessional being the issue of why he can’t talk to be a loophole of the Catholic rule, then he naturally cannot even say this since it would go against his beliefs. It all depends on his feelings on the subject. Either way, he was definitely put in a tough spot, but Logan was a good character. I got worried when he was stranded with Ruth for a night, but he did a good job and handled the situation appropriately. Logan’s a solid lead character and while his actions were frustrating, he did the best that he could.

Most of the other characters were pretty annoying or unlikable. The only other really good character would be the detective. He did a good job of grabbing the facts and showing the other characters who was really in charge of the situation. You could almost root for the guy if you didn’t know that he was already on the wrong side. He meant well and that definitely counts for something. The Prosecutor was also decent and he knew how to have a good time. He would have won the cup game if not for the phone.

Naturally, Keller’s not a likable villain. He comes across as rather petty. His wife was better even if she acted a little too late considering that Keller never seemed like the most respectable guy out there. The other priests didn’t help Logan out all that much, but they were likely praying for him. They were just in a tough spot since it was hard to help him and they definitely understood his plight by the end of the whole ordeal. I did like the priest who had the bike with him, that was a fun gimmick to have.

Meanwhile, Ruth was surprisingly very antagonistic for most of the film. Her treatment of her husband was very uncalled for and she could never rebound from that. She married him for no real reason since she claims to have never loved him and immediately tried going back to Logan only to find out that he had put up the friend zone already. Sometimes, the friend zone card can be quite effective and it’s always great to see it played during a film. It’s one of the ultimate moves to pull in real life as well.

Overall, I Confess was a solid film. The mystery was already known, which always forces a different approach for a mystery. The courtroom drama was intense as always, although without a real defense, it was more one sided than I would have liked. I certainly recommend this film if you’re looking for a classic tale of whether the world can crush you enough to make you relinquish your beliefs or if you can find a way to persevere. It’s a good adventure with a well thought out plot. I don’t remember all that much plot hax at the moment, but I’m sure that I could think of some if I focused!

Overall 7/10

Oblivion Review

Time to look at a classic Tom Cruise film, which is actually a lot newer than I would have thought. It didn’t feel like a 2013 film simply because I wasn’t very aware of the film and I pride myself on knowing just about everything that there is to know when it suits my fancy. Unfortunately, I can’t get past the feeling that Oblivion is really just one big missed opportunity and never develops itself into a great film, but instead drags on during its entire duration.

The main character is named Jack and he lives in a future where humanity won the war against aliens, but the planet was ruined in the process. He is now in charge of fending off the aliens by keeping some generators in operation along with his partner Victoria. They’ve done this successfully for quite a while and just have to last for another few weeks before they’ll be able to retire on the new planet. Unfortunately, the situation begins to worsen as drones are taken out of commission and the Scavengers (Aliens) want to capture him.

I love a good alien invasion film, but this doesn’t quite fit the bill. You ready for a big plot twist?…..there are no aliens. Sure, there is an alien race out to get the humans, but we never actually see them because the “aliens” in question are actually highly advanced robots. Not even physical robots for the most part though, but an A.I. that controls them. I like a good A.I. too like Hal 9000 or Skynet, but this wasn’t handled well and the plot comes out of nowhere. It explains why the whole film was so peaceful instead of tense, but I didn’t appreciate the shift in who the villain was.

We find out that the robot cloned the real Jack Harper before destroying everyone except the few humans who still exist in the resistance and the A.I. basically just has fun keeping the humans who are left in check. I’ve said this for a few films although I try to limit the times that I use the term, but the film has no real point to it. You’ll struggle to find a reason to root for any of the characters and the film’s just rather boring. You don’t even care who wins because the plot was never engaging and the film can throw in as many plot twists as it wants, but in the end….none of it matters!

I would have loved to have seen the actual war against the aliens. Maybe we could have gotten some flashbacks of real fights instead of the same one over and over and over again of Jack’s wife waiting for him. The film is merciless with how often we see this. Meanwhile, Jack’s been spending time as the partner of Victoria, which leads to pointless romance scenes that have no bearing on the plot. The pool scene is just wince worthy and Jack switches sides rather quickly. Keep in mind that there are thousands of clones of Jack. The ending involves a clone deciding to live his life and his wife, Julia, does not care. One Jack’s as good as any other apparently and the whole thing makes you shake your head. He’s a clone so he’s not the same Jack, liking all of them just seems odd and the wrong choice to make.

I also did not like the resistance. Sure, they tried their best to be tough and oppose the robots, but again, there was no reason to root for them. They showed up and talked a good game, but basically got obliterated in an instant and the leader only got to have a tough line or two before being taken down for the count in the final scene. Even the A.I. itself had to be portrayed as very naive and not very intelligent for the ending to work because there’s no way that it should have let Jack near the central processing unit. I mean, really…that’s just not realistic although most of the things in this film can’t be considered realistic.

The graphics for the film are decent when Jack’s inside of his futuristic house, but things quickly change when he steps outside. There’s not much of a city anymore and the whole world is a barren wasteland so you can’t have fun with the scenery. Jack has a little house in the middle of nowhere, which luckily does look good. Why can’t the robots find this place and how has it grown so well? Who knows, but it lives somehow and the resistance ends up going there to wreck another good thing. It’s going to take a while to grow a modern civilization again so Earth’s going to be in a sorry state for a while.

One of the positives for the film would be the fight between Jack and clone Jack. Technically, both of them are clones, but that’s okay. It’s a solid fight scene and the laser gun that Jack had was cool as well. It’s a shame that we only got one or two action scenes in the whole film and mostly it was just a drama masquarading as an alien film. Even once he saved Julia, she mostly just acted crazy for a while. I guess being alive is a bit of a shock, but it was all very intriguing. Plus, Victoria never acted like a nice character from the beginning and would say no to everything that Jack tried so it’s hard to believe that they ever got along. They certainly had no chemistry and Victoria was always uptight. Certainly a very bad character and one that you can always count on to crack when the chips are down.

As mentioned before, this film is quite long so you’ll want to brace yourself. It’s a long trek that shows no signs of stopping at times and that’s because of all the padding, which still isn’t able to make the plot work more effectively. Apparently, there are many Jacks and control towers throughout the planet, but Jack never saw them as he flew around because they were too far. We saw that Jack is a rebel so I’m sure that he’s gone past the safe zones many, many times in the past. I find it hard to believe that he never met another Jack and there’s no way that the A.I. could keep the status quo so cleanly. The whole plot just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and if the robots were able to build these towers so effectively, where are all of their equipment of drones? There’s no way that the little spy cams could do any physical lifting. Maybe it’s best to just not think about any of that.

Overall, Oblivion is a film without a real purpose. I know that there was another film like this way back when, but I just can’t think of it. It’s not so much that Oblivion is a bad film, but it’s just rather boring and fails at everything that it tries to do. The film is evidently going for a bit of a thriller/mystery angle since we’re waiting for the big alien reveal the whole time (Only to be disappointed) and we have to wonder why the Earth is in such bad shape. As such, the plot twists at the end just seem out of place and having the pool scene just seemed to serve as a quick way to get views without adding any substance. To make this film more fun, we definitely needed more characters, some aliens, some good scenery without the constant gray scale effect that makes everything appear to be more full, and a better plot. That sounds like a lot of things, but they would be fairly easy to implement. Also, the film could easily be trimmed of 30 minutes of filler. For a better film involving Tom Cruise and aliens, watch Edge of Tomorrow.

Overall 4/10

Rodea The Sky Soldier Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 8h 41m

Fastest Clear Time 1m 40s
Gravitons Obtained 2804
Total Chain Count 1619
Total Combo Count 889
Flight Count 4899
Boost Attack Count 3147
Wall Jump Count 768
Landing Count 1919
Damage Received Count 138
Miss Count 21
Total Enemy KOs 489
Machine Gun KOs 126
Boost Attack KOs 363
Lock on Gear KOs 0
Slide Gear KOs 0
Total Flight Distance 488km
Normal Flight Travel Distance 322km
Boost Attack Travel Distance 115km
Ground Travel Distance 23km
Total Steps Walked 7378

Rodea Stats

Armor Level 2
Power Level 4
Speed Level 2
Ammo Upgrade Level 2
Imp Reload Time Level 3
Rapid Fire Level 2
Imp Slide Time Level 1
Imp Cooldown Level 1
Add Ability Level 1
Imp Lock-On Level 3
Imp Cooldown (Lock-On Gear) Level 1
Imp Range Level 2

Stage Stats Rank for: Clear Time, Jewels, Combo, and Chain. Stats for Gold Medals Silver Medals Bronze Medals

Level 1 C B S A 1/1 2/3 5/5
Level 2 C B S A 0/1 0/3 0/5
Level 3 B C B B 0/1 0/3 0/5
Level 4 A C S S 0/1 0/3 0/5
Level 5 C S S S
Level 6 C C A S 0/1 0/3 0/5
Level 7 C B C A 0/1 0/3 1/5
Level 8 C C S A 0/1 0/3 1/5
Level 9 C C S A 0/1 1/3 0/5
Level 10 A S S S
Level 11 B B S S 0/1 0/3 1/5
Level 12 B C A B 0/1 1/3 1/5
Level 13 B B S A 0/1 2/3 3/5
Level 14 A B S B 0/1 1/3 2/5
Level 15 A S S S
Level 16 C C A B 1/1 0/3 0/5
Level 17 C C S A 0/1 0/3 2/5
Level 18 B B S S 0/1 0/3 1/5
Level 19 B C S A 0/1 0/3 0/5
Level 20 A S S S
Level 21 A S S S 0/1 0/3 0/5
Level 22 C B S S 0/1 0/3 3/5
Level 23 B C A S 0/1 1/3 1/5
Level 24 C S S S
Level 25 B S S S

Rodea The Sky Soldier Review

Honestly, Rodea’s situation was pretty sad for its fans. It’s universally agreed that the Wii version of the game is the definitive one, but it was held back for around 5 years so that the Wii U one could get made. Furthermore, the only way to get the Wii version is to buy the Wii U game day 1. Pretty interesting eh? I like to draw myself away from the crowd though so I went ahead and played the Wii U version (But I have the Wii one as well for future reference) anyway. Besides, I don’t care how bad the controls are supposed to be. They’ve got to still be better than using the ole Wii Remote right?

It is the future and robots are the enemy of humankind. One day, a robot named Rodea is fixed by a girl named Iron. She isn’t afraid of robots and just wants to have a good time. Rodea has lost all of his memories and doesn’t know why but he has made a promise to protect Garuda. (Earth’s greatest civilization. Or Garuda is actually the name of the planet) Together, the two of them aim to save the planet and hopefully restore Rodea’s memories, but knowing the past could force the team to part ways so…do the memories really need to come back?

It’s definitely a fun game and I easily would have awarded it an 8..if not for the controls. Unfortunately, the reviews are right about the Wii U’s controls being quite bad. Naturally, I can’t vouch for the Wii ones, but I have heard that they are significantly better. Prepare to die a few times because you end up flying in a different direction from where you wanted to go. Jumping and flying often ends up being a lot riskier than you would have guessed. It’s also worth noting that the Wii U version changed a lot of things from the Wii one. The Wii U took out all of Rodea’s power gimmicks. Think of Sonic Colors or another video game where you would find items that give you temporary powers. There’s none of that in the Wii U version so it’s more of a straight platforming adventure as you try to reach the goal with your original abilities.

The most intriguing change is that the Wii U has a very dark color scheme. It’s more grayscale and takes itself very seriously compared to the Wii version which has a more anime type feel to it. The Wii version certainly looks far superior, but the graphics for the Wii U are still quite good. It’s relatively bad, but absolutely good so just don’t let yourself compare it to the Wii version or it’s cooked. I enjoyed the soundtrack as well. There aren’t a whole lot of themes, but most of the ones that are present are quite catchy. Upon beating the game, you even get a lyrical song that you can play during the levels instead of the background music. It gives the game a more cinematic experience although since it’s just one song, you don’t want to overuse it.

The game takes a lot of cues from the classic Sonic Adventure days. The final world looks a little like the climax of Sonic Adventure 2’s Hero story and Rodea’s whole character arc very closely mirrors Shadow’s from Adventure 2 Battle. Even the gameplay feels a lot like Sonic’s if you used your homing attack a lot back in the day. Naturally, flying is very important in this game and the aerial combat is fun. You’ve also got a gun which you can use and while I never used it at first, it came in handy towards the end. Don’t forget that you can also roll away from an attack, but typically jumping is your best bet. Your homing attack (Dash Attack) is your best form of attack against most villains and just remember that you can use it in rapid fire mode against bosses in order to end them quickly.

The bosses typically have fun attack patterns. The only one that wasn’t fun to fight was ironically the last boss. He’s a classic example of why bigger isn’t always better. It’s not so much a fight as it is just a long adventure of trying to get close to him. More parrallels to Sonic here as it’s very similar to Sonic DX’s Final Chaos, but with more jumping around before actually charging in. The best boss was probably in the second last level with the Geardo attack followed by his subordinate. It was pretty tough.

That being said, all of the bosses were a little limited in the sense that they would have 3-4 attacks and would always use them in the same sequence. The whole time I was expecting them to shift tactics upon crossing the halfway mark of their health bar, but it never happened. As a result, the battles would be more about waiting for the inevitable weak spot than actually doing anything. Still fun fights though and they never felt “cheap.”

The game’s story was pretty fun whenever the villains would show up. I didn’t really care for the supporting characters here. Ion’s grandfather was a boring character who would always yell each one of his lines because that was the only personality that he ever got. The other townsfolk were just there to slow Rodea down. Ion’s a good heroine. Her personality is essentially that she’s ultra happy the entire time and may be smarter than she lets on, but her fixes don’t always work. It would be great if she learned how to fight in the sequel, but I couldn’t ask for much more out of her.

Rodea’s a pretty hardcore main character. It’s too bad that we couldn’t see too much of him though since he’s still in shock for about half of the game. Once he decides to just roll with the current situation, he becomes a lot better. He’s similar to Shadow The Hedgehog at first and then Pit from Kid Icarus Uprising. He’s now a little cocky and overconfident, which are great traits for a main character. I doubt that he will be remembered all that much as the years go on, but I was satisfied with him.

The villains were a little less engaging. Most of them were Rodea’s friends, but as they never grew a heart, they were forced to simply obey their orders. They were like the enemies in Mega Man Powered Up and Maverick Hunter. Rodea destroyed them all, but they all missed the days when they were comrades. It was interesting how Rodea took no prisoners, but the ending was still happy for everyone since Rodea ended up going back in time and the future is essentially a utopia. The only one who didn’t turn good was Geardo and he was a pretty poor villain. I liked his design in the second to last level, but his giant monster form was pretty bad. He also went delusional and thought that Ion was his daughter, Cecilia. He may regret it now, but Geardo is the reason why Cecilia jumped off a cliff so the villain is way too late. He should have changed his plans sooner.

Speaking of which, the whole scene was a little odd. Rodea went back in time to save the princess, but made a very half hearted attempt to do so and basically watched as she plummetted down the mountain and died. Then he somehow found out that she survived the fall and nursed her back to health as she led a golden age. It was all rather unbelievable. She’s a good character and essentially the Maria of the Rodea universe, but it felt like the writers couldn’t actually think of a way to make her survive so they made the reason up. Also, jumping off of a cliff is essentially giving up and it would only delay Geardo’s plans so she may as well have just kept on rebelling for a while. Even if she was kidnapped, she would have been fine since Geardo was definitely not planning on destroying her.

One level was a total 3D flying stage, which was cool. It would have been more fitting as the final level or if it at least had a boss in it. It came out of nowhere and was a fun level although I wonder why the game didn’t take advantage of this more. Meanwhile, the game has a lot of replay value if you want to keep on playing through. You can try to get all S ranks and all of the medals to unlock various things like more level ups, music, and levels for an island where you can grab more materials. Beating the main game took almost 9 hours so gathering everything else should take a considerable amount of time as well. The actual gameplay is pretty fun as well so this is definitely a game that’s worth the time and commitment.

Overall, Rodea is a very fun game and I agree with the opinion that this would have been known as one of the Wii’s final big sendoffs had it actually come out on time. The story and presentation make this feel like a big AAA game (Which it may be, I actually don’t know what it’s categorized as) and it’s a blast. Unfortunately, the controls are quite annoying. You’ll learn how to effectively make do with them by the end, but they’re a lot more trouble than they should be. At 25 levels, the game’s duration is quite good so you won’t feel cheated out of your purchase. You can easily think of this game as a spinoff of the Sonic Universe since it really plays out like one and it’s a game that you should add to your collection. Trust me, I’ve played a lot of cash grab games as of late so when I play a game that’s really polished like this one, you can feel the difference. Just remember to grab as many materials as possible so you can upgrade your gun, it always comes in handy.

Overall 7/10

We Ski & Snowboard Stats and Records

Stats time!

2/10 Icons Shown
Best Friend Destroyer
Favorite Resort Course Kangaroo Park
Favorite Mountain Course Dragon’s Den
Favorite Air Trick Right Grab
Snowboard: Skis 99%-1%
Total Distance Traveled 90,518m
Total Rail Slide Distance 208m
Total Jump Distance 17349
Total Side-Step/Hop Distance 99m
Highest Trick Combo 58
Lift Rides 1
Rail to Rail Combos 1
Air Tricks 62
Invites 2
Caught in an Avalanche 5
Avalanches Caused 9
Falls into a Gorge 7
Falls 47
People Hit 30

Jamboree Snow Resort

2/10 Races Completed
0/10 Moguls Completed
5/10 Half-pipe Completed
4/10 Lost & Found Completed
4/10 Perfect Stop Completed
0/10 Delivery Completed