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Yona of the Dawn

I’m fairly early in here as I’ve just finished Volume 1 but we’ve got a fun start so far. Betrayal, adventure, all the works. I’m ready to see the main heroine pick up a sword and become a big fighter as well. We’ll see how that goes of course and I’ll have a review up for the series when I’ve completed it.

Overall 7/10

Transformers Bumblebee Cyberverse Adventures Season 4 Review

Well, who’d have thought that Cyberverse would come back? After the show ended, some time passed and then they announced that the show would continue with 2 mini movies. This basically became season 4 with two, two part events. It still feels rather random but who can say no to some more adventures right? I wouldn’t say either episode is quite up there with the best that the show was dishing out in season 3 but they’re fun enough episodes and the nostalgia is the important thing here. So lets take a look at the two stories here.

The first story has the Autobots and Decepticons preparing to finally make the peace between both sides official. It’s been a long time coming after all and this will mark a brighter day for Cybertron. Unfortunately that isn’t to be as the entire planet is frozen solid. The only ones to escape are the Dinobots and Windblade, but she is quickly captured. Grimlock must unite these Dinobots to that they can use a merged form to stop the group of bounty hunters led by the powerful Trypticon. Will they be able to save the day or will it be curtains for Cybertron?

I have to say that the bounty hunter’s ray is really impressive. The fact that it can take out an entire planet in the blink of an eye is terrifying. It reminded me of the whole premise for Dr. Stone. The Dinobots are really just lucky to have gotten out of that one. It was a bold pick to have them be the main characters here but I wouldn’t say it paid off. This has always been my least favorite incarnation of Grimlock and I can’t say that the other Dinobots are much better. As the big premiere to the new season I would have rather had Optimus Prime or Bumblebee at the ready.

The bounty hunter group isn’t bad though. Trypticon makes for a good leader of course. In this version he is portrayed as a tough boss who talks a good game but does care for his subordinates when the chips are down. He seemed like a really practical guy and someone you wouldn’t mind working for. Then you have Soundblaster who gets a rather big role here. You may chuckle a bit at his villainous origin story of why he turned against Soundwave and the others though.

This did mean that Soundwave got to have a true rival though so that was near. There are a few other forgettable members and then you have the last two, Bug Bite and Nightbird. Now these characters were fun as evil versions of Bumblebee and Arcee. It’s not literal but the character designs are the same so why not right? Nightbird had good close combat skills and Bug Bite was good at always moving and keeping everyone on guard.

So as a whole the bounty hunters were a lot more memorable than I would have expected them to be. They made for good antagonists and were easily the highlight of the two part story event. I just wish the heroes could have been as interesting. The whole Dinobots learning how to fuse thing got old fast and none of the Dinobots have enough charisma to hold their own scenes. They’re easily some of my least favorite Autobots and end up holding the special back. So in the end it’s a good two parter but not a great one.

Finally the other 2 part adventure sees the return of the ultimate Decepticons. Out of nowhere they start appearing on Cybertron only they are fighting each other for some reason. It’s difficult to get them to disengage and Cybertron itself may be destroyed at this rate. One of these robots still appears sentient though and explains that the Autobots can help the rest too. They just need to get another legendary relic of the Primes but it can only be opened by someone with the Matrix. It’s obvious that this is a trap so I’ll jump ahead a bit to say Tam (The sentient robot) gets this artifact and is now intent on using it to destroy all of the Autobots. The War for Cybertron has begun anew. Will any Decepticons continue to aid the Autobots or will we go back to square one?

Now this was a big step up from the first story. It’s a massive upgrade on all fronts from the action scenes to even having more of an ensemble cast. This time almost everyone gets a little something to do. Prime, Soundwave, Bumblebee, Windblade, the Dinobots, etc. Everyone has to pitch in and help this time around because the villains are too powerful for anything else. The perfected Decepticon robots are also impressively strong like last time. One on one only someone like Optimus Prime can defeat them. The other fighters don’t stand much of a chance which is why it was so important to try and shut them down.

Soundwave gets a lot of the spotlight here which was unexpected but his fans should be pleased. His story really goes in a vastly different direction from anything I would have predicted. Not only does he get his catchphrase but he’s well prepared for each battle and is willing to put his spark on the line to help his friends. The episode treats him like the new leader for the Decepticons and he was willing to make peace with the Autobots. Soundwave seems like he would make for a very good leader to the team, someone they could all be proud of.

The Dinobots return and get to use their fusion form but not as much as you would think. Too bad since it should in theory be strong enough to really make a difference in these battles. More importantly, Hot Rod gets to appear for a bit and while he doesn’t look super strong, I’ll take any screen time I can get. Optimus Prime gets to step in as well this time. It’s not a huge role but the episode does still acknowledge him as the strongest Autobot with how he is able to take on some of these robots.

Aside from generally having more action and more of a serious plot, the episode also had a great start. When Astro Train comes falling out of the sky it’ll remind you of the old Infinity Gauntlet comics when Silver Surfer crashed in a similar way. It immediately tells you that something big is about to go down and that’s absolutely right. Even if the main twist may have been telegraphed, the fact that the story has twists and turns is fun. It’s just a well written two part adventure and this feels like a true finale.

As for Tam as a villain, I thought he was solid. He isn’t quite as memorable as the bounty hunters from the first story but I still liked him quite a bit. He had a grand plan and did a good job of executing it. The design was on point and he had a good, no nonsense kind of personality. The show really didn’t hold back with the villains in this season. Both stories had good antagonists.

Season 4 seamlessly blends in with the rest of the episodes so it’s like no time has passed. The score may not be as high as the show but that’s in part due to how many adventures the show got to have and how you knew you’d have a consistently solid time. This season is better than the first for sure but would lose to seasons 2 and 3. I have a feeling it could have easily jumped up another star with more episodes. This one’s just over so quickly and with half the show used up on the Dinobots, that meant it didn’t have a lot of extra opportunities. Not everything has to be the next big hit though and at the very least I can say that I think you’ll have a good time with this one.

The animation style is kept the same from the TV show and still looks good. The animation style is colorful and you quickly know what’s going on. I like it well enough for the action scenes although this isn’t that kind of show so don’t expect any big battles. When it comes to the soundtrack, there aren’t really any memorable themes so I wouldn’t get my hopes up on that front. On a technical level the show definitely doesn’t stand out but it looks good enough.

Overall, Transformers got to have some more fun adventures which is nice. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first one but the second delivered. In the end they balance out well enough so I would call season 4 good and in the end that’s what counts. You may not check these adventures out again but now you can proudly say that the show reached 4 seasons and I’m looking forward to seeing what adventure comes around next. The Transformers franchise never takes a break after all so you can bet that it will be back sooner than later! There are even a few items already lined up in the franchise.

Overall 6/10

Deepwater Horizon

This is a film I saw the trailer for many times. It definitely got promoted heavily and even BP was a company name I knew for a while. They definitely have a ton of issues and controversies around them at all times so it’s no surprise that they would have a big tragedy like this one. Unless they had another big oil spill before then I think I even wrote a paper on this one. I just remember BP was responsible for the accident I was writing about. Well, the movie does a good job of walking through and events and makes for an engaging watch from start to finish.

The movie opens with Mike and Jimmy’s team heading to the oil rig to finish the job and get everything set. Unfortunately things are looking a little shady right from the jump as the previous team was chased out of there before they could even run any tests. That definitely doesn’t sound like a good system right? What does this place have to hide? Well, the two BP representatives do not want to pay extra money and figure they could squeeze out a nice profit without actually increasing expenses. There isn’t a whole lot Mike and Jimmy can do beyond just proceed as normal. The system wasn’t ready for this kind of action though and the whole thing blows up. Can anyone escape this catastrophe?

With a film like this where you know the story and the basic plot, there aren’t a lot of twists and turns. Of course the first act takes a while for the explosion to actually happen but you do know that it is happening so that can be a mixed bag. After all, then maybe the film should jump right into it. It’s always an interesting predicament, like Superman or Batman film where you know they will become superheroes so you want them to jump ahead. At least I would say that the leadup is solid here and you do get to have some fun dialogue with the characters.

Mike is a good main character. He’s serious about his job and knows what he is doing. From all of the characters in the film he is probably the most prepared. He has a good working relationship with everyone and isn’t afraid to speak his mind. Even if he has to talk tough to the big execs, that is just what Mike will do. He really has no faults here and that’s always a good thing since it means this is a main character you can get behind. While we do have the explosion coming for the climax, I would say the film is largely character driven so you want a good cast.

His boss Jimmy is also solid. He’s clearly been around the block quite a few times in his career and has a ton of experience. He doesn’t let himself get pushed around by BP too easily even if they do overpower him by the end. He also does his best to keep the rig afloat and tries everything possible. It’s why he has to be written out of the action for a while since he may have been able to salvage the situation a bit.

As for the two heads of BP, those guys were a lot of fun. In particular Donald is the guy who stole the show here. The guy is really confident and you want that in your main villain. It’s not like he’s intentionally trying to destroy the place either. The guy wants to make money and he needs the place operational for that but he did some research and figured he could pull this off. At the end of the day he has likely succeeded in many similar situations, the whole thing just caught up to him. Any scene with him in it is always entertaining though, that’s for sure.

The effects are on point here and the explosion certainly looks realistic. Seeing the entire oil rig go down makes for quite the spectacle. we get intense scenes of having to run through the place while it’s burning and it makes for an effective climax. You definitely wouldn’t call the sequence boring or anything like that. It all just happens quickly and everyone has to find a way out. I was glad that nobody on the crew was being super unreasonable…until we get to one random guy.

So even with explosions coming through and all, there’s one character who refuses to send out an SOS and doesn’t even let his colleague try to press some buttons to make things better. He keeps yelling that they don’t have enough clearance for this and it felt like such a bad hill to die on. This guy is really going to get in everyone’s way because he doesn’t have the proper rank? Now that’s a way to mix up your priorities when it really counts. He’s got to be the worst character in the film due to how exaggerated the whole thing was.

There’s also a heroine near the end who starts to break down quite a bit when it’s time to escape the ship. Mike basically has to trick her to pull this off which makes her look really bad. Cmon now, jumping into the water is really a great plan. You still might die, but at least it’s not guaranteed. At least Mike was ready for even this situation and showed some really quick thinking.

The only thing I would say about the the film as not being super positive is I do think the ending can be a little overdramatic at times. When the characters arrive home you immediately have someone attacking Mike and nobody steps in to help for the longest time. I would hope there would be a little better security here trained for tragedies like this. The breakdown and all helps to throw a somber note on the film but I do think parts of that could have been skipped. The film just tries a little too hard to be super emotional by the end when the whole film was quick paced and energetic so it just didn’t transition very well.

Overall, Deepwater Horizon is a fun film. You may know what is going to happen but it doesn’t change the fact that the first half is really written well. They did a good job with it and you get to know the characters before things turn sideways. I enjoy seeing corporate duke it out with the small well meaning companies in all of these films. There’s just something about having confident villains that always makes for a lot of back and forth. With good banter at the ready, this is a film you would enjoy checking out.

Alphadia Genesis Review

Kemco has returned and this is easily the best story they’ve churned out since the original Asdivine Heart games. We’re back to having a lot of twists, a grand end of the world story, and a colorful cast of characters. The game certainly gets rather serious and the heroes are put to their limits but at the end the day you know teamwork is what will be the decisive factor here. The game’s only main weakness is there are still less customizable game options than in the Asdivine games and there are quite a few dead spots. More on that later.

The game starts off right away by explaining that the two kingdoms of the world are getting ready to come up with an answer to the clones issue. Right now there is a debate on if all clones should be put in stasis since they are too dangerous or to continue to allow them free roam. Recently there have been instances of clones attacking and even murdering people. An investigative team is created using two people from each kingdom. Fray and Aurra from one with Walter and Corune making up the other group. They run into a clone named Enah and add her to the party as well. Is someone deliberately making clones look bad or is there a real security risk?

I can’t say I was expecting a game about clones, it is a much more futuristic world than I had expected. It’s a fun change of pace though and the Kemco games really are all quite unique. Naturally when it comes to this debate I’m immediately against the idea of putting everyone into stasis. It seems like an overreaction to me and you’d have a very hard time of ever convincing me that every clone should be taken down for the actions of a few. The dilemma here is interesting though as the clones are cybernetic meaning that they can be hacked. So the heroes need to find a way to prevent that from being possible but don’t even know if that’s the cause.

As mentioned, I enjoyed the cast here quite a bit. Fray is the main character and he’s your classic RPG hero. He can be oblivious a lot of the time but always tries to do the right thing. He’s not quite as intense as Zack from Asdivine but Fray has a lot of good moments and a solid character arc. He does go through a very rough patch during the second half of the game but that doesn’t last too long.

Aurra is Fray’s little sister and she’s a scientist but can still fight when needed. Without her the heroes would have definitely been in a bit of a jam on more than one occasion. She certainly enjoys trolling Fray a lot of the time. Enah is the clone who joined the group and as she literally woke up yesterday she doesn’t know a whole lot for most of the game and learns with the characters. I’d have liked her to have known more about the world but as it stands her character was executed well.

Grande is a tough gang leader or at least so it seems at the start but for the most part he seems like a good guy. The town likes the group and it seems like they’re a bunch of people who do good things but don’t want to take credit for it. Grande looks out for his men and makes for a good addition to the cast. Then you have Corune as the main heroine. With her title as the War Princess you can bet that she fights quite a lot. It’s always good to have another fighter on board and she does well.

Finally you have Walter who loses so many times in the game that it might be a record. His thing is that he likes Corune but she likes Fray so he is always jealous. He probably makes 50+ attempts to get her to notice him but this always fails. His streak of losing is so exaggerated that it becomes funny after a while. Naturally this is leading up to a character arc but don’t expect things to ever go very well for him.

From all of the Kemco games this one may have had the most romance. You have Aurra and one of the villains who shows up, the triangle with Fray, Corune, and Walter, then Fray and another girl who shows up near the end. I was glad the final one didn’t really go anywhere (As of the normal ending) though because that would have felt like a very big rebound. There are some circumstances that make this unique but I still don’t think it would have been a good idea. The main romance isn’t too bad I suppose, at least it’s given a whole lot of time to develop. It’s why Aurra’s romance with the villain isn’t nearly as good since it doesn’t have that kind of development.

Now when it comes to the gameplay you have the excellent turn based system that Kemco games are known for. It certainly does not disappoint here. The fights are fast and the attack animations are on point. You can’t turn them off this time around but you can still use auto battle which is good at least. The A.I. is a step down from other games though so you won’t want to rely on it too much. There isn’t a whole lot of grinding needed to complete the game this time around though so that’s not much of an issue. You will just need to use a lot of good tactics as you decide how to play each battle.

I found the status effect moves to be really helpful in this game. I would usually run a status combination for my first 4 turns. (Attack up, Defense up, Enemy attack down, Speed up) That would set me up really well for the next attack. As for the hub world, your characters move really quickly which is good. You can also set a speed formation which lets you run away from pretty much any battle because your character should always move first. Now that is what I’d call an extremely useful formation.

Now what did I mean about dead zones? Well, there are quite a few times in the game where a cutscene will end and you know a boss fight is coming up. The issue is that at this point in the game you cannot leave the castle to go train. So your only option is to fight the boss but if you aren’t strong enough to win then you will be stuck. Your only option is to start the game over from the beginning. That’s what a true dead zone is and this game has quite a few of them. I ended up having 3 files going on at the same time as backups just in case. On one occasion this saved me because there was no way I could have possibly beaten the boss without a lot of level ups.

A dead zone is really a design issue. I think it means this game could have used a little more playtesting. I definitely would have been dismayed if I had to restart the game after being near the end but fortunately that didn’t happen. Beyond that, one element that’s a bit weaker than the other games is that you can’t land your airship just anywhere here. You have to land in the water so you will often have to walk a bit more than would usually be necessary. Not a big deal or anything but it just feels like a really random change. I don’t see why the airship was changed from all of the other games.

As always the graphics are definitely on point here. The level designs are great and I like all of the different attack animations. The character designs are good too so I have no issues here. Naturally the soundtrack is also great with all of the usual catchy beats you find in these games. This one definitely doesn’t falter and you will really enjoy the boss theme.

As for replay value, well the game does have a post game story for the true ending. The main campaign took me almost 20 hours so I imagine the post game will probably be around 1-3 hours of bonus content. I’m sure it will be difficult as well so throw in some extra time for grinding and this is a game that should last you for quite a bit. A lot of story happens throughout so you should be satisfied. You can also go after the Platinum which doesn’t look all that difficult for this game. That would be a fun way to get some extra play time in.

Overall, Alphadia Genesis is definitely a great game. The story is engaging and really tackles some pretty intense themes. The story can be happy, dark, light, serious, etc. As an RPG it succeeds in really telling a complete story from start to finish. Throw in a likable group of characters and you have an adventure to remember. While the dead zones get tricky and parts of the gameplay aren’t quite up to Asdivine level, it’s close enough where it doesn’t hurt the title. Even if it’s not a 100% replica, Kemco games are so far ahead of the curve that this one is as well. I’d definitely be up for a sequel to this game regardless of how the true ending plays out. Seeing the characters again would be fun.

Overall 8/10

Alphadia Genesis Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 18h 7m
PS4 Trophies 24/34

Character Levels

Grande 52
Fray 52
Corune 51
Walter 52
Enah 51
Aurra 52

Total Steps 242718
Enemies Defeated 1331
Energi used 2037
Break Skills 1871
Assists 45
Max Damage Dealt 15645
Max Damage Received 7280
Max Hit Count 29
Max overkill 8
Total Money Spent 1884050
Treasure Chests Opened 113

American Made Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film below. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version may be more negative

American Made is an interesting film about trying to play all of the sides for as long as you can. Ultimately this will pretty much always lead to ruin so the movie’s really about seeing how far he can go with this. The film is based on a true story but loose enough where I figure I’ll still do a review here. It would have definitely been something if all of this had really happened.

The movie starts off by showing us that Barry is already in the illegal business of smuggling cigars to people while on his flights. This catches the CIA’s attention and they remind him that stealing and smuggling is okay as long as it’s for the good guys. They will pay him poorly to smuggle a lot of things for them. Barry accepts although it’s not like he has much of a choice. When he arrives at the gang hideout with the items, they convince him to start smuggling for them. Why not right? Then the DEA wants a piece of the action and before you know it Barry is working for all of the good guys and bad guys. It’s going to be rather difficult to get out of this predicament.

Barry’s a charismatic guy and that’s really how he has lasted so long in this rough business. as always it is a matter of time before someone catches you when you’re cutting corners and committing crimes but he would have been caught sooner if he wasn’t so smooth. At the end of the day he just really wants to be rich and doesn’t even hide the money all that well. When he starts raking in the cash there is so much money that it’s flooding the house, the family gets a super big house, a pool, etc. Barry likes to live large and in charge that’s for sure.

He’s a fun lead even if he isn’t heroic. That’s good since a film like this really needs a good lead as otherwise you would run the risk of this guy not being sympathetic at all or just rooting for him to get taken down already. As it stands, you’re invested in what is going on here. The cast is rather small though. I mean there are quite a lot of side characters but for the main ones it is relatively self contained. You’ve for Barry’s wife Lucy who isn’t really thrilled at all the secrecy initially. It’s not like Barry told her about his new job at the CIA so when he just vanishes like that it isn’t easy on her.

In one scene she even throws away all the food he brought home. It’s an emotional moment of course but I always feel bad when that much food is tossed aside. It had to be a lot of work to get that and you can’t let good food go to waste like that right? I dunno, I thought the food could have at least been saved. Otherwise Lucy takes it all in stride once Barry actually explains things. She cracks a bit near the end with the jewelry but lasted well for most of the journey.

Her brother JB is one of the most annoying characters in the film though. He’s just here to complain and get a free lunch. He doesn’t contribute at all and makes the worst decisions possible. You definitely know he’s doomed by the end as he starts creating a lot of scenes and even attempts some blackmail. Game over JB, that’s the match.

Barry’s boss Schafer was fun though. He may seem rather slippery and untrustworthy but from the start you get the feeling that he will act as if he has no knowledge of Barry if things go sideways. I would say it’s one of those things that is just understood. Naturally he also gets to take the credit so Schafer really has it easy here. At the end of the day he never has to go into the field or take any of the risks. All he has to do is claim the spoils at the end. It’s a really good setup.

As for the two main weapon/drug dealers who worked with Barry, they seemed nice enough. Of course you never quite forget that they are villains. It’s one of those things where they don’t act overtly evil but just knowing what they are doing shows that they aren’t exactly the good guys here. That pretty much wraps up the cast, it’s a fun group of characters I’d say. Definitely couldn’t consider any of them to be weak ones.

Another good aspect of the film is that the movie balances the humor and serious moments rather well. There are quite a few scenes that should at least have you crack a smile. Barry coming prepared with the Baseball bat after being robbed the first time was definitely a solid scene. Even when things aren’t going well for Barry there’s always a humorous undertone surrounding the movie. It was executed quite well and the movie already had good pacing as it was. Throw in the solid writing and a film that could have easily been more on the dull side ended up being a lot more interesting.

Overall, American Made was better than I expected it to be. I wouldn’t say it had any serious weak points to it. It’s not like I would say the movie is great or anything but there wasn’t a point during the experience when I was bored. It just passes on by rather quickly and you should be satisfied at the end of it. I think in some ways the movie could have gone a little more all out with how crazy it could be if it wasn’t trying to be based off of a true story though. The ending was rather intense though and it does seem like the gang has a whole lot of influence. Even the whole thing with the courts felt like it was rigged for Barry to fail.

Overall 7/10

Shiningman vs Diddy Kong

Suggested by Sonic Diddy Kong has his cannons and has a decent amount of mobility as well. That should definitely help him out quite a bit here. That being said, Shiningman was able to take Whaleman down. We haven’t seen a lot out of him but his base speed still seems better than Diddy’s. Diddy has a lot of tricks up his sleeve but at the same time I don’t see him having the physical abilities needed to take SHiningman down for the count. Shiningman wins.

King Bob Omb vs Jack Frost

Suggested by Sonic King Bob Omb is a tough villain and someone who even gave Mario a run for his money. That said, he doesn’t have any long range options which hurts a lot against a guy like Jack Frost. Jack can spam some ice blasts at him and that would really be the end of the match. King Bob Omb isn’t fast enough to dodge the attacks nor is he durable enough to tank them. In the end that means he will eventually go down and would need a speed boost to compete. Jack Frost wins.

Dr Manhattan vs Presence

Suggested by Sonic The Presence may be a very intense cosmic being but we haven’t really seen the guy get up close and personal in the fights. Dr Manhattan has actually shown up to take down the Justice League at one point and has used many different abilities. Ultimately that is why the Presence will not be able to compete, he just doesn’t have those kind of combat abilities. Dr Manhattan wins.

Clockman vs Waluigi

Suggested by Sonic Waluigi is talented at many sports and has really made a bit of a name for himself over the years. That said, his reign of terror is just about up. Clockman has time manipulation and can fire off some rather sharp blades. Throw in a laser and Waluigi is just completely outclassed. He has no speed feats that would enable him to dodge such an onslaught of attacks. Clockman wins.