7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Dagedar Review


It’s time to look at a very obscure racing game known as Dagedar. I’ve had this one on the backburner for a very long time because it was just hard to get into the game. I couldn’t even beat the first level for a super long time. It doesn’t help that the only way to clear a level/tournament is to win at least 3/5 races. The game doesn’t really help you out with learning the controls so that’s something you’ll need to figure out on the fly. Interestingly it’s the kind of game that gets easier as you play it since you just need a fast car in order to win. It had a very shaky start, but I suppose it was okay by the end.

So there aren’t too many modes to play in this one. You can jump into the Grand Prix adventures or go to Time Attack. I believe there is also a multiplayer option but good luck finding someone else who has the game. Time Attack can be fun if you want to train and it also helps you unlock Dagedar along the way. I was able to unlock one by beating one of the levels which helped me go back to the Championship. Naturally the championship mode is where you will be spending most of your time as you aim to become the best of the best. There are 7 tournaments which each have 5 races so that’s a lot of track to cover.

Technically each stage is only around 2 minutes long so you could theoretically beat the game in less than 3 hours. However, as I mentioned the game is extremely difficult. It probably took me about 5-7 hours just to beat the first tournament. I had significantly less trouble with the other tournaments. They finally got tough again near the end, but by then I had played enough of the game to have a pretty good idea of what it was all about. I had taken the game to the brink of what it could offer me. The levels also started to become pretty similar by then and the only way it could get tougher was to mess with the tracks. Eventually they would start reversing or you would have to do very precise jumps. Mess one up by hitting the electricity and catching up to the other car would be nearly impossible.

Lets backtrack to the gameplay real quick. You move by moving the control pad of course and you can jump with the B button. You also have access to a boost button which you get from orbs in the road. I recommend using them for the big wheels you have to enter like the song games as the extra speed will make them a breeze. Once you get a fast enough car as long as you play well victory will be guaranteed. That’s where the tight turns and such come in. At the end of the day it will all be about your fundamentals and how good you are at the stage. Just try them out in Time Attack until you’re comfortable enough to win. Since there’s no story mode or anything like that I didn’t feel much pressure to do so, but if you really want to prove yourself then this is a good game to do so.

As far as the graphics are concerned I would say that the game looks pretty decent. It’s nothing award winning or anything or that nature, but it gets the job done. You can typically see what is going on except for when the game is being cheesy and you don’t see a trap until it’s too late. The soundtrack is super generic though and I guarantee that you won’t even remember a single tune by the time you finish. Naturally the budget just didn’t seem to go into the music department at all which is a shame. Perhaps for a sequel. (Heh…as if a sequel would come out)

I suppose the game does have a good amount of replay value though. You could easily get 10+ hours in this game trying to get all of the Dagedar and clearing all of the tournaments. If you take to the gameplay better than I did you could certainly clear the game quicker, but don’t underestimate the difficulty level of this title. It’s not the kind of game that you can just pop in and clear with your eyes closed. It will definitely take a lot of skill and finesse to get the job done here. It’s a good challenge though and one where practice is rewarded.

Overall, Dagedar is one of those racing games that takes a lot of time to really get going. At first your car is simply too slow and the computer goes through the course almost perfectly. In fact, I’d argue that the A.I. plays at the same level for all tournaments. The only difference is that once you get a car that is faster than the A.I.’s it no longer matters quite as much. Don’t worry about the control stat since it doesn’t matter much and just go for pure speed. As long as your reaction times are on point you will then be able to blow your opponents out of the water. You’ll also enjoy the game a lot more. If you can find this game for a few bucks then it’s worth taking the plunge. If not, just buy a better racing game like Mario Kart that also has a lot more replay value.

Overall 6/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Cars 3 Review


It’s time to take a look at the end of the trilogy. Cars had a good run as there aren’t too many Pixar films that have gotten two sequels. That being said, while the final installment is pretty solid, I’d still say that the original Cars is the best one. This film just had one thing that went against it, but it was a fairly big thing, the ending.

The film starts off with Lightning McQueen in a big race. He is at the head of the pack as per usual but then he is passed by Storm, a new kid on the block. The kid claims that he used to look up to Lightning, but that the main character is just too old to compete nowadays. He throws a lot of age related burns Lightning’s way and the lead pushes himself too hard as he tries to catch up and ends up getting into an accident. This leads him to stay out of the races for a few months, but nothing can keep Lightning down for very long. He decides to get back into the races and to do that he will have to use the latest training tech. His sponsors were bought out by a millionaire who loves the high tech stuff, but he may not be quite as nice as the older guys. At the end of the day, Lightning is going to have to prove that he has what it takes to get back on the track and claim victory.

The theme of the main character getting old and being surpassed by new talent is certainly a tried and true one. Rocky is certainly well known for doing it. We even get a lot of training for Lightning as he tries to get better although the film fumbles this part a little. Lightning’s personal trainer, Cruz decides to follow him and she doesn’t believe that he has what it takes to go all the way. As such, Lightning spends most of his time helping her out instead of actually training. He doesn’t get much faster than he was so in a way old and actually ended up winning this time. Lightning looks good during the final race but he doesn’t end up winning so that’s too bad. It’s not like he got a clean win in the first film either but at least it was obvious he was going to win and the crowd reinforced this. In this film Lightning was only projected to make it to the top 10 before he tagged in Cruz. To be clear, the point of this part of the film is that Lightning couldn’t train as much as he wanted too so that was the film’s intention. I just say they fumbled the ball because the plot took a different turn than I had been hoping for. I wanted the hype comeback story where Lightning wins and then I’d be fine with him retiring. Having him put it all on the line one last time would have been exciting. Maybe Lightning would have been able to take 1st or maybe not. We’ll just never know. As the ending played I thought that Lightning and the trainer would both be competing but under different teams. That would have been neat.

The animation is as solid as ever. The film’s definitely does a great job with all of the car designs and I still crack up at their facial expressions. Throw in the grins and you are constantly entertained. The racing scenes look really nice and the music is also pretty good. The film has an actual soundtrack which is nice. Cars 3 definitely did a good job on all the technical levels. Even the way everyone says “Lightning McQueen” is a lot of fun. I don’t know why but they always seem to taking a jab at him with the way they stretch out his name but maybe I am overthinking it.

As expected the writing is also really good and is a considerable upgrade from the last film. It is just really great to have Lightning back as the lead. He does a great job of looking like the seasoned veteran you would expect him to be at this point. The mind games don’t really work on him at this point and he doesn’t take his training for granted. Even his depression phase was quite small and he snapped out of it very quickly. I do think it makes the initial teaser very misleading as the crash wasn’t nearly as bad as it implied, but it was a good misdirect. After all, the crash still did happen so it certainly wasn’t false advertising. It’s probably safe to say at this point that Lightning is one of Pixar’s best leads.

The supporting cast is solid as well. They brought back Lightning’s rival from the first film and he definitely does not like Lightning any more than he used to. In fact I’d say his aggression has only increased with age and he takes numerous shots at McQueen whenever he is on the air. His segments are definitely a lot of fun and certainly is a highlight of the film. What you have to respect the most about this guy is that he isn’t trying to put on some kind of act. He is straight forward about how he doesn’t like Lightning and I dare say that he is the most enjoyable character in the film. It just doesn’t get better than this guy.

The new villain is also pretty solid. Storm thinks that the younger cars are the ones who should be on top of the circuit and is always throwing insults at Lightning based on his age. He has a great design and his speed is certainly the real deal. The scene where he is training and passes a hologram of Lightning is a lot of fun as well. Jackson is arrogant and extremely confident. Those are definitely qualities that you always want in a villain and he pulls them off very well. We have yet to have a bad enemy racer for Lightning which is pretty impressive. All 3 opponents were fun villains. At least this one doesn’t play dirty til the end so he did win all of his races with skill.

Finally we have Cruz. I’m afraid that her character was a bit of a miss since the movie tries to portray her as a prodigy with the oblivious nature of Mater. This isn’t a good combo for many reasons, one of which is that these character traits really clash. You can’t be someone who really knows what to do on the track and also not have any real common sense for new roads. When she heads to the beach for the first time she has absolutely no idea how to drive. Cruz can’t turn and falls in every puddle. She is exaggeratedly bad at being a racer despite earlier scenes making a point of showing that she was great at the simulator. Then she is supposed to be a great trainer who is great at helping any car get to the next level. She individualized the training for each car based on which obstacles they had which prevented them from getting to the next level. Yet, she could not do the same for Lightning and instead seems to be trying to sabotage his chances of being ready for the race. Perhaps the angle that the film was going for was that she was such a big fan of Lightning that she really did think he was too old and didn’t want him to tarnish his legacy. That theory is a bit of a stretch though and either way it doesn’t really help her case. The part of her character that had the most potential was her dream of driving but even that is a little murky.

When this plot was first introduced I figured that they were going to say that Sue wasn’t able to be a racer because girls weren’t allowed at the time or in her district. It would have been very disappointing for her and would have been a legitimate reason for her to have hung up the tires in place of being a coach. Instead, she was simply intimidated by the cars and quickly gave up. It’s hard to be sympathetic to her plight because it sounds like she never even gave it a second go. She couldn’t have been all that excited to be a racer if she gave up on her goal so quickly. At least for me, this twist weakened her story.

I should wrap up this section or it’ll start to be as long as the rest of the review! This is just my explanation for why her character was ruined out of the gate. Her personality and what we knew of the character completely clash with each other. She appears to be smart and competent in some scenes and not so much in others. You’d think that the film switched writers midway or at least made some big changes to he character. As for the other supporting characters, they were okay. We got a group of older cars who help Lightning get ready for the race with some motivation and a track for him to ride on. They don’t appear too much of get much of a role, but they seemed like solid characters. The other cars back home got their cameos in as well.

The only relatively weak part of the film is when the gang heads over to the underground racing arena where they fight a Magic School Bus homage. It’s not so much that this is a bad scene but it basically feels like filler and I didn’t care for any of the characters there. This was also during the phase where Cruz was pretty annoying. I suppose it was a good way of showing that Lightning is proficient in all kinds of races, but that probably could have been handled better.

Overall, Cars 3 is a good way to end the trilogy. If the story does end here, it’s not such a bad way to end off. Lightning still should have won the race and that would have solidified this as a great film and the best in the trilogy, but I suppose you can’t win them all. If you’re looking for a fun racing film with a good lead then you have come to the right place. What really makes Cars 3 so solid is the fact that the writing is certainly on point. It’s an enjoyable film even when not much is happening because the dialogue is good. That being said, the pacing is pretty quick for the most part. I would definitely recommend this film. It’s an all around solid movie.

Overall 7/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Cars 2 Review


Cars 2 is definitely a sequel that never hit home with the fans the way that the first did. There are quite a few reasons for this, but the biggest one is that Lightning McQueen has been dethroned as the main character in favor of his comic relief sidekick, Mater. This is a huge downgrade and while Lightning still has a fairly big role, his scenes mainly remind you how great the film would have been if it had stuck to that.

The film starts off with Lightning McQueen finally coming back home in order to relax for a bit before the races start up again. He hangs out with the gang and looks forward to a good time. Unfortunately, Mater notices a car named Francesco mocking Lightning on a radio show and tries to defend him. Mater does such a terrible job that Lightning has to defend Mater and it forces to step back on the track in order to prove himself. Mater may have gotten Lightning into this, but it’s up to our favorite race car to get himself out. The only problem is that Mater is sacrificing Lightning’s chances to win at every turn. Can McQueen still pull out one last win?

As I mentioned, the film is quite good when Lightning is on screen. He has certainly kept his development from the first film and doesn’t regress in any way. He is now the experienced veteran that you would expect him to be and he even won 3 World Championships off screen. McQueen coming back to visit for a while instead of entering more races also shows what a quality character he is. When Lightning is forced to go up against Francesco, it is a very tense race because both of them are champions in their own right. It’s also a fun all star race because there are a bunch of other cars who are known from various other countries and are competing in this race. While it’s clear that the main two racers are far above the others, it’s a good way for the film to raise the stakes. It’s a natural continuation of the first film’s plot and Lightning is already established as a good enough character where you definitely want to root for him. While he’s not an all powerful race car on the track and Francesco is actually faster when going straight, Lightning pulls out everything he learned from racing in the town and that gives him a really good edge by the end. Then Mater’s bad advice makes Lightning lose the race and we’re reminded that this epic plot is only the subplot.

The main plot actually follows Mater as he helps out two secret agents known as Holley and Finn. They have to stop someone from blowing up all of the cars in the Grand Prix. The two agents think that Mater is actually someone else since the actual agent put his tracker on Mater in a last ditch effort to keep the intel from the villains. The problem is that Mater isn’t very smart and the agent still did end up dying. It’s a rather brutal scene and it’s definitely a big contrast to the rest of the film. The whole movie is so light hearted otherwise and you’re not supposed to give the poor agent a second thought, but it still is quite sad. Mater could have saved him if he was a little smarter.

Again, this is where Mater will likely lose you. You’re supposed to root for the guy since he means well and by the end of the film he realizes that he has to get a little smarter. That would be fine, but the problem is that he is a little too over the top for you to actually buy into it. The film does wipe away his biggest mistake of making a mess all over the carpet with a plot twist, but he’s still just a really bad character. He certainly isn’t someone you can root for, that’s for sure. The plot is rather predictable as the characters naturally find out the truth about him at the end, but by then it’s too late. Mater is easily the worst character in this film and I took it personally right when he sabotaged Lightning’s first race.

The two agents aren’t bad though. Holley is doing her best to complete this first assignment as a field agent, but is having a hard time since Mater just thinks she wants to be with him and nobody is taking her seriously. It’s a pretty rough time for her, but she does her best to keep her composure and still
save the day with her gadgets. Finn is the other agent and he’s a veteran who has been in his share of fights. He definitely knows how to use hand to hand combat even though he is a car and while he is completely fooled by Mater’s act even more than the rest of the characters, he also ultimately decides to be Mater’s friend anyway.

The action scenes are fun and the homages to James Bond work well. See, the film’s humor isn’t all that awful. In fact, when Mater isn’t around it can actually be pretty enjoyable. It has a nice blend of quick lines and situational humor. It’s just that Mater makes everything dial it up to a 9. This wouldn’t even be a bad thing if he didn’t have to end up saving the day at the end. That’s really what makes the whole thing cheesy. A good example of an exaggeratedly unintelligent character is Knuckles from Sonic Boom. He pulls off the role because it’s not like he’s actually some kind of excellent secret agent or anything like that. In fact, things with him don’t even end up panning out all that well most of the time. It makes the whole plot feel a lot more natural and wholesome. Mater is just given way too much credit.

As far as rivals go, Francesco is rather generic. He’s really just here to fill in the role of the mean rival car. He doesn’t actually do anything past the role, but he doesn’t do anything wrong either. I definitely didn’t mind having him around and seeing more of him would have probably been fun. It’s just a shame that Lightning’s supporting cast is always around to embarrass him and hurt his arguments. Even Sally looks really bad in this film so I can see why Lightning just takes the pit crew with him and leaves his other friends behind. They’re not exactly morale boosters.

Some of the situations also seem a little forced for the plot. Lightning would certainly know better than to get off the road when Mater tells him too. This is for 2 reasons. One, Lightning can see that it’s a straight path ahead and since he knows that you should never turn in such a situation he should have just ignored the advice. The bigger reason is that prior to this Mater had already been rambling into the intercom as he chased after Holley so Lightning could easily put two and two together to know that Mater likely still wasn’t talking about him. There’s no way he should have actually ended up losing that race. Lightning McQueen had that in the bag.

Well, as expected the animation is still pretty sharp. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it looks better than the first film as to me they basically seemed equivalent, but they’re both of really good quality which is the important part. Pixar doesn’t hold back here and the character models for the cars are good. As we finally got some action scenes here as well, we got to see how Pixar would handle them. I’d say that they worked out pretty well. On the technical side of things this film certainly aged pretty well.

Overall, Cars 2 is a decently fun sequel to the original Cars, but it is definitely not quite as good. You can certainly tell that they chopped the quality down a few notches for this one and I don’t know what they were thinking with Mater. If the main character had been Lightning and his plot was the focus then this film would have been a lot more fun. Even the ending keeps the film from going strong as Holley’s personality flies out the window as she likes Mater for no reason (Again, the film is giving Mater too much credit even though most of this situation is his fault) and Lightning doesn’t even beast Francesco in the end. Was a clear cut victory too bold for the writers to pull off? Those mistakes are definitely regrettable, but at the end of the day you should still enjoy this film. It’s a fun enough movie to watch and the pacing is good so it flies by. It has a good amount of replay value and at least I thought the set up and presentation for the big tournament was great. Whenever the subplot is happening, the film is at its height.

Overall 6/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Cars Review


It’s time to look at one of the more well known Pixar films. This film got a bunch of comics, games, several movies, spinoffs, etc. It just got really big and that’s definitely cool for the series since this film is pretty good. It’s a fun adventure with some nice racing scenes and is essentially Barakamon’s plot, but with cars. I can’t say that I’ve really seen a whole lot of car racing films, but I’d definitely put this one very high on the list. I can also admit that I did not miss the humans.

The film starts with Lightning McQueen in the biggest race of his life. He is a rookie, but has ascended through the ranks thanks to his legendary speed. While he doesn’t win the big Grand Prix, he makes it into a 3 way tie for first place. A tiebreaker race is announced, but on the way there Lightning gets lost and lands in an old, abandoned town. Only a few cars live here now, but their businesses are dying thanks to corporate interference. A new highway has been built now and so nobody actually uses this one anymore. I feel bad for them, but if you can save 10 minutes then there really isn’t much of a reason to stop there. Will Lightning learn a few lessons about humility and not always taking the fast track through life or will he escape this town at the first opportunity?

Lightning is essentially like Tony Stark. He starts out the film as a very arrogant guy who only cares about himself. He wants to win at all costs and believes that he can do everything by himself. During the course of the film he learns that teamwork is important and that helping people out can be fun. Naturally I liked his more arrogant self quite a bit, but he’s a well developed character and nice Lightning is still a good character as well. He’s still as fast as ever and now he has a real team behind him. I do think this will make it tough on the sequels since I really wouldn’t want his character to regress. We really shouldn’t have too much drama with him because now he’s learned to be a team player and gets along with everybody. Well, it’ll be interesting to see how they handle this in the future installments.

The town is also fairly nice. I do like the fact that they have a court room with lawyers and everything. The court room scene is one of the better parts of the film as Lightning almost gets out instantly but then his plans get ruined by the main heroine of the film. Sally. She convinces the judge that Lightning should pay for the damage that he did to the roads and so the main character is stuck fr a while. He does have the good idea of trying to get out by quickly dashing off, but the town is too clever for this and makes sure not to give him enough gasoline so he runs out in the middle of the desert. These cars turned out to be a lot more clever than Lightning gave them credit for.

There are quite a few characters in the town, but lets talk about the main ones. Sally naturally gets a pretty big role. She has the biggest impact on turning Lightning into a nicer person and gives him a chance. She can race fairly well and apparently is good in the courtroom so she’s a very balanced character. Doc is the judge and an ex racer. He’s a decent character although I do have to question his backstory. He claims that after he was injured people didn’t care about him and it was hard to get back on the track, but couldn’t he simply win his way to the top again? If nobody thought he could do it then it was on him to prove them wrong. As a result I really couldn’t sympathize with this guy. Still, he wasn’t a bad character.

Mater is Lightning’s comic relief sidekick. He is falling apart, but he means well and is a nice guy. There’s nothing really negative about him, but he doesn’t add anything to any of the scenes. He’s really just here to be here. I preferred the truck that drove Lightning around. He seemed like a nice guy and so I’m glad that Lightning stuck with that crew. They may not be rich or anything, but they do seem to care about Lightning and are a group of fun cars to be around. They should get along with the townsfolk based on their personalities.

Of course, Lightning had the two meaner rivals to deal with as well. The King seemed like an all right guy though and his skills are pretty good. He stays at the front of the pack for about 90% of the race and always plays fair. Unfortunately, I guess he expects everyone else to play fair as well since he seemed unprepared for the others to crash into him. He’ll have to improve his skills, but since he’s retired I guess he won’t really need too. The other rival is essentially like Lightning, but a little more extreme and he never got converted. He’s definitely the most serious threat to Lightning and gets a lot of burns in. The film definitely did a good job with the two rivals. It makes the races a lot more fun for sure. Lightning’s visions were also correct since his rival really made the most of the head start while Lightning was busy at the village.

The animation looks pretty solid. I’d say that the movie probably put most of the budget into the first race as it definitely is the most impressive part of the film. The character designs are on point throughout and the final race also looks pretty good. I would have liked more than two races, but I suppose it would have been tough to squeeze more in. As it stands, the two races definitely gave us a good bit of action. Pixar is definitely known for their quality and this film is no exception.

I would have liked to have seen more of Harv though. He never actually appears, but still ends up being one of the most influential characters in the film. The guy knows what he is doing so it’s easy to see why he became an agent. Lightning could learn a thing or two from him since I wasn’t thrilled with the ending. Everything about the ending was good except for one part. In a moment of kindness, Lightning decides not to cross the goal line and instead pushes a crushed car to the end himself. That’s nice of him, but Lightning was right outside the goal line so he should have quickly touched it and then saved the guy. It wouldn’t have even taken a full second and so it wouldn’t have made much of a difference. Why let the rival win when you don’t need too? It’s supposed to be a powerful scene of Lightning finally realizing that winning isn’t everything, but when you’re that close you’ve really just got to grab the win.

Overall, Cars is a very fun film. It’s a very peaceful movie despite the quick car scenes. Fortunately the dialogue is strong and the cast of characters are interesting. It’s a film that is carried along by the quality of writing. This transforms what could have been a mildly interesting film about a bunch of cars talking into a really enjoyable experience. When you think about it, not much happens for the majority of the film since it’s just Lightning hanging around the town, but the film never ends up dragging on. It just keeps on going slow and steady to the finish line. That’s when you know that a film is good. A good film needs action scenes to keep it on top. A great one can be good with dialogue alone. It’s not as if I’m calling this a great movie, but it’s a very good one. It has a lot of replay value and gets a good mix of action and comedy. The humor here isn’t too forced or out of place. It’s given in nice, small doses that work well. If you haven’t seen this film yet, then I’d definitely recommend checking it out. Hopefully the sequels can be as good.

Overall 7/10

3 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

2 Fast 2 Furious Review

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With Furious 7 out in theaters, it’s the perfect time to continue my journey through the series. I can’t say that I was impressed with the first one at all, but this looks like one of those series that gets better as you go along. In theory anyway. This one is certainly more fun than the first film, but it still falls into most of the holes that the first did, which prevents it from ultimately being a good film.

Brian has fallen from the good grace of the police for letting his target escape in the first film. He now has fun in underground racing so he has ironically become the very criminal that he used to hunt. The cops eventually show up with a job for him. He is to pose as a racer for a criminal mastermind so that he can help the cops get some evidence on him. Brian will need a partner and that’s where Roman comes into play. They’re going to need to drive hard and drive fast if they want to win this round!

All right, let’s talk about the improvements from the first film first. For one thing, the racing scene at the beginning totally destroys the scenes from the previous film. The cars were going very fast and the new nitro effects were a lot of fun to watch. The dark background of the night contrasted with the bright colors and made for a very explosive race. It was tough to beat..evidently too tough to be honest. The film could not even come close to matching that race for the rest of the film, but it was still a very epic way to start off the film.

The characters are also a lot more interesting than the ones from the previous film. The dynamic between Brian and Roman can be good at times. Brian is portrayed as an expert when it comes to this kind of operation. After all, he has been through this before back during his cop days. That being said, he starts to lose control of the mission whenever he sees a pretty face. That’s where Roman comes in. He may not be an old pro officially, but he knows how to fit in rather easily and probably does a better job of convincing the villains of their authenticity than Brian. He’s probably not as good a driver as Brian, but he’s good enough.

The film is typically a lot of fun, which is a shame that it fell into numerous holes. Where to start right? First of all, let’s go for the rat scene. Each of these films will probably try to have at least one big gangster moment to show us how evil the villains are. The first one had the scene where the villains forced someone to drink oil and this one has the villain pin a man down and watch as a rat starts to eat through his stomach. It’s a very gruesome scene to say the least. I prefer the classic “Held at gunpoint” trope as it shows that the villain is ready and the hero still knows that the guy is willing to pull the trigger.

Another aspect is still the underground/gangster feel that the films try to have. This results in a whole lot of unfortunate fanservice. The characters wear skimpy attire and are constantly making suggestive remarks. Roman and Brian naturally take part in these shenanigans as well, which is sad. What happened to professionalism? I fear that it died with James Bond and Captain Kirk taking office. It almost goes without saying that we also get language issues and birdies as well. The film should stick away from those things. It’s a writing issue and it’s one of the things that I’m hoping the films can change later on.

That may not seem like a lot of “holes” as I put it, but they are so frequent that there may as well be a dozen issues with it. The film simply can’t control itself. The main villain is also rather unlikable. He’s another guy who’s really just interested in getting rich and getting the girl. I would have preferred for him to have just been a good driver who wanted to get rich the quick way. He would still be a villain, but at least he would be someone that you could get hyped to fight.

The cops naturally look pretty bad as this is Brian’s show. A squad of around 20 cars can’t match up against two and they are constantly crashing. The FBI is fooled by the ole switcheroo tactic and they are also kept out of the loop a whole lot. You have to wonder why they always need to ask Brian for help during the beginning of these films, but the latter scenes show why they need him. On their own, they simply can’t stand up to the gangsters.

The final big scene where the heroes summon hundreds of cars is really the definition of plot hax. I really don’t buy that happening for a second. Getting everyone into the garage and into their cars while also allowing enough space for the heroes to fit in and get their car into the middle? That’s way too unpractical and elaborate to actually happen. It’s worse than the heroes constantly betting hundreds of dollars against each other every day. There must be a gold mine around there that we don’t know about.

I still have a problem with such large areas not being covered by the police as well. With their fancy satellites and FBI guys on the case, you would think that underground racing would really be a thing of the past at this rate. Of course, that probably won’t be the case as long as Brian is on the case. After all, he loves a good underground race apparently.

I was pleasantly surprised by one of the detectives making the right call at one point. After being threatened with the rat, he still managed to assemble the cops to have one last clash. I hope that he got his family to safety first so that he could really focus on this issue. It’s still too bad that the cops weren’t more organized, but at least the detective did the right thing. Hopefully he can live safe and sound now.

My main piece of advice for the series would certainly be to include more race scenes. We only got to proper races and one was just a back and forth route so it wasn’t a true race. Car action scenes are okay, but they’re not even close to being as epic as a race. A real race gets your heat pumping and you become ready for more. If the whole film had been epic races like the intro, it could have bumped it up a star. 1 star may not sound like a lot, but it’s something. Improving the races is simply one element to add to the whole. If it can get everything right, soon it could be one of the best racing franchises out there. (In movie world. F Zero and the famous Captain Falcon own the streets otherwise)

Overall, This film was better than the first one. It’s slowly becoming more of a respectable franchise, but it is really slow going. As soon as it gets rid of the suggestive themes and bad writing, the films will begin to rise up rather quickly. As it stands, none of the characters are actually likable. Brian and Roman are charismatic characters and they certainly have personality, but they’re way too into women, which distracts them from their moral compass as well as their job. I look forward to the FBI appearing to hire the heroes once again. I’m not sure when I’ll be seeing the next film, but eventually I’ll be onto the current one. Then we’ll see if it manages to live up to the hype or if the series has not changed quite as much as I hoped.

Overall 3/10

3 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Fast and The Furious Review

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The Fast and the Furious is a film series that many are familiar with at this point. It is getting close to 10 films at this point and the films are earning more and more money as they go on. The latter ones look pretty exciting, but this film doesn’t exactly start the series on a high note. Some cool races to be sure, but it was lacking in other areas.

There are many people engaged in underground racing and the FBI sends an agent in. The agent’s name is Brian and he must gain the trust of these outlaws and find some proof so they could be locked away. As serious as the underground racing is, the mysterious attacks on truck drivers is even worse. Unfortunately, the agent begins to develop feelings for one of the characters and starts to become friends with the boss, Dominic. Brian may be in a little too deep now!

It is a pretty good premise…well, mostly anyway. The beginning of the film feels like a level from Need For Speed as the newcomer challenges the pros so that he can earn some respect. The night race is pretty good. The visuals are not quite as exciting as its counterparts in Speed Racer and Need For Speed, but this is only the first film so it will likely improve as the series goes on. The races are the selling point of the series after all. If the film had kept that as a focus then it could have been really good, unfortunately that didn’t happen.

The film really suffers from the fanservice and unnecessary scenes of romance/physical pleasure. Most of the characters are in the slums area and they hang out with many shady characters. A lot of attention is drawn to the skimpy attire that the characters wear and it’s all in rather poor taste. This may be underground racing, but I would prefer the film to place the emphasis on the dangerous racing than on the background characters. This is an obstacle that the film never gets around. It simply keeps popping up over and over again.

The main character isn’t likable either as a result since he quickly succumbs to a one night stand. Brian likes the character, but if she is that easy then he should probably reconsider the situation. His final decision is also one that I don’t agree with. Naturally, the film tried to make Dominic sympathetic, but he was still guilty. Do the crime and then do the time. He shouldn’t be left off the hook so easily just because he experienced a sad event back in the day. As long as he stays in such a troubled environment, problems will continue to occur around him. Of course, these two characters were still a lot better than most of the supporting characters, but that isn’t saying a whole lot. None of them were actually likable after all.

The language wasn’t as much of a problem as I had expected given how the characters were interacting. There is still some there, but it was not abundant enough to really warrant much of a warning. You will likely forget about it by the end. The film isn’t very violent either although the scene where the villains force someone to swallow motor oil is a little intense. A guy also gets stuck to a truck, which makes his arm get pretty injured. By and large, it’s still nothing worse than the average action film. Actually, it turns out that the film does have quite a bit of language. With 3 ultimately bad words and a high number of others, the language does actually work against the film. I saw the TV version, which edited out most of the language, but if you end up watching it on DVD or somewhere where the language is kept in, then I deduct the rating to a 2 and definitely advise you to stay away from this title. Check out a good Pac Man ep for fun or some Speed Racer cartoons if you want another racing dvd.

As this is a film with a lot of car action, there is bound to be a lot of plot hax. Driving at high speeds without hitting any other cars when there are a lot of blind turns. The cops crash a lot of course. The biggest scene does not involve a race though, it was the battle against the truck driver. With his shotgun, the heroes should have been doomed from the start. He had a lot of point blank opportunities to hit them and simply breaking would have saved him several times. At least the truck driver won in the final battle, but the casualties would likely have been a lot higher. The first encounter was also pretty suspect as the driver just stood there and watched as he got pwned. I hope that they would put up a better fight if this happened in real life.

The government hangs out in the shadows as you would expect and they show that merely having a lot of resources is not always good enough to solve the case. They only have one special agent on the field so they really are running in blind the entire time. They talk a pretty good game and it is amusing to see their bravado in the midst of such a tricky situation, but the ultimate irony is that they were actually right from the start this time. They pegged it on Dominic from the very beginning and the main character is the one who tried to divert suspicion away from him. So, if you ever wanted to see the government look sort of smart in a film like this…this could be your big chance.

The soundtrack is very fast and lively, but it could still be better. This is one of those times where instrumental just works better. The lyrics are just distracting and while you probably won’t even know what they are saying, it would be for the best if they had just left then out. The actual rhythms certainly work well with the film though.

Overall, The Fast and the Furious is a film that could have been much better than it was. It was plagued by many of the problems that arise in the average film, but to a higher degree than you would expect. The film tries a little too hard to depict how the slums look and goes overboard on making every character unlikable. The racing scenes are typically a lot of fun, but we only get 2 real races in the film. There are a lot of scenes that involve cars in other ways, but I would have liked some more pure races. I am confident that the series will improve and I recommend just taking a pass on this title. If you want some good races, then check out Speed Racer!

Overall 3/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Speed Racer Review

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I finally managed to complete the Speed Racer video game! It’s actually quite fun although it’s the kind of game where you can definitely get worn out with the tournaments. Also be warned that it can definitely induce seizures. It’s rather unique for a cash in and it’s easily one of the best PS2 racing games. I got it for a decent price so I can definitely say that it was worth it and it is one of the final games from my Christmas batch that I had yet to complete. Let’s look at what makes this game cool.

First of all, there is no real story mode, but we do get a tournament mode. That’s a fair trade off if you ask me although I certainly would have preferred a plot. You basically have to play around 30-40 tournaments and each tournament has 2-5 races in them. Unfortunately, a bunch of the tournaments are in the 4-5 range so they can be quite long. That’s my main problem with the game. No matter how fun the gameplay is, staying glued to the TV for 30-40 minutes on one tournament can be quite taxing. Beating the game is definitely a long battle and it will leave you feeling very tired by the end.

The standard rules for the race are set to 2 laps and 12 racers. The 2 laps part may sound pretty great at first, but they still take around 3-4 minutes per track so it still manages to be as long as the average Mario Kart stage..or even longer than those stages. 3 laps would have definitely been too much and even with 2, I think that some of the stages should have been a whole lot shorter. Like I said, the tournament mode basically burned me out so I definitely can’t think about playing this game again for a long time. At least solo, local multiplayer would still make for a lot of fun races.

One of the new gimmicks in this game is that getting to 1st place is only a secondary goal during the race. It’s highly recommended since it helps you get points in a tournament, but staying in the middle of the pack has its perks. You get points by ramming into the other racers and a whole bunch of them when you destroy a car. Every 1000 points gets you 1 real point so if you get 13000, it’s even better than coming in first. The best of both worlds is hitting a lot of cars and still managing to come in 1st, but that’s extremely difficult in the latter stages. I would sometimes come in 11th, but I smashed so many cars that I still got the most points. If you ask me, that’s definitely the best way to go about it. You can juke from side to side to hit the cars or do a spin move if they are right ahead of or behind you. The combat system is a lot of fun to play around with. You also gain energy as you move, which you can use to heal yourself or boost. As for the boosts, you can wait until you have 3 of them and use the ultimate boost.

Be warned that the ultimate boost is great, but it is tough on the eyes. You go so fast that you don’t even need to steer as it just takes you through the course, but the game can’t really keep up. You colors start to turn purple and orange and the screen gets very blurry. You’ll even lose sight of the racers as things start to get loopy and I have a feeling that the developers were just having a little fun there. It’s still something that you’ll definitely want to be aware of if your eyes are weak against flashing lights. They definitely make me feel tired, but my glasses protect me from that kind of thing.

Naturally, this doesn’t speak very well for the graphics. They’re actually pretty decent when they work, but I’ll have to give this area a failing grade. The boosts should not make the screen as chaotic as they do and the game gets way too blurry for me to say that it is acceptable. If not for the graphics part of the game you probably wouldn’t be able to even tell that it is a cash in for the film.

Although, one tip off is the stage selection. Initially it looks like there are a lot of tracks. After all, you are playing on over 100 of them during the tournament mode. The trick is that a lot of the stages are simply recycled over and over again. Some of them are technically different, but just about the whole track will be the same aside from a slight twist. The background and road for most of the stages are identical so there was definitely not a whole lot of effort put into them. It can certainly make the game more repetitive than it would have been with unique tracks. The final two levels are basically the same with the difference being that the final level has opera style music.

Speed Racer’s soundtrack is definitely very good. It’s a little limited to be sure, but it fits the intensity of the races. It’s all very fast and the climatic sounding theme in the final stage is really fun as well. Racing games definitely need a good soundtrack since nobody wants to race with a boring theme playing in the background. Luckily, Speed Racer delivers on this front.

Typically, glitches aren’t a problem in a video game since they are rare occurrences that you may miss when you’re playing the game. That being said, it’s much easier to run through them when you have to play a game for as long as I played this one. It’s not uncommon to just fall through a stage or get launched off the rails. There are many times where you are not supposed to fall off the stage, but you are using your triple boost so you just go flying out of the level. Once I just fell through half of the stage and instantly fell into a big hole over in last place. The glitches still don’t occur too often, but they are certainly noticeable this time.

It’s definitely commendable that the game has so many playable characters. There may even be 50 as I lost count, but you tend to unlock 2-3 per tournament. There are many guys that you’ll never have even heard of here. I stuck with Speed Racer through all of the levels, but maybe you’ll find a character who catches your eye and forces you to change from the famous mach 5. You definitely won’t want to discount the possibility.

For replay value, there really isn’t a whole lot to be found here. Once you beat the game, you do unlock mirror mode so you can play a bunch of tournaments in reverse. You’ll probably find that you’re way too tired to do such a thing after the main mode, but it does add to the game’s length I suppose. After that, you’ll want to hope that you have someone to play the game with since there will be nothing left to do. The multiplayer option is the main reason why I ended up giving this game a 7 over the 6 after all.

Overall, Speed Racer is a pretty fun game. The actual gameplay is really a blast and it really says something about how good it is when you consider how many levels I had to play in this game. The stages are just a little too long, but the tournaments actually do auto save so you can turn the game off in the middle of one if you need too. Knowing this, that actually helps the game a whole lot, but I didn’t find out until the end. It only minimizes the problem though as the stages really should be shorter. The graphics look very sci fi esque, but they’re still too crazy and blurry. The music is good and the character roster is very impressive. If you are by yourself, I recommend the game, but it’ll be a shorter experience. If you have someone to play it with, then this game is definitely one of the ultimate racing titles and you’ll really want to play it. Just watch out for those glitches!

Overall 7/10

8 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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?
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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