Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Magical Dancing Review


Time to check out a dancing crossover manga. It’s always fun to look at a crossover in any media and this is one of those series that I had not heard of before now. It’s not an action series so don’t go in expecting Kingdom Hearts, but it’s nice to see the Disney characters weighing in with their thoughts and tips. It’s a fun mini series and one that I would recommend.

The story follows a girl named Rin who wants to be a great dancer. She is in the same class as the legendary duet Kai and Yuna so Rin gets good inspiration during every class. Unfortunately her dancing abilities aren’t quite on their level yet which puts her in a bit of a bind. Yuna also doesn’t seem to like Rin one bit and even tells her to quit the club. Rin nearly does but then Tinker Bell shows up with a magic book. This book summons random Disney mascots to aid Boo in her time of need. Whenever she is in trouble these are friends that Rin can rely on. Will they be enough to get her atop the winning stage?

At only 2 volumes the series has to move quickly but I must say that it makes a world of difference to have 2 volumes over 1. The extra volume allows for more character development in each of the characters and we also get more Disney stars which is always good. It is a fun story and while it could have certainly gone for a few more volumes you don’t feel cheated out of its potential. I’d consider it to be a page turner. It’s not like it’s got an end of the world plot but the writing is just really solid which makes the experience all the more pleasant. The art is also quite solid which is important. The pages are all very clear and none of the characters are drawn too similarly so you won’t be mixing anyone up here. That is also absolutely critical since some series like to draw a bunch of people the same way and that can get tricky.

As for the characters, the main cast is pretty small, but solid. First you have Rin who is given a pretty tough time at school because she isn’t very good at dancing. She has a lot of enthusiasm, but no matter how much she practices Rin has just never been able to get the hang of the sport. Even Kai is fairly down on her and he’s supposed to be the nice guy. Yuna and the other girls are a lot harsher which is what leads Rin to the book. Rin does admittedly use the book as a crutch quite often in order to save the day, but it’s not like you can become a great dancer overnight. This allows her to buy some time as her skills improve organically. My main complaint with Rin is just that she lets things get to her too easily. She doesn’t really fight back against the other characters and gets walked on quite a bit. I like to think that by the end of the series she has gotten a little tougher though.

I would say that she is a little gullible, but in this case I have to blame the whole class. There is one moment when a bunch of bullies show up to talk some smack. The heroes fire back but then still listen to what the bullies have to say. Why would you do that? They all walked into that trap and I was surprised because literally the entire team was fooled. Fortunately Rin was there to save the day, but otherwise that would have been an embarrassing way to go.

Next up you have Kai who is a little odd. As mentioned, he doesn’t seem all that nice at first in the series but by the end he is very supportive of Rin. I guess he was probably trying to keep up his image, but I don’t know if that’s the best defense. He also makes you feel bad for Yuna because he acts totally oblivious to her and seems to be falling for Rin. Yuna being a bully lowers the sympathy levels, but either way Kai is in a tricky spot. He’s not the best main guy in a Shojo series, but he could have been worse. Then you have Yuna who is considerably better than the average bully character. That’s because she’s not super petty and doesn’t constantly try to sabotage Rin. She may not like the main character much, but Yuna does give her a fair shake. More importantly, Yuna doesn’t go back on her word so when Rin clears the challenges Yuna lets her on the team. Not saying that Yuna is heroic by the end or anything like that, but she’s a quality character.

Naturally we have the Disney characters as well. I was actually surprised at how Mickey acted when he showed up though because he basically just “Noped” out of there as soon as he appeared. Helping Rin out of a tight spot wasn’t really his goal and he always used to strike me as one of the heroic leads. From all of the guest stars he was probably the least helpful. Still, things always tend to work out when the guest stars show up, but some took a more active role in making sure this did happen than others. They also did help Rin learn to take it easy and not always get caught up in the heat of the moment. It’s good advice no matter what profession you’re in.

The ending is pretty open so it’s the kind of title that could easily get a sequel if the author feels like it. Otherwise you can easily imagine how it’ll all play out. If we did get a sequel then I imagine that the rivalry between Yuna and Rin would heat up. Honestly I would prefer that they just stay friends, but that does seem pretty unlikely. That just rarely happens in these kinds of stories even though they have a lot of similarities. So long as Kai exists there will definitely be some tension.


Overall, Magical Dancing is a title that I definitely recommend. There aren’t a ton of dancing titles out there so it’s always nice to have more options. The Disney characters showing up is a nice bonus, but it’s just that, a bonus. The series would have been able to stand up on its own even without them. After all, they are surprisingly the weakest part of the story. They’re fun, but whenever the Disney characters show up the plot has to temporarily come to a halt. Without them the team would have been doomed in the tournament so they were critical in getting Rin to her goal though.

Overall 7/10

Advertisements
Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review


It’s time to look at a crossover that came out pretty recently. I never read the comic although it always looked pretty cool. The film seems to be a pretty straight adaption which is nice and it’s definitely a story that holds up well. I’d consider this to be one of the stronger recent DC films and I’d definitely be up for a sequel since there is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end.

The film starts off with a group of FOOT soldiers showing up in Gotham and stealing some kind of experimental tech. Batman decides to look into it and the next target is determined to be Wayne Tech. He prevents them from stealing the device, but is ultimately defeated by their leader, The Shredder. Batman now needs to figure out how to stop this threat and believes there may be a connection with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They’d better give him some details or he’ll be taking them down.

With a crossover you always want a definitive victor and the film did a good job with that. Batman does fight the 4 turtles and he pretty easily takes them down. The fight is also very early on in the film which I think was a good idea. I like build up for a film as well but I feel like this outcome was pretty obvious from the start (no shade to the turtles) so this just made sense. Batman and Shredder also have a fight with an actual outcome which was cool. I definitely won’t say who won of course, but it was a really solid fight and there were no cop outs. I can’t say I agree with the outcome necessarily but I can respect it. It’s a pretty close fight either way and as a crossover it’s nice to see them battle since they’re both considered to be in the top% of hand to hand fighters in their respective universes.

The animation will take a little time to get used to I’d say. The character designs are a bit off and it’s definitely a step down from the mainstream DC films. Still, it’s probably this way to look more like the comic. Donatello is a little too slim but the others are mostly on point. I’d say that Leonardo definitely had the best design from the 4. The fight scenes don’t suffer from this as the characters just get right into the thick of the action and the fight scenes are nice and extended. There is time for both combatants to really get in on the action. Batman’s fight with the Shredder round 1 is the best part of the movie without a doubt.

This film has pretty solid writing to back it up as well. There isn’t really a weak point here and that’s important. At worst you can say that the breaking into Arkham for the 100th time was a bit old by this point. I wouldn’t have minded sticking to the main plot, but that probably would have made the film a little too short. The scene of Batman deciding that the turtles were getting in his way was also a little forced for drama I’d say. Still, these are extremely minor things.

Batman’s definitely the best character in the movie. He really gets to make the most of his experience and hand to hand combat skills. He may not trust the others much, but at the end of the day he’ll make the right call. Sadly this is one of Damian’s weaker appearances. He just isn’t nearly as skilled as he usually is and only puts up a fight against the Turtles in a bit of a comic relief battle. I feel like in a serious fight he should be able to beat them like Batman. Batgirl doesn’t get a huge role, but she is around for the Arkham battles and helps out. She gets to show off her intellect a lot here.

From the Turtle side, Leonardo’s the best one. He gets a lot of action and is certainly shown to be the most skilled of the turtles. He is always the one to help the heroes make a comeback and also manages to keep his emotions in check when it looks like it is curtains for the others. Raphael also looks reasonably good here. He definitely doesn’t get to have any real wins compared to Leonardo, but he is quick to get in on the action. Donatello and Michelangelo definitely can’t compete. Donatello at least has the planning on his side but Michelangelo is mainly just here for the gags. The comic relief character is usually doomed to be one of the weaker ones in the film.

For the villains, Shredder definitely looked good. It’s always nice to see him in his more serious incarnations. His armor was also top quality to hold its own against Batman’s. (Although Batman’s spikes were definitely shown to be sharper) I feel like Shredder was on the losing end of the bargain though since he has to trust Ra’s to keep his end of the bargain. Way I see it, you should never finish your part of the plan before the other guy has a chance to start his. Then there’s no incentive for the other guy to do his part. Meanwhile Ra’s definitely looks good. I don’t think this plan was his most brilliant one, but he does a good job of making sure it succeeds. He also puts in a pretty good fight which is to be expected since he’s a premiere fighter as well.

There are other sub villains, but they don’t get a huge role. Most of the Arkham guys aren’t even in their right minds since they took the serum. It was definitely a unique choice for the fights, but I think it would have been even better if they had stayed in their normal designs. The Arkham stuff was probably the weakest part of the film compared to the other acts, but at the end of the day it was basically nonstop fight scenes so it was still pretty solid. You can’t go wrong with a good action scene. Naturally the film does get a little violent at times, but it’s never nearly as excessive as some of DC’s other titles. A few people get sliced and diced but that’s basically the extent of it.

Overall, Batman vs the Ninja Turtles is a great film. There’s a lot of action here and a steady amount of good dialogue. I was definitely on Team Batman all the way, but the turtles make for good sidekicks. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I’d recommend checking it out. It’s always nice to have more crossovers get animated and this was a great pick. I’m hoping we get more such titles at some point. Maybe we can finally get the Superman vs He Man movie at some point.

Overall 8/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Billy The Kid vs Dracula Review


It’s time to look at a really old crossover. It’s definitely not a pairing that you would expect. I’d say that it works pretty well, but as expected Dracula does drag Billy down quite a bit. It’s just hard to make a good film involving a vampire and this one really seals the deal there. The film was so close to at least avoiding the animal violence curse, but it couldn’t help itself. It’s not too surprising since Dracula always goes after the livestock, but it hurts the experience all the same. The character cast isn’t the strongest either.

The film starts off with Dracula showing up and murdering a lady who forgot to open her hand to show off the cross. He then catches a break when Betty’s uncle dies and assumes his identity. He has decided to make Betty his bride and starts preparing this devious plan. Fortunately for Betty she has a friend known as Billy The Kid. He used to be an infamous outlaw, but now he works for the common good. The mother of one of the victims is named Eva and she warns Billy that the uncle is actually Dracula. Billy tries to convince Betty of this, but she won’t hear it. How could her uncle…who she has never seen before, actually be a bad guy? She trusts him implicitly and even allows him to talk tough to her maid. (Eva quickly got a position as a maid) As Betty is a pushover Dracula only needs to worry about Billy now. What can a gun kid do against the king of vampires though?

This film definitely does has its share of fun moments so that does help it surpass the usual Dracula fare. For starters, Billy is a fun character even if he is a little too timid and tends to beat around the bush. Once he had a good feeling that the uncle was evil he should have done more about it. Why give Betty the dangerous mission of constantly antagonizing Dracula if Billy really thinks that he wants to do her harm. Wouldn’t it be safer to go after Dracula himself? Also, Billy’s real confident which is good, but he does not have the skills to back this up.

When he fights with the bully he actually gets completely defeated. I have to admit that I was actually pretty shocked by this. It’s just super rare for the lead to just get owned like that. Then even after the doctor was right about literally everything he decides not to believe her when she says that bullets won’t work on Dracula. This leads to another really embarassing moment for the lead as he goes into Dracula’s lair and gets owned. I like really confident leads of course, but you just can’t afford to be getting wrecked like that.

It does lead to a very interesting scene where we find out that Dracula may be immune to bullets but not to the actual gun. Yeah…this doesn’t make any sense but we can roll with it. Dracula gets completely laid out by the hit to the point where he can’t react when Billy puts a stake through him. Ah well, I’d hold it against Dracula more, but this version of him wasn’t all that imposing anyway. Lets put it this way, multiple characters actively work to sabotage him and he never even murders them. I’m glad for Eva and her husband of course, but why wouldn’t Dracula murder them? They kept laying traps (Okay..not “they” the guy did absolutely nothing in the whole film) for him and telling Betty that he was evil. Taking them out is basically villain 101.

Also, Dracula’s hypnosis is at least one power that he’s still got. You’d think that it would be super effective but Betty is actually able to counter it. At one point when they are in the carriage he makes the face and stares at Betty. It is working for a few seconds until she blinks (Finally, someone realized the trick to stopping him!) and suddenly is back to her senses. You’ll have a hard time finding a weaker Dracula than this one. He has teleportation, but never uses it well and even his super strength feels pretty meager compared to usual. When he gets Billy in the choke hold it takes a while to defeat him. I also wonder what the point of the bat outside was since when Dracula died he turned into a mummy anyway and then the bat died outside. Hmmm.

As I’ve hinted, I didn’t like Betty though. You’d think that she would trust her fiance…who she planned to marry in a few days more than a random uncle that she has never seen before right? The fact that Dracula has any say in her household is beyond crazy. Then he literally puts her under house arrest later on. Betty never actually looks out for herself and comes across as unreasonable. I don’t care how far fetched the story is, you’d think that she would believe Billy. Of course, maybe Billy has gotten beat so many times she doesn’t take him seriously anymore. You’d think hat this infamous outlaw would have looked better here.

It’s rare for both characters to look bad in a crossover but that’s where we’re at. The film’s fun, but it does still have the vampire elements looming over it which hurts. The animal violence scene with the lamb comes to mind as I mentioned earlier and blood sucking scenes also tend to hurt of course. Because of that, it’s unlikely that I’ll see another Dracula film that I actually like, but of course I’ll leave the possibility open. The writing in the film was pretty solid for the most part. The characters may make all of the wrong choices, but that just means they weren’t the smartest characters. Even the sheriff seems pretty iffy as he arrests Billy for self defense. You just know that he wouldn’t have messed with the bully if the roles were flipped.

Overall, This film may have not been a total success, but I really love the concept. This is the kind of film that you just don’t see much anymore which is a shame. Taking two popular icons like this and pushing them together is genius. It’s a fun way to get started with the Billy mythos and I’d be down with watching more of his films. The one gun scene that we did get was pretty fun and the wild west outlaw plot can always work pretty well despite the boring backdrops. If you really like both franchises then this is a film that you’ll want to check out. If you’re also not a big vampire fan then I guess you’ll just want to wait til Billy’s in a different kind of crossover film.

Overall 4/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Avengers: Endgame Spoiler Review


It’s been a little while so I think everyone’s had a chance to see Endgame by now. In case you haven’t, well this review is all about the spoilers. I’ve put it in the title and I’m buying time in this intro paragraph so you’ve been duly warned. There was a lot to talk about in this movie. I won’t talk much about what I already mentioned in the other review except for things I couldn’t expand on. Likewise I’ll be skipping the movie summary. In effect this is more of a look-back than a review, but it’s close enough.

The movie definitely did deliver on being a climactic experience to the films building up to this one. It was a nice trip down memory lane when the heroes time traveled to the previous films. I thought it was all handled really well there and I was also glad that the original Captain America was able to beat up the newer more jaded version. The original was always fighting and honing his skills while the newer version didn’t have time for that. Loki escaping during this sequence is also interesting. In a way that doesn’t mean he should appear in the main timeline but with how the film handled Cap then maybe he could.

The basic time travel theory used in the film is like DBZ’s. When you go back in time and make a change it doesn’t affect your timeline, but creates a new one. So that’s why the heroes had to bring the stones to the present and then bring them right back to the old places. It’s a pretty good plan and I also like the time travel theory. If time travel were to ever exist this is how I picture it would work. The main problem is with Captain America. At the end of the film he heads off to the past and then returns to the present as an old man. Based on the rules of time travel established in the film that should not have happened. I’ve heard a lot of theories about it and all, but to me they don’t make sense. He should have returned in a completely different timeline.

The climax is definitely excellent as we get to see all of the heroes duke it out. Of course you do have to hold a little disbelief that none of the heroes dies during this big war battle though. At the very least you’d expect a bunch of the B and C tier heroes to die off. It’s more about spectacle than accuracy though which is fine. Scarlet Witch definitely got her due respect here as she was pretty easily overpowering Thanos. With her abilities having matured this much the writers will have to be careful with how they handle her going forward. Likewise, Captain Marvel was also dominating Thanos when she showed up although her role is very small in the film. He also did get a good hit so it’s not as if she is invincible, but I do think it’s fair to say that she is easily the strongest Avenger.

Captain America gets his big moment in the climax with the hammer which was mixed. On one hand it is certainly a really cool visual and it’s a nice pay off for long time Cap fans. On the other hand he looked way too good with it. Not only did he master the abilities, but he was doing a better job against Thanos than Thor was. It was a little cheesy if I’m being honest. Still, the climax is all about seeing everyone’s favorite heroes get their shot at Thanos and the other enemies so I guess it makes sense. Either way it isn’t a climax that you would soon forget and I think that’s definitely important.

We gotta cut away to some of the negatives now though. For starters, the entire Thor plot. Making him incredibly overweight as an easy comedy joke was not a good move. You should never sacrifice character development for humor. Thor has been through a whole lot and always comes out of the ordeal stronger. I don’t see him giving up like this and completely abandoning everyone. Then he’s stuck like that for the whole film which is annoying, especially since it wrecks all of his scenes against Thanos. You just can’t take him seriously anymore.

The first few minutes of Endgame are definitely the best in the sense that all of the potential was still there. Everyone was in their proper designs and we were gonna get the big rematch with Thanos. It was nice to see a peaceful Thanos who was finally the victor. If anything you feel bad for him when the Avengers break into his house and murder him. I think I’m one of the only people who really didn’t approve of this. Thor murdering him was a bad scene for me. Thanos was already defenseless and couldn’t hurt anyone. I can see the heroes taking the kill if it was still in the moment and he had just snapped everyone then it would at least make sense. Like this it’s just an empty scene showing how far gone the Avengers are at this point.

Most of them are just focused on revenge at this point like Hawkeye, Black Widow, Thor, and Captain America. It’s hard to even call them heroes for the opening scene. I’d say that Captain Marvel is at least approaching this from a more emotionless perspective. She’s definitely one of the highlights here though. Meanwhile, Hawkeye is another character who was wrecked. He really went off the deep end here and super suddenly too. Shouldn’t he have at least gone to the Avengers to try and think of ideas? Again, without Ant Man the heroes gave up awfully fast. We know who the real Avenger here is.

Meanwhile, Hulk was definitely a lot of fun. While he doesn’t get any fights and will always be remembered as the guy who got schooled by Thanos, I do like that he has embraced this and doesn’t fight anymore. Now he’s around for the solid humor scenes and giving people lunch. It’s actually handled pretty well and the facial expressions just make him a pretty fun character. I actually wouldn’t mind if he sticks like this.

Iron Man’s ending is handled pretty well too. His character is a bit up and down here as he definitely sulks a lot in the first half, but once the team goes on the mission he’s back to being the charismatic character that he usually is. He does pretty well in the action scenes as well. I do think he had more drive and determination in Infinity War, but the stakes were a lot higher there of course.

Meanwhile Thanos is still a great, but tragic character. From his point of view it’s almost like the Avengers are cheating. He won 5 years ago and now they’re messing with time to stop him. He does a good job of bringing in the whole army to put a stop to this even if the heroes still ended up overwhelming him. Naturally I won’t go as far as to say that I was rooting for him, but he was definitely a great villain and did a great job of taking on whole groups of heroes. It’s really impressive just how much he was able to accomplish on his own.

The film has a lot of “cheer” moments, but there was one in particular that I thought the movie completely messed up. It’s the classic “Avengers Assemble” line that the fans have been waiting for. We finally get it here, but the execution is just weird as Cap says the assemble part really low. I think they were going for a dramatic pause between the two words, but the second should have been delivered with a lot of power. Not the weak whimper that we got. The other cheer moment is handled a lot more explosively as all of the female heroes band together to help Captain Marvel. Sure, this one’s a little cheesy since if anything all those heroines are doing is slowing Marvel down, but it’s the thought that counts. The first scene just didn’t have any energy.

I don’t think Endgame is nearly as sad as everyone makes it out to be since over 90% of the cast have happy endings and it’s still half comedy as with all Marvel titles. On the other hand that’s not a bad thing (It’s probably a good thing) since that means the film doesn’t slow itself down a lot. It also helps for re watches to keep the movie fast paced. The banter and writing are as solid as always and that’s really the core of the Endgame experience. Even if you get annoyed at a lot of the film’s decisions it won’t change the fact that you had fun.

So Endgame ends the era on a bittersweet note. On one hand it is definitely still a very good movie and it does really nail the appropriate tone for such an epic climax. On the other hand, it could have been so much better that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at it as anything but a missed opportunity. There were a million better ways the film could have played out, but ultimately we’re stuck with this one. I also don’t think Marvel will be able to set up such a grand stage again for a very long time, likely at least 6-10 years. Then we may get another shot like this, but in the meanwhile I suppose it’s time for the waiting game to begin. If you haven’t seen the film yet then you should probably do so to help the film claim the #1 spot. You’ll also enjoy it a lot since the storylines building up to this title should already have you invested. At the end of the day it’s impressive how long this movie saga lasted.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 6 Review


It’s time for some more Scooby Doo adventures! These guys have helped quite a lot of people out by this point. They’ve aided heroes like Batman, Superman, and many more over the course of this series. It’s always fun to see how they interact with the other series and evidently many others must feel the same way for this title to have reached 6 trades. This volume is another solid one with a good array of stories.

The first issue has the team come over to aid the Atom in his fight against a ghost who exists on an atomic level. The gang is a little skeptical of a ghost showing up since usually they’re fake. That being said, how could someone put on a mask and then shrink to this size? The Atom gets a lot of hype here as he beats up on the enemies while also apologizing to the gang for not saving any for them. The Mystery Inc also keep their cool here (Aside from Shaggy and Scoob) as they realize what’s up. It’s definitely a pretty solid intro issue and the cool part is that it’s the only one that actually continues to the next.

The gang may have just escaped from their growing problems, but then they meet up with the Atomic Ant. I’m not familiar with the guy, but apparently his thing is that he has super strength and can fly thanks to a jet pack. It’s definitely a pretty handy thing to have up his sleeve. Still, he’s up against a group of monsters so Fred and the others have to think of a way to help them. This one isn’t really a mystery so much as just a team up battle. Daphne has learned how to fight thanks to a book she read during another issue which is a nice bit of character development that stuck. Together they end up having the edge in this fight.

Then we’ve got a team up issue with Huntress, Batgirl, and Black Canary. It’s tough for Huntress because she’s trying to get things done and just take out villains, but the rest of the group is busy dealing with the Mystery Inc comedy shenanigans. She is ultimately forced to play the straight man here as Huntress points out that this is no time for games. The rest of the gang apparently don’t really agree with that based on how they act. Still, the team will have to put their differences aside to save Gotham City, but can they do it? It’ll take all of their skills this time.

Then we’ve got a pretty fun comic with the Inferior Five. The story takes this moment to also bring in a lot of other infamous DC characters. I didn’t even know most of them so that was pretty neat. We finally have a group that is even more nervous than the Scooby Doo gang. There are a lot of other guest stars here as well and the whole thing takes place near a game show so that was pretty neat.

Following that we’ve also got an issue with the Legion of Superheroes. The Fatal Five have struck again and it also seems as though the ghost of Ferro Lad is here to haunt the heroes. He even has a twin brother who seems made up for the series and may have a grudge against the league. This one’s probably the closest case we have here to a full on mystery. It’s also one of the best comics in the collection as we get some fights and the gang looks reasonably good. It’s also cool to see Ferro Lad even if he is a ghost here because I remember reading the fateful issues where he ultimately paid the big price.

Finally we have Yogi Bear show up in another issue. He definitely steals the show here as he tricks the mystery gang into thinking that he is the police chief for a bit. In their defense, they’ve come across so many strange cases that it isn’t even unbelievable for that to be the case. Of course while he is guilty of many crimes it seems as if someone might be framing Yogi. Who would dare do such a thing? Furthermore, who would even want to frame Yogi? The bear seems like a nice guy and you have to make some pretty big enemies for this to happen.

Definitely a solid array of stories here as I mentioned. The art for the issues is also pretty good. The style lends itself well to team up adventures. All of the character designs are on point and it’s very easy to read through the adventures. 6 issues is also a reasonable length for a trade as I see a lot with only 4. You’re definitely getting some pretty good value for your dollar. The Mystery Inc are all in character as well. Naturally the two members who look the best here are Daphne and Fred. Daphne is the team’s best fighter by far and actually does contribute in quite a few of the fights against real villains. Then Fred always sticks up for the team and stands up to the others who try to talk down to them. Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby mostly just hold the team back which is why they should be glad that they have Fred and Daphne at the ready.

Overall, This is a solid collection to add to your pile. Whether you know a lot or a little about the Scooby Doo franchise and DC ones, the stories are very accessible. You can easily gather what is happening right away and then go from there. I definitely recommend checking it out and even more so if you are already a fan of these franchises. I definitely wonder if the series is still going. Hopefully so as there are always more heroes to cross over with. I don’t know when I’ll be reading another comic, but I’ll definitely be ready for whatever it is.

Overall 7/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Review


It’s time to look at the recent Spider-Man film that came out. This one was getting quite a lot of buzz when it came out. It certainly kept us waiting as I feel like the movie was announced ages ago. It’s definitely a very enjoyable movie. I think a lot of your enjoyment for it will depend on what you think of the animation style but regardless the writing is solid and I always do like crossovers.

The film starts out with Miles starting up in a new school. It’s a rather prestigious one so he is a bit nervous at having to say goodbye to all of his friends to make new ones. Still, he’ll make the best of it. Unfortunately school goes off to an awkward start as the only student who was friendly to him gets her hair ripped off thanks to Miles being unable to control the new powers he got from a spider. Then he is forced to watch as Spider-Man falls to the Kingpin. He now has a mission, Miles must destroy the Collider before it is activated again. If not, the whole multiverse will fall apart. Fortunately since it was active for a few minutes he will now have some backup in the form of Spider-Ham, Anime Spider Girl, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, and Fat Spider-Man. Together they will stop the villains or die trying!

I think the animation style is important to talk about right off the bat. As you may or may not know, it isn’t my cup of tea. It looks like an awkward blend of CGI and Stop Motion, neither of which I am a big supporter of. The former can look good at times though while the latter has never worked. For the former, it’s also tough because my favorite style is what’s considered to not look very good. The old Spider-Man 1 game, the Machinima Transformers show, I tend to like CGI like that where the character models are very colorful and retro even if they may not be the most detailed or fluid. The latter just tend to try a little too hard. I think the best CGI are the kind that try to look like they’re anime/traditionally animated while the ones I don’t care for as much try to look very realistic/live action.

This one is more towards the former which is a good thing. I also think the animators did work really hard to do the best they could with this program. The credits along is a good example of something that must have taken a very long time to do. Throughout the movie we get a lot of sudden effects that will pop up as scenes have dozens of jump cuts. These aren’t used to highlight the action though, but typically as visual gags. It’s a style that works really well and I always enjoy it when watching something abridged or a good Youtube critique. Constant visuals like that help get you in the moment. It is something to watch out for if your eyes are sensitive though. The colors happen quite suddenly and keep on coming. It’s almost like a jump scare for your eyes as opposed to your ears. This is especially noticeable when watching in the theater.

Again, this works pretty well for me. I love the constant stimulus but it isn’t for everyone. I think ultimately that helped me get into the film more. The effects were just masterfully done and helped the animation hold up. I also did like the bright colors for the fight scenes. The Prowler chasing Miles around the city for example was quite nice. Even just scenes of the characters walking around like Miles in the opening are pretty crisp. Sometimes it could get a little sloppy like when Peter was eating a burger near the beginning though. Most of the ingredient character models seemed to be pretty iffy at best and I think that scene may have been done in a hurry.

The fight scenes also look pretty good. My favorite moment in the film was definitely when all of the villains showed up in Aunt May’s house. It’s rare that we get a proper group vs group fight where all of the combatants are locked in such a small place like this. Naturally things didn’t go very well for the house, but it was definitely an excellent fight. A shame that it had to end off screen though. That’s always a little disappointing. Nonetheless, the action scenes were always on point whenever they would happen. I would have liked to have seen more of them if anything, but that’s not to say that there isn’t much action here. There’s a good amount so I believe you will be satisfied.

Where the film falters a bit is in its choice of Spider-Man. We get to see the real Peter Parker at the beginning of the film and this is a problem. It’s a problem because he completely outshines everyone else in the film to the point where it isn’t really all that close. He’s the perfect hero and a nice guy to boot. He always wins and has a perfect character arc since he is the Spider-Man from the original trilogy and he actually had a happy ending. Once he’s gone we are met with the main Spider-Man of the other universe. This one is made to be worse in every way. He’s mean, overweight, and just isn’t very professional at all. It’s nice that he’s still pretty confident and all. When he isn’t being corrupted by his cells he actually is decent at times. Still, he can be very annoying until the climax and you just wish the real Spider-Man was here.

The other Spider-Men were all pretty solid though. Noir doesn’t get a huge role but he shines in every scene that he gets. His old school way of talking is always fun and the guy does back up his tough talk. I don’t think he loses a single fight in the film and he probably looks the most impressive. Somehow I feel like he would be the one to not return in a sequel but it would certainly be fun if he did. Then we have Spider-Ham. He’s basically the comedy member of the group, but the film never overextends with him. He gets a few scenes with the gags you would expect, but they’re written well enough. Then we have Penny Parker who is the anime character. I do think the film dropped the ball with her a bit since she actually looked pretty weak next to everyone else. I guess she doesn’t have to be the strongest or anything, but I feel like she was the only one to not really have a pivotal moment. She is low key the smartest of the bunch though as she was able to fix the Goober for the others with ease. Her robot wasn’t quite as likable, but it could fight pretty well.

Then we’ve got Spider-Gwen. She’s a fun character as you would expect. You might have some questions about how she so seamlessly fit into the real world though. Between the constant glitching out and the fact that she’s only been around for a little while it just doesn’t seem all too realistic how she has avoided detection. Well, that’s a pretty minor thing I suppose. Gwen has a good amount of confidence and was a solid addition to the team. I’d definitely be up for seeing her again in a sequel.

Aside from the Spider related characters we’ve also got Miles’ supporting cast. His parents are definitely good characters. They’re written pretty well as affectionate parents who are looking out for him from start to finish. They don’t have any crazy misunderstandings with Miles and while the Dad dislikes Spider-Man he isn’t crazy about it either. Miles’ uncle is also a good character who may not be the most positive influence out there, but makes the right calls when necessary. Miles also has a roommate but the guy doesn’t do anything so we can skip him.

I suppose now’s a good time to talk about the lead. Miles is a pretty decent main character. He is pretty witty from the start and does try his best to be a hero. I’m a little dubious about him wanting to put stickers everywhere even though he knows it’s against the law and has been told several times. It’s a character trait that seems a little bit forced, but I guess it was a good transition to show that his uncle’s influence has gotten to him to an extent. It takes Miles a while to really get into the zone with his powers but by the end he has them down. The film almost starts up a romance for him which is fortunately avoided. I do think Miles didn’t handle that part well at all which hurts him a bit, but he could have been worse about it.

As for the villains, we have quite a few here. Not all of them get a whole lot to do here. One of the main ones is the Prowler who is definitely cool. He has a great costume and fights sort of like the Beetle. Then you have Doctor Octopus although this is a slightly different version than the one you may be familiar with. She’s a good fighter, but not a very interesting villain. The heroes probably should have seen her coming a little more than they did.

Which, I could talk about how the Spider-Sense should have looked a lot better than it did, but I suppose it wasn’t super egregious here. You could also argue that having so many Spider folk in one place may have disoriented it a bit. Kingpin is the head honcho here and the animators definitely had a lot of fun with his design. The guy’s huge and looks like he is some kind of living wall. He’s definitely a fun antagonist and you don’t get to see him go up against Spider-Man all that much anymore. It was a nice throwback to the good ole days.

There also is an after credits scene which is definitely a lot of fun. I’d definitely recommend checking it out. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the next film but it’s just a great moment. i always believe that a film should always have an after credits scene but it needs to be a good scene. You can’t just put something random in or a scene that’s dull. It should have some kick to it and that’s exactly what this film did. It ends the movie on a high note.

Finally, we have the soundtrack. This one I was less crazy about. The songs are all very loud and I wouldn’t say that any of them are all that good. The instrumental battle themes and such are good, but the lyrical songs weren’t really my cup of tea. Nothing that would hurt the experience for you though. You’ll be too distracted by the fact that Spider-Man has a spider cave to give it much thought during the movie.

Overall, This was a pretty good Spider-Man movie. I do think it’s the kind of film that really benefits from a theatrical viewing though as it helps ramp up the effects and everything. There’s a good mix of humor and action in here. The audience was roaring with laughter quite a lot. It was deserved as the humor was pretty good. The gags aren’t typically annoying or anything. As for how funny you find it, that’ll naturally depend on what you find entertaining. The gags are very quick regardless which is always good. Dragging out a joke is something you do not want to do. The pacing is pretty good and the fights are quite excellent so all in all it lived up to expectations. You’ll get what you expect here and that’s a good thing. Hopefully the sequel is just as fun.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

ROM & The Micronauts Review


I haven’t read a lot of ROM so it was cool to see him take center stage here. He shares the main character role with the Micronauts as you would expect but as they are a whole team and he is just one person you can see how calling him the main lead can still be pretty valid. It’s a great comic with excellent artwork and a lot of fight scenes inside. I can safely say that the ROM comics are in good hands if they are like the ones here.

The story takes place after a big crossover event where Optimus Prime and a bunch of other big comic heroes fended off a big invasion. Now the Wraiths have begun to regroup and they are teaming up with the Baron, a big enemy of the Micronauts. They are going to work together to resurrect the Wraith god. Fortunately the Micronauts are on the case. They let ROM know that this is going on so he agrees to help them end the threat. Unfortunately the Autobots are currently busy so this group will have to do. ROM is an accomplished fighter, but what can the Micronauts do? Time to find out.

There’s a lot of action here right from the get go. I haven’t read the previous comics but I felt pretty comfortable with where the story was at. It drops enough little references for you to piece together what happened and what needs to be done. You’re thrown into the thick of it, but you always feel as though you are prepared. Another bonus for a smaller scale story like this is the stakes feel a little more real. I think I speak for many when I say that after the 50th time or so of the multiverse being at stake in DC/Marvel comics it can get a little old. In this universe it feels a lot more fresh at the very least and it’s more of a planetary threat then a universal one.

The writing is on point here. All of the characters seem pretty likable. I’d say that ROM steals the show for me. He just seems like such a great hero. The guy does what he can to save the universe and is focused on being a hero. He can be emotionless like a robot and yet not overdoing it so you can still feel his traces of humanity. He’s also the power hitter that the group needs as he can go toe to toe with any of the other villains in this comic. There’s an advertisement at the end of this collection showing off ROM vs Transformers and I can definitely see how that would be a fun battle. Honestly, ROM would probably have the edge there based on his speed.

That’s not to say that the Micronauts are bad though. They have their own mini robot who is pretty tough. He tends to talk a bigger game than what he can back up though so prepare to see him get wrecked a lot. The others feel a lot like the Doom Patrol or those classic sci-fi groups that would go on various space adventures back in the day. They’re all capable fighters and there’s a lot of history behind them. None of them particularly stand out, but they’ve all got potential to go along with their personalities. There just wasn’t much time to explore their characters with the impending crisis.

I also really liked the villains. Once again, ROM’s side won out here. The Wraiths have excellent designs and their magical abilities make them a legitimate threat to any of the heroes. The high ranking Abstract member can even go through things which is always handy. I think they didn’t need to make a deal with the Baron and come across as a little gullible at times, but I guess technically they did make Baron keep his end of the bargain so it worked out in their favor. Meanwhile the Baron is a cool villain as well. With his armor he looks like the Shredder and his power change ability makes him a tough threat as well. He’s certainly a master strategist and I have to give him some kudos for his plan. It’ll be interesting to see how the Micronauts try to get back at him.

This comic really succeeded in making you invested in both titles. I think a big part of these crossover events that has to happen is a way to get the general audience into the comic. Naturally fans of both series will already be reading it, but what about everyone else? A good crossover event is a great way to get in new readers and I think the writers did a swell job of making sure both series got a lot of representation. Both of them have many exciting adventures left in store. ROM appeals to me more because I love the aesthetic as well as all of the characters in the verse, but both are quite good and would certainly be earning a positive score from me. I don’t know when I’ll be checking out more comics in these titles but if I do you can be sure that I’ll be writing some reviews.

I usually end up talking about power levels a lot in these crossovers but there isn’t much to say. It’s clear from the start that ROM and the characters from his verse are significantly stronger than the Micronaut counterparts. Still, the latter are able to contribute because their small size helps them eradicate viruses pretty easy and they also have experience with the Baron. Shrinking ROM was also a good way to balance out their power levels. If anything I have to wonder how the Micronauts ever handle the Baron on their own because he looks way stronger than what they can deal with. So, ROM and friends may have been nerfed a little bit here, but not much and it was all handled pretty good I’d say.

Overall, This was a great comic. I always love crossovers and this one kept them at the high standard that I am used to. It was cool to see the Wraiths because up til now I never really knew who he would fight. I should also quickly mention that ROM’s two teammates were helpful as well. While they aren’t quite as strong as ROM they are certainly still formidable and should not be underestimated. The fact that these robot hybrids are effectively immortal and self repairing make them very lethal. It’s just such a cool concept behind ROM and I can’t emphasize that enough. Anyway, check this comic out, you’re sure to enjoy it!

Overall 8/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 5 Review


It’s time to look at another volume of the Scooby Doo Team Up series. With a lot of the bigger heroes already accounted for this volume mostly focuses on the less known heroes. That being said, these guys are mainly household names, but just not in the same league as the big 7. As always it’s a fun collection with a lot of fun moments and good pacing. By now you will likely know if this series is your style or not, but I’d definitely recommend it.

The first story has Green Arrow and Green Lantern show up. They have been travelling across America trying to find out what the true nature of the country is. Unfortunately their findings have not been all that positive as of yet and they believe that things aren’t going well for the country. Fortunately the Mystery Inc is here to solve a case and along the way they will remind the heroes that there is always hope. Can this band of adventurers and heroes really help this village visit the outside world though? Yes, part of the plot is that a group of people have secluded themselves in a little village and refuse to go to the outside world but now they are being haunted.

It’s a good first story although the whole thing is definitely a little odd. First off, Green Arrow is just really out of character here. He’s constantly being a pessimist and can’t stop thinking about politics. I also wasn’t crazy about the resolution of the story here. Basically the ghosts were the kids of these people who were trying to scare them into going back to town. The reason is that they moved away but are now lonely without their parents. I mean…they could just visit the parents right? It seems like they wanted everything to go their way and it is never necessarily pointed out that this is the wrong approach. The kids just seemed very entitled.

Then we have a crossover with a Kung Fu dog that I’ve never heard of. Essentially the gang are being attacked by fire breathing dragons who know Kung Fu. Scooby Doo and the gang are usually prepared for anything, but for once they have met their match. That’s why calling in the dog made sense, but unfortunately he doesn’t know how to fight and the Kung Fu was all a sham. I feel bad for fans of this character. Fortunately Daphne knows how to fight which ultimately helps the team make it through this adventure. It’s a reasonable comic although I can’t say that I’m a big fan of the dog. If he can’t really fight then I don’t see how he will be able to help anyone.

A pretty fun story features a bunch of obscure groups. They solve mysteries under the sea, in space, etc. All of the groups have similar costumes and egos. This one is pretty strong because the group ends up insulting the Mystery Inc’s effectiveness so naturally this starts a rivalry. Even if this should be pretty lopsided in favor of the team that can actually fight I always like to see the Mystery Inc talk tough. Fred certainly doesn’t back down from a challenge. If Shaggy and Scooby weren’t constantly embarrassing the team I’m sure their rep would be even better than it currently is. By the end the group managed to pull their own weight though and it was fun seeing all of the obscure DC teams. They all seemed pretty likable and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them.

Typically in all of these stories the heroes are teaming up with DC fighters who are much stronger and better equipped to handle a situation. This next story is the first exception to that. There are a group of alley cats who are always causing trouble. This time they have pretended to make a ghost to scare off the cops. Fortunately this cop is pretty smart and calls in the main characters. They decide to solve the case which puts the cats in a pretty bad spot. Things get worse when the Real Estate agents show up to make a mess of the situation. It’s pretty nice to see Fred and the gang get to tackle some actual ghosts here since that’s their area of expertise. You could argue that they controlled the pace and tempo of this case.

Then we’ve got a story that takes place in the distant past. It turns out that there was an original Mystery Inc who worked in the Wild West. They were called in to deal with a monster, but there is also a fugitive of the law in this place who is being hunted by Cinnamon and Jonah Hex. The guy seems innocent though so the Mystery Inc may have to step in. It’s certainly interesting to see the group operating in the past even if it may seem like a bit of a stretch. I suppose it’s the only way they could team up with someone like Jonah Hex though so it’ll have to do. I’ve never heard of Cinnamon, but it’s hard to tell if she’s real or fake. I’m personally thinking that it may be the latter.

Plasticman also shows up. His sidekick was tricked by a fortune teller into thinking that his days are numbered so naturally he is spooked. Fred and the gang don’t believe that the magic was real since they don’t believe in the supernatural but as bad things continue to happen Shaggy and Scooby lose their nerve once more. It’s a fun enough story and I suppose it’s good for some of the guest stars to be spooked so it’s not always Shaggy and Scooby making their group look bad. Plasticman’s abilities are also pretty useful when he uses them right which the comic has him do.

The art is pretty good for all of the comics and is part of what makes the collection so fun to read. The art is very streamlined and everyone has their iconic designs. You can glance at a page and instantly know what is happening. The art is very clear and the colors are vibrant. Each issue has good pacing and writing within so that each story is able to be told without feeling rushed. As the collection contains 5-7 comics it’s also a pretty good value. I hope to see many more Scooby Doo Team Up volumes.

Overall, Scooby Doo Team Up is a fun series. It’s a nice crossover series that gets to put the Mystery Inc in a lot of crazy situations. While they may not always be very well equipped to handle a situation you always have to give them credit for trying. These issues could easily work as normal episodes in the show which is probably the whole point. It shows that the comic writers know what they are doing here. If you haven’t checked this volume/series out then I definitely recommend fixing that. Everything is basically on point here.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 Review


It’s time to look at the big crossover between the retro Wonder Woman and Batman series. As they both starred in different eras the comic decides to have adventures that take place in both along with a third that he even sooner. It’s cool how the series was able to tackle all 3 eras and even added a sense of continuity by making them all connect to each other in some way or another. If we ever do get a Justice League comic with these characters it would definitely be intense!

The first comic takes place when Batman was still just a child. The Nazi’s wanted to obtain a book he owned that would lead to the Pit of Eternal Youth and many other places including Wonder Woman’s home. Ra’s Al Ghul and his criminal organization also wanted this info. Finally, Wonder Woman and government agent Steve Trevor also showed up to grab it. Batman’s in a little over his head here, but he needs to try and get the book to safety while also looking out for Talia. Although little does he know that Talia can certainly fend for herself as she was already taught much about martial arts when she was a kid.

It’s a fun comic and probably the only time we will see Batman’s parents for a while. Talia was probably the highlight here as it’s a nice look at how she could have been as a hero if not for the guidance of Ra’s. She probably would have been an even better Batgirl than the one we are all used to. Wonder Woman had a pretty easy time mowing down the opposing troops herself. Protecting the kids would probably be the toughest part and even that seemed rather simple for her as well. Even Steve got to contribute a bit.

The middle story has Ra’s make his way to Paradise Island. No man can arrive there without an escort so Batman convinces Catwoman to take them there. The villainess has a rather large role in both the second and third stories as she even gets a redemption arc. Her fans will likely be pleased as she does tend to go back and forth a lot but at the end of the day she always does have a lot of potential for good. Batman is rather skeptical the whole time as he should be, but doesn’t make a scene. He also doesn’t have much choice since she asks for sanctuary on the island and Wonder Woman grants it to her.

There’s not too much to say about this comic as it’s very to the point. The heroes fight with Ra’s and his team. We do get a cameo from Wonder Girl which was cool as she stood up to Ra’s. Naturally the comic does its best to keep Ra’s away from Wonder Woman because he wouldn’t last a second against her in an actual fight. Honestly that’s why Batman’s villains stay back for most of this collection as well. They can give the Dark Knight some trouble, but Wonder Woman? They are of no consequence to her and that’s considering that this isn’t even close to her strongest incarnation.

In the final story we have Wonder Woman head back to Gotham because Ra’s has returned once more. You have to respect the fact that he keeps on coming back for more each time. The guy just never gives up. Unfortunately she finds out that Batman has retired and now Robin is the only fighter left. Wonder Woman can’t accept this and convinces Batman to come out of retirement. Granted, he basically has to make this choice since Ra’s finds out about the Batcave and brings the fight to him. A more serious Bruce Wayne rejoins the fight and it’s a pretty fun climax.

This is the story that ends off the collection and it’s certainly a great pick for it. Aside from the fact that the stories were intentionally chosen in chronological order, it just feels like the most epic adventure from the 3 with the highest stakes. Ra’s is finally taken out of the equation as well so in theory the heroes no longer have to worry about him. That will certainly be a big relief for them.

The characters were all on point as you can probably guess. I’d say that Wonder Woman looks the best here as she looks out for humanity and saves the day many times. Batman isn’t as impressive since he gave up at one point, but did recover quickly and beyond that he looked solid as always. Robin still tries hard whenever he pops up and it was nice to see him as Nightwing. He deserves his share of respect at that point since he is a veteran and the heroes give it to him.

The artwork looks pretty solid throughout the issues. The character models are on point and the action scenes look nice as always. It’s not quite up to par with the mainstream DC adventures but it does a good job of recreating the look of the old shows. The panels all stand out so it’s always easy to see what is happening at a glance. Even though there is quite a lot of pages in this collection, it will all be over very quickly with how solid the writing and pacing are. This will come to no surprise as both individual series were always very good in these two areas though. If anything the writing is why these titles got so big in the first place.

Overall, This collection hits all the right notes. It’s a crossover where both heroes get a lot of tim to shine. It’s definitely interesting to see a more serious Adam West here even if you will miss the light one from the second story. I suppose that is definitely setting him up to play the role of Batman in Justice League as one more people would be familiar with from newer stories. That or since he was re inspired by Wonder Woman, he will go back to his usual style in time. Either way, hopefully we actually do get a Justice League story soon. That would definitely be a lot of fun.

Overall 8/10

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Reviews

Blazblue Cross Tag Battle Review


It’s time to take a look at one of the most eagerly awaited games of 2018! The instant that the first teaser trailer came out I knew that this was going to be an all star title. RWBY characters were finally getting a chance in the spotlight and I was also finally able to experience the Blazblue fighting style. Needless to say the game is a blast. Unfortunately while the game was expected to be relatively low budget, I still did expect a little more than what the game had to offer. It’s a great title, but perhaps one that I cannot call masterful.

The premise of the game’s story is that every character from 4 different worlds have been kidnapped. Each world gets 4-8 different fighters who compete in a big tournament to decide all of their fates. The champion must grab all 4 of the Keystones and make it to the end. Sounds simple enough, but will this mysterious cosmic being really let them go so easily? You typically can’t trust these mysterious characters. Most of the characters here just want to fight so don’t expect most confrontations to end calmly.

There are 4 stories, one for each of the various series in the game. The stories have 8 battles within them and a general story in the background. Blazblue is the only story with multiple endings though. The stories are fairly quick at around 70 minutes each and only around 10 if you skip cutscenes. The cutscenes are pretty long and have voice acting which is great but each character only has 1 stock pose. This means that characters look like they’re about to fight in every scene even when it’s a peaceful discussion. The most obvious example of this is the Persona character whose illustration shows her throwing out a kick. You see this same kick for every single scene she is in. Most games come with at least 3 illustrations for exactly this reason and it’s actually a little crazy that this game only uses one. I’ve seen mobile games with what looks like a higher budget.

Also, the story doesn’t even make much sense at all. The high above being needs energy from the combatants in order to take over their worlds. She even has a rule in place that prevents them from fighting unless it’s a tag battle so as not to waste her time. Yet, she loses control of the characters randomly at times. Sometimes she is eavesdropping on the heroes to know their plans and sometimes she just doesn’t. She does such a glorious job of messing everything up that it makes it tough for you to take the game seriously. Her power level is just very inconsistent and most of the characters act completely out of character as well. I just think the story could have been way better and honestly it is the weakest part of the game. I wouldn’t even call the game low budget at all if not for the story. The story is what makes it appear that way with the writers just phoning in the plot and not really doing much with it. If we ever do get a sequel or a full fledged RWBY game, I hope they put ore thought into it.

The gameplay is your standard 2D fighter. You attack other players with long combos and finals smashes as you attempt to get their life bars down to 0. The battles are all 2 on 2 so tagging in and out adds to the strategy of it all. There are easy auto combos that you can use while you start the game, but eventually you want to move onto more advanced techniques or you will be doomed against the stronger foes. I have no complaints with the gameplay as it flows very well and is just very well done.

There are quite a few different modes to play here aside from the story. Naturally there is the training mode which is pretty handy as well as Tactics mode. There you learn combos and complete tutorials about the game. The vast majority of the game’s replay value is through it’s online and local multiplayer mode of course. Knowing this, most of the trophies in the game are obtained through these features. You can even obtain the Platinum in around 3 hours if you are truly rushing. If you don’t have online then you want to play a lot of multiplayer matches locally. If you are just playing for single player content then you will be done very quickly.

The game got a lot of controversy for locking half of the characters behind a paywall and rightfully so. The developers are basically just reusing the characters from previous games so it hardly costs them anything. I do appreciate the price of the game being reduced to help justify this, but it’s still not a good look. As a result you fight some characters in the game that you can’t even play as. We’ll see how much each character is, but I don’t think I will be purchasing any of them. I just don’t play the game enough to make it worth it as opposed to something like Smash 4.

One of the big positives of the game is its rich soundtrack. Blazblue has always had a bunch of great themes and now we get to hear the RWBY ones alongside it. Persona and Under Night’s themes aren’t bad either so it’s just a very complete soundtrack. It’s nice to have voice acting for all of the characters as well since it makes the game look more polished. The graphics are certainly top of the line so the game’s developers spared no expense in this arena. The Astral Finish move that each of the characters have looks great and the gameplay is very bright and dynamic. Even if some aspects of the game were rushed, these certainly weren’t.

Overall, Cross Tag Battle is a great game. You just have to decide on if you want to look at it in a glass half full view where you’re just glad that the game actually got made and licensed or in a half empty view where there is so much more that could have been done with it. It’s not perfect, but it’s still a game that I had a blast playing even if it was a rather brief experience. I’ll at least go back to unlock some more trophies and if I ever buy a month of PS+ to get some online trophies maybe I’ll even go for the Platinum. Surely getting to Silver Rank online won’t be that tough right? I’d recommend checking this game out if you’re a big fan of fighters or just want to be able to play as Team RWBY. That alone makes the purchase worth it.

Overall 8/10