King Kong vs Godzilla Review


It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen this film. Definitely a long time from the past and it’s interesting to see the scenes I remember and the ones that are more foreign. One big change for me is that the fight is a whole lot shorter than I remembered. They don’t really meet up until near the end although the fight is certainly worth the wait.

So the movie starts with a TV head wanting his crew to do something to make the channel more interesting. The idea he comes up with is to have the crew find some kind of monster to put on the air. There are rumors of a giant monster on a remote island that has come up with some special berries that are like alcohol. The crew heads there and manages to secure their safety by offering cigarettes to the natives. It’s a strategy that works well enough but not what should they do? Grabbing this Kaiju will be difficult. Then you have the sobering fact that Godzilla has risen from his icy grave and demands vengeance. With humanity in the balance, these two creatures will ultimately end up facing off against each other. The only question is…who will win?

Naturally even if it is a small part of the film, the actual battle is definitely the big topic here. King Kong and Godzilla are both big icons after all. So I’ve always been on Team Godzilla, he just seems more powerful to me and has more options. The Atomic Breath is hard to overlook after all. In a fair fight Godzilla should win 10 times out of 10 so the question is, how can King Kong put up a fight?

Well, the film went about it in an interesting way. First odd, Godzilla got a new weakness for this movie which is that he isn’t very good against electricity. Then you have the fact that King Kong is powered up by it and a lightning storm shows up out of nowhere and lands several direct hits on him. Prior to this happening, Godzilla did end up crushing Kong in the fight. Only after the power up took effect did King Kong start to take the edge which led us to the famous final scene. Godzilla can breath underwater and usually fight there rather well so you’ll definitely have some big questions but I think we have to take the ending at face value here so there was a true winner.

All told, I would still bet my money on Godzilla and it’s hard not to root for him when you see the inevitable comeback beginning from King Kong. That said, the fight itself is satisfying. Another good thing about this film is it wastes very little time in having Godzilla show himself. He appears pretty much right away in the film which is a bit rare for any G title. Usually you’d expect him in the second half or almost the climax depending on the film. Here it seemed like the opening 15 minutes or so.

The pacing is on point and the film really breezes by. While the human plot may always feel like filler until you get to the Kaiju action, you should have some good laughs with the characters. The main duo have a classic setup where one of the characters is a comic relief guy while the other is the no nonsense leader. Both of them get humbled by King Kong at least once during the movie though. They have a lot of fun banter the whole time. The humans can be a bit exaggerated to an extent but it works out well for fun moments.

This was the English dub version I saw and it’s fair to say that the movie is part comedy. It’s a very light hearted creature feature film from start to finish. There are also quite a lot of reporter scenes where people just talk to you from the TV station. You have to really enjoy the dialogue or those parts can definitely end up being a bit slow. Fortunately they were definitely really solid to me. The style of writing and dialogue is just fun.

The special effects are on point. The suits look good and the fight was also good as mentioned earlier. Godzilla lands a super speed kick at one point that was sped up in a way which seemed surreal but also worked to great effect. If the film has any weakness, it’s that you may have a hard time remembering the character names since you are waiting for the creatures the whole time. The humans are fun but still feel like filler since you just want the monster battles. I didn’t remember any of the names by the end although granted, the cast isn’t very large. You have the main duo and then a bunch of supporting characters.

There’s not as much of a soundtrack as you might expect from your typical Godzilla movie though. You do have the iconic Godzilla roar which will have to do though and King Kong’s island always has its unique beats. Of course, the soundtrack will differ greatly depending on which version you watch so keep that in mind. This review is specifically for the dub version which is important since a review of the subbed version could be quite different based on how many changes there are. Unless it’s basically a different film I don’t really go back and review separate versions so you’d have to check that out on your own. I would recommend the English dub though as it’s so much fun.

Overall, There isn’t a whole lot more to say about the film due in part to how short it is. It’s a movie that really breezes by and should keep you grinning at all the effective comedic moments. Close your eyes and the movie is over in a snap. You’ll have a hard time finding a better Godzilla movie from the classic era though. I’d consider this to be one of the strongest of the Showa films and I’ve always loved a good crossover. This one is no different. If you haven’t watched the movie yet then you definitely need to change that. You don’t want to miss out on the Kaiju battles.

Overall 7/10

House of Frankenstein Review


The House of Frankenstein is a big crossover with Dracula, The Werewolf, and Frankenstein’s monster. Once again I found myself impressed at the continuity here with the same settings reappearing and the movie actively acknowledging previous ones. It’s definitely a fun film and really my only issue here is that none of the 3 monsters get to interact at all which is a shame. Dracula shows up in the first act, the Wolfman makes his move in the second, then Frankenstein acts in the climax. Seeing them all duke it out would have really been a blast but the story is strong enough where you don’t need the monster action to have a good time. With good writing and solid characters, the movie was in a good spot from the start.

The movie starts off with Niemann finally getting out of prison along with his loyal sidekick Daniel. (The guard looked awful in the first scene when he got close enough to the door to be choked though. Doesn’t even seem like this was the first time that happened and the scientist is surprisingly strong to do that considering he doesn’t look like he has lifted weights for a day) The villains want to find Frankenstein’s journal for different reasons. Doctor Niemann so that he can finish the research and do some body swapping and Daniel so he can shed his hunchback form and look like a normal person. They murder the guy who got Dracula’s body and head off to the caste where the monster and wolfman were last seen.

Now you have to give the scientist Niemann a lot of credit here. He is extremely well informed to the point where he knows the wolfman’s whole life story. This guy knows the plot of the last film and what the wolfman was doing at the castle. Furthermore, he is able to threaten/blackmail Dracula himself. Now Dracula fans won’t be thrilled at his appearance here because he looks utterly disgraceful. I would go as far as to say at the worst a Dracula has ever looked in a movie, even worse than his slipping and falling off a cliff in an earlier film.

This Dracula is terrified of Niemann and doesn’t have enough strength to overpower him either. What happens is Niemann awakens Dracula by taking the stake out and then threatens to put it back in of Dracula doesn’t obey his every move. It seems like Dracula considers trying to overpower Niemann but then realizes this would not work. Niemann sweetens the deal by saying he will guard the coffin and Dracula is very quick to swear his undying allegiance. You’ll probably be dying laughing instead at how this guy has fallen. It’s even worse when you see how quickly he is dispatched.

One of the strengths of the film though is how each villain brings his own cast in. For the Dracula part of the film we get to meet a group of characters who even seem like they would be the leads. You have the main heroine who is ready for a good adventure, the skeptic who doesn’t believe in vampires and such, the police chief who thinks something fishy is going on, and the heroine’s husband who is cracking lots of jokes. Once Dracula is gone these guys are quickly written out to the point where we never know exactly how their situation ended up. You will have to imagine how all of the reactions were.

Once we get to the Wolfman, Larry Talbot then we are at the emotional part of the story. Larry is still cursed with being a werewolf so he’s hoping to die at this point which is a really dark plot for such an old film. The problem is this is very difficult since it’s like the Hulk where the werewolf has some regen and can’t die easily. The only way is with a silver bullet from someone who loves him. Larry agrees to work with Niemann since the guy promises to give him a new body. Of course that guy is more interested in running other experiments so he takes his time with him. I really question Niemann’s decision making though since each full moon runs the risk of Larry murdering him. I feel like Niemann never even considered that possibility though which is odd.

I always liked the Wolfman so it’s cool to see him appear here. He is certainly the most heroic of the monster group although I suppose that really isn’t saying a whole lot. He is just cursed to transform against his will which is really a rough fate. As for Frankenstein, there isn’t much to say about him because he’s pretty much a mindless monster. He does true to protect Niemann so perhaps he sees the guy as his creator. Either way he still has his weakness to fire though which is always tricky. It was satisfying to see him take down Daniel really quick though since that guy was the new super strong monster and I was rooting for the original to take that round.

Daniel is a character with an emotional backstory too of course. He can’t find anyone who loves him with the hunchback appearance so he follows Niemann in the hope that the guy will cure him at some point. At the end of the day he is still a villain who will murder anyone in his way though. There is a brief romance plot with Ilonka who goes around leading on Daniel and then crushing on Larry. It’s safe to say that this plot was never going to have a happy ending in this monster film. Particularly as she only helped to put Daniel on the darker path a lot sooner than he would have otherwise.

The ending of the film is actually pretty funny. While the film is taken seriously the whole time and I can only assume this is for the ending as well, it’s just the way that it all happens will make you chuckle. Niemann certainly had quite the ending, that’s for sure. In fact, you could say that each of the villains really paved the way to their own demise without the heroes having to do a whole lot.

Overall, this was a really fun film. I still think it loses some energy by not having any of the 3 monsters interact though to the point where the Dracula part feels like a completely different movie with different supporting characters. The pacing is solid though and the film goes by in a flash. Also, I do like the fact that Niemann is quite strong both verbally and physically despite being an old scientist. Choking out the guard was still incredibly impressive and then of course threatening/blackmailing Dracula has to put you up there as well. I would go as far as to say this might be the best evil scientist in these creature features. If you like seeing these supernatural monsters then this is a film that you can’t miss!

Overall 7/10

Alien vs Predator Review


This is a movie I saw many years ago and I remember always being on team Aliens. I’ve always been partial to that group. Perhaps it’s because I’m more familiar with them, that they came first, or it’s just more fun to root for the monster. That hasn’t changed over the years either and after watching the movie I can really explain more why I prefer the aliens. See, while they are sentient, they are really just beasts at the core. They run on instinct and take everyone down. The Predators are actually an advanced alien race that really do whatever they please and tend to look rather corrupt. The whole film only exists because they like to hunt prey and use humans as sacrifices. Not exactly the group you would be rooting for.

Lets take a step back though. The movie starts with Charles locating a mysterious temple. It has details from various cultures and suggests that humanity actually united to create this a while back. He is older at this point and wants one last thing to be remembered by before he dies. So Charles assembles a group of the greatest scientific experts on the planet along with the ultimate guide in Alexa. She is skeptical at first but eventually decides to get on board. Little does this group realize that they won’t be the only sentient life in this area.

One thing that really separates this one from the average Alien and Predator titles is that the movie really leans into the cool sci-fi aesthetics. The scenes showing how the Predators are watching the temple, the alien ship, etc is all so much better than you would expect. This is a Sci-Fi film where you can see how advanced the technology is as opposed to us not seeing more of it. Usually it is fine to keep the Predators more secretive but in a vs film like this, I think this is the right approach.

So the visuals are unmatched and I thought the soundtrack was decent. I won’t say great since I don’t think you’ll even remember a bunch of the tunes by the end but they work well enough during the movie. The writing is good and the fights with the Aliens vs Predators will always raise your hype before they start just trying to get extra gritty.

Where the film falters is where most of these horror films falter. It tends to get excessively violent, particularly with the chest bursters that return from the Alien films. It seems like you can’t go through any alien film without having at least one of these scenes right? If you get rid of those entirely it would be a good move and just stick to the Xenmorphs. This is still a horror film at its core even with all of the in-fighting between groups but you don’t need the bursters for the scare scenes.

As the main character Alexa does well here. She points out that this is a very bad idea but ultimately ends up helping out because if she doesn’t then people will likely die. They may die anyway but at the very least if there weren’t any aliens she would have been able to keep everyone on the straight path. These guys also aren’t exactly the best at following orders so they need a tough commander.

I’m a bit iffy on her teaming up with the Predator so quickly after learning that they used humans as cattle but with the Aliens being mindless I suppose there wasn’t any chance of making peace with them either. Ultimately Alexa kept her wits about her and was fast to react. Alexa even manages to deal some real damage by the end so kudos there.

Charles is not nearly as likable. I get wanting to make a big discovery in the end but then once we find out that he’s sick, it’s a bit much. He’s putting everyone’s lives on the line just for the discovery? The guy’s rich, he could just wait until everyone has actually checked the rooms and made sure it’s safe before walking in. I’d say that would have been a whole lot better.

Maxwell’s his main right hand man and the guy can fight but I didn’t get why he was so antagonistic the whole time. It feels like that kind of comes out of nowhere and of course that never ends well for the humans in these things. It was good to have a gun at the ready though. We’ve got other characters here as well like the lady with a gun, the guy who just wants to go back home to his kids, etc. You’re mainly just wondering if any of these guys will survive aside from the main character or if it’s game over.

As for the battles, like I said I was rooting for the Aliens here. Effectively they are the underdogs as the Predators always plant them in positions where they should lose. When the Predators are on the losing side they just nuke the planet. Seems like they’re sore losers on that front eh? Fortunately for the Aliens they still have the advantage of berserker strength and their continued evolution. The Alien Queen looks really impressive in this movie to be sure.

Before the final battle we get a few skirmishes between the Aliens and Predators with each side taking some wins. Both sides also have a main fighter you could say. One alien in particular handles himself well as he gets up after being slashed and one of the predators takes a few of the aliens out as well. It helps build you up to the climax.

Then of course we do have a twist ending because those are absolutely necessary. Not just in horror but for any film, it’s just that horror tends to do them with the greatest effectiveness. Lets just say that it’s a really effective way to end the film as you understand the implications of this very well. Albeit it, you feel like it could potentially be a plot hole because the scanners should have sensed something. They would have to right? These scanners were shown to be extremely advanced throughout the movie and did notice an alien when it was inside of someone earlier. It should be the same concept but….maybe they got overconfident. I’ll chalk this up as a plot hole but a fairly small one at least.

Overall, Alien vs Predator definitely delivers on the kind of action that you would expect to see from two savage races fighting each other off. I’m also always a big fan of seeing crossovers come out. At the end of the day that makes for a lot of good fun when you get to the inevitable conclusion. It would be nice if it didn’t have to be so graphic though and of course the humans are stuck in the middle as well. If you can get past the violence then there’s definitely a solid film in here but it loses enough points where it ultimately isn’t able to sustain itself in the green. The best complement for the film though is that they really do nail the special effects. It’s the best that the franchise has ever looked.

Overall 3/10

Godzilla vs Kong Review


Crossovers are always quite hype. It’s always an excellent way to increase the hype for the movie plus it gives you a chance to pick a side. Are you Team Godzilla or Team King Kong? The staff also confirmed early on in the production cycle that this film would have a true winner since the biggest cop out is when you have a crossover with no actual winner. Longtime fans will remember I’ve been on Team Godzilla since day 1 tweeting out funny memes about how Godzilla would win and why he would. Atomic Breath is a deal breaker before you consider his physical advantages. Of course nothing’s a certainty leading up to a big fight like this so I would just have to wait and see. The monster verse has been going strong and this would have to be the strongest film in the series. We get a solid amount of action and the writing was on point.

The movie starts with showing how the government has managed to build a dome around Kong’s island to watch over him and prevent Godzilla from taking notice of him. Both of these titans have defeated every Kaiju who would dare stand in their way. Godzilla is determined to prove that he is the best so he will approach if he ever senses Kong while Kong will not submit to any other being. This delicate balance has been held for 5 years but the dome continues to take damage from Kong’s attacks so the humans have decided to change tactics. They will have Kong lead them to the Hollow Earth but can they do that before Godzilla attacks?

Meanwhile you have the more light hearted plot where a conspiracy guy named Bernie who is trying to uncover the secrets behind Apex. He believes that this company is why Godzilla has been getting more aggressive lately so he is on the case. He meets up with Madison and her friend Josh as they try to help out. Now, I’d say it’s clear from the start that the Kaiju are going to have all of the exciting scenes while the humans are here for the jokes. So you just want to make sure that they are funny and fortunately the movie does succeed here.

Bernie carries all of these scenes and is easily the best human I’ve seen in the monsterverse. Single handily you could say that due to him most of the human scenes are actually quite solid. He gets a lot of great lines like with the whole tap water test, tricking the guy with the apple, and trying the old janitor trick. He’s a very quick thinker and also grills Josh quite a lot. Without him the human scenes would have been a little dull or at the very least just felt like filler. Thanks to him I can actually say that this subplot doesn’t hold the film back from the action segments.

Josh is a very weak character though. He’s really just in the film to get roasted by the others. So in a sense it’s good that he’s here since some of the better lines are at his expense but as a character he’s the weakest one in the film. Madison is decent and at least she is able to hold her own with Bernie. I wouldn’t say she stands out much more beyond that. The other human plot is the one that’s going for more of a serious vibe.

You have Nathan who is trying to get past a tough situation since his brother died a while back. You may wonder why that is even relevant since it never really gets brought up after that or affects his character, but the film does want to make you emotional there I guess. Ilene is also a scientist who gets a big role along with Nathan since her daughter Jia is a central figure here. Again, she doesn’t have much personality like Nathan though and doesn’t get to do much in the film despite all the screen time.

Jia is a solid character though. Her bond with Kong is handled well and the idea of them being friends is fun. It’s similar to Gamera’s bond with the psychic from the Heisei trilogy. The other characters are always trying to get her to manipulate Kong but I’m glad that she never put him in any bad spots. Then you have the main villain who is your classic villain for this kind of film. He’s dealing with forces that can’t be controlled and all but at least he’s always ready with a speech and absolute confidence. You definitely need that when you live in a world where Kaiju are running around.

Now with the humans out of the way lets talk about the Kaiju. For every crossover the build up is important so you see both characters before the fight. Before the film even starts you already had some hype as every monster sent to Skull Island was vanquished during King of the Monsters (A scene that they should have put more emphasis on if you ask me since that was a really solid feat) and the whole lore about their races being at war in the past. As you could probably tell from all of the promos and such the film was playing Kong out to be the main character and that’s true here as well. He’s effectively the underdog in the fight so usually as a result you want to give him more of a focus. He gets more sympathetic scenes and is just shown to be a nice guy thanks to his relationship with Jia. Compared to Godzilla who is going around trying to prove he is the strongest, Kong is content to be on his island if the humans would just stop bothering him. He’s certainly got a great portrayal here so I’m sure his fans will be satisfied.

Meanwhile Godzilla definitely looks solid as well. He gets a lot of hype destruction scenes and he is actively seeking out all of the other Titans to conquer them. He’s clearly looking for battles which is nice because he is supremely confident in his abilities. The film shows what a monster he is too as he takes a ton of punishing shots and always gets back up. Most of the time it seems like he isn’t even injured and given that he survived a fall from orbit in the last film, it makes sense that not much would actually keep him down.

Naturally I can’t talk about the fight itself much without going into spoilers but it definitely delivers. The film was true to its word with a clear winner in both fights. Both combatants got to show off their strengths with Kong utilizing his dexterity and agility to really land a lot of punishing shots while dodging Godzilla’s atomic breath. Meanwhile Godzilla showed off his massive power and durability as he eventually just overpowers his opponents. This was the fight everyone had been waiting for so the back and forth action is quite intense.

Of course I can’t say who wins but you will be glad to hear that there is a significant amount of action here. Sometimes of course you can get worried that the Kaiju wont appear enough or for a while like Godzilla (2014) where you had to wait until the climax for the big fight but here we get multiple action scenes. You’ve got the really big fights of course but then smaller ones with other Kaiju as well. Low key there’s a bat type Kaiju that looked really good with the strangle hold it has. It was a nice showing of how even an unassuming Kaiju can be deadly if you let your guard down.

The special effects are also really on point. We’ve come a long way with the designs. Godzilla’s design is the most streamlined yet. I also like how Kong’s design reflects how he is a lot older than in his last film since many decades have passed since Skull Island. You can feel the passage of time. The energy blasts are excellent and the neon backgrounds of Hong Kong made for a really excellent battle. The film clearly had a high budget and was ready to use it. The soundtrack is also really solid. Kong gets quite a few songs to himself and of course we have a remixed Godzilla theme. If I have a slight nitpick it’s that I would have liked a more energized theme for when the two were actually fighting. Despite a really solid soundtrack throughout, the film seemed to get really quiet when the two were fighting each other and a nice rock song there would have been ideal.

While the film is great I think you could cut out a few scenes here and there like Kong eating the innards of another monster and a fish eating scene that were a bit more on the gross side. Fortunately we don’t get any real animal violence though. Trust me, I was sweating bullets whenever we went to Skull Island or any of the warmer climates since having a random wolf pop up or something would have been the last thing I needed. Luckily none of that really happens here. The eating scenes can be a bit much but not enough to really take a dunk on the film’s overall score though.

That’s really the only small weakness I can say the film had. It’s just a great all around film. It sets a high bar for the next films to top. Since this is a spoiler free review there’s also quite a lot that I can’t really touch on here. With the extra details this review would be quite a bit longer easy but there’s a lot of fun things to experience going in blind. It’s not so much about twists and such but just seeing exactly how the battles play out and how each of the plots end is something you’ll be interested in following along. Each act of the film is really on point. Definitely a lot of big cheering type scenes where I’m sure the audience would go crazy in the theaters.

Overall, Godzilla vs Kong is definitely a success. Both stars really got a lot of great moments that you will remember long after the film is over. The climax is fantastic with Apex’s plot-line closing out in a nice way and getting exactly the respect it earned there so the film ends on a great note. Even the humans are better than expected mainly thanks Bernie who was just a great character through and through. Sadly there is no post credits scene but I’m hoping the Monsterverse continues. Bringing in Orga is the natural next step to escalate the stakes and get a new feeling of danger in but there are a lot of great Kaiju options at the ready that you can use too. Either way I’m confident that the next installments will keep up this high level of quality so I look forward to seeing that play out. I’m hoping all of the films going forward can keep the vs format as well even if they’re not crossovers but as a nice way to hype up each opponent.

Overall 8/10

Warriors Orochi 3 Review


Warriors Orochi has always been a pretty fun series. There was a huge gap between when I played the first two Orochi titles but this time I was determined not to wait so long. I took the plunge and grabbed Orochi 3. Fortunately the PS3 is region free so that worked out pretty nicely. Orochi 3 definitely has a very strong plot and it features time travel so that’s a win win. It’s certainly the best Orochi game so far.

The game starts off with Orochi returning but this time as the Hydra. This 8 headed dragon crushes the entire planet to the point where within 10 minutes of the game’s start there are only 3 heroes left alive. The rest of the Dynasty and Samurai warriors cast have been obliterated. This desperate mission ends in failure but the heroes are saved by a goddess known as Kaguya. She has the ability to time travel part of the way into the past but not so far back that we can prevent Orochi from returning. Using this bonus time we have to alert everyone to the true danger and bring the world to an era of peace. Then we will return to the place of the final battle only this time we will have more of a full roster at the ready. Can the heroes stop Orochi once and for all?

I love crossovers, beat em ups, and time travel. Mix all of that into one game and it’s not surprising in the slightest that this is an absolute win. First off, the story is just very grand in scope. Seeing this dragon show up and just decimate the cast was intense. Especially since these characters are all quite powerful in their own right. It may be a little hard to buy that they would all lose like this but when you factor in that they’re always fighting among themselves they probably were weakened by this point. While the game ends with everyone finally being at peace, something tells me that won’t last for the sequel.

The main campaign is fairly long at 29 levels and there is a good amount of replay value here as well with all of the bonus levels to tackle as well. Getting everyone to level 100 will take ages too although I don’t think there’s a trophy for that so no need to force yourself. There are over 100 characters after all so that’d be pretty crazy. By the time I beat the game I only had 1 person at level 100 so I think it’s safe to say that getting everyone over there would just be too long. I’d say the story mode is maybe around 7-8 hours. I didn’t count exactly and they don’t store the playtime but that sounds about right to me.

As for the gameplay, it’s your standard 3D combat system so you will know what to expect. You rush into battle and slam into enemies using both standard and power attacks. You have super attacks as well but I recommend keeping that in your pocket as a combo breaker in case a boss lays a good hit on you. Typically they go down pretty quickly but if they do start a combo they can take off huge chunks of your health in an instant. You definitely want to respect their power and keep some distance between you and the boss. At least I would recommend that.

One of the most handy tools at your disposal is your horse. I recommend summoning him as much as possible so you can run through the battlefields at top speed. Doing this will help you reach your objectives quicker. After all, aside from conquering enemies you also have to protect your comrades. My strategy in each level was to knock out all of the officers but mainly not worry about the minions. I would still average around 1000 KO’s per stage so those come naturally but getting rid of the officers is key or your allies will end up defeated and you will have to start the level from scratch. Let me tell you, you do not want to start the level from scratch to be sure.

Naturally the graphics for this game are absolutely stellar. The character models are on point and the level designs are really striking. This is the kind of PS3 game where you can tell they spared no expense. It could easily pass for a PS4 title. Likewise the soundtrack is excellent. It’s no surprise as the Orochi games tend to sound quite excellent but this one really manages to even go above and beyond. The battle themes really get you into the action so you feel ready for what comes next.

When you’re not fighting there are still other bonus things you can do as well. One of those is buying new weapons or fusing your older ones into weapons with more slots and abilities. Your weapon is quite important in this game so I recommend working on that right away. Don’t worry about the money it costs because by the end of the game you’ll be swimming in it. At the very least there was never a point in the game where I was low on funds. There is also the tea shop where you can increase your bonds with the other characters but I never really tried that out. I think the bonds mechanic increases your strength when you fight with allies but admittedly I never really tried this out. I tend to run ahead of the others to try and shield them from danger while also getting the fun fights for myself.

Overall, Warriors Orochi 3 is fantastic. It’s a top tier game filled with a lot of life and action. The story is a lot of fun, the graphics are top notch, and so is the soundtrack. There’s a lot of replay value here and the gameplay is a blast. You can easily have fun just playing the levels over and over again. I can see how people would sink dozens and dozens of hours into these games. It would make for a fun ride to try and platinum it, but the trophy for beating all of the levels on chaos difficulty sounds a bit daunting. Maybe someday. Now just one more Orochi game and I’ll finally be caught up!

Overall 9/10

Mario & Luigi Paper Jam Review


At long last I’ve made it to the final entry in the Mario & Luigi series. It’s definitely been quite the journey playing through all of the installments. To date my favorite one has to be Bowser’s Inside Story. That one just had the perfect blend of humor and fun gameplay. Each game has its own charm though. Paper Jam does end up feeling like a big step down from the last games with its story but it’s nice that we have Paper Mario around. I would still say it beats the original game in the series which was Superstar Saga but it ends up losing to all of the sequels.

The game starts with Luigi trying to fix a hole in the library but unfortunately he ends up opening a book to the paper universe. Everyone comes flying out of it including Paper Bowser. Now the Mario bros have an extra enemy to worry about and a lot of scared toads. Fortunately Paper Mario is here to help out as well. From there the plot goes in a rather standard fashion as both of the Princess Peach versions are kidnapped by their respective Bowsers. Can the Mario Bros and Paper Mario save them?

There’s one thing this game can’t capitalize on unfortunately and that’s the whole crossover aspect. The issue for this game is really that none of the main characters can talk and Peach isn’t around a whole lot. Usually in a crossover I want to say at least 50% of the fun is from seeing the unique character interactions. You can’t get any of that here. Both Marios basically act the same and Paper Luigi doesn’t even appear so we can’t see what he’s up to. Paper Mario does outshine the standard version a lot here though as he saves their lives multiple times. He is the guest star though so it makes sense. To balance things out I would say that Bowser does perform better than his paper version though.

When we do get dialogue it’s typically pretty fun though. The best scenes are naturally involving Bowser as he continues to act as a supportive father to Junior. I’ve really enjoyed how this series has humanized Bowser. He’s still a villain but he has a lot of personality now. When you think about it, the plot here is almost literally the same as every big Mario game as it’s just Bowser kidnapping Peach. That’s the most unfortunate part about this but at least the script is good so the story won’t drag on or anything.

The gameplay is your standard turn based system from the previous games. You can jump, use your hammer, special abilities, and other such techniques as needed to win out in the levels. I like how the system is active so you can actually learn enemy movements and attempt to dodge their blows. It gives a little more life to the system although at the expense of each battle taking longer. It’s always been a pro/con kind of thing. The only thing I don’t like that has always been the case for the series is that leveling up takes forever. This is due in part to the enemies not dropping enough EXP and the battles taking a long time. I spent at least 5 hours just on leveling up, possibly more time than that. I’m cool with leveling up for the most part as I just zone out and have music playing while leveling up or things like that but it takes really long to get anywhere at times.

For this game’s new gameplay feature we have giant paper mache battles where you get to take control of a figure and attack your opponents. I admit this one isn’t very fun but you don’t have to do a whole lot of them to it’s not bad. Each game always has some kind of backup gameplay and I’ll take this over the Dream Luigi style from the last one. It uses whole new gameplay mechanics and such so I can definitely appreciate the work there.

Paper Jam is shorter than the last few Mario & Luigi games but it’s still a reasonable length. It should take you 20 hours or so to beat this one. There is also a lot of replay value as you try to earn a lot of collectibles and beat the Arcade missions. I expect doing all of this will take you a very long time to be sure. At the very least you should reach 30 hours and that’s a pretty generously low estimate. Considering that you can get this game for a pretty good price now, it’s definitely worth the purchase price.

The graphics look good as expected. The level designs are very likely. The character models are on point and the soundtrack is also decent. It may not have the same pop as the last two games but it works well enough. You still feel a good amount of energy in the stages which is the important thing. It does feel a lot safer though which is inline with the more standard story. The last games had final boss themes like something out of Final Fantasy but the themes here don’t have that grand scale anymore. It’s too bad since Mario & Luigi used to really be able to go all out.

Overall, Paper Jam is a solid finale to the series. I can see why a lot of fans may have felt disappointed when the game’s trailers first came out since it is a big downgrade story-wise but the gameplay is as sharp as ever. If you look at this game on its own merits then it certainly holds its own. You’ll have a good time playing through the game and at the end of the day that’s what counts. I definitely hope we do get a new Mario & Luigi game at some point. There’s certainly more you can continue to do with this style.

Overall 7/10

Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy: Earthrise Review


All right, we’ve made it to season 2 of the War for Cybertron trilogy. The first season started things on a high note as we had some good debates between Prime and Megatron. Both characters were written really well so you could legitimately choose which side you were on. Both of them made moves that even their own sides questioned. This season adds in a lot of extra elements. Both teams have their own plots for most of the season before converging at the end. It’s really hard to say how things will play out from here but one thing’s for sure, it’s definitely going to be interesting to see how this ends.

The season starts off with Megatron’s plot. Since Prime stole the All Spark, Cybertron is slowly dying. Megatron has been stalling the inevitable by using the sparks of robots to power up his rocket ship. He intends to find Prime once and for all to bring the All Spark back or at least avenge his planet. However, this is one of those times where the end doesn’t justify the means. He’s effectively slaughtering many members of his own people as Elita points out and this causes a lot of friction even among the Decepticons. Can Elita stop him or is Cybertron really doomed?

Meanwhile, Prime and his crew exit stasis but find that they have been taken prisoner by a group of bounty hunters. These hunters are going to sell them off to the Quintessons. The Autobots will have to find a way out of this predicament and soon but the issue is that these villains are actually quite powerful. Both Autobots and Decepticons are at their wits end here which ends up leading into the solid climax. It’s clear from the start of the series that there are more Decepticons than Autobots so they have the edge there but they are consistently a lot weaker so it helps balance things out in the end.

I feel like there was more action here than in season 1 although it’s close. We got to actually see Shockwave get his own fight which was really nice. Additionally, we have a guest star show up from the future or another dimension. That’s easily the most intriguing plot for me right now. When this character jumps out of a portal and starts fighting Megatron it’s just really interesting. It’s also rare to see Megatron be dominated so completely but it makes sense that he wouldn’t be able to defeat this opponent. This fighter is one of the stronger Transformer characters out there and he really lives up to the hype. He leaves as suddenly as he appeared but not before leaving something. Personally I take this to be a warning from a possible future as opposed to the present. It would work out well with all the distortions taking place.

Of course, the ending of the season is pretty open at the moment. You can have a lot of different theories on what just happened here. Personally I’m going to assume time travel once more. That’s pretty much always my default response but I feel like it just makes a whole lot of sense. Then there’s an equal debate on if the characters are going to the future or the past. I would say past personally. Of course we should know pretty soon once season 3 starts. There’s so much going on that it’s almost a bit hard to picture the series already coming to a close. Maybe we’ll get a sequel series or something.

There’s one part of the show where the characters enter another dimension where willpower is how you fight. This was pretty neat and reminds me a bit of Accel World’s Incarnate system or even the one SAO invented later on. Megatron really adapted to it quite well. At the same time I was really underwhelmed by another character who was in this universe for a very long time and claimed to have mastered his mind. Despite this, he was easily dispatched in a single move. You’d think that in a world where mental power is absolute experience would be vital. I guess the difference in their abilities was just that drastic though.

The animation here is definitely solid as expected. The designs are very full and detailed so the robots really feel sturdy. You can feel the power behind all of the blows. We get another solid Prime vs Megatron fight here as well as a whole group battle with Scorponok. If we ever get the mental world again, I’d like to see more of the energy effects there. The colors were pretty striking so it worked out quite well. The soundtrack is a little less memorable but it works well enough for the scenes that are present. I certainly had no complaints at least.

There are quite a few character arcs at play here as well. Naturally for Megatron we’re seeing him go on a darker path. He’s slowly going from more of a misunderstood anti-hero to full villain. The instant he decided to destroy an entire factory worth of Cybertronians you knew there was no turning back for him. He doesn’t yet realize it but Megatron is now a villain simply justifying his every move. He is a very interesting villain though and the character arc’s been handled well. As always he is still quite confident and self assured in his own power.

For Prime, his arc is a little different from what you may expect. He’s had to live with the fact that a lot of Autobots don’t support his decision to remove the All Spark and then to search for it, including Elita. These feelings of guilt seem to have made him even more obsessive now such as when he was beating up on Megatron. Prime was really losing control there to the point of going crazy, even begging Megatron to forgive him before murdering the guy. Prime is done taking prisoners although circumstances ensured he didn’t finish things off yet. I’m assuming in the next season Prime will regain control of himself although if he doesn’t then things are really going to get crazy around here.

Naturally we have a lot of other characters on both sides. Some characters like Bumblebee and Soundwave don’t get a whole lot to do this time. Bumblebee already had a good amount of screen time in season 1 though so that’s fair. He is also around in every episode so it’s not like he goes missing. I would say the Autobot with the biggest role after Prime would have to be Elita. Not only does she get her own big fight scene but with Prime gone she is effectively the Autobot leader on Cybertron. She’s also doing a good job in this role as well. She does her best to be fair to everyone and take the villains down without hurting anyone in the middle. Perhaps she can be too trusting in these times of war, but she is focused on not losing her ideals even if it means her defeat and I can certainly respect that.

Jetfire also has a sizable role here. As a former Decepticon he’s definitely not as quick to offer mercy as Elita. He makes a lot of good strategic points. Technically his methods are correct if you simply wish to win the war. Particularly with how the Autobots are totally outgunned in terms of energon and numbers they do need every advantage they can get. Continuing to hit every base to free Decepticons does truthfully sound like a task that will backfire horribly. He continues to help though and never turns away so this guy is quite good.

Naturally Starscream gets quite the role here as always. You’ll probably think he gets off a bit easy and that’s exactly why Starscream continues to pull these stunts. He knows that nobody is going to mess with him. This confidence is part of what makes him such a solid villain. His abilities know no bounds. Then you have Shockwave in what’s his best appearance in a long time. We get to see him using his tech in the field of battle instead of in the lab for a change. He has to be one of the most fearsome opponents to have to face here because of the fact that he has no emotions. He will do whatever it takes in order to claim victory and doesn’t care what the price is. There is no negotiating with this guy.

Quick shoutout to Scorponok as well for being a very interesting villain. He even got his own origin story where we find out that things didn’t go well for his people and then he goes right on the attack. He’s not the kind of villain to get overly sentimental or anything like that. His sheer defenses are also pretty crazy considering just how many opponents he was taking on at once. Right now you would have to put him as the strongest fighter in the series. The Quintessons get a solid mention for being powerful as well. Although in their case it’s more due to prep time and tech than sheer fighting ability. Don’t underestimate them though. There’s a pretty intense scene involving in-fighting among the group and lets just say we definitely know the hierarchy of the group now.

Naturally with so many spoiler filled events here I had to keep things vague. Still, there’s a ton to unpack here and most importantly, the story is just very engaging. Transformers has a lot of lore and characters within the franchise so it’s nice to see the show taking advantage of this. It’s also cool to have a different kind of story line here as opposed to the usual Autobots vs Decepticons story on Earth. That one’s a classic too of course, but with a space setting you’re free to branch out a whole lot. There are enough villains and plots going on now where it’s hard to say who the next opponent will be. The heroes may need some kind of power up to come out on top though.

At most the only thing I would say against the show is that the Decepticons look a little too weak most of the time. Aside from the named bots like Megatron and pals, the rest are treated quite poorly. A single Autobot will beat half a dozen Decepticons with ease. I don’t see why the gap would be so large. It explains why a group of a dozen or so Autobots who are all almost out of energon are beating 5-7 times that amount of fighters on the Decepticon side but I just don’t think it adds up all that well. Particularly since the Decepticons have more energon which powers up most functions. In a way I think this was the easiest way to keep the Autobots in the fight as otherwise they all should have been taken out a long time ago. The show paints a very drastic picture of just how massive a disadvantage the heroes are at. It’s a fairly minor thing in the grand scheme of things though but I wouldn’t mind seeing the Decepticons make a comeback in the third volume.


Overall, Season 2 of the War for Cybertron trilogy continues to take things in the right direction. I would say it even beats the first season. With the introductions and world setting out of the way, this season was able to jump right into the action. Seeing the Quintessons again was fun and the bounty hunters were also pretty interesting even if they didn’t look great in the end. This is exactly why you must never underestimate your opponent and keep your guard up at all times. Scorponok was given a ton of hype here being able to take on the combined forces of Autobots and Decepticons for so long. Now with the ending we can look forward to more characters being introduced to the action. Again, I’m not sure how everything can be addressed in the next season but I look forward to seeing how it plays out.

Overall 8/10

Lostorage conflated WIXOSS Review


Time to take a look at the final Wixoss season. Well, the franchise isn’t over but this was the latest season at the time at least so that was a big deal. It also serves as a big crossover event bringing the characters from the first two seasons together to meet the ones from the third. It’s pretty balanced because the first cast had more episodes to work with but this whole thing is a lot fresher to the cast of season 3. Additionally the main character this time around is Kiyoi who is the only character to really have ties to all three seasons. She’s a very appropriate pick for that reason. This is definitely my favorite season. I do feel like a little more could have been done with the crossover concept here but it’s a solid adventure.

The season starts with Kiyoi asking Suzuko to help her out. She needs powerful fighters at her side in order to stop the next round of Selector battles. Satomi may have been defeated but all that means is that Carnival now controls his body and is using it for her own ends. Her goals are just as twisted as his ever were. Unfortunately Suzuko is not eager to join the battles again and decides not to help. Desperate Kiyoi also approaches Ruko for help but…Ruko says no as well. It looks like the adventures took an extremely heavy toll on both of the previous leads so Kiyoi will have to deal with this on her own. That’s not a promising prospect.

This is true for several reasons. The main one being that the heroes are all divided right now while the villains have united stronger than ever. You’ve got Akira, Carnival, and an extremely powerful new villain named Layla. Additionally there are other fighters here and even another cosmic being. If the heroines don’t get their act together soon then it’ll be too late. The rules are different yet again. This time there is no end to the battles until there is only one girl left standing. In addition to your LRig you can also summon another one, even having as many as 3 in one battle. The LRigs from season 3 still have their unique special abilities which puts them at an advantage over most of the original cast. Although, super LRigs like Tama can still activate their Rank 6 stage to balance things out.

Another new thing here is if you lose one battle then you lose your LRig immediately. The winner captures the LRig and can use it in future fights. You don’t have the luxury of being able to ask for a rematch or anything like that. It’s a pretty interesting approach although the rules aren’t explained too well. For example Carnival can summon 3 but when Kiyoi tries one of hers gets blown up. I believe the reason is that Carnival’s ability is that she can disregard the rules..but that’s a bit suspect at best. In general my favorite style of play would be the original way but I do like how they are always innovating.

It’s part of why I really enjoyed the Ruko vs Suzuko battle even if the ending was not as bold as it could have been. Ruko fights using the skills and tactics from the opening seasons while Suzuko uses her fancy game altering abilities and tag team LRig style. It may almost seem unfair but it’s how they play the game so it makes sense that a match would go that way. It’s like seeing someone from Yugioh 5Ds fight someone from Yugioh Arc V. The rules are so different by that point but it’s why a fight would be a lot of fun. Ruko’s LRig is far more powerful than Suzuko’s two so then she needs the special abilities in order to balance things out. It just makes for a great back and forth with a lot of tension as they both acknowledge the other’s strengths. Replace the ending of the fight with something more satisfying and this would be the best fight of the franchise.

One thing this season does really well is the slow build up to the eventual meeting. Now, with the season being fairly short this is a risky gambit. I think it would have really benefited from having 24 episodes personally. Of course Wixoss has never had a long season like that but it would have been really good. We would have really fleshed out more of the battles and gotten everyone involved. Still, it’s a great strategy. The tension for the fight starts building early and then they finally fight in episode 10. When you consider that there are only 12 episodes you can see how the build up was done so well. You may already get this from how this review is going but I also just love crossovers. You can milk the hype for the battles as long as you want because once it does happen I’m definitely going to be thrilled to see them return.

Even just little things like seeing the old cast hanging out is pretty nostalgic. It’s great to see Tama as a human since it took so long to get her to that point. The ordeal certainly put the characters through the ringer. Tama’s also such a nice character that you’re glad she got a happy ending. She’s easily one of the most heroic characters and is probably the only one to not hesitate when hearing that her friends were in trouble. Hitoe and Yuzuki could learn a thing or two from that. Seriously, I can’t state enough how annoying they are with all the bad advice to Ruko. Ruko’s the strongest fighter there so why not let her get involved with the battles? At least let her know what’s going on. The constant lying to her is always a pretty bad idea and just makes the situation that much worse.

As a quick tangent, this is also why the opening theme song is so good for this season. I’m not sure if I’m going to say that it is the best theme song out of the 4 but it certainly has the best intro. It’s a very ominous opening beat and it helped that most of the episodes would begin with an ominous note as the theme song starts. The soundtrack as a whole is pretty solid as always and the graphics are up to the task as well. The series has always managed to keep itself operating at a consistent level. In particular Tama’s fight against Layla was excellent, in part because we had been waiting so long to see her cut loose. Both of them are savage hand to hand fighters who don’t have to rely on energy blasts or special abilities. It’s part of why their fights can cut loose with the choreography. It doesn’t hurt that they are also two of the strongest characters in the series so naturally neither one of them is just going to go down without a good amount of back and forth.

So the build up is good and the season really takes its time. As effective as it is, I do feel like the season maybe bit off more than it could chew with the concept. It’s a grand tournament with all of the characters involved but several of the fights have to get cut short as they resolve off screen. Even big characters like Yuzuki only get 1 real duel before being taken out. I mean…in some ways that’s probably a good thing to be honest. At the same time, she should easily be one of the strongest fighters since she is an LRig herself but you definitely wouldn’t know that from how she performs in this show. Then you’ve got brand new villains like Layla walking around with a lot of hype but there isn’t a ton of time for it.

Due to this you can’t say that the season drags on at all though. There’s always something happening. It’ll always be hard to beat the first viewing of the season but this should hold up really well on a re-watch as well. It’s like a Secret Wars event as you have all of the villains going up against the heroes. At the end of the day that’s why it’s easy to see why this is my favorite season. It’s nice to just get everyone on the same page and have a ton of battles.

Kiyoi is a very solid main character. She’s doing her best to take down Carnival and finally end the eternal battles once and for all. If anything you have to give her more credit than a lot of the other characters who are content to sit back until they are literally forced to join in the fights. Kiyoi gets so many twists in her backstory it can be a little hard to keep the timeline straight but clearly she has been through a lot. I was glad she finally got to get some attention here. She certainly does really well in the climax. The climax is basically a free for all with the rules thrown out the window which was a lot of fun to see. The cosmic being may not have had much of an identity but a faceless opponent like that can make for an imposing final boss either way when you think about it.

Of course there are a lot of characters to discuss here so lets talk about them now. One of the big characters who got to return was Akira Aoi who was a big player in the first two seasons. She is back to take names and fortunately she acts a lot more like herself from season 1 before season 2 threw all of her character development into the waste basket. Here Akira is a tough fighter as she is supposed to be. Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton of time for her but I can’t complain since she gets more duels than most of the characters. She’s just such a great villain that any scene with her is always a lot of fun.

In general the villains have a pretty stacked lineup here. Instead of Satomi we have Carnival as the lead villain and she is a vast improvement. Finally we have a villain who isn’t twisted in some way. Season 3’s Satomi is obvious, The villain from season 2 was also about emotional manipulation with Akira, and then we had Season 1’s main villain who was just messing with people because she could. I still couldn’t buy into that character’s origin story. Carnival just wants to take revenge on the humans which is a very reasonable goal for an LRig. LRigs were either born into misery or forced into it afterwards so they certainly have some very strong feelings towards the characters and for good reason.

Then we have Layla who as I mentioned is a great new addition to the cast. In fact, she may have risen up to be my favorite villain. Of course I love Akira as an imposing threat but as much as I can’t stand what season 2 did to her…it’s technically canon so I have to take that into consideration. Layla has no such events hanging over her head. She’s just an incredibly strong fighter who really wants to take down everyone she fights. She gets quite a few solid wins which was excellent. Her fighting style is bold and impressive as well. There’s really nothing not to like about her character. She was even willing to fight Carnival which was superb. Layla is a character who I wish could have gotten more time. I wanted to see her fight Ruko at her best for more of an extended amount of time.

Chinatsu sort of gets a big role here. So in season 3 she is one of the characters who didn’t get a happy ending. At the end of the day her memories were erased. Suzuko tries to tell Chinatsu not to worry about it but that’s easier said than done. Chinatsu sees this as her way to get her memories back but of course this means that she is no longer a powerhouse in the skills department. The show even teases the possibility of a fight with her and Yuzuki/Hanna vs Yuzuki although they end up not happening. That could have been a lot of fun. Again, this is where extra episodes could have come in handy. In the end she isn’t able to accomplish much on her own but that’s what her friends are here for.

Suzuko naturally didn’t want to enter the battles again but the situation with Chinatsu forces her hand. She does want to get those memories back no matter the cost after all. I would argue this isn’t as selfless a motive as just wanting to save the world like Kiyoi but at least this gets her into the fight. She doesn’t fight much here but is treated with a lot of respect as a Wixoss veteran. At this point in the story she is considered to be the second strongest fighter behind Ruko. She even gets the honor of fighting against Carnival which was nice. I was very satisfied with her fights here.

The same can be said for Ruko although I would have liked to have seen her fight just a bit more. As with Suzuko, Ruko is a veteran to the point where it seems like she doesn’t even fight much anymore. She’s grown too powerful for the game and as always her friends are around to give her the worst possible advice and hide secrets from her. Due to circumstances Ruko is without Tama again for a period of time which is unfortunate since that serves as a big nerf to her. I suppose the writers needed a way to ensure Ruko wouldn’t just clean shop but I do admit that I really wanted to see Ruko and Tama take names. After all, that means even with the fight against Suzuko, Ruko couldn’t use Tama. That’s the fight we all wanted to see after all the build up.

Hanna and Hitoe are examples of big supporting characters who ultimately are forced to stay by the sidelines. There’s just no time for them to do much so they are promptly taken out for the count. Neither fighter was ever that impressive to me so that’s not very surprising. There are a whole lot of other characters running around though as almost every old LRig and Wixoss player were brought back into the fold. It’s just a lot of fun to see these guys back in action. Even characters like Shohei aren’t forgotten as he finally gets some real closure here. Kazuki is given the shaft as he appears for like 5 seconds but that’s definitely for the best.

So this ends up being a very balanced season and a nice way to see all of the characters one last time. The final episode definitely ends things off on a high note. My main complaints would just be the season’s plot being a little too ambitious to the point where it couldn’t totally deliver on what it was hyping up. We should have gotten many more battles with the characters all finally getting to duke it out with each other. I’d also say that Tama seemed to be a little nerfed here by falling in the cage. Fortunately her shadowy partner was around to help out and I’m glad she wasn’t forgotten but they should have been able to bust the cage with ease.

To an extent the new Wixoss rules are there to help mask the short length by having each player eliminated after 1 match. It’s not a bad idea particularly with the LRig being taken each time but I think to make things simpler it should have been that the player is also taken out of the picture. Keeping the human around adds even more variables and potential plots to keep track of. This is the kind of thing that I would consider to be more of a minor issue at best though. It’s not something that would lower the score or anything. I do feel like the score could have definitely gotten higher with more battles and episodes though. Even just having a real ending to the Ruko vs Suzuko battle would have probably added a star. We got a 8-9 episode build up to that fight so I was really counting on a true ending to show who the strongest character of all was once and for all.

Overall, This was a really fun way to end the saga. It may not have all ended up exactly as I would have written it out but I can’t deny that it was a lot of fun. Akira and Layla were great villains while Ruko and Suzuko still make for great heroines. Kiyoi did a good job of taking on the mantle of taking on the mantle of main character as well. At the end of the day that gives you a very balanced show firing on all cylinders. While the Ruko vs Suzuko battle may have gotten the most hype, I would say that Ruko vs Layla was another big hitter and one of the best fights of the season. It probably did have the best animation at the end of the day. Then Layla vs Carnival was great because I always like to see in fighting amongst the villains. It adds a lot of tension and underscores that Layla isn’t some pawn who will just follow orders. She makes sure to have her presence felt the whole time. If you’ve made it this far into the series then you should definitely check this season out. If you haven’t gotten into the series yet then you should at least watch season 3 to really get what’s happening here. Otherwise you’re definitely going in blind and will have to prepare for exposition based on things you don’t know a whole lot about yet.

Overall 8/10

Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man Review


Crossovers are always a lot of fun. It’s just neat to see characters from two different series interact. There’s a lot of ways you can handle this. Have it just be the leads of two different series around, bring in one or two supporting characters from each verse, or just go all out with everyone showing up. It could be that characters from one universe fall into another one or the classic twist where they’ve been on the same planet all along. There are just so many variations. This one’s a pretty old school crossover and yet it does have a pretty grand feel to it. In this case it’s really a Wolf Man film guest starring the Frankenstein monster so it’s not an even split but a crossover that works really well all the same.

The movie starts with a pair of tomb robbers deciding to mess with the grave of the Wolf Man. (Not that they could have known this) This results in Larry reviving from his death and murdering one of them. He wakes up in a hospital the next day and has a feeling that he’s the guilty party but nobody believes him. He decides to go over to Maleva to seek her help since at least she knows about the Werewolf curse. She suggests visiting Dr. Frankenstein who may be their last chance. Unfortunately the town saw to it that he no longer exists and even the Frankenstein monster was seemingly destroyed. Can that really be true? The monster was incredibly powerful after all and wouldn’t go down so easily. Larry intends to get to the bottom of this mystery…even if it’s the last thing he does.

Right away you can see elements from the previous Wolfman film coming into play. You’ve got the old gypsy Maleva who gets a sizable role here. She’s quite hesitant to help but in the end she does support Larry as best she can so I’ll give her credit for that. Lesser characters would have just abandoned him right then and there. Then of course on Frankenstein’s side you’ve got the townsfolk who always want to burn everything to the ground. You can never tell one member from another to they may as well all be the same guys from the solo installments. Of course you’re really here for the two lead franchise characters but I do feel like having a the supporting characters show up is huge in making this feel like a big crossover.

Even though Frankenstein takes a while to appear you can’t help but get hyped as Larry heads into the town. You know that things are slowly ramping up and will lead to an inevitable clash at some point. Larry’s also just a pretty fun character so he works as a great lead. He doesn’t want to actually hurt anybody but isn’t able to control his transformations. His plot’s actually a bit on the dark side as he’s trying to find a way to end his life with how the curse has brought him so much pain at this point. Still, at his core he is still a hero and in the end he fights to protect his friends. He’s definitely a hero that you want to have in your corner.

As for Frankenstein himself, I’m still not a fan. He’s pretty much mindless as he walks around and wrecks havoc on the town. I do consider him to be a lot more powerful than the Wolf Man though. He may not be fast but once you’re within range of his fists then it’s basically over. You just aren’t going to be able to escape that grasp. At this point the monster seems to not even have any real goals. I suppose he wants to destroy any humans he sees but doesn’t exactly seek them out either. So I don’t know exactly what his deal is here but the film needs an antagonist so it’s good to have him around.

For the supporting characters we’ve got two main ones. Elsa who is the daughter of Doctor Frankenstein and Mannering who is the doctor in charge of Larry. Mannering started out pretty well as he did his best to protect Larry and even tracked him down a few cities away from where he was. The guy’s an extremely dedicated professional who has real connections. He also seemed prepared to fight with Larry if necessary when the lead made it clear that he wouldn’t go back. Unfortunately he quickly cracked near the end of the film as the mysteries of science were too much for him. The ending was so sudden though as the guy cracks for pretty much no reason. One second he’s sane and the next he isn’t.

Meanwhile Elsa is a much better character. She’s not exactly thrilled about getting roped back into the crazy experiments but she does her best to help out. She even warns Mannering a few times not that the guy would actually listen to anyone at that point. The Frankenstein half of the crossover needed at least one other character beyond the monster so she did a good job of representing her world. As expected the film’s writing is on point so all of the characters look pretty good here. The film even avoids some of the usual negatives you would expect like animal violence. It feels like the Wolf Man films tend to include that around so this one managing to avoid that was crucial. Frankenstein didn’t get to murder any kids either which was good because that’s another kind of scene you’re better off without.

Overall, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man is definitely a solid crossover that I would recommend checking out. It’s just so surreal to see the two monsters actually get to meet up like this. I think there’s probably a lot more potential having a crossover with two other series like Dracula and the Wolf Man just because they can actually talk and hash things out. At the end of the day Frankenstein is mindless so it’s not like there is a whole lot he can do to explain his position. Regardless, that’s probably why they have Larry as the main focus here and he holds up his end of the bargain rather well. With solid writing and just a grand sense that something cool is happening before you eyes, you can’t say you’ve completed your monster collection without this one.

Overall 7/10