Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy: Siege Review


It’s time for another Transformers show to enter the fray. This one’s more of a mini series since there are under 10 episodes but it is confirmed to be a trilogy so by the end of it this’ll be like a normal length show. It’s a take on the original Transformer battles from G1 but throwing in some extra elements. It’s like the Final Fantasy VII Remake in that a lot of things are similar but things start changing a bit by the end to the point where you’re confident that the sequels are really going to change things up. It’s definitely pretty solid and I look forward to seeing where the show goes from here.

The show starts us a little after the war has begun. The Decepticons currently have the edge in this war and the remaining Autobots are outnumbered and almost completely out of energon. If they don’t replenish soon then they will die out before the Decepticons even attack. Optimus Prime has gone for more and more risky endeavors to the point where some of his team are losing faith in him. The window for victory is closing rapidly though so Prime decides to take one last gamble to ensure their survival. Meanwhile Megatron knows he needs to squash the Autobots before they do come up with some kind of plan to take him down.

Since the show skips the actual start of the war you’re left to rely on context clues on who to root for. Naturally the Autobots are not as merciless as the Decepticons and don’t just go around blowing everyone up. That said, it does look like they would quickly fall to that level without Prime intervening all the time. We just don’t know what the actual treaty will be. The old system hardly sounds like it was that good with the Decepticons being enslaved. Of course, it looks like they’re just trying to turn the tables and do the same to the Autobots. Megatron doesn’t seem completely off the rails for most of the show though so I feel like there may be some nuance here. Regardless, there’s no way you will be rooting against the Autobots in the meantime. It’ll be up to the Decepticons to prove that their goals aren’t bad.

This show is CG like the last online title. It’s going for more of a War for Cybertron aesthetic whole the former went for a bright PS2 look. Both animation styles are solid and I remember thinking that the old show looked quite a bit better than I expected. CG can absolutely work well as long as the character models are on point and the other show handled that rather well. At the moment I would say the other show had the better animation. Still, the show looks really solid and definitely has a lot of detail. It had some really epic shots and a lot of fun fights. It’ll naturally take some time for this one to get there since we’re at the start of the war so it’s trying to go for a very dialed down approach for now. Everyone has standard power levels at the moment and the fights aren’t the main focus yet. I look forward to seeing the fighters go all out soon.

The character who is most changed from the original show is definitely Bumblebee. Here he is completely disillusioned with the war and does what he can to survive. He scouts out energon and gives it to the highest bidder. It’s an interesting way to keep him as a scout, he just isn’t an Autobot this time around. You sort of know who he will join in the end but I like the idea of making him a wildcard in the beginning. The Autobots are definitely pretty persistent in trying to recruit him though. They certainly have some good points here such as the fact that you can’t just avoid the war forever. The whole planet is involved and at some point you will either join a side or get taken out as a casualty in the end. Not choosing is a choice in itself.

Optimus Prime is a solid Autobot leader as always. He seems a little weaker than Megatron here but that makes sense since he is new to combat while Megatron grew up as a gladiator. It always made sense that Megatron should be stronger initially even if Optimus Prime ends up catching up to him at the end. Prime’s leadership skills also aren’t at the point where they would be later on. He makes a lot of tactical mistakes and continues to push for riskier and riskier plans. If the Decepticons didn’t have the aim of a Storm Trooper his group would have been doomed many times over during the opening episodes. Honestly if the Decepticons played this a little better the war should have been over. There is only so much you can do when you’re out of energon and that’s the status of the Autobots. You may as well go with one last all out assault instead of dragging it out at that point.

Of course we do have some wild cards in the show which help things out. One pretty interesting change here is how the show introduced Soundblaster. You may remember him as Soundwave’s super form in the G1 show but why would he have a super form already? Well, the show takes a different approach and it works out pretty well. Soundblaster is pretty interesting and I’d like to see more of him. The show does a nice job of building the environment in Cybertron so there are already a lot of characters to root for here with different personalities. Not everyone will be a winner of course but it does help you remember them.

For example, this is probably Elita’s biggest role in the series. Surprisingly she doesn’t end up as one of the more supportive characters here. She disagrees with Prime on a whole lot. To an extent this is fair since I agreed with her sentiments for a while. However, once the plan is underway at that point you just have to do your best to make it work. It’s not like you can turn back halfway yet she was still giving Prime a really hard time about everything. I would have liked to have seen her get on board with the plan for the second half. It would have made a nice difference to her character. Then you have Ratchet who definitely isn’t a big fan of the Autobots and feels like this war is a waste. Still, in the end he helps the heroes out. As a medic he prioritizes saving lives above all else so he’s a good ally to have around. He doesn’t forget about the rules of war and makes sure not to cross them.

The characters here all have their own plots which is good. Then you’ve got the Decepticons. I think just about anyone will predict that Starscream will be having a pretty big role coming up. The guy always has a lot of ambition and nothing slows him down. Jetfire really doesn’t help his case much though. He could have explained his side a little better. I don’t think it would have ultimately made much of a difference to be honest since the Decepticons were gradually growing darker and darker but at least it would have helped him out. I also like to think he could have taken out just about all of his opponents in his main fight if he started fighting a little sooner. Jetfire’s a fun character even if he ca be a bit naive so I’d like to see him more.

Soundwave and Shockwave get solid roles as well. Shockwave is the guy who really helps bring Megatron to the dark side. He’s that classic bad influence who keeps suggesting tempting ideas until they eventually get to the guy. He’s a large part of why Megatron ultimately started disregarding the ideals that kept him close to being less of an evil mastermind and just someone who wanted to help. Then you have Soundwave who is a very loyal officer and one that Megatron can count on. The fact of the matter is that the Decepticons have more key players than the Autobots so it’s easy to see why they were winning the war. This side is just very stacked. Then you’ve got Megatron himself. I’ve already talked a bit about him so I’ll keep it brief, but he’s a great villain as always. The slow descent from being a reasonable villain to going more off the rails is always pretty interesting.

From his point of view you can also see why Prime would feel like a villain. Megatron just broke free from society and now Prime is going to blow up the planet? Prime knows that taking the core will likely blow up the planet but sees this as necessary over losing the war. It’s a very drastic step and one you don’t usually see from the heroes. It really underscores that this is a war and both sides are incredibly desperate. They’re willing to make sacrifices in order to win. I imagine in part 2 there is definitely not going to be any mercy or quarter given from the Decepticons. The time for talking is over.

It was already over to an extent though which is why Ultra Magnus was a little annoying here as always. Walking over to the villains to talk never works out well. Naturally they can’t be trusted and will end up doing whatever they want now that you are effectively a glorified hostage. Even if Magnus doesn’t mind risking his life, what he doesn’t understand is that he’s risking everyone else’s lives as well. Magnus does a good job of handling the situation once he’s in there but he should not have gone in the first place. It was just a bad decision through and through.

At the end of the day Transformers just makes for a very interesting show. We’ve already had plenty of shows about them on Earth with the humans so it’s also nice to just have a title where it’s the robots. The writing is absolutely on point and you could definitely have the robots continue to fight for a long time on this planet. Of course Part 2 looks like it’ll change that, I doubt there will be any humans if they do wind up on Earth but if it turns out they arrived in present day that would certainly be a huge twist. I doubt it would be well received, but it would certainly be a twist.

Overall, This was a solid start to the War for Cybertron series. It starts out fast and keeps the pacing up throughout the whole season. There’s never any down time in the action and that makes sense. Part of the point of small seasons like this is that they can be very focused with tight pacing through and through. The Transformers franchise has always delivered with a lot of solid shows and this one will certainly be no different. I’m looking forward to seeing which characters are thrown in for part 2. Personally it would be nice to see Rodimus show up a bit more but as he got a big role in the last CGI title I suppose they may want to give him a break. That’s fair, but it would still be cool of course. If you like Transformers or just enjoy a tense action series then this is a good one for you to check out.

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony: Pony Life


MLP has returned with a new series! It’s off to a fun enough start. The animation has taken a bit of a nosedive and I’m never a fan of going for 10 minute shorts rather than 20 but I think this one should manage to be consistently good. I’m hoping the series starts throwing in some fight scenes but either way I’ll be in it for the longhaul.

Overall 6/10

My Little Pony: Pinkie Pie’s Party Review


It’s time to look at one of the games I got for my Birthday. This one was definitely a very short one though. The gameplay is actually solid with fun visuals and such, but the whole experience will only last you around 30 minutes. No matter how high budget the game is it’s hard to do much with 30 minutes. I’d like to see the developers give this one another shot with a bigger budget.

The plot of the game is pretty straightforward. Pinkie Pie’s birthday is coming up so the other ponies have decided to get her a lot of gifts and such. Unfortunately they’ve lost them all so now Pinkie Pie has to ironically track them all down herself. Can she save her own birthday and prove that finding the gifts can be just as fulfilling as receiving them all? Then we can really just settle down and enjoy all the nice snacks.

I figured that getting a birthday game on my birthday was pretty fitting. This is a game I’ve known about for a long while, but I wouldn’t exactly go out of my way to grab it. It’s not exactly known as a AAA title so right from the jump you know not to get your expectations too high. It was a bit of a blind buy as I didn’t know exactly what to expect. The gameplay mainly has you walk around from area to area as you tap on any presents of puzzle pieces you come across on your journey. Once you have obtained them all then the game ends. Most of the items are just lying around. Once you’ve found those then you have to talk to the other Ponies and they will give you a present upon clearing one of their mini games.

The minigames are all very short and you shouldn’t have a problem completing them. Some are titles where you can’t lose and others try to at least make things a little more challenging for you. They aren’t quite as inspired as the Mario Party minigames though and you probably won’t be tempted to try them a second time. It’s not like there are any high scores to try and improve so the replay value just simply isn’t there. There are a number of things you can do instead but if you really like the games you can replay any of them at any time. The Hub world is fairly short which is good because the map only helps you out for one gift at a time so you’ll be running back and forth a lot.

The graphics are surprisingly good all things considered. The character designs are on point and the backgrounds are sharp. This is probably the most impressive element of the game and I’m actually a little surprised that such effort was included. It doesn’t feel like the rest of the game was taken as seriously. The soundtrack is also incredibly limited which doesn’t help matters either. At least it is a game that is nice to look at which is good. If the game could have even just thrown in an extra hour or two of gameplay then that could have really changed things.

Overall, as mentioned, the game is around 30 minutes long. There is no replay value as you had to collect everything to trigger the ending so that hurts a bit. The actual gameplay is fun, but with such a length there’s no way I could give it a positive score. The best I could do was give it a middle of the road number. If you see the game down the block for a few bucks then you may as well get it. For 15 or up it is really not worth it. You could buy some food combos that would last longer than this game. Even long time fans of the series will likely feel underwhelmed. I think the only way this one works is if you’re buying it for a very young kid who is an MLP fan, but even then I would make the case that there are better games that can be purchased.

Overall 5/10

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Volume 12 Review


It’s time for another My Little Pony comic adventure. Slowly but surely I’m getting close to reading all of the volumes. This one actually has a few stories that span several issues which is cool. I always like when the series goes for complete story arcs rather than one shot issues. With the extra page space there is just so much more you can do to flesh out the adventures and make sure everyone gets a role. It means there are less chances for other characters to get a chance to shine, but it is worth it.

First up we’ve got a long story arc with Discord. Things haven’t been going well for him as of late because he just can’t help but act rather rudely to everyone around him. Fluttershy puts up with it, but the rest of the Mane 6 do not. He decides to seal himself away and transforms into a being known as Accord. He just wants to bring stability to the rest of the world. At first this seems pretty good, but he starts to get a little too drastic when he begins mind controlling innocent ponies. The Mane 6 realize that they are going to have to stop him, but what if that means Discord will return? This’ll be one of their toughest cases yet and they may need to ask for help from the superstar Starlight Glimmer!

It’s been so long since Starlight Glimmer got to have a starring role so you can bet that I was super thrilled to see her return. As always she ended up being the power hitter here and the only one who was resistant to the mind controlling abilities of Accord. She’s often overlooked during the series, but when a crisis is at hand there is nobody more dependable than her. I think her presence is part of what legitimizes this as a real threat. We also get to see almost the entire rest of the main cast from the series which is pretty neat. It always makes for a good premise when you have someone slowly corrupting everyone in the town through magic. It’s like the Phalanx arc in X-Men.

By this point I can see why everyone would be tired of Discord in Ponyville. He seems to make a whole lot of mistakes which come back to bite everyone, but at least this time it wasn’t intentional. He doesn’t seem to have any control over Accord although it is basically him so I won’t cut the guy too much slack. It was also interesting to see the Elements of Harmony actually fail this time. Those objects usually work so it was a pretty startling moment. Accord was one of the most serious threats that Equestria ever faced and I hope everyone gave Starlight a proper thanks at the end. The whole volume would be worth checking out even if this was the only story in it, it’s just really epic!

A one shot comic after this has Discord at the helm once more. It is Celestia’s birthday and he is unsure what kind of gift to get her. As the princess she already has pretty much anything money can buy. That’s when Discord realizes what he should do. He transforms her into a normal pony so she can hang out in Ponyville and enjoy things without everyone being on guard. At first Celestia is reluctant, but gradually she realizes that this is a lot of fun. It’s not a big end of the world plot like the last arc, but it’s a pretty cool one shot. There does seem to be a possible plot hole here though as she acts like she had never gone to Ponyville before, but in another issue we find out that she goes into Ponyville undercover once a year for this exact reason. So…..that doesn’t hold up when you think about it. I guess you could assume that she just doesn’t want Discord to know this so she is overacting which is reasonable and it’s not like this is a big plot hole either way. It’s just a nice wholesome comic and it always does sound fun to pretend to be someone else for a day.

Then the rest of the stories here involves another story arc. One night Twilight and Spike are heading back home when they notice that the door is open. A villain is inside stealing some books and while Twilight attempts to stop him, the masked thief is too powerful. He knocks them aside and escapes. Twilight calls the rest of the team in and we discover that the villain has been going around Equestria and stealing a bunch of books only to erase the information within. The heroes have to catch him before he does the same to the rest of the realm, but how can they hope to defeat a mage who is this powerful? It’s definitely going to take everyone on this mission.

It’s a pretty solid group of issues. I’m always up for a new villain and the fact that he has powers is pretty cool. That being said I do think that he gets off rather lightly here. The guy damaged a bunch of irreparable books and they basically just told him to stop doing that. I know at the end of the day the heroes are rarely going to beat up on bad guys here since friendship is what solves issues, but this guy was a total crook. His origin story for why he was doing this was pretty shaky and at the end of the day it was really just an excuse to go wild on the town.

I also think the Mane 6 didn’t treat this too seriously for a while. Twilight should have put up a much better fight against the guy at the beginning and when she called in the Mane 6 they should have been investigating rather than turning the whole thing into a slumber party. I dare say that Applejack and Rainbow Dash took this situation the most seriously compared to the others at least. It was nice to see the group split up into pairs to dig up some dirt on the villain. It felt like how things would have played out in a two part episode. So while the ponies should have cracked down on this guy sooner, it was still a really solid adventure to end off with. Hopefully the villain will return someday and we did get an interesting cliffhanger of sorts so I wonder if that plot will be resumed.

The art tends to shift from arc to arc, but it’s definitely pretty solid. The only iffy one is the Celestia issue as that artist always draws everyone like little kids. Celestia should not look to be the same height as Twilight and pals. It has a nice cartoony look to it though so the colors are still on point. The series has always been very expressive and easy to read which the issue still captures. You’ll have no problem reading through these issues and just having a good ole time.

Overall, Friendship is Magic continues to be a solid series volume after volume. There’s really nothing bad to be said about it and the pacing is on point. This volume in particular has two different arcs making it one of the strongest volumes that I’ve read. In particular you’ll definitely want to read the story with Accord as it is played pretty seriously. I still think it would be a good idea for the show to come back and adapt these stories at some point. There are just so many good ones to choose from!

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Volume 17 Review


It’s time to look at another MLP volume. This one surprisingly has a large story arc with only one stand alone adventure contained within. As a result I’d definitely say that this is one of the strongest MLP comics I’ve read in a while. The new villain is pretty epic and it’s nice to have some real action scenes in here. The only missed opportunity is that Starlight Glimmer didn’t show up even though she was mentioned a few times. Now that’s just a tease.

The first issue is about Zephyr being a little nervous about his mane styling skills. He goes to a whole event for it, but he just can’t find the confidence to get up on the stage. Fluttershy has to remind him that it’s always tough going up in a crowd, but you’ve got to do it if you really want to improve. Eventually he gets the memo and goes through with it. It’s a nice enough comic, but Zephyr was never one of the better characters. I also think adding in another pony who seems brave but actually gets terrified was a little cheesy. I get why she was included as it helps with the moral, but I would have been okay with Zephyr being the only one who was nervous and he learns that sometimes you just have to face your fears straight up.

The real story is about Cosmos though. A long time ago there was a being named Cosmos who was incredibly powerful. Together with Discord she nearly brought the planet to its knees. Unfortunately for her Discord was not quite on board with her violent tendencies. He likes causing chaos and at times that will hurt ponies, but Discord doesn’t like destroying them outright. As a result he betrayed her to Celestia and Luna who sealed her into a bunch of rocks. Discord hid the one that he found and then allowed himself to be turned to stone since he felt guilty. Well, thousands of years have passed and Cosmos has returned. She is currently possessing the body of Twilight Sparkle and commands Ponyville to find the rest of the crystal shards. Can Discord stop her plan before it’s too late?

This is the kind of story that would have really worked out quite nicely as an MLP special or even as a movie. Cosmos is a villain so powerful that all of the original pony powerhouses had to team up to stop her. That just makes for a great threat and her design is also quite fierce. She reminds me a bit of Tirek from when he first showed up before getting nerfed in the final season. Unlike the other villains she isn’t coming close to being redeemed either. All she wants is to absolutely crush the heroes beneath her heel. She will not be granting them any mercy and that’s really what you want to see in a villain.

This story also has quite a few parts so there is plenty of time to introduce all of the characters and get them set on their side quests. Some characters like Pinkie Pie can’t stay serious long enough to actually contribute but for the rest of the characters it’s just really great to see them up and about. Some characters like Zecora are suitably cautious while others like Rainbow Dash just run in without thinking. They all bring something to the table and this is just a great arc. The fights hold up and there is little to say against it.

I guess as a slight iffy moment Big Mac loses in the most embarrassing way possible. I’ve never liked the character anyway, but this really doesn’t help his case. Meanwhile Twilight doesn’t look her best here since she can’t break the hypnosis, but once she’s freed she looks reasonable. The comics just show that Cosmos is far too powerful to be stopped by the average pony. Discord is still as powerful as ever, but as always he loses to the new threat. With his reality warping abilities I feel like he should be able to defeat just about anyone, but I suppose in his defense he does have a history with Cosmos so that causes him to hesitate a bit. The real question is whether or not he would be able to claim victory if they were both going all out. I like to think Cosmos would win, but in theory it’s hard to see why Discord wouldn’t.

Of course the comic couldn’t resist taking one shot at Celestia. We find out that she tossed one of Applejack’s gifts into her forgotten lair with all other kinds of dangerous objects and junk. That implies she was making fun of the object by either calling it super dangerous or saying she didn’t like it. Applejack took this pretty hard and I can see why. If you don’t like a gift then you at least need to hide it really well. Putting it in a spot where it is seen as “bad” just makes the issue worse, but it’s the kind of power play you’d expect to see from Celestia.

The artwork is definitely fun here. It’s very expressive so you can see the looks of shock and horror on the ponies as they deal with a threat that seems to get worse and worse by the minute. It’s easy to read through and you can still get a good feel of the scope. Some of the imagery here almost looks like something out of the 90’s X-Men adventures like the Inferno arc. Cosmos’ ability to turn things crazy makes for a lot of great visuals and the artists took full advantage of this.

Overall, This is definitely a volume I would recommend checking out. It’s the perfect volume to look at if you believe the My Little Pony is just about happy ponies having a lot of fun. This one shows that there is also that element of danger always around the corner and I’ll be interested to see how the comics intend to top this arc. In theory this is already around the power level ceiling of the series, but maybe next time we can get a serious villain group. The series hasn’t really done that yet and a group vs group fight would be a blast.

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Volume 10 Review


It’s time to look at the next MLP comic. This time it’s the big volume 10 so I’m glad I was able to go back and check this one. It lowers the hole of missing MLP comics I haven’t gotten to check out. It’s a pretty solid array of issues. 2 of them get a little experimental, one of them successfully while the other one ended up not rising to the occasion. The main issue is about the Cutie Mark Crusaders though and you can’t go wrong there!

The first issue has the Cutie Mark Crusaders going on a mountain climbing adventure. Diamond Tiara and her friend go as well, but the heroes are ready to have a good time anyway. Unfortunately their excitement goes a little too far as they ditch the group and go on their own. Eventually this causes them to get lost and they must now find a way to get back to the other ponies. That’s one plan at least, the other is to stay put until the Mane 6 arrive to save the day. It’s hard for the heroes to agree on one strategy and making this even harder is the fact that Diamond Tiara keeps on insulting the crew. She’s not exactly a team player and insists on reminding the other ponies of this time and time again.

This is a pretty good story. It was also really long so I think it may have been 2 issues rolled into one or an annual of sorts. We got to have a lot of development with the CMC doing their best to try and get Tiara on board. You really can’t blame them for anything that happens because the effort was made. Apple Bloom may not have been too eager to slow down for Tiara but if a member of the party doesn’t want to travel with everyone else it’s probably more dangerous to just stay there uncertain of where to go. At least Apple Bloom was trying to lead the group to the next objective and ideally she would have gotten them somewhere safe. It’s inevitable that the Mane 6 would show up at some point so the important thing is to get high up where it will be easier to find them. Apple Bloom had the right idea and this was a great way to kick things off.

The next story was a pretty emotional one about how Twilight and Spike first met each other. This takes place back when Twilight didn’t really have any friends so even looking after a dragon was pretty tough for her. She was already having a hard time keeping up in class so this big responsibility threatened to break her. She did a pretty good job of looking after him either way though. Her methods may have been more automatic than others would have been since Twilight has a hard time showing her emotions, but she was never mean. The series showed some good restraint in making her a reasonable pony and not throwing her character out the window.

Spike was definitely a handful, but he is a baby here so we can cut him a little slack. I can also sympathize with Twilight preferring to spend time with her family during the school meeting than the other classmates. Since she never talked to them during the year that would have been a little odd. So this was a good follow up story to the first one. It may not have had the same level of thrills and teamwork, but I’m always up for a good “first meeting” story.

Next up is the weakest comic of the volume and possibly the weakest one in the whole series. At the very least it would give them all some competition. It starts off with Zecora talking about how 1 bad attitude can spread to countless ponies if not treated right away. We see that Rainbow Dash had a bad day and she begins taking it out on all of the other ponies. Soon all of Ponyville is in a bad mood as none of them can break the cycle and it looks like Rainbow Dash will have to be the one to save the day. I found both the premise to be weak and the artwork, but make no mistake it’s the latter which hurt the issue for me the most.

Experimental artwork usually doesn’t do the trick for me. It can look interesting, but I just really like my polished artwork that you get in most of the comics. Even for anime or movies I typically prefer something traditional to something that’s trying for a very off approach. You can certainly make something unique that’s really cool without being totally crazy. This issue is mainly with watercolors and so everything is hard to make out and a bit scattered. It’s not all that appealing to read and you’ll be tempted to just skip over to the next issue. Art is critically important for a comic. Also the plot is a little hard to buy. Everyone in Ponyville gets upset because Rainbow made one mistake? At least one of the ponies should have been able to break the cycle if you ask me. That being said, Ponyville has never been the nicest town out there. They turn on each other very quickly.

Finally we have a comic where Pinkie Pie and Rarity make a comic. It’s pretty meta in a sense. This one’s also experimental, but it works a lot better. It would probably get old if it went on for more than 1 issue, but as a one shot it’s interesting enough. The dilemma that the two of these ponies face is that their taste in comics are very different. Rarity wants her character to look very regal and nice even though she is supposed to be the villain. Pinkie Pie gets distracted a lot and so her stories become very unfocused. Both of them keep on trying various ideas throughout the issue which vary in terms of art and plot. The arts are all very different and we even get a live action sock puppet style. By the end of the issue they realize that just making a comic is a lot of fun even if they may never agree in the end.

It’s a pretty good message. When creating something with someone else you are going to have to be ready to make a lot of compromises because the odds of you two having the same ideas are slim. Each of you will want to do something different with the characters and that will lead to a lot of disagreements. Just remember why you are teaming up on a comic and hopefully that will inspire you to work these things out.

Overall, This was a fun MLP volume. As always the stories were a lot of fun and also taught good messages along the way. The pacing was good and the artwork for the various volumes was solid as well aside from that one issue. It’s been a consistently good run for this series so I look forward to more of the same in the next volume I check out. Volume 17 is the next one so we’ll be jumping back into the era of Princess Twilight and the Student 6. Hopefully that means Starlight Glimmer will get to appear and another issue about the CMC would be nice. If you haven’t checked this comic out yet then you should. It’s a well balanced adventure.

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony: The Crystalling Review


It’s time to take a look at a comic adaption of the Crystalling two parter from the TV show. This is one of those comics that is basically a screenshot version of the show. It was always an interesting concept even if I don’t totally see the point of it. I suppose it’s a good way for fans who are unable to actually watch it live to still experience what the episodes are like. As a result it’s almost like I’m reviewing the two episodes. It’s a solid comic and if you did have to read this instead of watching the episodes you won’t be missing much. The key scenes are all here.

So Twilight is getting ready to head to Cadence’s palace for the Crystalling of the new baby. It’s effectively a ceremony using the heart of the kingdom. She also needs to give her student Starlight Glimmer a first lesson and figures that she can knock out two things at once. She instructs Starlight to seek out Sunburst as they used to be best friends before Starlight turned evil. Starlight isn’t thrilled with this mission, but she doesn’t want to let Twilight down. As such, she gears up for the meeting. Will she really be able to re-connect with Sunburst and will the Crystalling go as expected?

There are really two plots here which eventually merge into one. For the Starlight plot, you can definitely see how this is a hard mission. It’s hard to reconnect with someone you haven’t seen in many years. Twilight making this into a friendship lesson also puts a ton of pressure on Starlight. I think Twilight’s heart was in the right place, but I don’t think this was a great thing to turn into a lesson. Starlight did a really good job of adapting either way though. She went and met up with Sunburst even though it was hard on her and from there she went and helped save the kingdom.

It’s easy to see why Starlight would go on to basically become the leader of the group. She’s definitely the strongest pony around and she took to the friendship skills pretty quick. I was definitely a big fan right away. Meanwhile I was less impressed with Sunburst. I dunno, I never really liked the guy much. On his side he had far less reason to be cryptic about his past which inevitably leads to him blowing a fuse and not even trying to help save the world. It was a lot of pressure but it still would have been nice to see him stick up for the others and try to help even if it meant pretending to be a magician for a little longer.

The other plot had Cadence and Shining Armor being out of their depth once more as Flurry Heart took center stage. It’s always nice to be born with incredible powers and that’s exactly what happened for Flurry. This time Pinkie Pie did a good job of distracting her while the others went to work. Twilight may not have been able to solve this by herself this time, but she was definitely necessary in saving the world. Without her the heroes wouldn’t have even had a book to start solving with in the first place. We also got to see Celestia and Luna fight off the clouds a bit. Not the most exciting action scene, but it’s still an action scene nonetheless.

The writing is sound here and the cast of characters are good. There’s not a whole lot more to say because the comic is so short. You’ll be done reading it in the blink of an eye and then you’ll be ready for the next saga. In retrospect it is a little surprising that no villains were present in this story, but I suppose you can always get a little tension in with natural disasters rather than relying on a villain to get things moving every time. At the very least it makes sense why you would want to mix things up every once in a while. I would have been game for a quick Twilight vs Starlight battle due to a misunderstanding or something though.

Overall, The Crystalling is a fun two part event. There aren’t any villains here, but it’s just a fun story where we get to see the whole gang of MLP fighters. All of the ponies contribute to the plot and make for a fun team up issue. The Mane 6 certainly have less of a role next to Twilight and Starlight, but they still get their contributions. The format of the comic makes it easy to take on the go and read. It’s also a decent enough size where it’ll last you a good batch to read through. I don’t expect I’ll be getting more of the episode adaptions (I got this one by mistake) but they are good. They’re as good as the episode versions and most of those get a 7 as well. It is always nicer to read a brand new story, but nostalgia goes a long way. It’s been ages since I saw this episode.

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Volume 16 Review


The My Little Pony roll continues as I enter Volume 16. We’ve got another good batch of comics here with one of them being a Halloween special! I suppose I probably should have read this one about a week or two ago, but better late than never right? There are 5 stories here all with their own unique adventures. They’re all solid stories in their own right with no weak ones so the series continues to have a good amount of consistency.

One story has the elder apples playing Bingo with Applejack. The young pony decided to invite Rainbow Dash this time though and that ultimately leads to her downfall. Rainbow quickly points out that the game is a little boring and Applejack had apparently been leading this game for 5 years so everyone else was tired of it as well. Rainbow decides to spice things up by introducing them to Extreme Bingo. What happens in this game is that Rainbow hides the pieces around Ponyville and now the elders will have to split up and find them. First one to get a line wins. Applejack is against this because she feels it will be dangerous, but Granny Smith won’t hear any of that.

Applejack admittedly has a point here. Rainbow put some of the pieces in really dangerous places like an abandoned haunted house or past a bridge that was breaking down. Most of the other pieces are safe, but even just 1-2 like that do make things difficult. Had Rainbow not done that then I would have been on her side since Applejack always is overprotective. It was Rainbow’s loss this time, but it’s still a fun issue nevertheless. It was also nice seeing the elders call in their favors with the Mane 6 to get them into the competition. Honestly this could have been a two part comic with every member getting a buddy and things getting super competitive.

Another issue has the Student 6 getting invited to a haunted house by Twilight Sparkle. She was in disguise, but unfortunately they saw right through it. What Twilight didn’t count on was the fact that the rest of her friends put in a lot of contraptions of their own so when mixed together there is some real danger here. The kid are scared, but the Yak reminds them that if you use fear it can turn into power. It’s a good issue although it was a little extra irresponsible of Twilight to not check over the house herself. Also, she could have teleported in at any time so I don’t see how she took so long to get there. Parts of the plot were hard to buy so this is the weakest issue, but it’s still good. The moral that everyone feels fear is pretty good. People may not always show it, but just having that knowledge will let you cope with it a lot better than you otherwise would.

Next up Pinkie Pie gets the ability to make her wishes come true by eating a golden apple. This is Pinkie Pie so as you can expect she immediately begins to make a ton of wishes which puts everyone else in danger. She nearly drowns some ponies in hot fudge and she summons a bunch of balloons which get in Rainbow’s way. Even when her friends tell her to stop Pinkie is reluctant because she knows that her wishes will ultimately make everyone happy. There’s no two ways about this one, Pinkie’s the villain. She may be trying to justify this, but once her friends are flat out telling her to stop and she refuses this gets a little tricky.

Most of her wishes are also not that helpful. I think she would have convinced me of her side more if she wishes for better houses in the village or something like that. Wishing for Fluttershy to be transparent for the rest of her life? That probably stings for such a pleasant character as Fluttershy. Eventually Pinkie sees the light and we’re reminded that power corrupts. I do have to question why Applejack has had a golden apple like that and never used it before. That certainly would have come in handy during several of the villain invasions in the past right?

One story has Fluttershy acting rather oddly. She seems rather emotionless and even a bit rude to the rest of the Mane 6. She even kicks Rainbow Dash away which was pretty violent for such a peaceful pony. Well, it turns out that Fluttershy is acting like the animals around her thanks to an ancient amulet and now she has the personality of a dangerous wolf. The heroes will have to find a way to remove the effects of the amulet quickly or the damage Fluttershy does will eventually become irreparable. This is a good story and it reminds you not to mess with dangerous amulets. Spike also had a pretty good plan here. It’s rare that he thinks of something before Twilight so that was definitely fun for his fans. He stepped up when they needed him to do so and that’s always good.

Finally we head back to the Apples as Granny Smith thinks about an apple pie that Applejack’s mom used to make. It was the best ever, but nobody’s been able to recreate it. Applejack decides that this won’t do and gathers the local cake experts to crack the code. Pinkie Pie and Miss Cake are brought in, but even their efforts are in vain. The problem is the mysterious ingredient of “Love” in the recipe that they can’t seem to crack. After all they all really want to make Smith a good pie so shouldn’t that be enough? To find out what the ingredient is they will have to travel across Ponyville finding all of the ingredients that the Mom used to make while piecing together the past.

This is a pretty nice comic because it’s doing so much at once. We learn a lot more about Applejack’s parents through the stories that the villagers tell. Then we also get to see ponies team up in a rare combo because Miss Cake is rarely such a major player. I’m also always up for a good food story and since pie plays a big part here it’s nice to look at. In the end this is just a very wholesome comic. There may not be high stakes, but being able to recreate a recipe is always fun. It’s also something you can relate to because it’s always hard to make something quite the same way as someone else. I always like making recipes for myself so I don’t need to worry about that, but for people baking for a group it’s always a source of pressure.

As always the artwork is on point here. The pie comic is the only one where everyone was maybe drawn a little too young, but beyond that the proportions were all on point. The colors are vibrant and it always makes for a very pleasant read. The writing is definitely solid as well with everyone being polite while not being afraid to throw a little sass into the mix. You have to read between the lines at times to see how the ponies really feel. Except for Applejack, she’s always quite direct.

Overall, Volume 16 continues My Little Pony’s strong run. Alas, this is the final volume of the main series I have on hand so it could be a while before 17 hits. I do have one more MLP comic to read but it’s a little different from these. If you haven’t read this comic yet then I’d recommend picking it up. MLP is one of those comics that anyone can enjoy. These stories are just plain fun and whether you’re a kid or an adult you can pick up on the messages and have a good time with the characters. Now I’m ready for some Apple Pie, but I must stay strong until Thanksgiving!

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Volume 15 Review


It’s time to take a look at the next My Little Pony volume. We’ve got quite a few hype stories here ranging from Mane 6 adventures to the supporting characters stepping up to the plate. As expected this is a very solid volume that keeps up the momentum from the last one. It’s also cool that the series has enough issues for 15 whole trades. That’s really not an easy feat for any series. It shows that MLP is doing quite good.

First up we see Rarity and Fluttershy head over to Manehattan. Fluttershy is here to learn more about how to operate an animal shelter while Rarity wanted to get some inspiration for her fashion trends. Unfortunately Rarity is saddened to learn that the fashion has gone back in time to when she first went there and developed a line. She doesn’t want to re-do what she used to make, but at the same time Rarity doesn’t like creating her own trend. Meanwhile Fluttershy’s workshop doesn’t go well since the ponies keep guilt tripping them all on what they should have done originally. Now Fluttershy isn’t sure if she should have created a shelter in the first place.

It’s a fun story and one that is packed with plotlines since we have two in one issue. I think Rarity’s predicament was a little easier. Sure, it’s not really as fun to develop the same things you’ve already done, but she does learn where she could have improved the first time around. For Fluttershy the whole situation is pretty stressful since she finds out that her shelter has basically been operating outside the law. Still, it’s not like she can fix the past so she does her best to move forward. A solid way to start the collection.

Next up is the best issue in my opinion. Princess Celestia apparently goes down into town once a year in disguise. She uses a powerful amulet to seal away all of her powers to make the disguise more complete. I personally think she could have done the illusion without losing her powers, but I suppose whatever will trick the ponies more completely right? Unfortunately someone steals her amulet so now she needs the help of the Mane 6 to get it back. It’s a fun tale because we rarely get to see Celestia hang out with the main characters as just another pony. It did take a lot of convincing to get the Mane 6 to accept her though. I suppose Celestia will always be a little intimidating. Meanwhile the pony who stole the amulet works for an old lady who seems pretty corrupt. It was interesting to have a villain group like this standing in the heroes’ way. The villain also did get super powers even if it didn’t lead up to a big fight. This story had the highest stakes.

Then we had a story where we find out that Ponyville is doing a movie based on the Mane 6’s adventures. Rarity and friends are offered jobs as directors to make sure that the whole thing is historically accurate. The problem is that everyone has different memories of how things went down and they can’t agree on a single vision. This ultimately leads each of the ponies to try and do their own thing rather than teaming up. We get 6 different scenes that are spliced into a movie which goes about as well as you would expect. So whose memories were right or are all of them a little off? The characters are all a little unreasonable here as you’d expect. I guess the offer of being a director was just a little too tempting for them to resist. The group definitely don’t tend to get along when they have to team up like this. It’s a good reminder that your memories aren’t always 100% accurate and likely differ from the person next to you.

Finally we have the big story that takes up two issues. It takes place after the movie and Tempest is still having a hard time adjusting to normal pony life. They all just seem so happy and over the top cheerful for Tempest to really feel at ease. She decides to leave the kingdom for a while and Cadence suggests that she go and help out a nearby village. Tempest meets up with one of the ponies she used to be friends with before she turned evil but still harbors a grudge over the past. She will have to put that to the side for now though since the cosmic bear who broke her horn as a filly has returned. Tempest will need all of her skills to win this round.

This was the weakest story for me. The length wasn’t an issue, but I do think that Tempest got nerfed a little too hard here. There’s no reason why she shouldn’t have been able to defeat the bear with ease. The comic has her freeze with terror and it was a traumatic experience back when she was a kid, but I feel like she would have taken this situation in stride a lot better than she did here. I also don’t blame her for being upset at the other ponies because in the film we saw how they abandoned her. It turns out that they went on a really fun vacation and sort of forgot about Tempest. Mix that in with Tempest being overly defensive and they just broke apart. Tempest definitely got a pretty raw deal all things considered, but things are looking up for her. Her character development arc is similar to Starlight’s, but she just hasn’t gotten quite as much screen time yet. Hopefully she gets to appear more in the future.

The artwork here is definitely solid. The ponies are very expressive like the later seasons of the show. The colors are vibrant and it’s very easy to read through these issues. It’s a fun volume through and through. It also felt a little longer than the last trade since we got 5 issues here instead of 4. It helps add more value to your purchase. The writing here is solid and consistent so I have no qualms there. While the Mane 6 may still fight quite a lot considering how many friendship lessons they should have learned by now it does remind you that you can always learn something new.

Overall, Volume 15 is pretty solid. Without the Cutie Mark Crusaders I wouldn’t put it quite as high up as volume 14, but it’s definitely close. As I mentioned my favorite story is the Celestia one. It’s always a cool concept to have the leader walking around town in disguise. It also makes sense to do this since the leader won’t hear everyone’s true thoughts. It’s always a sad reality for the boss that there are layers put onto everything they hear. You’ll never get past the filters no matter how nice you may appear to be so becoming just “one of the ponies” is the best way around this. I’ll be checking out volume 16 pretty soon so stay tuned!

Overall 7/10