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

Sorcerous Stabber Orphen (2020) Review


It’s time to look at the 2020 remake of the classic Orphen story. This one takes a far different approach than the last one though which was pretty interesting. Azalie plays a much bigger role here which I was happy to see. It definitely ended up completely surpassing the original series. This one is a blast and a half from start to finish with excellent animation and story beats. If you want a solid action anime to check out then this is definitely the one that you will want to have at the ready.

The show starts by introducing us to Orphen. He used to be a member of the Tower of Fang but left to pursue Azalie since he disagreed with the Tower’s approach. Most of this is cloaked in mystery and explained as the story goes on so I’ll leave it there. He’s now a renegade mage trying to make ends meet until he can find her. He takes on an apprentice named Majic who really wants to be a great mage but Orphen doesn’t take him too seriously. A rich girl named Cleao also ends up joining the party so now this trio have to try not to hold Orphen back as they tag along. Orphen will have to go up against assassins, the Tower of Fang, and of course Azalie. Are his skills as a stabber and inheritor of the Razor’s Edge going to be enough for this?

The show starts off quite fast paced and it has to in order to cover all of this in only 13 episodes. The show does a great job of making you feel like a lot is happening. We get to see Orphen in a lot of different fights and scenarios. I’d say that the first arc of the series is naturally finding Azalie and then the second half is sort of about finding her again. We get mini arcs throughout of course so there’s always more than one plot going on. For example, one plot has the heroes head to an isolated village of people who can’t stand sorcerers. Naturally they aren’t too happy to see Orphen and pals so the heroes have to end up fighting them off.

Another mini arc and my personal favorite in the series is when a fake Orphen appears and stars murdering Tower of Fang members. Naturally this puts Orphen in a bad light especially as this clone looks like how Orphen was back when he was a member. Orphen has to try and take this guy out but the problem is that the Fake Orphen appears to be as powerful as Orphen was at his peak. Unfortunately the Orphen, he has actually grown weaker over the years because he is not able to actively train like he used to and so his skills have naturally deteriorated. It’s a pretty intense arc for sure.

Finally the last arc involves some more assassins. These guys want a book that the Tower of Fang currently possesses and they will do whatever they have to in order to get it. Once they start targeting Orphen’s friends he takes it personally and decides to remove them. He is a stabber after all and isn’t opposed to destroying his enemies when necessary. They went after Cleao and Leticia (Tish) so at this point Orphen needs to make sure they don’t go after anyone else.

The season ends with a nice cliffhanger setting up the next season pretty well. Once again Orphen and the gang are going to be heading to a place that isn’t exactly known for being nice for mages. Should make for a pretty tense second season. We already know Azalie can protect herself so the question is if Orphen’s up to the task. He never backs down from a challenge so I expect he will do just fine here. He’s ready for whatever they throw at him and is pretty good at using underhanded tactics in a fight to make up the power gap as well. He’s not the kind of guy who will just give up.

All of this is to say that Orphen is a pretty great main character. He has confidence and ability, two traits that you absolutely need to have.
His fight against the Fake Orphen is a good example of that. He was completely outmatched in terms of physical and magical ability so he had to win with his pure intelligence. Otherwise he had no real shot to pull this off. Same as when he fought with Azalie. He knew that he couldn’t take her down in a fair fight so he had to have some good equipment at the ready. It’s not really uncommon in this series for Orphen to be outmatched so it’s good that he’s so cunning. He is the inheritor to the Razor’s Edge which the show loves to bring up every episode and used to be the strongest but he no longer holds that title. Even so, I feel like he is second only to Azalie in terms of ability from Tower of Fang members. I wouldn’t be surprised if people outside of the tower would be able to take him on though. He didn’t exactly do well against the Elder Dragon.

Then we have the main heroine Cleao who is a fun character. She may not be much of a fighter but she’s a good morale booster and is always here to raise everyone’s spirits. She also has her pet dragon Lucky who can fight really well. At least this gives her something in the way of defense and she can land a surprise blow when needed. She definitely will always try to contribute when needed. Her role isn’t huge and it doesn’t look like she will ever be going into more of a full combat role but as it stands she does add to the dynamic.

Unfortunately Orphen’s other partner Majic is not nearly as good. He’s just around to hold the team back. He’s the hapless trainee whose abilities aren’t improving at nearly the rate he was hoping for. Usually that could be an inspirational character as you root for his success but he ruined that in his first appearance when he betrays Cleao’s confidence and only stops because he is caught. His character never recovered from this peeping incident and for the rest of the series I was rooting against him. Clearly Majic doesn’t have the discipline needed to improve his magical abilities.

You’ve also got the pair of comic relief characters Volcan and Dortin who follow the heroes around. Their roles have been greatly reduced compared to the original show though. They show up a few times as they sell out Orphen over and over again but that’s about it. They’re pretty fun though and it’s a comic relief kind of style that has aged pretty well. I dare say that it’s about as funny now as it ever was. Keeping it in short doses is probably a good thing though so we can really focus on the actual plot going on.

Azalie was always a great character in the original show and the same is true here. She makes for a very good wild card. I would certainly not call her a hero but as a loner she doesn’t mind helping the heroes out once in a while. Her abilities are still formidable and she only loses one fight in the series due to a good magical item. Otherwise she looked pretty much invincible. She definitely enjoys being quite mischievous and pranking Orphan all the time. It makes for a very fun dynamic and she really is the heard of the series. The whole thing revolves around her so much that you couldn’t have the show without her.

Then we have Childman who is a pretty interesting character. He certainly looks after Azalie like how Orphan does although in his own way. He doesn’t have a huge role in the series but gets a lot of respect in his own right. He’s certainly a powerful opponent and a pretty reasonable guy in general. At least he’s someone that you can count on when the going gets tough and that’s always important. We’ve also got Leticia who’s another high ranking member of the group. Her abilities are fairly decent although I wouldn’t say I was too impressed. Her first big fight doesn’t really go all that well. In a fair fight I’d take her over most of the opponents though. When you’re outnumbered it’s hard to really do much.

The other members of the Tower of Fang like Heartia or Forte are around but don’t do quite as much. The final character I’d single out here is the Fake Orphen who really steals the show. Naturally there’s a twist about his true identity. His episodes were really the peak of the series with how fantastic they were. This guy would really keep you on your toes the whole time and I loved his absolute confidence. He’s definitely one of the strongest characters in the series without a doubt. Unfortunately he will likely never appear again so you will need to have enjoyed these scenes as much as possible.

As mentioned, the animation is quite solid here. It’s definitely bright with a lot of good color contrasts. The energy fights are good and the same goes for the hand to hand choreography which is quite impressive. I think this goes a long way into helping shape the series into the great title it is. When you’re following a show that just looks really good in addition to its good writing and solid soundtrack then you’ve got a solid combo. The soundtrack may not be an all star or anything like that but I thought it sounded really good for the scenes that were there. You’ll hear the themes a lot over the course of the series. The opening theme is also pretty catchy for sure.

Another thing that separates this show from the average title is that it was even able to make the flashback scenes interesting. In most shows I definitely don’t look forward to flashbacks at best and normally I dread them. It’s the perfect way to absolutely destroy a show’s pacing and give us extra info we didn’t need to know. 9 times out of 10 we don’t need a sob story for the characters. Fortunately the flashbacks are actually pretty interesting this time though. I think they could even make a whole show about Orphen’s days at the academy. It’s always rare to see a main character who was stronger as a child than when he was grown up. The idea that he had to fight while always holding back at the Tower was a pretty interesting one that they could run with. The writing here is just exceptional and it’s why the show is so much fun and so interesting throughout.

Overall, Orphen is definitely a great anime. As a reboot it’s very easy for anyone to just pick up and watch as well. You don’t need to go back to the old shows and can just start here. The animation is very smooth and the writing is on point. The show really has no weaknesses and had no bad episodes. It just does a superb job of showing what you can do in 13 episodes. It set a high bar for the next season but I look forward to seeing what other adventures we get. This was definitely one of the more fun self contained shows I’ve seen in quite a bit. It really took all of the strengths of the first show and expanded on them.

Overall 8/10

6 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Lethal Weapon 4 Review

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

It’s time to finally end the Lethal Weapon series. It had a pretty good run to be sure but all shows must end at some point right? It was a pretty solid series and now that I’ve seen them all I would rank the entries as 1>3>4>2 although they’re all pretty close. 1 and 3 are neck and neck just like 4 and 2. This one ends the series pretty well and gives all of the characters some closure. The ending is a bit on the weak side as it gets drawn out but otherwise this film is sure to bring you a lot of fun thrills and action as it goes on.

The movie starts with Martin and Roger trying to take down a guy who is using a flamethrower. The problem is that this guy is armed to the teeth with armor and guns. The scene is surprisingly long as the two characters keep trying to take him down but nothing works. His armor is simply too sturdy so eventually they’re forced to come up with a plan. They actually get promoted to Captain now. The main case of the film is they catch a guy who was smuggling people into the country. They didn’t get the leader though and he is looking for one family that escaped and is currently getting refuge at Roger’s place. This is technically illegal but Roger wants to do his part to help them out. Will he be able to protect them from the villains who are coming his way?

A positive for this movie is naturally the banter between Martin and Roger as always. They make for a solid duo and are always at the ready for whatever will come their way. The opening fight drags a bit but we get all of the classic explosions you would expect. The whole thing is a bit sad for Roger though as Martin keeps a pretty big secret involving Roger’s daughter away from the guy. You’d think as partners they would tell each other everything like that. It’s not really Martin’s business but he did pry until he got the details. It’s just sad for Roger since everybody knows except him which is definitely not a good thing.

I also liked the fight scenes here. The hand to hand choreography was naturally pretty good and the villain definitely left more of an impression this time around. Wah Sing Ku was an excellent fighter and could even take on more than one opponent at once. That’s the kind of villain I want to see challenge the heroes and really test their limits. Even by the end of the film he really had the upper hand and definitely would have won if it was 1 on 1. He definitely gave them a better fight than anyone else had in the previous films. I also liked his fight on the rooftop against another villain. We really hadn’t seen a big villain vs villain fight in the previous films.

Where the film falters aside from the beginning is also the long ending scene at the hospital. It was a bit over dramatic and just kept going on and on and on. I think most of that could have been shortened right away. Leo’s antics also got a bit more painful than usual like with the dentist scene. I think that could have been cut and everyone laughing over there was a bit much. Still, in the grand scheme of things these are pretty small scenes so it’s not like they will hurt the film much at all. It’s still a very fast paced adventure with quality characters.

There’s not much new to say about the characters. Martin is just as good a lead as always even if he is slowing down in his old age. He takes quite a few losses in this movie which I guess it natural since he just can’t keep up with the younger guys in their prime anymore. He still has a lot of fun at Roger’s expense though. Meanwhile Roger is also fun. He definitely isn’t thrilled about his daughter falling for a cop. What are the odds right? At least the guy is portrayed as being very decent. He also makes for a good supporting character here and adds to the dynamic. Whenever you have a new character in a series that character needs to contribute something so it’s not all just fluff. Fortunately the film definitely gets that right here which was important. Lorna also helps out in the fights which I was glad about since she was such a fighter in the last film. She’s very pregnant so there’s not as much that she can do but she comes in clutch when it counted. It seems like she would suddenly not be pregnant during the fight scenes a bit but you can suspend some disbelief for a quality action scene.

It’s one of the better scenes in the film because you never really see the 3 characters teaming up like this. Made for a bit of an ensemble fight scene which was really nice. I dare say the film could have included more guys in the final fight since the heroes were so outgunned but there is something to having the main two team up for one last fight. They basically knew they were doomed and went in anyway which is pretty much the whole point of the scene. Throw in the quality writing of the two characters debating if they should even enter this fight and you’ve certainly got a winner. They probably should have retreated to where the other cops were to be honest, but I can never fault a character for going in and trying to take down a villain. You gotta to what you gotta do.

Overall, Lethal Weapon 4 is a pretty good film. Ironically it drags in both the beginning and ending but the middle is solid as always. It really ticks the same boxes as the previous films so as long as you enjoyed the first 3 films you should like this one. It’s just a solid action film at its core. I’d be up for more sequels but if it has to end then this was a good way to do it. Pretty much every character got their happy ending and that’s the right way to end the series. The main characters were also starting to get quite old so I don’t think they would have been able to last much longer anyway. You can definitely do a film about old guys running around but it’ll be tougher on the chase scenes and hand to hand action.

Overall 6/10

7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Lethal Weapon 3 Review

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

It’s time to follow the pair of cops on another adventure. Lethal Weapon 3 has a little more fun with the premise compared to last time as we see them foil a few quick crimes in addition to the main plot. Due to this I consider it to be an improvement over the second film although I ultimately still wouldn’t put it over the first film. It’s a fun way to end off the trilogy so to speak even if we did get a fourth film after this one. The series has managed to be pretty consistently good so far.

The movie starts off with Martin and Roger getting themselves involved in stopping yet another criminal plot. They end up being a little out of their depth when trying to defuse the bomb though. Blowing up a building was the last straw though so they have been demoted from their positions. Martin and Roger keep getting involved with a lot of different crimes like people trying to steal money, running around with guns, etc. The cops are going to need the heroes back in the action pretty quick because an ex cop known as Jack has shown up and is abusing his power. He ventured undercover into the prison and even murdered a witness. If Martin and Roger don’t stop him soon, Jack will have finished enacting his plan and made millions of dollars.

Right away you can tell that this film is a lot busier than the last one and that’s a very good thing. There’s always something happening with a lot of ongoing plots at once. That’s always a good thing to do in a thriller kind of film because it helps keep you glued to what’s going on. When you keep changing the location and the case then you have to do your best to keep up. We actually see Martin and Roger doing a lot of patrolling in this film which is good because that is one of their main tasks. I also feel like the film was having a little fun with this. The characters can’t even sit down to have a burger without someone getting murdered or trying to evade arrest.

We get a new character named Lorna who is pretty fun although regrettably the film could not resist going for the romance angle right away. It’s handled pretty terribly like in the last film. Lorna and Martin don’t get along at all in the beginning and then suddenly they hit it off later on. There’s no real reason for this and it all just happens way too quickly. Even if you know it’s coming it doesn’t make the plot any better. Still, as a character Lorna is still good though. She’s always ready to put the main characters back in their place and she can actually fight pretty well which is always a thumbs up in my book. Lorna can hold her own and has apparently cracked a lot of cases back in her day.

Martin is still a solid main character as always. He jumps into action at every turn and never lets a villain get away. He’s much more intense about his job than any of the other characters. Roger may get fed up about how many risks Martin takes but at the end of the day it’s what makes Riggs so effective. He holds his own story pretty well. Meanwhile it’s a fun film for Roger as well. The dynamic of him trying to play it a bit safe now is enjoyable and since he’s so close to retirement it makes sense as well. Nobody wants to be taking huge chances when they’re so close to being out the door right?

Leo also returns here and does his best to help the characters out. He’s even helping Roger sell his house which is pretty nice of him. The guy has come a long way from being a big drug dealer. The rest of the cast is pretty self contained. You’ll recognize some supporting characters like the captain of the police or the psychiatrist that Martin doesn’t take seriously. They all help to make the police base pretty inviting and it’s easy to see how everyone gets along so well with the banter. The place is pretty informal so everyone can just relax and have a good time.

The writing here is solid and the pacing is definitely good. As mentioned, something is always happening here which is part of why the film manages to be so good. I think it was quite a solid way to kick off the first 3 films while leading us up to the final one. The action scenes here are good and the movie manages to balance out the buddy cop dynamic while still being an intense thriller. Jack may not be a particularly memorable villain but he was reasonable enough. I think I would have liked to have actually seen him fight a bit more though. That would have made him more memorable.

Overall, Lethal Weapon 3 gets real close to topping the original film. It didn’t quite do it but operates at the same level. I was glad to see Martin get another dog here. Now he has two and they seem to get along quite well. It also shows that he has pretty solid morals since he wouldn’t attack the first dog even when the villains owned him. If you want to watch an action film that also has a lot of fun then this is definitely the title for you. There’s really not much to say against it as this film hits the right notes and doesn’t drag on. We’ll see if the next film continues the trend and ends things on a high note.

Overall 7/10

6 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Lethal Weapon 2 Review

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

It’s time to look at the sequel to the original Lethal Weapon. Martin and Roger are back once again to mess with the villains and push themselves to their limits. It’s a pretty fun sequel although I wouldn’t say it’s as good as the first one. We get a solid amount of action and banter of course but it’s always tough to beat the initial team up between the characters. I’d definitely recommend giving this one a look. On the whole the only things holding it back are a rushed romance and a death that felt a bit gratuitous near the end. Having the character bumped off seemed unnecessary.

So the film starts with Martin getting into another high speed chase scene to stop some crooks. The case ends up spiraling out of control a bit and it turns out that these villains are part of a pretty big gang. Martin doesn’t leave it at that though and manages to track these guys down to an embassy. It turns out that these guys have diplomatic immunity. Their leader Rudd is quite smug about this since he can basically do whatever he wants with that card. While I think the film plays off the immunity a little too strongly (Openly being caught for a big crime would suspend it) the heroes are forced to back off and are officially told to drop the case. Martin is determined not to do so though and continues to hound Roger.

Most of the film is Martin basically tailing Rudd and making his life as miserable as possible. He breaks into the guy’s house multiple times, stalks him outside, etc. Some of these occurrences I think actually weren’t planned like passing him on the street since Martin seems surprised, but maybe he actually knew the guy would be driving that way. Either way Martin is definitely quite persistent and it’s what makes him a solid cop. He never backs down and intends to do whatever he has to in order to stop these guys. As with the first film he’s definitely a pretty enjoyable character.

Then you’ve got his partner Roger who’s always solid. He gives us a lot of good banter with Martin. The villains try to intimidate him several times as well but Roger never quits the case. He’s definitely made of sterner stuff and will take any risks needed. Now, he’s not quite as aggressive as Martin in this respect as he doesn’t mind hanging back. Roger goes more on the side of caution while Martin uses the YOLO method and does whatever he wants. It’s what makes them an effective team even if Martin does seem like he’s the one who does all of the work more of the time. Without Martin they would definitely be pretty doomed.

The heroes have a new partner in the form of Leo this time around. They’re supposed to be protecting him but he knows so much about the villains that Martin decides to use him instead. The film’s pretty tragic for Leo since he is trying his best to help the whole time but things don’t always go so well for him. The heroes letting him get kidnapped was just pretty iffy and Leo never really gets his proper respect. If you think about it, he gives them more leads than any other character. Without Leo they wouldn’t have made a whole lot of headway here.

Rudd is the main villain. He’s not really much of a fighter but he’s a strategist and you do need your leader to be intelligent so you can take the wins when needed. He’s fairly generic and I wouldn’t say that I’m a fan or anything but he’s not bad. He serves his purpose well enough and makes sure that the villains are a thread. His secretary Rika also gets a pretty big role. She definitely seems a lot nicer than the rest of his employees and really just needs the job. It’s more of a sympathetic background because it doesn’t sound like it would be easy for her to just find another job. She also doesn’t know all of the details of how corrupt they are.

As mentioned earlier, the romance in this film is pretty weak though. It basically comes out of nowhere and is extremely rushed. There’s no development or anything and they basically talk/meet for a few minutes before things heat up. It’s one of those classic Hollywood romances that just doesn’t work and really doesn’t contribute to the story. At most you can say it’s giving Martin some more motivation but with some other twists that come in later on he already had more than enough of this. These villains have definitely done quite a lot of stuff already as it is.

The film goes in a slightly darker corner by the end even if the overall tone of the film is fairly light. It shifts as needed for the scenes and these films definitely aren’t taking prisoners. It doesn’t move quite as quickly as the first film nor is the banter quite as prevalent. Still, this is a sequel that still does the franchise justice. It’s close enough to the first film where you can tell it’s a quality watch and I’ll definitely be ready with the review for the third film soon.

Overall, Lethal Weapon 2 brings in a lot of the fun dynamics and reasons which made the first film pretty good. Leo was a fun addition to the case as well. I’m not sure I bought the diplomatic immunity part for most of the film since they caught the villains red handed. I don’t think any kind of immunity would save you from that. The plot was definitely quite long and elaborate but that did keep the movie from having fun with mini cases and such. If you like a good action/thriller film then I recommend checking this one out. It’ll definitely keep you engaged as the film goes on.

Overall 6/10

5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Metroid II: Return of Samus Review


It’s time to look at the next installment in the Metroid series. As you may recall I was definitely not a big fan of the first game. The maze system is far too vague and you can get lost in hours. Major props to people who beat this game back in the day without save states or guides. I don’t think I would have been completing that game. This one improves upon the original for sure, but I still wouldn’t say it’s quite at the level where I could give it a positive score either. I like that the game is a bit more direct with the structure and the goals of the game but we don’t yet have a good map system in play.

The game starts with Samus landing on another planet. It’s time to exterminate all of the Metroids on this planet and there are quite a few of them so it won’t be easy. You’ve got a Metroid counter on the screen letting you know how many enemies are still on the planet. Gradually you have to take them all down. After you’ve beaten a good number of the metroids you unlock new paths to find the rest. Needless to say, without a map you could be here for a very long time. Another tricky thing is when you run out of missiles. Without missiles you can’t defeat the Metroids so you will have to backtrack and find a refill machine or beat a ton of enemies. The drop rate on the enemies isn’t too great though.

It’s always interesting playing a game in black and white. I haven’t played may of those at all so it’s really very different. Kind of cool in a nostalgia sense although I definitely miss the color. The graphics are okay but I can’t say they are particularly good in this state. The soundtrack is also pretty limited, the series didn’t hit the next level until Super Metroid. At that point is when we got an incredible soundtrack with all of the iconic tunes. This is right before that hype era.

The campaign is fairly short, but again that’s not considering that you should get lost quite a few times. It took me close to 6 hours to beat the game and that’s considering that I had a map with me. The game does have a real ending which ties into Super Metroid which is cool though. I like how the game is structured even if it is ultimately held back by how the game mechanics work. If this game had a real map then I dare say it would have been pretty good right off the bat.

It’s very challenging though so gamers who like to really work for their wins will definitely appreciate that. Some of the Metroids take numerous hits to take down. You’ll really have to be strategic here as even with a lot of life tanks you may quickly end up getting overwhelmed. You can’t really just run in and start swinging. Admittedly that’s usually how I like to roll but you gotta roll with the game sometimes and this is definitely one of those times. You either fight strategic or you lose.

There’s no real replay value to be found here. Once you beat the game that’s it. There’s no true post game. I suppose you can try to beat the game with a quicker clear time to get a different ending but that’s about it. It’s not personally enough incentive for me to go back in but if you really like the gameplay style then it’s a nice way to challenge yourself.

Overall, There’s not a whole lot more to say about this one. It’s a very similar game to the original Metroid except it’s less of a maze adventure as you’ve got more of a solid goal to achieve. You know from the start that you have to beat all of the Metroids so you find and blast them. Metroid is one of those series that I like a lot but mainly thanks to the later games. I’m still not impressed with these early titles. I’ll try out Super Metroid soon though and that one should be a big improvement. If you really like Metroid then maybe check this one out, but I’d recommend getting the 3DS remake instead. I imagine that the enhancements should help fix some of this title’s issues.

Overall 5/10

7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Nancy Drew… Reporter Review


Nancy Drew is back in another installment. It’s been a while since I saw the first film but this one throws you right back into the fold so it’s like the series never left. It’s a pretty classic kind of mystery and keeps a calm vibe. You wouldn’t quite call this a thriller mystery but more of a slice of life one. Not to say that the stakes aren’t high though. The villains still do have guns and someone’s life is on the line but as it takes place in a little town where it seems like danger is more of a foreign concept it never feels too crazy for the heroes.

Nancy and her club have been chosen to be Newspaper reporters for a few days. They are each tasked with an assignment and the one who comes up with the best story gets a medal and $50 dollars. Unfortunately, they aren’t taken too seriously and are all given rather unimportant tasks. Most of the girls just accept this, but not Nancy. She quickly switches out the story for a murder case and it’s a good thing she did. The person in custody is close to the end of her rope and Nancy is sure that the lady is innocent. All of the evidence points the other way but Nancy has a chance to get the smoking gun of the case. It’s a disc that contains the fingerprints of whoever poisoned the victim. Nancy just needs to find it and she’ll have her friend assist. Will she be able to solve the case in time?

As always Nancy calls in her pal Ted to help her here. You gotta feel bad for the guy though because he’s just trying his hardest to mind his own business and improve his skills. He was taking tennis lessons and even knew how to dodge the ole traps around the community. Unfortunately he’s just too nice of a guy to say no to someone in trouble so he always ends up assisting Nancy with whatever task she needs. He does a good job of not shying away from danger though and actually proves to be smarter than Nancy. While that may sort of hurt the overall premise of Nancy being the detective in these movies, at least it gives Ted some hype I suppose. Makes for a solid dynamic there.

The case is a little on the basic side although it’s still enjoyable. From the start we learn that there is something that there is a disc with irrefutable evidence on it. Unfortunately nobody has gone to search for it which is where Nancy comes in. The mystery isn’t so much about whether the lady is guilty or not but if Nancy can find this piece of evidence before anyone else. There’s definitely a lot of dashing around here as everyone goes for the object. There are quite a few villains running around so the heroes have to be careful.

Nancy’s father doesn’t get a big role here though as he mainly just gives Nancy some advice once in a while. Having him be an attorney would be a pretty convenient way to loop him in but so far the films haven’t really taken advantage of that. I suppose they probably just don’t want to risk him overshadowing Nancy which would be a bit of a risk. Instead we get two new supporting characters here in the form of Ted’s little siblings. They’re really just here to cause some trouble for the heroes and tend to get in the way. At most they could be useful in helping the heroes remain undetected because people wouldn’t suspect two little kids, but as Nancy and Ted are already fairly young I think they have that covered.

The most tragic scene in the film was easily when the newspaper was giving out the awards. One girl ended up winning and she was quite thrilled, only for Nancy to show up and steal the prize. Nancy didn’t even do it legitimately as she lied about details of the case in order to buy time. I really think the other girl should have gotten to keep the prize. It was just all pretty tragic since she had already officially won the prize. Nancy doesn’t even seem to care. She gives the prize money away but that’s more because she didn’t care about it in the first place.

This isn’t Nancy’s best portrayal as a character. While I’m all for her switching assignments and doing what it takes to find a good story, she can be a little bit on the petty side as she manipulates Ted and guilt trips him the whole time. Ted’s still pretty solid though and if you think about it, he does all of the more dangerous tasks as it is. He even has to go up against a real boxer. The fight scene was pretty cool though. We got to have a real hand to hand fight here and even with some cheating tactics Ted was unable to win.

How much you enjoy this film will really depend on how much you like a good ole fashioned mystery. Do you need explosions and fight scenes to make it exciting or is the concept of a classic murder mystery enough to pique your interest? Nancy lives in a rather safe town without much crime so things were never going to get that explosive. The fact that there was a murder was already a bit more intense than I was expecting. In light of that, it also helps you understand why the town was so ready to convict someone even without big evidence. They probably aren’t used to this kind of thing and it impaired their judgment.

Overall, Nancy Drew…Reporter is a pretty solid movie. It can be a bit basic but the writing is strong and the pacing is pretty good. It’s a very low key type mystery from the old days. It may not have super high stakes the way a modern mystery would, but you won’t be bored during this adventure. It’s all handled quite well and I’m ready for some more Nancy Drew adventures. As long as she’s got Ted at the ready this duo is prepared for anything!

Overall 7/10

Live Action Movie Update

Tron: Legacy Update


I now own Tron:Legacy! It’s definitely one of the most underrated films out there. I remember it being good enough to hold its own in the same conversation as the original Transformers G1 film and Mortal Kombat. The visuals are still better than a lot of the stuff you see nowadays. You can bet a retro review will be appearing after I give it a re-watch.

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Dynasty Warriors 6 Review


It’s time to look at the next instalment in the Dynasty Warriors series. It’s definitely been pretty fun playing through all of the installments lately. From Dynasty Warriors 2 to now the series has definitely changed quite a bit. This one does feel a bit more modern than the last few even if the gap isn’t particularly wide. The story is more or less the same as the last ones so you’re really in this for the hype gameplay. Does it deliver?

When you boot the game up you’ll have a lot of different modes to choose from but I usually like to dive straight into Musou. This is effectively the game’s story mode after all so you definitely can’t go wrong there. The story consists of 6 levels where you have to defeat scores of enemies in order to proceed. It’s also a rather difficult mode and I highly recommend going into Free Mode and leveling up a bit if you want to really be ready for action here. Otherwise you can definitely expect to take quite a few losses in the meantime. The enemies have no mercy so if they catch you that’s it.

Often times you also have to account for the fact that you’re not the only guy on the squad. It doesn’t matter if you beat 700 enemies if your captain’s about to go down. One key thing to remember is that if he goes down you go down. There is really no I in team here because at the end of the day it’s all about the camp. If your camp is captured before the enemy one then that’s going to be game over. Some levels have different win conditions so I highly recommend checking into them as soon as you start each level. Knowing what you have to do in order to win and what you should do to make sure you don’t lose are absolutely critical.

The gameplay is the same as always so you should be able to pick it up pretty quickly. It’s a 3D Beat Em Up where you have to take down all of the enemies in your way until you get to the enemy stronghold. You have your standard attacks as well as power moves and super attacks. I recommend keeping your super attack as a combo breaker of sorts. The enemies deal a ton of damage so if they start to hit you I’d say to very quickly use your super. It’ll also give you an opportunity to run.

One thing about the game is that it’s very easy to drop you guard. You just took down 300 enemies in a row so why should this one be any different right? Well, the trickiest thing about the enemies is that all it takes is one solid combo to take you down for the count. Especially a boss. Part of why I lost in one level was because I underestimated the fact that the boss could take 75% of my HP with a single combo. It’s also pretty demoralizing to lose in this game because of how long the levels are. You instinctively know that you just lost a ton or progress.

It’s why I recommend playing the levels as intended. It’s real tempting to bypass everyone and run straight to the stronghold. In most levels it doesn’t even stop you from doing that. The problem is that it takes several minutes to run all that way and then you have around 10 or more bosses running at you at once. If you mess up your combo or leave an opening even for a second then you’ll be going down. You can’t really afford to do something like this until you’re at a very high level.

That’s where Free Mode comes in. Additionally this game has a more robust level system than most of the other games. You can actually learn new skills as you level up and upgrade your stats through a skill tree. I definitely was not expecting anything quite like that here so it was a pretty welcome surprise. I can’t say enough how much I like level ups. Having trouble on a level? Just go back and beat some more enemies. The gameplay is fun as I mentioned so it’s not like this is a problem. Additionally I like when you can see the fruits of your labor and the level ups make a good difference here. It’s like night and day. I actually took down 1200 enemies in one of the levels after grinding up my level so that felt pretty good.

In terms of graphics the game holds up well. The more realistic setting does stifle the game in terms of how out there the graphics can get but we get some nice action scenes. The intro cinematic was a little shorter than usual though or it felt that way. The soundtrack is pretty nice. I always like the opening main menu riff that tends to play. It’s always a rock theme in this series which starts you off right.

The length of the game is pretty reasonable as well. The 6 level campaign should last you a few hours I’d say and then you can multiply that by all of the characters who have a campaign. Additionally you can try to complete the campaign on more difficult settings as you go through the game. Then you’ve got the whole level up system and a ton of bonus content so there’s no end to it here. This game will last you for as long as you want to enjoy it.

Overall, Dynasty Warriors 6 doesn’t hold back on any of its punches. It throws you right into the action and it’s all handled pretty well. You really feel like you’re on some kind of grand adventure the whole time. I would like them to take more liberties with the story at some point but as long as the gameplay is this good I don’t see Dynast Warriors ever faltering. The fundamentals are just too good and there’s a lot of content for the price you pay. It’s a steal!

Overall 7/10