Mikito Sakurai vs Zorro

Mikito Sakurai isn’t one of the more well known Shonen heroes but the guy is definitely a solid fighter. Once he started to really get used to his powers he was a threat to anyone regardless of distance. Super strength, regeneration, speed, this guy has it all. It’s hard to beat an all around fighter like that because he can take you down in a variety of ways. Zorro is skilled with the blade but that’s about it. It’s hard to see him being able to do much of anything against Mikito and that’s what will hold him back here. Mikito Sakurai wins.

Bud Macintosh vs Zorro

This is a tribute to The Mask of Zorro. Zorro is a pretty decent fighter although he certainly got old and started losing more fights. I’d say he still looked good enough to earn himself a win. Bud Macintosh is one of the more unlikable film protagonists. The guy doesn’t know when to get serious and he certainly can’t fight. Even an elderly Zorro would likely be able to beat him quite easily. Zorro is a fencing master after all so he’s used to taking on all manner of opponents. Zorro wins.

The Mask of Zorro Review

It’s time to look at a modern interpretation of a pretty old hero. I’m pretty sure just about everyone knows who Zorro is even if they haven’t actually watched a film with him. I don’t know the character too well aside from the general premise myself but he’s definitely got quite a history under his belt. The movie does a pretty good job of adapting the character. While not perfect you’ll stay entertained throughout the adventure.

The movie starts off with the best scene in the film as Zorro rescues a few people from being executed and takes on a whole army. It’s vintage Zorro as he mocks his opponents and displays his amazing fencing skills. After injuring the leader Rafael, Zorro heads home and decides to retire. His retirement is short lived as Rafael shows up and murders Zorro’s wife before imprisoning Zorro for 20 years. 20 years later Zorro is ready to get revenge but his daughter Elena has been tricked into thinking she is now Rafael’s daughter. Zorro will need to think carefully about how he get his revenge.

Meanwhile we cut to Alejandro who was one of the kids who saved Zorro’s life back in the day. He has spent the last 20 years roaming with his brother and another guy as they rob people and have a jolly old time. One day Alejandro’s two traveling companions are murdered by Harrison, a general working for Rafael. Alejandro wants revenge but he doesn’t have the skills to do so. Zorro decides to train Alejandro so that guy can become the new Zorro and deal with Harrison while Zorro gets his revenge. The two heroes prepare to attack the villains but they are heavily outnumbered. They are going to need to have a proper plan in order to win.

The film is a full 2 hours which is good because it gives us time to get introduced to the various characters. Alejandro gets a pretty good training arc as he goes from not being able to fight to being the best fighter in town. While it may seem a little fast we do get a few minor time skips so I think it took place over the course of a few months or something like that. His first outing as Zorro actually goes really well all things considered. It’s clear that he is not on the same level as the original but he can still hold his own really well.

The fight scenes are all about proper fencing and footwork which is nice to see. You don’t really see a lot of these kinds of fights anymore. It’s certainly not quite as dynamic or striking as a classic sword fight but the footwork is what makes these battles fun to watch. Fencing certainly seems pretty tricky and you have to be quite athletic to pull the fighting style off. Otherwise you are liable to get stabbed or hit with a sucker punch while fighting. A lot of the time Zorro has to fend off numerous opponents at once which is definitely not easy.

The whole chivalrous aspect of fencing can be a bit much though. There are a bunch of times when the heroes could take the win but they choose to give the villain his weapon back so they can have a proper fight. I understand not murdering the guys since they aim to be heroes, but at least disarm him and break the weapon or throw it away. By leaving the villains with their weapons it always comes back to bite the heroes. This happens quite often and so you feel like Zorro will definitely push his luck too far eventually.

Zorro makes for a good main character during the intro. I’d actually say that he’s a far better lead than Alejandro so it was too bad that we didn’t get to see him in his prime for a longer period of time. He’s a decent mentor type character as well but not quite as exciting. I still hold that the opening fight scene was the best moment in the film. Meanwhile Rafael is a solid main villain. He can actually fight really well which is definitely important and his plan is pretty solid. The guy is cunning and very good at manipulating others. He made for a very solid rival to Zorro.

Elena is a solid heroine as well. She is trying to do her best to shun her royal upbringing and defend the common people. This plot isn’t looked at all too closely so we don’t really get to see her do this but at least she is not corrupt unlike the others. Meanwhile she also knows how to fight quite well. While perhaps not on the level as Zorro she is shown to be very good. I’d like to see her fight a little more in the sequel since she has been training ever since she was a kid. The other villain in the film is Harrison. His skills are mainly with a gun although at the end he is also quite good with a rapier. Alejandro is lucky that this guy didn’t want to actually use his gun in the fight because then that would have certainly been game over for the new Zorro. Harrison was a fun villain to have around. I liked his confidence and he did seem to figure out Zorro’s identity pretty quickly.

Finally we have Alejandro who is really the main character of the film. He wants to avenge his brother but is also calm enough to accept training first. He is a good lead who is eager to learn so I can’t really fault him there. The guy means well and by the end he is instrumental in saving the day while the old Zorro was content to be on the sidelines. Alejandro just seems more heroic by the end which is a little surprising. I doubt fans of the original Zorro will be happy about that part.

The weak part of the film is unsurprisingly the romance. It’s all a bit quick and considering how many times Alejandro is forced to put Elena on the spot you can’t see why she would still want to be with him for at least a while. It’s all an act of course but it’s hard to forget being put on the spot in front of such a huge gathering. The scene of Elena fighting Zorro was also suspect. While the actual fight scene was real good Zorro definitely got a little too familiar all things considered. While she didn’t end up having a problem with it that’s another scene that is really stretching things. The film could probably have jumped up another star if we had just left the romance alone.

Overall, I enjoyed the Mask of Zorro. It’s a pretty good revenge story that doesn’t go out of its way to be too gritty. It has a lot of the classic charm you’d expect from the series while still maintaining a good amount of stakes. It’s a good blend of humor and action with the fight scenes holding up quite nicely. If you want a nice old school action film then this is a good one to check out. It hits the right notes and does a nice job of continuing the legacy of Zorro.

Overall 7/10

The Destiny of Zorro Review

Time to check out one of the classic Wii games that I got from the 5 dollar bin recently. Naturally, these games are typically in the 5 dollar bin for a good reason, but that never deters me from grabbing a game with potential. Zorro certainly has this as it’s an action game with a lot of fighting, but it manages to really blow most of its opportunities.

The plot sees Zorro vanquish some evil doers before he meets the toughest opponent yet. Mr. Calavera kidnaps the main heroine of the story and he heads off to an ancient location to become the King of the people there. He has already tricked them all so Zorro will have to infiltrate the island and defeat all of the guards. Once he has done that, nothing can protect Calavera from Zorro’s fury!

It’s a rather basic plot, but that helps it achieve that retro feel that the developers were aiming for. There are 14 levels in the game and some of them can be 5-9 minutes while others will take around 20-25 to complete. Typically, the levels tend to be on the long side, which can really make them drag on at times. A level will usually have you defeat a certain number of enemies, break an object, beat more enemies, and maybe even walk a little if you’re lucky. Diffusing bombs is easily the worst part of the game.

Battling enemies sounds fun, but that’s where the game eats up most of your time. You’ll have to defeat enemies in batches of 10 many times and you can’t defeat an opponent as easily as you would expect. Most enemies take 8 hits to defeat and the bigger ones require more of an effort from you. When they gather in groups, you’ll need to try to get some hits in through hit and run tactics, which are always a little risky. Sometimes, I would die 6-7 times before defeating an enemy because it is very difficult to separate them.

This is where the “unlimited lives” part comes into the equation. When you die, you are sent back a few steps, but the enemies keep their current health status. So, even if you lose a few dozen times, you can wear down the enemies eventually. It just takes some time and a good strategy at the ready. The only times where you can actually die and have to restart the area is when the bombs are present. I was taken out by them during one of the levels. (I blame it on the controls) Replaying a 17 minute level can definitely be dicey and I’m glad that it only happened once. There’s a chance that you can also lose in the second final level with the tower, but I didn’t lose there so I’m not positive about that. If there was ever a game that deserved to have infinite lives, it was this one. You really need them since there are no checkpoints and starting from the beginning is never any fun.

For the controls, this is back during the good ole Wii Remote days. You just swing it around a lot to slash at the opponents and jab at the screen for a stab. Stabs are the most effective attacks since you can KO almost any opponent in two hits with it. (The final boss takes 3 to defeat him) The reason why you need 8 attacks to usually win a battle is that normal attacks have no effect on the villains. They help you build up stamina so that you can hold B and then use the same attacks to actually deal damage. 3 hits gives you enough meter for one stab so you repeat the process once more. That lets you beat just about any opponent in the game. You also have Z attacks that lets you do a quick combo which also gives you back some health. It’s useful although it does around the same damage as a stab.

Zorro has a lasso that you can use, but it barely even stuns an opponent so there’s never a reason to use it in battle. It comes in handy for the platforming areas though as you jump from place to place. Considering that this game is not exactly a big budget title, you can see how the controls can be problematic. Using an attack that you didn’t intend too or watching an opponent slash you through a wall are common occurrences. One of the final bosses was pretty annoying with this as the goal of the fight is to let him hit a totem pole while you hide behind it. Many times, he would just slash right through it and knock you out. 2-3 hits are usually enough to beat Zorro so that is never a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, the retro feeling doesn’t help for the cutscenes. Zorro is the kind of hero that you can’t root for as he is always looking for romance and flirting with his alter ego’s friend is not beneath him. You really can’t root for the guy and his dialogue can be pretty off at times. He just talks in a 40’s manner as he says his lines very slowly and he loves to insult his opponents while talking. “Do you mind fighting up wind” is a line that you will probably hear about 100 times as you play the game since the dialogue can be pretty limited. The cutscenes are all stills so don’t expect any big cutscenes.

The soundtrack is definitely old and it’s not very engaging. You will barely hear it as you are playing anyway, but it’s definitely worth noting. The graphics are pretty sub par as well. The game often forgets to switch the head on the top when a character is talking and almost all of the enemies look the same. There isn’t a whole lot of detail added to anything so all of the backgrounds begin to look the same after a while. I’ve seen Super Nintendo games that have looked better to be honest as the classic Super Mario World games have a lot more detail and refinement. Actually, this is probably one of the worst looking games of all time and that is a little sad.

In the game’s defense, the combat system did have potential. Chipping away at an enemy’s health using strategic moves sounds pretty good in theory does it not? The bosses had some fairly unique gimmicks like being immune to all hits except counters. The game never tells you what to do against them, but you tend to figure it out pretty quickly. Swinging the Wii Remote around isn’t even all that bad and had the enemies had smaller health bars, it could have been better. The problem is that the battles simply drag a lot so you ultimately stop having fun. The final boss is hilariously bad as you just block all of his hits for what feels like an eternity before finally getting the chance to counter and beating him in 3 hits.

Finally, the game has its share of glitches as well. There were quite a few times where I ended up getting frozen in place because my foot sank into the ground. The pixels must not have been solid enough and I could only watch as a sniper shot me from the distance. It’s a pretty sad way to go and if it was a 3D game you may have tried to yell for help only to realize that there are no allies in this game to come to your aid. That’s quite the predicament right?

Overall, The Destiny of Zorro is certainly not one of the better games out there. I had been tempted to give the game a 6 star rating as the gameplay was not terrible and the actual game just dragged it down from a 7. Unfortunately, playing the game more and more began to expose it as a worse game than that. I feel like a 6 would just be a little too positive for this title and a 4 feels more appropriate. The graphics and soundtrack only add to this feeling. The main reason why this game gets a negative ranking though is that it can be a little boring. It was a bit of a struggle trying to power through the final levels of the game and I blame that on how long they were. You’ll feel relieved to part ways from the game by the end and I really don’t see myself ever playing it again. I dare say that the first levels were better than the latter ones, but that is probably because they were shorter and didn’t drag on as much. I beat 4-5 levels on my first sitting and then just beat 1-2 on my other attempts before powering through the final 4 yesterday. I definitely don’t recommend this title and you should just go out and buy Super Smash Bros for Wii U if you want a good party fighting game.

Overall 4/10