Tag Archives: video game

Samurai Showdown: The Motion Picture [Fighting Game Week]

Type: Samurai Showdown, now on Saturday Mornings!

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Synopsis: Hey kids! Don’t forget to check out the latest totally tubalur episode of Samurai Showdown, where the bodacious Haomaru and the 5 Holy Warriors fight against the wickedly uncool Amakusa! It’s be knarly, to the MAX!!!

Pros: Ah…Samurai Showdown is a fun game. Made us all believe again.

Cons: Face Plam. Sigh. Stand Up. Leave. Samurai Showdown is based on the Samurai Showdown fighting game, one of the first fighters to prioritize weapon based battle. The anime takes a decidely original take on the source material. It basically converts the game into a generic cartoon. Haomaru is turned from a drifting bad-ass to earnest and young lead characters, with 5 other characters turned into the standard good guy team. It is comicly far away from the original spirit of the franchise. It’s closest parallels would be the Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat American cartoons. The game’s creators, SNK, had little creative input into the film, and I’m guessing that the anime studio was trying to get a kid friendly series out of this.

Watch it?: What, no!

MVP: Charlotte

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She’s my main, sue me.

Best Moment: Whenever someone says “Holy Warriros” (so, so, so not a thing)

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Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle [Fighting Game Week]

Type: BUSTA’ WOLF

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Synopsis: The fury has never been more fatal! Terry Bogart, fresh off this defeat of the man who killed his father, basks in the glory of victory by becoming a raging alcoholic. But he lost to some random stranger in shoulder pads, which makes it Ok to show your protagonist become a big baby over one lose.

Pros: It may have just been me, but the fighting in this was actually fairly decent. Not revolutionary, but mildly acceptable. Oh yeah, and Mai’s here! More Mai, more buys! But seriously, like it’s predecessor, the anime more or less adapts the plot of the game sequel. A villain named Krauser forces Terry, Andy, and Joe to reunite. There joined by Mai, a kunoichi whose in love with Andy. Now that I know that Andy was passed over by Terry as the successor of their martial art because Andy was too emotional, it makes his relationship with Mai make way more sense. The anime also throws in way more cameos from Fatal Fury mainstays, which was cool.

Cons: The kid character, Tony. Why. Just, why? Did Terry really need a sidekick who leaves his poor destitute single mother with no warning? Screw Tony. That aside, the anime itself fluxtuates in terms of animation quality, just like the other Fatal Fury films. And this time around, the Fatal Fury crew really don’t have a solid motivation to fight the antagonist. In Legend of the Hungry Wolf, they were getting revenge for the death of Terry and Andy’s father. In Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture, they were literally saving the world. But here, Terry, Andy, and Joe are getting even for a fight that Terry lost. It kinda makes them seem like sore losers more than anything else. Especially as they treat Terry’s lose almost as importantly as Bogart Sr.’s death. (On a side note: What’s up with Joe’s misogyny? Is it a normal character trait? He straight up insults Mai in every scene they share. It’s like he’s offended that she has a vagina).

Watch it?: The Fatal Fury saga must be experienced

MVP: Terry Bogart

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Dunk Terry is the best Terry

Best Moment: Terry plastered at the bat (I don’t know why I find this so amusing, but I do)

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Fatal Fury: Legend of The Hungry Wolf [Fighting Game Week]

Type: No Mai, No Buy

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Synopsis: Back in the day there use to be this thing called the “Fighting Game by SNK.” It was an alternative to the popular Street Fighter series for those who liked their fighting games with rolling dashes. This anime is an adaptation of SNK’s very first fighter, Fatal Fury, which sadly has no Mai Shiranui, and no Mai, no buy.

Pros: Ya know, these early 90’s Fatal Fury movies are starting to grow on me. I’m actually getting into the story of Terry, Andy, and Joe. And I don’t know anything about Fatal Fury! I actually know anything about the larger King of Fighters universe. But as a layman, I’m really digging these films. The plot of straight forward: a businessman called Geese Howard kills the father of two boys, who sweat to become strong enough to avenge their dad. After 10 years, the boys reunite and compete over who inherits the final technique from their master. Along the way, the befriend Joe the Mui Tai boxer. The film is dumb, and silly, but you’ll enjoy it in a ” c-movie rental” kinda way.

Cons: The animation’s bad. The dialogue is bad. The story is ill paced. The freaking fighting is bad! Why do fighting game anime always have bad fighting scenes!? For the life of me, I’ll never understand that. This film is, by all accounts, a bargain basement movie. You can point to so many bad things in this: Joe’s sudden inclusion into the cast, Terry’s tacked on love interest, that love interest’s cliche death, Terry implied to be the “hungry wolf” despite getting the final technique because he can control his emotions. Geese choosing not to hire people to simply shoot Terry and Andy, etc, etc. You could probably have a pretty fun night pointing out the bad things in this movie.

Watch it?: It’s bad, but fun bad.

MVP: Terry Bogart

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Kick Back!

Best Moment: Terry and Andy wearing the same outfits they had as children (meaning that actively sought out and bought the same outfits for 10 years)

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Amnesia

Type: Huh? What am I doing here?

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Synopsis: Wait, this seems…familiar. I feel like, like I’m suppose to make some sort of comment on an anime that only vaguely connects to the actual source material. It’s meant to be, funny? No, that’s not right. Nothing seems that funny here. Let me think! Ugh, I feel like a college girl who lost her memories and keeps bouncing around parallel worlds that have me dating different pretty boys in Kingdom Heart cosplay.

Pros: Amnesia, the anime, is based on Amnesia, the dating sim, which is based on Amnesia, the mental condition. While I’ve never played the game, the anime looks like it follows the framework of a visual novel game very well. I could actually see where the game would make you make decision, reach checkpoints, and start over. My particular favorite aspect was the premise. The protagonist (no name ever given) has lost her memories, and keeps waking up in different worlds where her love interest changes. What I liked about this was that this is the perfect justification for the “route” set up in visual novels, where you choose to be romantic with one character. In the anime, this manifest in 1-2 episodes where the heroine “dates” each of the male love interests. I love this, because one of the things I’ve always wanted to see from a harem show, and this is a harem show, is seeing how the protagonist and a love interest would interact as a couple. You get exactly that in this anime, and because the protagonist is always sent to another world, you get to decide which paring you liked the most. The anime does what it should, it makes you feel like your playing a visual novel dating sim without having to actually play it. And the characters are all out of high school, which helps. (P.s. I liked the running joke of the manager changing personality every quantum leap).

Cons: Oh, my, god, what are these boys wearing!? Seriously, the look liked rejected Kingdom Hearts character designs. Is that dude wearing a chocker!? What’s with that guy’s multitude of useless straps!? Is that…is that just the bad guy from Pokemon Black and White!?But seriously, there outfits were very distracting. Not only that, but I think this show also stole a music clip from Kingdom Hearts, specifically from “Dearly Beloved.” Seriously, you compare. Outside of possible plagiarism, the fact that I could tell some of the story points makes the anime a bit predictable. I feel that the fairy subplot was too much, but only towards the end. Oberon’s inclusion in the first 3 episodes was a great way to ease into the premise, and he does disappear for most of the show, only popping in here and there. Which is good, because he gives horrible advise (why not just go to the hospital? What possible negatives could there be?). In terms of characters, the show is meant to make you pick which character you would like the protagonist to be with. I liked Kent because he seemed invested in putting effort into the relationship, as well as keep communication open. But you can like who you like (except that the anime said that Kent is the best, so he’s the best, #OTP, I was right–no, you shut up!). The protagonist herself is an interesting case. On the one hand, she can come off as very passive, and mostly lets other people, usually the men, tell her what to do. On the other hand, having lost her memory and being sent to other worlds, she came off as more observant to me. Like she was simply adapting to her surroundings, getting as much information as she could about her new situation. But maybe that’s just me. That being said, and OVA about the “original” protagonist would have been interesting.

Watch it?: Good pacing. Interesting story. And a killer English dub. (4/5)

MVP: Kent

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Best Husbando

Best Episode: Ep. 7 “VII” (literally the only guy who would listen to her story. Again, best Husbando)

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KonoSuba

Type: “Every moment I live, is agony” -Kazuma Sato

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Synopsis: One day, a kid dies in an extremely hilarious way, as all child deaths tend to go. His spirit is given the chance to reincarnate in a fantasy world, but it turns out any world he lives in will suck. His closest friend is a goddess, who does nothing but build up huge debts and complain. His most powerful ally is a magician who only knows 1 spell that she can only use once. And this most loyal comrade is a beautiful knight…who has a masochism fetish. Only in 2016 could someone be sent to a magical world, be given a harem of beautiful women, and still have to live in a staple full of horse manure.

Pros: KonoSuba was hailed as the best comedy anime of 2016.  And it is. The core group and the show are funny. Go watch it.

Cons: First off, the show is really hard to talk about because it is chalk full of references, running gags, and subtle jokes. This show takes all the potential melodrama or a game/fantasy/light novel series and laughs in the face of it. The characters are selfish, cowardly, pervy, petty, and we love them for it! If I really tried, I could dissect the deep level of parody this show exhibits…Lucky for me I’m doing this for free and thus have no real quality requirement for these reviews. Take it or leave it suckers! (Please don’t leave it, this is all I have!!!!). So instead of detailing the good, let’s focus on the bad. The show is a slice-of-life comedy, with no real end. The show even admits it, calling the season’s 10 episodes a “tutorial.” Except for the first episode and meeting Darkness and Megumin, it’s literally just a bunch of stuff that happened. Some characters show up. Some characters are rushed through. I think the show was working within some limited time and budget constraints. The show would be perfect if it didn’t feel like you were only scratching the surface at a much larger story (though I am strongly tempted to read the light novels, a first for me). I also found Darkness and Megumin a bit one-dimensional in terms of comedy. More so Megumin, as her main joke was that she used up all her magic in a powerful spell, but she can only use it once a day. Noticeably, the show used her spell incantations to eat up some air time. Darkness, on the other hand, is technically a little more complex. She’s a noble knight who not so secretly fantasizes of being ravished and humiliated, or at least beat up by monsters. But she’s also used a fan service, being the stereotypical blonde knight with big boobs. The fan service is pretty good. A little boob centric to be original, though I do love the fact that no one ever mentions that Aqua is going commando. The show’s setting doesn’t change either, being set in city for beginner characters. Though, I suppose this is not different than a show being set in Tokyo or something.

Watch it: Kudos to Aqua’s voice actress, Sora Amamiya, for delivering possibly the best whining I have ever heard in an anime (4/5)

MVP: Aqua

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I never thought I’d say this, but this woman’s tears brought me so much joy

Best Episode: Hell, just watch all of it. (They are all gold).

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BlazBlue Alter Memory

Type: Time Travel + Fighting Game Story, Oh Boy!

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Synopsis: OK, anime fighting game plots. Yeesh. From what I could gather from the Wiki, a long time ago humans made a God in order to control time. This backfired, so they created a second God to kill the first God. This resulted in a time distortion and an evil organization trying to take take over all timelines. Then, there’s Ragna the Bloodedge’s story, the most wanted man alive who destroys government facilities after his brother betrayed him and took their sister, only to run into several artificial girls that look just like his sister, and one of them maybe or maybe not fusing with him to become the terrible monster of legend because of a time loop. Oh yeah, time loops.

Pros: I know I’ve been watching more and more anime based on video games. It’s not really on purpose, I’m just curious about them. Since most anime don’t adapt culturally relevant stories for me (cause I ain’t Japanese), video game stories that I’m familiar with are a nice compromise. That being said, I know that anime based on video games is for a very niche audience, and I wanted to experience that, hence BlazBlue, a fighting game franchise I know nothing about. Admittedly, the anime came off as confusing at first, but by the midpoint, it got me invested enough in the characters to do some research in the Wiki. Like most fighting game stories, the strong points are the characters, not the overall story (which is messy as F@#$). I really liked the Nu androids, and Noel’s story with her friends and military career, and felt they should have been the main focus. Ragna’s story is alright (but grouchy), especially when you delve deeper into it, but I feel he would have worked better as a cool secondary protagonist. He could still save the day, but not be the main focus. And Terumi, for as much as I wanted to punch the smug assh#$$ in the face several times over, was a very effective antagonist. I also liked Rachel Alucard, being the first “young girl aristocrat” troupe character that I liked.

Cons: The story. Just, just give up on it. It’s an anime story on top of a fighting game story. It never had a chance. Anime type stories in games are rarely coherent because they usually have to go on much longer than for TV. It’s obviously harder to keep a story straight if you have to stretch it for a long time. Add to that, however, the fact that this is a fighting game franchise, which often gives each of it’s characters a story line, stories that don’t often mesh well as a whole. And the main conceit of the plot is Time Manipulation. Time Manipulation! The anime also tries to condense what I believe is the first plot of the game in an anime, which means a lot of characters that don’t get a lot of breathing room are introduced, discarded, or simply ignored. And it would simply take too long to nitpick at why certain characters do or don’t do certain things (Why doesn’t Jubei kill Terumi? Why is Jin so insane? Is the reason why Rachel saved Ragna because of the Time Loop? Was Tsubaki such a good friend if she was more willing to kill her best friend instead of the boy who didn’t even like her? And if Ragna falls in love with a robot that looks just like his sister, does that mean he want’s to bang his sister?)

Watch it: Maybe it’s help clear up the story. Maybe. (3/5)

MVP: Valentine Alucard

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Refined.

Best Episode: Ep.8 “The Mechanical Soul” (Ragna come off as nice for the first time)

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Hyperdimensional Neptunia

Type: Henshin-A-Go-Go refefence!

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Synopsis: We’ve seen guns turn into anime girls, animals turn into anime girls, and now, gaming consoles turned into anime girls! We go the Playstation, we got the Wii, we got the Xbox, we got…Sega. Yeah, lets have that sink in.

Pros: Look, I’m a big gaming nerd, so I can’t say I didn’t find some enjoyment from this series. The whole “Hyperdimensional Neptunia” franchise is a real gaming franchise that parodies the game industry from a Japanese viewpoint. It was fun to see the Playstation and the Wii and the Xbox as”real people.” We even get the 3ds! I was a little thrown off that Sega was included, mostly because Sega doesn’t make consoles anymore. But Neptunia was my favorite character, so I give that a pass. I also really enjoyed the little verbal easter eggs that were dropped. The action was pretty good, and my favorite segments were the slice-of-life moments that were used 2 out of 3 times.

Cons: First off, if you don’t know anything about gaming, you’ll still enjoy this. If anything, the amount of fan service will probably keep more viewers away than the premise. The story is….alright. It starts off with a “Friendship Pact” between the four gaming nations after years of war. I liked that aspect of it, with the second to last arc exploring what a console war would look like. Since I love gaming, I was a little disappointed with some character choices. I thought the Nintendo Analog should have been different. Older. Like a “Bancho” style character, as Nintendo is the oldest company still making consoles. But instead, she was depicted as a “flat chested” quiet/mean character. That’s a pretty weird depiction for the company that saved the game industry. And where was the Gameboy? Or Dreamcast? Or any of the older consoles? Did they just disappear? Did they transform? What’s the deal here.  I also really hated Peashy, a bratty child character added about three episodes in. She was ANNOYING and full of herself. I wonder why the analog for PC gaming would be characterized as rude, foul mouthed, immature, and trollish……

Watch it?: I am genuinely surprised automobiles haven’t been given this treatment (3/5)

MVP: Neptune

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Based on the canceled Sega Neptune

Best Episode: Ep. 7 “The Fruits (Deep Purple) of Revenge” (I also hate eggplant)

 

 

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Street Fighter Alpha: The Movie

Type: Why do we fight?

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Synopsis: The world is on the verge of being take over by an evil organization led by a mad man with psycho power, while warriors around the world fight among themselves to prove their strength. But whatever, lets talk about some weird kid from Brazil (and I ain’t talking about Shawn).

Pros: Street Fighter Alpha is my favorite Street Fighter series. For you normals, the Alpha series was a prequel series that adopted more anime like designs for all the Street Fighter characters. What I’m saying is, I thought it was cool to see people like Birdie, Dan, and Sakura in the movie. The plot is fairly straight forward: Ryu is afraid of turning evil, he gets a “brother,” the brother is kidnapped, Ryu tries to rescue him and has to decide if turning evil is the best way to go. In, out, and to the point.

Cons: I hate the kid in this. Ryu’s “brother” can actually be omitted easily. Especially because Sakura is RIGHT THERE. Her whole plot is that she wants to be Ryu’s apprentice. Why couldn’t she tag along with Ryu? Why can’t she be struggling with the Dark Hadoo? Oh. my. God. Sakura could literally fill in for Ryu’s “brother” in every way! In fact, every original creation in this movie is bad. Why isn’t Bison trying to get the Dark Hadoo (you know, like in the game!?). But overall, this is pretty OK. Not great. I don’t think Street Fighter really translates well into other media. (p.s. Zangief was weeeeird in this).

Watch this!?: Better than the Street Fighter IV movie

MVP: Sakura

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You need to keep fighting, to find that answer!

Best Moment: Sakura trying to find Ryu (will she ever win?)

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Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture

Type: RISING TACKLE

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Synopsis: Basically, a pizza delivery boy, a ninja, a boxer, and a blonde guy help a mysterious girl fight the god of war.

Pros: Fatal Fury, the movie, is possibly the best film adaptation of a fighting game. Well, aside from the Tekken movie. And the Mortal Kombat movie had its moments. All rights, its like the third best fighting game movie adaptation. Having nothing to do with the actual game story line, this film has Terry Bogart, Andy Bogart, Joe, and Mai fighting non-descript bad guys. The movie does a good job at animating each character’s special moves, and even throws in some camoes from other characters in the game. It’s all pretty dumb, don’t get me wrong, but dumb in that fighting game way, which is pretty cool.

Cons: Oh my god, we get it. Mai is super hot. Do we need that much boob jiggle? Although, I guess that’s game accurate. If you take your attention away from Mai for a minute, which Andy seems to have mastered, you’ll notice blatant animation dips. It was the 90’s. The story is…the story. But the biggest problem with the film is that, unless you have a working familiarity with the Fatal Fury universe, you won’t get a lot of the movie. Why is Terry the main hero? Why is Joe tagging along? Why is Andy not having sex with Mai right now? No, seriously. The lady has the biggest case of blue balls imaginable. But you won’t get that unless you know about the game story line.

Watch it: Yes, but keep in mind that this was made for the fans

MVP: Terry

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POWER GAISA

Best Moment: The whole crew fighting against the bad guy at the end (BURNING!!)

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Makai Senki Disgaea

Type: Hour of Darkness, sort of

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Synopsis: An anime inspired by a video game series that already uses a lot of anime in it. This one loosely follows the plot of the first game, where an annoying would-be “Overlord” and his two female sidekicks travel the tactical rpg world with an army of penguins.

Pros: I love the Disgaea game series. Well, technically I love Disgaea 2, but I respect the rest. Apparently, this anime sorta follows the plot of the Disgaea 1. As a fan, I can sort of see this, but the story clearly works better in the battle-by-battle cutscene flow of the games. The anime itself is ok. Except of a few boob jokes here and there, its the kind of anime what you would see from an old Fox Saturday Morning cartoon line-up.

Cons: This is an anime that tries to translate a video game story into an anime. These don’t tend to work out. Partly, its because anime creators don’t have faith in the strength of the original story and try to add filler. There are some exceptions, like visual novels, but these tend to follow anime troupes. But to be fair, a lot of game stories are bad, but you give them a pass because you get to do all the exciting stuff yourself. Anyway,  I’d wager that I’d enjoy the game scenes on Youtube over the anime. The anime simply flows oddly, having weird stops and warps in the story. The characters are fun, especially Etna and Flonne, but they have to contend with an anime story that’s just not strong enough. Again, the anime is fine. It’s OK. It’s enjoyable at points. But given the source material, it had the potential to be more. Maybe the first game wasn’t the one to adapt.

Watch it?: I’d pass on it (3/5)

MVP: Flonne

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Love will save the Demon World

Best Episode: Ep.11 “A Night Lit Up by the Red Moon” (The only time I could tolerate Laharl)

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