Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Kamen Rider Zi-O! Episode 3 - Doctor Gamer 2018. Summary/Review

Last week in this series, I WAS LATE! My review/summary for Episode Two should've been out the week before but I couldn't find a way to watch it... Which is fair, it's not a show that's released World Wide just yet... If ever.  Oh, yeah, Episode Two was also a really good one.  Anyway, enough of this Kotaku-esk, filler heavy introduction b******t for this article... And curse you, Orange Scarab for even comparing my beautiful work to those barbaric, much more popular and much more hated than I, brutes that are Kotaku!  As it is time for Kaiser Sensei's Summary/Review of Episode Three of Kamen Rider Zi-O! This episode is called: Doctor Gamer 2018. (Click on "Read More" to read the full review and more Kamen brick throwing at my co-worker, Orange Scarab*).


This episode opens up with Sougo waking up and going to the dining room to eat some breakfast.  When Sougo gets there, he sees Geiz and Tsukuyomi finishing up.  This leads to a funny scene where Sougo wants to butter his toast, so he asks Geiz to pass over the butter knife but Geiz throws it at him like if it were a weapon, leaving Sougo's toast stuck to the wall.  Sougo also finds out something that we all saw coming ever since that Geiz and Tsukuyomi had moved into Sougo's place...  Yup, Geiz and Tsukuyomi are going to the same school as Sougo and be classmates (I wonder who didn't see this trope coming?).

Uhr is out and about and he is also with another Time Jacker, a female named Ora.  This is a scene where we finally get to know what the Time Jackers are really up to as they are jacking time to create a new evil overlord.  Ora has already set a plan and this is when we time jump to the year 2016!  Another truly horrible year!.. Okay, that gag is getting very annoying now! Anyway, back to 2016  where some poor man is witnessing a child being carried away into hospital, only to have Ora pop out and turn the guy into an evil version of Ex-Aid! (Ex-Aid being from Kamen Rider EX-Aid).

Sougo is on his way to school with Geiz and Tsukuyomi and he isn't too happy about it.  Lucky for him, Geiz and Tsukuyomi reveal more of their plan and that's they aren't really going to school, they are pretending to be students to blend in and will really be watching Sougo every where he goes... Wait a sec?  That's not lucky at all!  That's actually even worse!.. But it is a twist that I like as it can leave the show open to many more situations.  Sougo is at school and he can't do anything without Geiz and Tsukuyomi watching him.  Sougo doing exercise, Geiz and Tsukuyomi are watching!  Sougo in class, Geiz and Tsukuyomi are watching!  Poor Sougo can't even take a s**t without Geiz being right next to him in the stall...  Yeesh, how is Sougo supposed to have a break?  Well... Sougo is out having lunch on the rooftop of the school and yup, Geiz and Tsukuyomi are watching him and eating their lunch as well.  Sougo uses this moment as his chance to run as he points to behind Geiz and Tsukuyomi and does the classic "What the h**l is that?" technique, which works flawlessly!

Sougo ends up hiding from Geiz and Tsukuyomi by running into the storage closet at the school's gym.  Sougo is about to each lunch in peace but is spooked out because he is not alone, his classmate, Owata is there and he is playing his handheld games.  The system Owata is playing isn't a real one but it does look like a hybrid between a Neo Geo Pocket, Wonderswan, Game Gear, Game Boy Advance and all while having a sweet backlit screen.  The game Owata is playing is also not a real one (not according to my knowledge) and it's an awesome looking platformer that has sweet retro inspired graphics and looks like a mixture between Pulseman and Ninja Senki DX but with a 2.5D kick.  I didn't need to describe this scene in as deep detail as I did but what kind of gamer would I have been if I didn't?  This game is also supposed to be a game that no one has ever beaten.

A teacher is also looking for Owata but Owata doesn't want to get busted as he is very close to beating the game, so Sougo jumps out and takes all of the blame for Owata, saving Owata from having to turn off his game.  Sougo is truly the hero that this World deserves.  Before Owata can finish his game, Ex-Aid pops out from nowhere and chokes him out.  IT'S HENSHIN TIME, BABY!  Sougo transforms into Kamen Rider Zi-O and tries to stop Ex-Aid but Ex-Aid escapes.  Geiz and Tsukuyomi end up finding Kamen Rider Zi-O and a passed out Owata, so they rush Owata to the hospital.  It turns out that Owata isn't the only victim of Ex-Aid's attack, which leaves Sougo even more angry and wanting to put a stop to Ex-Aid even more.

Geiz tries to prevent Sougo from going after Ex-Aid in fear that Sougo will only fall deeper into the path of becoming evil.  Sougo responds back by telling Geiz about if he knows what it's like fighting for someone that you like.  Geiz hates this and grabs Sougo and goes on about how he has been doing that his whole life.  Geiz lets Sougo go and Sougo finds an important clue to finding Ex-Aid!  Sougo remembers that Owata was close to beating his game before having his machine glitch out on him before Ex-Aid comes out to choke Owata out (not to be confuse "glitch out" with the defunct gaming website, Glitched Out!... And not to confuse "defunct gaming" with Defunct Gamer).

Tsukuyomi goes into the lore about the game that Owata was playing and how according to an urban myth from the Internet (UGH! I hate creepy pastas! They are so predictable and dumb), the game is cursed and unbeatable and if anyone comes close to beating the game then they'll be attacked by an evil force... That evil force being Ex-Aid!  So what happens next? Well, Sougo tries his best to beat the game but he doesn't even come close, so he goes to Tsukuyomi but she doesn't play games where she has to use her hands... Am I seeing a Back to the Future Part 2 reference?.. NICE!  Geiz starts taunting Sougo which leads to Sougo coming up with the brilliant idea of trying to find a master gamer to try to beat the game for them.

Tsukuyomi ends up finding info about the gamer that they need, so Sougo starts exploring arcades but has a hard time trying to find this brilliant gamer.  Sougo hears a scream and sees none other than Ex-Aid attacking another innocent gamer (well, innocent offline gamer) but it is too late, the damage has been done.  Guess who's back? (No Eminem jokes please).  Woz is back, he obsesses over Sougo some more and tells Sougo where he needs to find the gamer.  This gamer, his name is M, is located at a big hospital, actually, he works at that hospital as he is also a doctor.  Sadly, the doctor they need is out for the day but another doctor helps them out by giving our heroes a cheat code for the game.  Our heroes start playing the game in the hospital's courtyard and use the code: Down, Down, Up, Up, right, left, right, left... Yup, it's a parody of the famous (or infamous, if you are a gamer that plays by the rules) of the Konami Code... You know, that company that everybody wanted to have sex with when they got rid of Hideo Kojima... No, wait, it wasn't that kind of use of the phrase "f**k" that they were using.

This special code warps our heroes into the game itself and they run into Ex-Aid, which means that it is HENSHIN TIME, BABY! Geiz and Sougo morph into Kamen Rider Geiz and Kamen Rider Zi-O and do battle with Ex-Aid.  This fight is mainly a lot of punching and Ex-Aid jumping around like Super Mario's brother, Luigi and every time Ex-Aid hits, a big box pops up and it says "Hit", it kind of reminds me of effects found in the 1960's Batman television show.  Our heroes decide that they need more power, so Kamen Rider Geiz powers up to Kamen Rider Geiz Drive Mode, yup, his armor and powers are based directly on Kamen Rider Drive and I'm not going to lie, I popped hard for that.  Kamen Rider Zi-O powers up into Kamen Rider Zi-O Build Mode, a mode that he got in the prior episode and is based on Kamen Rider Build's move set and look.

Our heroes beat Ex-Aid in a spectacular fashion and get shocked as they didn't expect that Ex-Aid was just a regular human being, being controlled.  This battle isn't over yet as that doctor from earlier on enters the scene and reveals himself that he was M this whole time... A twist that I'm pretty sure that most of us saw coming.  What does M do? Why, he gets me all excited as he transforms into the gaming themed Kamen Rider, Kamen Rider EX... Yes, the crossover theme for this episode was Kamen Rider EX (another series that I need to watch) but then it ends on a to be continued cliffhanger... BOOOOOO!!!!!!


This wasn't a bad episode at all, it had a very fun concept and an awesome gaming theme.  I also found it very exciting to see that this episode was a crossover with Kamen Rider EX-Aid and has gotten me really interested in seeing the show.  I may not be very familiar with Kamen Rider EX-Aid (and it obviously shows) but it does feel a bit weird that M has been given a villain role and am curious to see what will happen in episode four.  The pacing was also really good and no scene over or under stayed its welcome and I do like the twists, turns, and the directions that this series is heading in.  If this series keeps up with the way that it is going, then it may end up being better than the other Kamen Rider series that I am covering, Kamen Rider Black...  That is saying a lot as Kamen Rider Black is a really great series.

A good chunk of the effects in this episode were a bit more practical than the full on CG effects that I've grown accustomed to with the modern Power Ranger and Kamen Rider series, with hard props being used to help enhance the story.  Don't get me wrong, there's also a good chunk of CG in this but seeing props used in this show is a big breath of fresh air...  Okay, that might not make sense to the reader as these shows use props all of the time but you'll see what I mean when you (or if you) watch this episode.  The CG wasn't too bad in this one, a lot of it looked natural being in the show but there were some awkward looking moments that stuck out like a sore thumb.

Not all that much action in this one, the dialogue and emotions of the characters told most of the story and they did a very good job, it kept me hooked and interested to see how this episode was going to turn out and it did not disappoint.  I am loving how we go some extra depth to some of the characters in this episode, it makes their role in the show to mean something and that includes the bad guys as well.  I also did like how Evil Ex-Aid was used (although forgive me with my lack of knowledge towards the character) as he was indeed threatening and was hard to beat and I thought it was clever how he was used.

When we did get action in this episode, it was pretty fun, exciting, and unpredictable, especially when our heroes power up into different forms.  Surprisingly, a lot of choking in this episode, something that you won't see in any English Power Rangers and Kamen Rider shows aimed for kids and it only helped to make the situation look more dire.  For the other physical/non-special attacks, it was mainly punching but we did get some very awesome looking special attacks.  I liked Ex-Aid's specials in this episode, he jumped around the place and threw items in a way that's appropriate for a video game based character.  The CG was a bit awkward with the video game attacks but it worked 100% as it helped add on to the gimmick.

Overall,  a pretty decent episode that will make the people that haven't watched Kamen Rider EX-Aid to want to watch it and it will also appeal to those who have.  This episode also works great as a stand alone story as well, so it covers a lot of the bases.  I give this episode a 7.5 out of 10 and am ultra excited to watch and cover the next episode.  Be sure to tune in Friday (okay, Saturday being the latest time) as I get back on track and talk about Kamen Rider Zi-O at it's regular slot.  Anyway, I'm Kaiser Sensei and see you next time for more Kamen Rider Zi-O!..  Hopefully it'd be more Kaiser Sensei style and a h**l of a lot less like Kotaku's style. HENSHIN, BABY!.. *throws brick at Orange Scarab*.

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