Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Shenmue the Animation Episode 11: Entangled - Summary/Review


 

We are nearing the end of this season. Last episode ended with Ryo in trouble and Xiuying arriving to save the day. In the games this rescue happened mostly off-screen, so maybe the anime will show some action. Click "read more" for my analysis and final thoughts.


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Cheap Cheevos #9: A Clay Old Time.

I've been searching high and low for the easiest games to unlock all of the the achievements on. While a lot of these games will not be (and have not been) the best of quality, it will be enough to quench your cheevo thirst for the day. I've got an interesting line-up picked out for this edition. From school-girls with fishing rods, to an achievement set made by yours truly. So brace yourselves. It's Cheap Cheevos Issue 9. (Click on "Read More" to read the full article).

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Shenmue The Animation Episode 10: Comeback - Summary/Review




We have reached the final 4 episodes of what I hope is for only the first season and not the entire anime. What I am predicting based on my knowledge of the games, Ryo has finished his business in Hong Kong and we are moving onto the Kowloon Saga. How will this be adapted? Click "read more" for my analysis.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Shenmue the Animation Episode 9: Distinct - Summary/Review


 

Ryo's quest comes to a brick wall when Xiuying sees through him and knows that he is out for revenge which results in her refusing to help him. However, Fangmei has brought Ryo a book written by Yuanda Zhu that is his only lead right now. Even though I already know generally what will happen, I am eager to see how they do it in the anime. So, click "read more" and let us begin the analysis.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Top 5 Things in Shenmue 1 That Didn't make it into the Anime



This is a total fanboy countdown, but one I still think people have talked about. The first 5 episodes of Shenmue The Animation covered the events of the first game Shenmue for Sega Dreamcast. Naturally, this meant a lot of stuff had to be cut out. For the most part, the anime does a great job of re-pacing the story so that multiple things can happen at once and a lot of unimportant things were at least referenced. However, there had to be some things from the game left out for the sake of better story telling. While I am not here to debate how right or wrong it was to exclude what they did, I am here to count down the 5 pieces of content cut that stood out to me the most. Click "read more" for the countdown. 

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Astro Ace (Steam) - PC Game Review

 


Ever thought the old school arcade game Astroids needed an updated reboot? Well here it is. Click "read more" for my review of it.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Green Phoenix - Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Review

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness poster.jpg

The release of a new Marvel movie is a big event in my film viewing schedule. I oftentimes find myself scheduling all my future articles around a particular release to ensure I have the opportunity to watch the film perhaps a few times before I fully commit to reviewing it.

The last Marvel film to be released was Spiderman: No Way Home. I was incredibly excited to see that film and it helped to give me a better impression as to the direction that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is taking post-Endgame.

With No Way Home in the past, it now falls to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to continue the MCU's exploration of the multiverse and finish up a few plot details from both the Disney+ shows like Wandavision and Loki, as well as continue the adventures of everybody's favorite Sorcerer Supreme.

Is the film a worthwhile sequel to the original Doctor Strange? Or does it end up with too much madness to make any kind of coherent sense?

***

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Shenmue The Animation Episode 8: Aspiration - Summary/Review


Ryo is now living with Xiuying (Lishao Tao) in an attempt to learn about Yuanda Zhu. At the same time, he still has 2 more Wude to learn. How will this play out? Click "read more" and let's take a look.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Green Phoenix - How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Review

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom - Wikipedia

As I have stated in the past, my appetite for anime can be very picky and distinctive, preferring light-hearted slice of life and romance stories to the more dramatic or dark stories that tend to become the main stays of anime seasons. I will gladly take a That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime or Restaurant to Another World to Attack on Titan anytime.

And among this list, I tend to find isekai's a surprisingly enjoyable affair, even if I do think some of them tend to come out a bit rote and tropy. Just the degree of fun of a fantasy setting, chance for silly romance moments from a harem anime, and the introduction of modern world elements to lend a degree of science fiction to the whole mix really brings me a tremendous amount of joy.

So it should come to know surprise that I found myself drawn to How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom. I was drawn to the anime due to its focus on modern technologies and political intrigue, utilizing a grounded sense of actual political acumen in our main character  rather than overwhelming magical powers granted through sheer dumb luck. But was this an accurate approximation of what we as the audience were sold. With both Part 1 and Part 2 of this show now finished, the question now arises. Was How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom good or was it just another one of the cookie cut-out generic isekai.

Could there be something more?

***

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Sonic Team's Biggest Problem

 

Shenmue The Animation Episode 7: Future - Summary/Review


 

Back again as Ryo continues his quest through Hong Kong. I know from the games that this is the time when Ryo has people actively try to stop his quest for revenge. However, this anime has a smarter Ryo that is looking for not just revenge but the truth about his Father's past. So, I am very curious to know how this will play out. Click "read more" and let the analysis begin.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Green Phoenix - ClueFinders 5th Grade Retrospective

 

Over the last few months, I have periodically been releasing minor retrospectives on the ClueFinders educational video game series that I and my sister grew up playing throughout elementary and middle school. In the past, I have examined 3rd Grade - The Mystery of Mathra and 4th Grade - Puzzle of the Pyramid. I found these games enjoyable to watch with a fun, if a little silly, story and premise that I think really works for the purposes of presenting good educational gameplay.

However, I never actually grew up with these two games, and was instead made aware of them from my younger schoolmates and friends, who would let me play them when I was at their home (Yes, I understand how dorky it is to play educational games at a friends house, but I also played Hearts of Iron 2 with one of my neighbors dads' as a kid so you can suck it; I do what I want).

Today's retrospective will cover the first actual game in the franchise that I ever owned, 5th Grade Adventures - Secret of the Living Volcano. And let me tell you, the story behind this one is really weird but also to my memory quite enjoyable and engaging. Even if the twist is a little out there compared to the rest of the franchise.

***

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Shenmue The Animation Episode 6: Dignified - Summary/Review


We have officially entered Shenmue 2 territory. My favorite video game of all time, which is going to make this difficult for me to watch without being biased. While a fair amount was cut from Shenmue 1, none of it was major content with the exception of the homeless old man. However, Shenmue 2 had a lot more story and plenty of extra content. I do not expect to see any of that extra stuff beyond an Easter Egg. (So no duck racing or collecting move scrolls.) Despite that, I am actually eager to see what they do with the Hong Kong arc since the Japan one was handled very well. So, click "read more" and let us get started.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Green Phoenix - Pompo the Cinéphile Review

 

Its not often that I get an opportunity to see a limited release film, given their comparative rarity in my area (Dayton isn't exactly the hot-button region for exclusive releases in the present day). So when my sister invited me to watch a recently released dub of a highly rated anime film, I must admit that I was intrigued and excited.

The fact that this film was also covering the power of films and the filmmaking process also deeply touched my heart and made enthralled to see just how the creators would bring such a personal subject to the screen. I absolutely movies about making movies, as seen by one of my favorite films Singin' in the Rain from 1952. So it should be no surprise then that I was immediately compelled to watch Pompo the Cinéphile, based on the manga by Shogo Sugitani.

And after having watched the film last Thursday, I must admit that I am completely enraptured and utterly enchanted by a colorful, passionate piece that absolutely understands and appreciates the power of filmmaking and the importance of every single role that goes into making those films. Pompo truly understands the magic of movies and expresses that in every frame of the film.

***

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Shenmue The Animation Ep 5: Equal - Summary/Review


This is it, the first games story all ends on this episode. It has been a much faster run than the game with most of the walking around and talking to people being done in short montages, but still a great run. So, let's not waste time, click "read more"


Monday, May 2, 2022

Nintendo Switch Sports Is A Shadow Of Its Former Self

Nintendo Switch Sports was released for the Switch, on April 29 2022. It's main focus is to cash in on the same success that Wii Sports had on the Nintendo Wii. However, as much as Nintendo try to reinvent the Wii Sports to the modern era, it was not as great or exciting as I hoped it would be, despite first being interested in the trailers.


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Ghost Ranger - Top 5 Favorite Secrets in Shenmue (Dreamcast)

 


There are many things to be impressed about the Shenmue games, but one I want to focus on now are the secrets/optional content. These are games you can play through many times over and still discover new things in. While the first game lacks in these compared to its sequels, there are still enough to pick out 5. Click "read more" for the countdown.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Green Phoenix - Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Review

Fantastic Beasts- The Secrets of Dumbledore.png

I must admit that I am so very glad that I am once again able to routinely attend film releases in theaters. While I enjoy streaming as much as the next guy, there is fundamentally something different about watching a new film on a massive screen, with surround sound and a comfy chair (popcorn included). Last week, I was able to take an opportunity to watch the new Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with Cendoo, the review of which you can find right here on Emerald Rangers.

This week, I was able to enjoy something of a back-to-back feature as both my sister and girlfriend were able to go to individual showings of the latest film in the Fantastic Beasts series, the prequel franchise to J.K. Rowling's generation defining Harry Potter series: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. An experience I knew that I wanted to have in a theater, despite my opinions on the Fantastic Beasts franchise as a whole.

Rest assured, I have an editorial in the works that will go into much greater detail about the franchise as a whole, but today I will focus on the third film in this...complicated, prequel series.

Is The Secrets of Dumbledore a secret worth knowing, or is the film, much like its authorial inspiration is increasingly becoming, that which must not be named?

***

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Sonic Origins Details & Release Revealed, Questionable DLC Confuses Fans

Sonic Origins was revealed shortly after the leak of the PSN Artwork, that we also shared the other day.  As fast as Sonic could run, details were officially shared by SEGA about the new title shortly afterwards. But this led to some confusion and frustration amongst the fans over the game's planned separate DLC. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Sonic Origins Artwork Revealed!

 Today it's been reported that a new Sonic Origins artwork has been revealed on the PS Network!

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Could "Sonic Speed Simulator" be one of the best new Sonic games in years?

Before Sonic Speed Simulator was announced for Roblox platforms, I had never played Roblox. Sure, I knew about the 'oof" meme, but other than that I never cared to notice the game since the Sonic announcement.

Due to the lack of news and gameplay footage that still surrounds the upcoming title, Sonic Frontiers - which is due for a release in apparently 6 months from now, and we've still seen no gameplay whatsoever, Sega decided to finally feel sorry for us and give us a Sonic game to be entertained by for free while we wait painfully for the next title.

But Sonic Speed Simulator may be the best new Sonic game in ages.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Green Phoenix - Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Review

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 film poster.jpg

The original Sonic the Hedgehog holds a rather exalted place in my recent theatrical viewing history, as it was the last film I watched in theaters in the before times (pre-COVID). I was exceptionally motivated to support the film following the massive fan interest in the film project after Sonic's redesign, as I desperately wanted the film to succeed and further incentivize films studios to listen to fan input on a project. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised when Cendoo and I watched Sonic the Hedgehog.

Video game movies, by and large, tend to really suck, either failing to successfully adapt the thematic spirit of the video game in question or becoming simply a collection of vaguely associated Easter eggs held together by hopes and an annoyingly dated modern soundtrack. And while the original Sonic the Hedgehog certainly had quite a few moments that existed solely for Easter egg moments, they were also coupled with subtly established world-building, fantastic and funny characterization and a surprising amount of heart that quickly won over audiences and led to the film becoming a massive financial success.

So naturally, all of us were anticipating a sequel. Especially as the world slowly but surely went into our new COVID era. And sure enough, we weren't disappointed as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 released almost 2 years after the first film with quite a bit of hype around it.With a new release I decided that I should watch this film with Cendoo as well. So we did just that last Saturday.

Did the film live up to expectations or did it lose everything that gave the first film charm?

***

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Shenmue The Animation Ep 4: Shackles - Summary/Review


We have reached the point in the story where Ryo is now seeking to travel to Hong Kong. This means the events of the first game will be wrapping up within the next couple episodes most likely. How will this be adapted? Click "read more" and let us find out.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Green Phoenix - My Dress-Up Darling Review

 

In the past, I have expressed a degree of pickiness when it comes to watching certain anime, generally preferring to watch largely comedic, lighthearted, or romantic-based anime. I will however, make exceptions for anime that particularly capture my attention, either due to an interesting narrative or thematic concept or simply one that has a beautifully done animation style. The consequence of this is that I don't tend to watch a great deal of anime, but when I do, it is usually of fairly high quality or at least is something that I personally can become invested in.

So when I say that today's anime is one which managed to tick off every damn box I have ever required of an anime and is one that I not only watched, but watched in both dub and sub and hope to continue watching in a future season 2, I hope that expresses to you the sheer degree to which I adore My Dress-Up Darling, the anime that might already very well be my favorite anime of 2022.

This simple 12 episode romantic comedy is a masterful combination of compelling and deep narrative story-telling, a heartwarming and slightly erotic (whilst maintaining an innocence) romance, and a beautiful thematic love letter to cosplay and the passion of artists and fans; all expressed in beautifully flowing animation that is some of the best that I have ever bore witness too.

I could keep on going in this intro, but I think its more important to get into the main article now.

***

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Is Actually Really Good (A Spoiler-Free Review)

Yes, i've seen Sonic The Hedgehog 2. But i've actually now seen it 2 times. How is this possible? In Australia it premiered last week; on March 31st, and I went on the first day, at 4DX Cinemas, and again, at 4DX cinemas a few days ago, taking a friend along for the ride. Before 2020 COVID shutdowns messed everything up for the next year or so, the last film I went to see in the cinemas was....Sonic The Hedgehog (2020)! Also, at the same 4DX cinema I went to see the 2nd one!

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Shenmue the Animation Ep 3: Yin-Yang - Summary/Review


We continue the journey as the story races on. This is only the 3rd episode and we are already half way through the first games content. This leaves me very hopeful that this anime will finally give us the Shenmue conclusion. So, lets not waste any time, click "read more" and may the analysis begin.

Friday, April 1, 2022

Green Phoenix - 8 Fantastic Sci-Fi Villains

A few weeks back, I did a list of some of the most iconic villains from a variety of media sources, with the only determining factor being that they must come from a fantasy setting or from an iconic piece of the fantasy genre.
Of course, having such a list would inherently require that we also include a science fiction genre compilation of villains as well. And as you can see by the title of this blog, that is indeed what the focus of this last two weeks of work has been for me. The next couple of weeks will be a pretty comprehensive compilation of recent new releases and TV shows that I have finished so I felt it best to get my countdown out as soon as I could.
So without any further ado, let's get right into my analysis of 8 fantastic science fiction villains.

***

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Shenmue the Animation Ep. 2: Daybreak - Summary/Review


Back again with more of Ryo's journey to find his Father's killer. Last time, he received a letter addressed to his Father and that is currently his only clue. I'm eager to keep going so click "read more" and let the journey continue.


Monday, March 28, 2022

Cheap Cheevos #8 - AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

We've got some really good surprises for this exciting eighth issue of the hip underground series that tells you about the easiest games to cheeve! This is Cheap Cheevos. Get ready to have your socks rocked. Yeah! (Click on "Read More" to read the full article).

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Gran Turismo 7 Is Physically Unplayable Due to Microtransactions

Gran Turismo 7 was released earlier in March this year. At launch the reception was quite positive, and I also enjoyed the game the first time round. Progression was simple and straight forward. All up until last week, when an update popped up that shut down the game for reportedly 30 hours, After the update, Sony have now made it much harder to gain Credits, the in-game currency used in the Gran Turismo series to  buy cars. This has frustrated a lot of gamers.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Shenmue the Animation Ep. 1: Thunderclap - Summary/Review

 


This is it, my favorite video game series of all time turned anime thanks to Adult Swim and Crunchyroll. I don't know much about this adaptation going in other than it will be abridged compared to the games as a lot of filler content is skipped over. That is a reasonable change. So, click "read more" and let the journey begin...again.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Green Phoenix - Bicentennial Man Review

Bicentennial man film poster.jpg

Everybody has that one movie. That singular film which is always guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings even when you know that it might not be the most technically perfect film. Either its themes hit you in such a way as to perfectly break down your emotional walls, or its music and visuals are so finely crafted that even a lackluster story can keep you enthralled. For me, that film is without a doubt the 1999 live-action science fiction comedy-drama The Bicentennial Man.

Based on the 1992 novel The Positronic Man by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg (though that was itself based on an earlier 1972 short story The Bicentennial Man) and starring one of my personal heroes, Robin Williams, I was suddenly compelled to give my opinion on a film that has largely been dismissed by the critical community as "dull" and a "letdown".

I make no apologies for stating that I have a soft spot for this film and I hope by explaining why, I might enable you all to see this film from my perspective and, hopefully, either gain a greater appreciation for it or understand myself just a little bit better.

***

Thursday, March 17, 2022

A Run Down Of The New Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Tracks

Today after nearly a decade from release, Mario Kart 8 got a brand new update. It's nice to see Nintendo are releasing newer updates of their older games. I hope they continue to do more of this in the future. But is the new "Boost Pack" worth it? 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Ghost Ranger - Top 5 Evil Power Rangers

 


Evil Rangers are some of the most popular villains, and for good reason, they are a genuine match for the Rangers. Sometimes Rangers are brainwashed into fighting for evil, other times they are tricked, and on rare occasions they choose to be evil. So, for whatever reason they were fighting for evil, click "read more" allow me to count down my top 5 favorite cases of evil rangers. Please note, Rangers only, no extra heroes or "allies" and they had to have been evil for more than 1 episode.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

HCG: Gaming with the Darkness (Sonic The Hedgehog CD Time Stone Run)


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Should We Be Concerned About Sonic Frontiers?

Back in 2019 at the SXSW Expo, Sonic Team director Takashi Iizuka stated that the next mainline Sonic game is in development. After many months of silence, and of course, the global coronavirus pandemic, which would have interrupted a lot of things going on during the development of the game, a teaser trailer was finally revealed during the 30th anniversary event last year which made a lot of people really excited. I'm also excited about Sonic's latest adventure. His last game, Sonic Forces, didn't do too well amongst the fans, but still somehow ended up being a commercial success.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog Now Available On SD-Bluray

The cult classic animated Sonic the Hedgehog series from 1993, The Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog - has arrived on Bluray for the first time by Discotek Media, who previously released SD-Bluray versions of Sonic X Seasons 1 - 3. 

Green Phoenix - Legally Blonde Review

Legally Blonde film poster.png

From an Amazon Prime original new release to an early 2000s comedy, I have been planning on reviewing this film for a few months now. I must admit that I initially had little interest in speaking the 2001 comedy Legally Blonde as it seemed to be a film that was marketed as something completely not intended for my demographic at all. And while I have rarely ever been one to heed demographics in the name of watching movies, I will also admit that sometimes you have to be in the mood for a "chick flick".

Thankfully, my girlfriend was kind enough to make it her selection for our movie date night so the option was out of my hand and I was able to watch a surprisingly subversive film. On the surface, this film has all the hallmark's of your stereotypical shallow 2000s college comedy, complete with sex jokes and ridiculously hollow characterizations and archetypes.

Yet, underneath the surface I found a film that was fully aware of what its perception was and utilized that to enhance the underlying themes of the story, creating a film which has actually managed to not only remain relevant despite some of the early 2000s cultural references being over two decades out of date, but is actually still something of a touchstone in the lives of many young women as a powerful feminist piece.

***

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Ghost Ranger - Top 5 Power Rangers Main Villains


What good is a super hero without a fearsome foe to face against? Yes, a good villain can be half the fun and none matter more than the leader of a seasons group of villains. So, click "read more" and allow me to countdown my top 5 favorite main villains from Power Rangers. Just remember, this is for the main villains of the season, no generals or scientists ect. 

Monday, March 7, 2022

Cheap Cheevos #7 - A Bad Case of the Asteroids

Well, this week is certainly interesting. Got a good mix of homebrew Game Boy titles, ports of arcade games, and another really s#!t series from BreakThrough Gaming. Enjoy. (Click on "Read More" to read the full article).

Friday, March 4, 2022

Green Phoenix - The Legend of Vox Machina (Season 1) Review

 The Legend of Vox Machina title card 2021.jpg

I am a man of many passions and hobbies, owing in large part to my eccentric personality and propensity to acquire sudden urges to try weird or new things. Of all of my passions, my two strongest would probably be my love for film/television and my absolute adoration for table-top roleplaying games, especially Dungeons & Dragons.

I haven't mentioned this a lot in these articles, but I spend a great deal of my free time on Dungeons and Dragons, specifically in building my own world and characters that I hope to populate into my own campaign someday (I've already got some friends interested in playing in a few years when I finish my current campaign). I adore the capacity for storytelling and getting into the minds and mentalities of a character, allowing myself to be immersed in a unique perspective or history that is not my own but may have referenced themes at their center that I can look back on with reflection.

In fact, this love for immersing myself in strange and different viewpoints as actually resulted in me acquiring the reputation as the "weirdo" of my D&D groups, as I almost always play either a strange subversion of your standard fantasy trope or a high-concept character that requires complex additional rules to effectively roleplay.

So with all of this in mind, it should come as no surprise to any of you that I am a huge of Critical Role, the live D&D streaming show starring professional voice actors Matt Mercer, Ashley Johnson, Travis Willingham, Laura Bailey, Sam Riegel, Taliesin Jaffe, and Liam O'Brian. Airing on Twitch every Thursday, the stream follows the players as they battle enemies and engage in fantastic roleplaying with each other, with Mercer acting as the Dungeon Master (the person responsible for managing the game). The show is a blast and has built a massive fan following; so much so that the Critical Role Productions company actually started a Kickstarter to create a full-length animated special detailing an adventure from their very first campaign.

To say that this Kickstarter campaign was a success would be an understatement. Within the first day, the campaign had raised 4.3 million dollars of an necessary $750,000 for a single 22 minute episode. By the end of the 45 day campaign, Critical Role had raised over 11 million dollars, making it one of the highest earning campaigns in the site's history. This popularity also caught the attention of Amazon Prime, who agreed to assist the production of a whole season of animated contented around the characters from Campaign 1 of Critical Role.

Thus The Legend of Vox Machina was born. In production since 2019 and highly anticipated by its fans and the larger D&D community, does the Legend live up to the hype, or was this all an over ambitious Kickstarter campaign?

***

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Ghost Ranger - Five "Good" Things About Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 (1993)

 


The 1993 film TMNT 3 is not good, not even close. It was a massive downgrade from the 2 previous films in terms of action, effects, acting, story telling, and especially humor. However, ripping on it is too easy as plenty of people have done so already. So, just for a bigger challenge, I am going to list 5 things I actually liked in this film. Or, at least thought were a good idea because nothing was executed very well. Perhaps a more accurate title for this is Top 5 Least Bad things. Click "read more" and let's begin.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

What Happened To Sonic Colours Ultimate

Sonic Colours Ultimate is a remaster of the 2010 Nintendo Wii exclusive game Sonic Colours. Released on September 7 2021 as part of the belated 30th anniversary of Sonic The Hedgehog. With other upcoming mainline games in the series such as Sonic Frontiers, Sonic's first open-zone exploration game, and Sonic Origins, a rehashed collection of Sonic 1, 2, 3, 3 & Knuckles, and Sonic CD, games that have already been released before on previous collections countless times, but now running on new emulation and 16:9 aspect ratio amongst other things, are delayed to 2022 with Frontiers being released in November and Origins stated for sometime in 2022 but no proper release date given. 

So SEGA had to do something quick to keep the fans to happy while we wait painfully for Sonic's next big adventure. Thus, Sonic Colours Ultimate was announced for release in September of 2021. But Sonic Anniversary titles have always had a reputation, and Colours Ultimate was no exception following the tradition of past Sonic launch stuff ups. 

Friday, February 25, 2022

Green Phoenix - Building Better Backstories VI

I am back from HarmonyCon and I am ready to talk some shit about A Song of Ice & Fire, the (hopefully) ongoing fantasy series by George R.R. Martin. Those of you who are not of the reading disposition may know this series better through its television adaptation, Game of Thrones.

Now everyone and their mother has given an opinion on the final season of Game of Thrones and how much of a fucking catastrophe it truly was; an opinion that I agree with and thus feel I have little to nothing to contribute towards. But what some people may not know is that I actually think that there is an element of the George R.R. Martin's world that is born from the author's own mind that I actually think was a major missed opportunity and a failing on his part.

My problem stems from the Ironborn, the Viking inspired pirate civilization that lives on the barren rocks to the West of Westeros. Considered primitive and inherently untrustworthy, our most present viewpoint of Ironborn culture for most of the series stems exclusively from Theon Greyjoy, who is a prisoner (ward) of House Stark following a massive failed Independence movement perpetrated by Theon's father.

Theon's story soon expands to include several other characters that shift the focus of the story towards the selection of a new Ironborn king, which leads to Theon's uncle usurping his sister's position and placing both of them in potentially dangerous political waters, with implications that Euron Greyjoy has something very magical and dark going on in the background. In the books, this storyline has yet to be fully actualized; but the TV series did precisely dick-all with most if not all of the Ironborn plot (a fate seemingly shared by the Dornish).

But I think that there actually was a storyline that Martin could've made had he recontextualized Balon Greyjoy's independence movement and the general relationship between the Ironborn, their own history, and the Iron Throne as a whole. One that could've helped to build conflict between the Westeros as a whole and feed indirectly into the larger plot involving the Others.

***

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Ghost Ranger - My Top 5 Power Rangers' Bases



This is a strange list I'm sure. What I mean by bases are the places that the Rangers and their mentors go in order to conduct their Ranger business. These are come in all sorts of different forms from secret secure locations to the top of a Pizza restaurant. So, just for fun, click "read more" and let's count down my top 5 favorite Power Rangers Bases or Headquarters.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Cheap Cheevos #6 - Tournament Edition

The humble fighting game. The cure for us people that want to beat up our annoying co-workers, the evil authority, and clowns, without wanting to go to jail or sentenced to death by hanging. The fighting game genre is also what keeps us insano crazies relaxed. Okay, it's also a pretty fun gaming genre in it's own right. If you love this genre, this action packed issue is right up your Fighting Street. This week we dedicate Cheap Cheevos to fighting games. Guess what? There are some pretty high profile series in this list and maybe a dodge game that no one has heard of included as well. It's one of my favorite genres and I am proud to present you these five fighters with easy to unlock achievements/trophies. (Click on "Read More" to read the full article).

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Ghost Ranger - Top 5 UltraZords

 

Please ignore the pink arm and Dragonzord chest

Typically, an Ultrazord is given to the combination of 7 or more Zords, although they sometimes have different names like Gigazords. These machines exist simply to be the Rangers big super power houses that drastically overpower most monsters and are often a mystery as to why the Rangers don't use them for the start of giant battles. Regardless of filler writing, click "read more" let's countdown my top 5 favorites.

Friday, February 11, 2022

HCG: Nintendo Happy Fun Time (Nintendo Direct Feb 9, 2022)


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Green Phoenix - 8 Fantastic Fantasy Villains

It is my genuine pleasure to see the first countdown of 2022 be centered around a subject that I was immensely enthusiastic to see explored and discussed. I absolutely adore villains in fantasy and science fiction. I love discussing them, their strange foibles, complex plots, and thematic backgrounds. Through villains, we can see a vast variety of eclectic personalities and wonderfully eccentric scenery-chewing. Villains often get to have the best scenes in their respective movies and, as a result, my generation seems to have always had a strong connection to the villains we grew up with.

This week will focus on the fantasy side of villainy, but rest assured that the science fiction villains countdown will be coming towards the end of next month, to help keep everything spread out. Also, I would like to note that next week will be my routine health week, where I take a week off from article releases to focus on my own personal health and well-being. I will be using that week to travel to Texas with a friend and attend HarmonyCon 2022.

I'm super excited and you will be able to hopefully get a few updates and interesting conversations on my Patreon account. You can also follow me @TheBronyCritic on Twitter, where I may post pictures of cool things I see while I spend my first time in Texas and on a plane (so excited!).

But that's next week. We are in this week now and we will jump right into my countdown on some of my favorite villains from various fantasy IPs. 

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Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Ghost Ranger - Power Rangers - Bottom 5 Least Liked Zords

 


Well, now that I am done counting down my favorite Zords, I may as well talk about my least favorite. Technically a worst list, but I can't think of any Zords I actively dislike, so there was no way I could do this for each color like my favorites. So, pressing myself hard, I will count down my bottom 5 least liked Zords. Any type of Zord or group of Zords is fair game this time, so click "read more" and let's get started.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Cheap Cheevos #5 - For Adults Only Edition. (Language NSFW) (Safe Images)

Dump the kids off at the grandparents because it's a special edition of Cheap Cheevos. This time, only for the grown-ups. We're taking a dive into the easy and sleazy pool with games full of boobs, butts, thrusting, humongous knobs, money-hungry slots, vibrations, and easy to get achievements. So let's get scratching!.. Wait, that's for after you've read this issue. (Click on "Read More" to read the full article.)

Friday, February 4, 2022

Green Phoenix - Questionable Content Review

 
It's certainly been quite a long time since I released a review of some form of literary work, that being my 1634: The Bavarian Crisis review from September 10th, 2021. So with 2022 now well underway, I feel it is far passed time to look at yet another piece of literature, though today's work will be a little different than my usual fair.

After all, Webcomics aren't usually categorized, in my experience, along the same lines as other forms of literary media. Whether this is due to classism philosophies within literary circles or the tendency of webcomics to explore concepts in a much more free-form and subversive ways than paper and published comics is something that I will leave up to others to debate. What is not up for debate is that among all the webcomics I read, there is one particular series that I have adored for years for its willingness to explore complex topics and create long-form character and relationship driven plot lines that would make a daytime soap opera blush.

The fact that this series has also managed to continue on a routine schedule since 2003, in a genre that sees most comics go under after two or three years, only makes Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques all the more extraordinary and absolutely worth examining more closely to see just what it is about this webcomics that makes it so easy to be drawn in.

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Degrees of Separation Co-Op with Mathyno Part 3 | 3/2/22 | Twitch Repeat | Retrokaiser


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Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Ghost Ranger - Top 5 Red Ranger Zords

 



Time for the Red Rangers' Zords. One might think the leader would always get the stand out Zord, and sometimes times they do. But, surprisingly, there are a lot of re-used concepts for Zords among seasons and that can be off putting when trying to compare them. From T-Rex's to birds and way too many borgs. Granted, this is more of a problem for countdowns like this and not necessarily the individual seasons. But, risks were clearly kept to a minimum for the Red Rangers. Save the lone warrior Zords for 6th and Extra Ranger I supposed; whom are not allowed on this list. Regardless, click "read more" and let's begin the countdown.

Monday, January 31, 2022

Cheap Cheevos #4 - Some Good, Some Bad, Some Ugly.


G'day, fellow AchieveMates *Cracks whip*. Kaiser-Sensei here with another batch of games with achievements and trophies that are so easy to get, your dog would be able unlock them. Just be warned. Most of this week's offerings are so bad that you'll have to be a sadist in order to enjoy. That's why I'm wearing this very sexy and slimming dominatrix gear. MEEEOOOOWWWW! Now squirm, like the worm that you are! *Cracks whip even harder*... I mean, enjoy this week's issue of Cheap Cheevos. (Click on "Read More" to read the full article).

Friday, January 28, 2022

Green Phoenix - Encanto Review

Encanto poster.jpg

Holy shit! He is doing another review of a relatively recent released film? I can hear you all saying. Well, I really want to commit to the new year with fresher content, and new releases seem like the perfect opportunity for that. And don't worry, the next three articles won't be film reviews but a much more varied variety of articles that many of my readers have become accustomed to, including the return of my favorite editorial series Building Better Backstories.

But until those articles are released, allow me to hold you all over with a look at Disney's latest animated feature Encanto. Available both in theaters and on Disney+, Encanto was a highly anticipated film upon its release and has in the weeks since become a massive presence on the internet due to its very poignant and emotional themes and fantastic music, both of which will be discussed in greater detail below. But is the film deserving of this sudden up swell of popularity that I haven't seen in a film since Frozen, or is the lack of new animated content from Disney artificially increasing the positive input? And how does this film standup compared to Disney films of the past, both distant and more recent?

As soon as I saw this film, I knew that I needed to talk about on Emerald Rangers, as one of the latest "new release" articles that I want to make more prevalent. So be sure to continue reading below to see how I answer these questions.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Degrees of Separation Co-Op with Mathyno Part 2 | 24/1/22 | Twitch Repeat | Retrokaiser


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Ghost Ranger - Top 5 Black Ranger Zords

 


Black Rangers are one of the less common ranger colors and most of the memorable ones fall into the 6th/extra ranger category. So, pickings for this list are slimmer than normal, but still a fair enough to fill 5. Simple rules, core rangers only, only 1 Zord per ranger, and Zords that belong to Black Rangers only, not any Zord that happens to be black. So, click "read more" and let's get this going.


Sunday, January 23, 2022

Cheap Cheevos #3 - Go, Ninja. Go, Ninja, Go!

I smell a theme coming on for this weeks edition of Cheap Cheevos. A very silent, but deadly one.  That's right! This week's issue is all about ninja games. Why? Because ninjas are very awesome. It's that simple and so are the achievement/trophy sets for these games. Enjoy. (Click on "Read More" to read the full article).

Friday, January 21, 2022

Green Phoenix - ClueFinders 4th Grade Retrospective

 

A few weeks back, I did a retrospective on the very first ClueFinders game, The Quest for Mathra. ClueFinders was a computer game released by The Learning Company during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Intended as a continuation of the widely successful Reader Rabbit series, this time focused on kinds from ages 8-12, The ClueFinders franchise became a staple in my household as a result of my school offering the games as part of a summer supplemental retention program during elementary school.

Essentially my teachers didn't want everything my sister and I would learn to completely atrophy over the summer and it allowed us to get a heads up on our peers by enabling us to access the types of math, science, and history that we would be learning once summer finally ended. And so they set up a program where my parent's could buy educational computer games to assist and entertain us throughout elementary and early middle school. And for the most part, these were a tremendous success and deeply enjoyable for me to play; with many fond memories attached to them.

However, there was one game that, for whatever reason, I never really got all that into or remember playing with great frequency, and that would be ClueFinders 4th Grade Adventures: Puzzle of the Pyramid. Unlike The Mystery of Mathra or Secret of the Living Volcano, I never really remember playing this game; which is doubly odd given my love of ancient Egypt and memories playing Pharaoh/Cleopatra by Sierra Games (another video game I will have to do a retrospective on).

So I think its definitely time for me to make up for my lack of nostalgia factor by taking a look at ClueFinders 4th Grade Adventures: Puzzle of the Pyramid and see how it stacks next to the rest of the franchise.

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Degrees of Separation Co-Op with Mathyno Part 1 | 19/1/2022 | Twitch Repeat | Retrokaiser


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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Ghost Ranger - Top 5 Green Ranger Zords



Green, there is a color with a lot of fans. The Green Ranger has been everything from a 6th Ranger, to second in command, the comic relief, and sometimes just another ranger of the core team. Their Zords often reflect these roles and have some variety to pick from. Now, with this list I have to stress the rules, no 6th or Extra Rangers and the Zords have to belong to Green Rangers, not Zords that are colored green. Anyway, let's click "read more" and let's get the list started.

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