Saturday, February 25, 2017

Mario Game Review - Super Mario Kart (SNES, 1992)


Beginning in 1992 on the Super NES, Mario Kart began gaining major popularity with fans as a far cry from the main series a lot of die hard Nintendo fans often play. Without question Super Mario Kart was arguably an excellent start to the spinoff series as yet another successful edition to any of Mario's series outside of his main adventures beginning with the original and revolutionary Super Mario Bros. Being one of the plumber's most revolutionary game's in his spinoff series, it was all thanks to this game (as, alongside a few others at the same time like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past) that 1992 was one of the best in the gaming industry. So now let's review it to see just why. (And of course what makes it so excellent)


Super Mario Kart's gameplay is very different from those of regular realistic racers. You race as one of the eight playable characters in either Grand Prix or Time Trails, and you must try to win 1st place to win the game. (Or at least one in the three highest rankings) With Grand Prix, it's your basic kart racing mode where you race the seven other racers (you don't pick as your playable character obviously) to the finish line throughout five full laps around the courses. Each cup contains race tracks by a total five per cup - adding up to exactly twenty tracks in the game, but with only eight different verities. With Time Trail mode, you basically have to set the fastest record possible on any of the tracks you choose to play on. And finally, there's the battle mode; where you must defeat your opponent by attacking them with items and be rid them of their balloon circling around them. That's pretty much the important basics of the gameplay and it's all done well for a first game in a racing series.

For any grudges, the controls in the game (more on them in a bit) are less than perfect when it comes to controling your character, especially during specific turns, but this was of course the first game in the series, so these particular controls before analog sticks on newer home consoles were admittedly understandable. Also, the AI are a bit to fast when your racing them in the Grand Prix mode especially on the more challenging difficulty that is 150cc, but admittedly they aren't too irritating on items as they were in anything after Mario Kart 64. Other than those flaws though, Super Mario Kart has great gameplay that's sure to keep you hooked if you're either looking back on the old days of the Super Nintendo, or just looking for something good to play with another player (but for this game, JUST one other player) in multiplayer mode.


Super Mario Kart's visuals and graphics are up to standards with any impressively designed Super Nintendo game. The overall look of the tracks stand out as some of the most stellar textures, effects modeling, and animation for the game's overall design. It's incredible when you look at the layout of the tracks; from gorgeous look of the Vanilla Lake tracks, to the iconic, colorful flooring pathway of Rainbow Road, everything from it's well-animated sprites, to the appealing concept of the game and tracks and characters make for one of the best looking games on the Super NES even by today's standards of retro gaming.


Super Mario Kart's music is some the SNES's best ever. Mixing from the catchy title theme, to those of the games tracks; such as (all four) Mario Circuit(s) and Rainbow Road. There are no real tunes that disinterest me other than the ghost tracks while the rest of game's soundtrack seems less interesting due to the newer outings having more memorable tunes, but in spite of that, this game's library of music was impressive for its time in the early 90s to say the least. With sound effects, nothing new but still spot on, and as a matter of fact, the often pay homage to Super Mario World. And that's basically all I have to say about this game's sound; it's all well done.


  • B - Accelerate, Rocket Start
  • A - Use items, stop Item Roulette
  • Start - Pause/Select
  • Select - Switch view
  • + Control Pad - Change option during the Menus/Steer
  • X - Switch view
  • Y - Brake
  • L/R - Drift


As a starter for the spinoff series, Super Mario Kart was quite an impressive way to start the series off with same of the best gameplay mechanics and so much to come back to that simply cannot explain it all here. If you haven't played this yet and you either have Super Nintendo, Wii, or Wii U (or all), buy it now. All the newer games may have gained more praise and attention, but even still, you're sure to have a blast no matter when you play this first installment of the franchise.

Friday, February 17, 2017

MLP:FIM - Episodes of Different Emotions


A lot of subjects like those of MLP's most hilarious, most heartbreaking, and sometimes sickening moments may come to mind for something for me to talk about. But for this post, I'll be doing something a little different. Drawing some inspiration from Pixar's Inside Out, I'll be splitting up different categories of those emotions that I feel throughout each episode and have selected those that have ranked the highest out of those in each category (without looking at the actual quality of the episodes themselves); whether they make me laugh, cry, or have an intense temper tantrum, these are those where my specific emotions are activated.


Some of you may be disappointed that I didn't include the likes of Lesson Zero or Brotherhooves Social for this category, but to be entirely clear, that episode's story and moral may have been good, but its humor doeks get a bit creepy at points to where sometimes Twilight's overreacting seems a little too petty. With Discord's style of humor on the other hand though, I would've wet my pants every time I watched his most humorous antics; the prime example being his first two normal-lengthers in Seasons 3 and 4.

With moments of true comedy like Discord messing around with Fluttershy's bad-attitude bunny, Angel, or when he spiced up the tea party a bit, or even the funniest moments of the series (for me) by far when he bulked up adorable little critters (with the snap of his fingers of course) and throwing out his eyeballs like dice, there's one moment in a future episode (possibly) that has yet to beat out that of these memorable moments of Keep Calm and Flutter On. But all of that's not to say you'll at least tear up once or twice for Discord when Fluttershy accepts him as his first friend...assuming you have a true heart of gold that is. Even with all those emotional tearjerker feelings, you'll still crack up at least once or twice that you'll pee your pants.

And with Three's A Crowd, there's plenty more where Flutter On's humor came from. The thing that helps Discord and his antics make it funny is his fake blue flu where he pretends he's sick in front of other ponies and secretly putting Twilight to his ultimate friendship test to determine whether or not he's still friends with her. I mean think about all those funny moments you had to have cracked up at; Discord spreading his sickness to Applejack and Rarity, his song he sings in the second act (inspired clearly by Aladdin's Friend Like Me), and even his irony he spills out at Twilight when he just asks her for teeny tiny glass of water. It's also humorous when that Tatzlwurm sneezes on him right after Cadance's statement is made that she didn't care how much Discord put a damper on her and Twilight's peaceful visit, especially the expression on his face when he turns green.

So you either love Three's A Crowd (or like it) because it got right what What About Discord? got wrong, or you hate or at least dislike it just cause Discord's being as ridiculous as possible (when he clearly wasn't be the kind of insensitive jerk he was in that awful rehash of it). For me, I loved it. Sure Flutter On was the better episode for everyone's favorite draconquus, but with its humor and interesting plot, Crowd does have more of that rewatchable factor to point where I still just cannot get enough of it. So while both episodes are on the same level of humor for me, this first category is a tie between the two since their just equal on the amount of laughs I got out of them, and we'll just see if anything will ever change this factor.

😆


Really, you had to have seen this one coming from a mile away for this category for one reason; Moon Dancer's breakdown. Yes, Tanks for the Memories is also a depressing episode for Rainbow Dash unfortunately having to accept the fact that Tank can't be with her for the winter to hibernate, but Fences deserves this more since Memories had some small bits of humor to it (Rainbow Dash's hilarious angry face, anypony?), while AF did everything it can to be something far more somber than something that would make one crack up. I must admit though, that's not to say it was done in a terrible or unreasonable way. And that's because former writer M.A. Larson had to have taken all the real qualities of a good episode into account by blending the perfect elements of both heartfelt emotion and strong pacing to give it true heart and as a result, it really makes you feel for the character of Moon Dancer herself due to her tragic backstory. Talk about true intelligence.

And as I said, when it comes to tearjerkers in My Little Pony episodes, the first thing that comes to my mind is of course the episode's moment in the photo you see above this description. If WatchMojo doesn't include this in Another Top 10 Saddest Cartoon Episodes list, I'll be so peeved. And if you've seen my Top Ten Biggest Tearjerker Moments for this series, you should already know that this is the ultimate top spot on my countdown.

Seriously though, I dare you all not to get choked up for Moon Dancer at the very end.

😢


Now this category is one where I'm saying I like to pretend to be afraid/terrified. If I was to watch this episode at a much younger age however, then that's when I'd get nightmares from such a scene like Flutterbat. Both Nightmare Night episodes don't exactly build up to something scary and they're just your typical Halloween-style episodes. (And the less said about them and how much they've derailed Fluttershy and especially Luna the better) With dimly lit atmospheres throughout Sweet Apple Acres, slow suspense and build up to Flutterbat, and hauntingly horrifying music to go along with it; you can be sure that you're own child will freak out knowing Flutterbat will scare the poo out of them. You still have to admit though, it's sometimes fun being scared.

My only problem with Flutterbat's build up is how one scene zooms in on Fluttershy's fangs while she's drooling for an apple which may be a bit understandable since not every episode can be perfect but on the flipside, does make the situation of the episode building up to Flutterbat seem less uncanny that could've been. Either way, the scariest episode still doesn't mean it can't be one of the best for the series.

😨


Ever since Crusaders of the Lost Mark, Ponyville Confidential gained at least some (if not more) of my credibility for the reason of how Diamond Tiara became her cruel self since Day 1. And though other episodes like One Bad Apple are some installments I'm rather just neutral towards as much as I am with others like Rainbow Falls and Applejack's Day Off, Confidential unfortunately is still not let off the hook for me. It's really horrific enough that I literally want to punish everyone in Ponyville in a particular manner for what they did to the Crusaders, but just seeing any footage from it that plays on TV or elsewhere even before or after the scene of Ponyville shunning the Crusaders makes me want to vomit for all the bad memories I've had sitting through it in the past. It's still one thing to be abusive towards children when it should be handled less harshly, but shoving a moral down your throat like what the Crusaders went through after Diamond Tiara threatened to blackmail them if they didn't follow her rules is another thing that'll make even those of you who still call it the overall worst of the show want to barf what's delivered throughout the episode's cruelty as well.

So while I'm still angered by that one scene of the Crusaders getting what they supposedly *had coming to them*, I really just feel like throwing up whenever even the though of the episode comes to my mind. Nuff said!

Now if you'll excuse me I think I need to go find a garbage can (or barf bag or whatever)... 😓

😠


I was most tempted to give Confidential that dishonor of MLP's most sadistic chapter, but alongside One Bad Apple, I feel Newbie Dash deserves this more. As much as it pains me to admit it, everyone in Confidential had at least a little reason to shun the Crusaders for going too far with humiliating them. Then again though they didn't have to reject them that harshly. One Bad Apple may be more unreasonable against lovable characters like the Crusaders also, but at least Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon get their comeuppance at the end when Babs turns the table on them and joins the Crusaders. (And did I mention DT got what came to her in Confidential as well) Newbie Dash on the other hand went too far with treating Rainbow Dash like dirt and NEVER GAVE THE WONDERBOLTS ANY PUNISHMENT WHATSOEVER!! (*calms down*) Just seeing them start it all off with being brutal against her on her first day even going so far as to laughing at her when she gets covered in trash makes you violently beat them all to a gruesome and downright nasty, blood-spattering pulp despite how far seeing it happen onscreen would go as to airing that kind of scene on TV for children.

I obviously get the fact that mostly military bronies adore it because of how personal it is to them (and trust me, I'm not even going to bother joining the military or anything similar as I feel none of it's worth it), but seriously, what about everything else?! Cause that's where I feel relating to this atrocity is the one and only real reason why any bronies who've served in the army would like it. And if you yourself do (whether or not you've been in the military), suit yourself, but if you think an innocent Rainbow Dash deserved this kind of treatment just for the experience like everyone else had, you make me absolutely sick! Even though her imitations of her friends seemed so cringe-worthy, I still felt a lot more sorry for Rainbow Dash than I ever did the Wonderbolts.

I'll make this statement clear that after all of Season 7 has aired through entirely, I'm doing another collab with the Railfan Brony on all those episodes that are by far the most mean-spirited of the series. (Now we'll just have to see if something could possibly beat out this... Let's hope not though) This will however be right after I do one with him (on his blog) on the show's most boring episodes.

😡

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

After the Fact - MLP Movie ~ Guest Stars (UPDATED)


With Friendship Is Magic being in a major crisis during Season 5's production, and especially after Season 6, the movie adaptation of the series, along with Season 7 and the EG Specials are pretty much the show's last hope (maybe even the entire franchise itself in general sadly). With more than enough guests stars in the upcoming film to spice it up and make it more interesting with an impressive line of a cast (besides the usual voice actors for the main characters in the film of course), I'll be discussing my thoughts on these guests who I'm hoping will make an impact on not just the film, but the whole franchise period.

So with all that stated, let's get this over with...


I've heard nothing of this UK actress off anything other than 2014's Edge of Tomorrow when she starred alongside legendary actor Tom Cruise (despite that I didn't watch it until the preceding year) against fighting off a mysterious alien race. (Yeah, I haven't heard of, nor have I watched her in other films like Into the Woods or The Muppets, but I'm nowhere near a fan of those particular films, or some cases; franchises, myself) But looking at her character in the upcoming film, this could be another interesting villain that would make for more interesting (and spectacular moments), though maybe not as much as Liev Schreiber's character. (More on him and his part later) Whatever the case, I hope Blunt will blow my mind away just as she has starred in one of my favorite Science Fiction films of all time.


When it comes to princesses, the word "alicorn" instantly comes to my mind, but with Kristin Chenoweth's character, this may just be the first one without a horn. Chenoweth has done kid-friendly work before this and does have a bit of that chipmunk tone of a voice, but considering that voices don't entirely matter for a character (well maybe unless they're annoying), I'm hoping her character will be written excellently like every other princess (minus Princess Luna and the newer Twilight Sparkle after Season 6; yeah, even the dragon princess Ember as well). If she lives up to her name involving an ability involving the skies and the stars, that'll be greater. She may be something different from the other princesses besides not having a horn, but she may very well have potential, as pretty much every other guest star's character here has.


I'm going to be clear and say most of the actors in this post are some I've never even heard of until hearing of them starring in this adaptation of Friendship Is Magic. With an actor like Taye Diggs off shows even I've never heard of in my life like Private Practice or Murder in the First, he could shine a spotlight in the movie, but his kind of character as some sly cat seems rather bizarre more than he is generic for a franchise like My Little Pony. So I'm going to state that since Taye Diggs hasn't been in anything I'm necessary fimilar with- even if they're similar to other franchises in pop culture, he and his character are by far the least interesting of those newly introduced characters on this list... but who knows? He might surprise us all soon enough.

...Now let's just hope so.


Considering he's desperately wanted more kid-friendly after maybe a little too much adult-oriented work like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Spotlight, and Salt, I too think it's about time an actor like Liev Schreiber gives the youngest of audiences a solid portrayal of an animated character of a kid-friendly movie (good or bad guy). As he's stated on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he's been in stuff his kids can't really watch or enjoy, so he'll take any role that both kids and adults alike can enjoy all together without worrying too much about the content advisory for, again, the sake of his own children. As for his character the Storm King, in appearance, he seems like a Lord Tirek wannabe, but he could work if adds something new to his character instead of recycling the character he seems like from my standpoint.

His character would be the one I'm most anticipating to see what comes of him so I'll be hoping you don't let us down, Schreiber. Give it your all!


Known mostly for her Sci-Fi action roles in blockbusters like the newer Star Trek films, James Cameron's Avatar, or even the Guardians of the Galaxy volumes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Zoe Saldana is who you'd call one butt-kickin' lady since she's literally been kicking more than enough over the past few years as an action star. Alongside Emily Blunt after her, she's pretty much the only exception of all the actors/actresses mentioned in this post that I've never heard. Now getting to her character, Captain Celaeno looks something of a griffon, but one that's not of the same species and rather something new (I forget what type of species it is still). I don't know entirely about the character's personality, but with an action star who's been in more than one critically-acclaimed film, she could add charm and potential to the upcoming movie release almost seven years (date wise) after Friendship Is Magic's original airing on TV back in 2010.

Of course, this isn't necessarily the first exact time Saldana's tried her hand at voice acting in the film industry as she first began with 2014's The Book of Life (which I haven't seen yet), but considering she's now a mother of two twins, she's worth showing her own kids (twin boys or twin girls - but twin boys in this case) one of the more kind-friendly roles on her resume of things she's taken part in in the entertainment industry.

Sia as Songbird Sernade
I'll have to wait for Sia's/Songbird Serenade's character poster
to be fully crafted as this'll have to do for now.

A celebrity whom I heard stays out of the spotlight, Sia is a singer who hasn't caught my attention, especially with her common hairstyle (that covers her eyes entirely), but another female singer like her after Lena Hall (only she's clearly the more recognizable one among society as a singer instead of a broadway actress - not to brag) sounds like another good idea if not exactly a new one. I have listened to maybe one or two of her songs, but I have no idea which ones they are and I can't really remember them. If Songbird Sernade ends being the same thing as Sia herself, I could be gripped on her character. She could be as great of a celebrity pony as Hall's Colortura was, but for the most part, I'm just hoping Sia will do well with her part on voice acting for this film since she's hardly done anything as an actress. (I mean sure, she had eight starring credits before this, with another voice acting role for this year; Charming, but I'm still having hope that she'll stun me for once since most of her acting credits involved shorts that center around her. Either way, she'd better give this her best!)


Mainly an actress of the Netflix Original series Orange Is the New Black, Uzo Aduba isn't an actress I'd consider to be majorly popular what with starring in hardly any recognizable roles that seem familiar to me. If this actress' character is that on an actual queen, I'll be so stoked as she's the only other "queen" character after Chrysalis. If she's the ruler over the original princesses (Celestia and Luna), then I'll be shocked in manner since she seems more almighty than any other princesses (I'm not entirely sure about Discord though). When push comes to shove, the character herself will have to prove it. Man, it seems most of these actors when I think about them haven't done a lot of child-friendly work.


Michael Pena was an actor I first saw on Ridley Scott's The Martian, but not one whom of which was a major star to gain my public attention unlike the film's leading role actor Matt Damon. With this upcoming film however, he could stand out as something for kids. His character is considered to be a sidekick one of the film's villains; the Storm King. He seems generic and a bit of an odd choice for a monstrous king threatening to (as Schreiber stated on Jimmy Kimmel Live!) "eviscerate all the little ponies", but if Pena can prove me wrong with this statement, who knows? He might surprise me (but I really hate to say that I kinda doubt that... sadly).

So yeah, once the movie comes out, and I am hoping it'll do the show justice (if not more than enough), I'm stoked to see the performances of the voice actors and their characters give it their all. Seriously, I'm dying to see this more than ever now, but to Ms. Meghan McCarthy (the same writer of my all time favorite episode of the main series; Twilight's Kingdom); don't you, or Rita Hsiao, or your director Jayson Thiessen DARE let any of us down with this movie. Us bronies and pegasisters are all counting on you guys and your team at Hasbro and the show's/film's crew and cast.

Thanks for reading!