Ninety Nine Nights X360 [REVIEW] | #musoumay

In the 2000s, the Dynasty Warriors series (and most of its subseries) was not well received in western grounds, often maligned by people that never even gave the formula a real chance but eager to play them for 5 minutes, stop and write some half-baked “review”, because it was cool to bash musou games, and they’re a niche interest anyway, who cares.

But that didn’t stop various other company from having a go at the formula, often proclaiming that them alone knew how to “fix” musou games… and then churning out shit that only demonstrated how people genuinely misunderstood the formula and the appeal of these games, often thinking that they just needed to beef up the enemy IA… leading to crap like Spartan Total Warrior.

One of the “musou pretenders” from that era was definitely Ninety Nine Nights, or N3 because we’re cool like that, dawg. Drop the beets for the l33t.

A X-Box 360 exclusive launch title, developed by Q Entertaiment and Phantagram, Ninety Nine Nights also had a fairly rushed development cycle, which you can really tell from the story perspective. It’s the usual “Light VS Darkness” bullshit set in a medieval-ish looking world with all expected high fantasy races and tropes: goblin, trolls, orcs, dragons and all dat shit.

Continua a leggere “Ninety Nine Nights X360 [REVIEW] | #musoumay”

The Snufkin Agenda

Speaking of trolls, there’s actually a Moomin game listed on Steam, called Snufkin: Melody On Moominvalley, it’s pretty much a lot of “TBA” in most regards but it’s a point n click adventure game, there are some screenshots, a trailer and a description, and it’s listed for a 2023 release.

Looks very cute, official, so if you have any kind of affection for the Moomins at all, wishlist it on Steam, won’t you? This is the link.

(and no, this isn’t a paid marketing post, just stumbled into the project’s existence 3 days ago while search for Snufkin’s gifs)

Really not feeling like seeing the actual “Troll 3” movie, even for the occasion. And yes, there’s a proper one of these, after years of misleading alternative titles for unrelated kinds of Joe D’Amato crap.

[EXPRESSO] Belle (2021) | Every Me And Every U

You know what, i did have some expectations from Mamoru Hosoda’s Belle, as i did quite like Mirai, and i hoped the streak would continue… and it kinda did.

That it, when i wasn’t baffled by the script “skipping” to the main scenes but forgetting to introduce actually crucial information that would lead to said scenes, as Hosoda’s ambition it’s sadly overreaching, and the final result really lacks cohesion, coming off as both overwrought and undeveloped in some aspects. Which is a goddamn shame because the premise, the themes and the overall concept are pretty damn good, but are elaborated on in a way where there’s too much to it.

Belle it’s about the 17 yo Suzu, a very timid and shy girl who has lost her mother and lives with her father in a rural small town. One day she receives an invite to “U”, an advanced and immersive social network with millions of users, receives the avatar of “Belle” and – with the help of her tech savvy friend – becomes a sensational hit singer. But soon she meets with a reviled user with the avatar of a dragon-like beast, hunted by U’s “police force”.

The animation is pretty good, the visuals are quite nice and sometimes pretty dazzling, the music – a big part of the movie – it’s also good, some scenes are quite good, so it’s frustrating how it’s dragged down by the oversprawling script, which makes some questionable choices and really could have used more than a trimming to flesh out the characters betters… and to explain how the hell some characters – out of the blue – know plot crucial information, among other things.

Overall, it’s a decent movie, but it’s too all over the place for its own good and ambition.

[EXPRESSO] The Cuphead Show (Season One) (2022) | Ragtime Round

Unlike many videogames to animated series adaptations, Cuphead having his own Netflix show makes some sense, given its aesthetic molded after the style of 1930s cartoons, why not make a cartoon using the characters and the retro-aesthetic?

I’m gonna say this now so we can move on from it, but yes, i really wanted the team to opt for a full proper rubberhose style animation, but that would have required a fuckton more time and money, and honestly the animation is pretty good, with some episodes even mixing live-action sets, and overall i gotta say it delivers on the presentation.

The voice acting is on spot in terms of accents and lingo too, the character designs and mannerism are perfect but in terms of content it’s a bit uneven because it doesn’t really go all the way to imitate the source material, i mean, you expect a lot more in terms of guns, cigars and gambling, but nope, it’s kinda mild and forgettable.

It also basically ignores the plot of the videogame it’s based off, instead going for mostly episodical…. mundane adventures. Yeah, Cuphead owns the Devil its soul… but that goes ultimately nowhere, and the writing it’s uneven, as some episodes do manage to work in a musical number, some good jokes and a good rhytm to the slapstick, others feel like they exist to waste time and deliver cheapo jokes that come off as too modern.

The Cuphead Show it’s an odd case of a series stuck in between a cheapish low effort animated comedy and a tribute to 30s style cartoons, so ultimately it’s just kinda there, inoffensive, fairly short and easy to binge, cute but just with not much of substance going on under its “borrowed” aesthetic.

A second season has already been greenlit, regardless. Mh.

Orochi The Eight-Headed Dragon (1994) [REVIEW] | Tsukuyomi Endless (Endless)

Ah yes, the classic go-to monster of japanese folklore for when a regular hydra just won’t cut it, and a name that will be immediatly recognized by anyone with some dedication to videogames, manga and cinema, especially if they involve the classic mediaval fantasy japanese settings, as he’s often the big bad monster like in Okami, or has an entire subseries of Warriors crossover titles with him as the catalyst of chaos. Or more close to the bone, being the ispiration for the classic Godzilla monster, King Ghidorah, since we’re going into the Toho territory of giant monsters once again.

But it’s not quite that, as this one isn’t a science fiction film as many giant monsters from the Godzilla series were, but instead is a straigh-foward old fashioned magical fantasy film that picks various mythological characters and story pieces from the ones about the formation of the Shinto religion, in this case being the tale of Yamato Takeru, his encounter with the Yamato-hime priestess, receiving the holy sword Kusanagi no Tsurugi, the Tree Treasures, Susano’o, the fight with the god Tsukuyomi….

…and a lot more names that most likely don’t mean jack if you’re not familiar with japanese mythology, like at all, so it makes a bit more sense that they didn’t release it overseas under its original title of “Yamato Takeru”, despite it being more apt.

Continua a leggere “Orochi The Eight-Headed Dragon (1994) [REVIEW] | Tsukuyomi Endless (Endless)”

What is Christmas without an Ice Cream Bunny?

Think watching The Star Wars Holiday Special each year it’s not the hipster “christmas tradition” it was before? If so, i will propose something that’s also not new, as it has a cult following, but very very smaller in comparison, since it doesn’t have the Star Wars branding.

Santa and The Ice Cream Bunny.

If this didn’t trigger a PTSD-like reaction, i’m here to share my cursed knowledge upon you, because in a way this fits the Christmas period, and its deranged insanity.

Continua a leggere “What is Christmas without an Ice Cream Bunny?”

Alice: Otherlands (2015) [REVIEW] | Uncertain Fate Kickstarted

While Alice Asylum (as said in the review of Madness Returns) is now officially in the pre-production stage of development, the path to this potential third game in the series hasn’t been a walk in the park for anyone involved, and it was bound to be full of bumps and by-products because a third game was never certain, so it makes sense that American Mc Gee tried to bring closure to his series back in 2015, with the project known as “Alice Otherlands”, made of artworks and two short animated films produced by Spicy Horse, funded via Kickstarter, as the owner of the Mc Gee’sAlice IP itself, EA, wasn’t interested in funding a third game, at all, so they had to pivot the project.

Fuck EA, btw. Just in case you needed more incentives to do so. You didn’t.

What came out of it where – mostly – the two aforementioned short films, Leviathan – A Journey Through Jules Verne’s Mind and A Night At The Opera.

Continua a leggere “Alice: Otherlands (2015) [REVIEW] | Uncertain Fate Kickstarted”

Alice: Madness Returns PS3 [REVIEW] | Swimming The Seas Of Sanity Lost

11 years later, American MacGee brought back his flawed cult game for a direct sequel with Alice: Madness Returns, and as EA (and other publishers) were big on fighting the used game market with the “online passes”, this time they wanted to discourage from buying the game used by inserting in new copies a code to redeem the original American McGee’s Alice, basically treated as DLC.

Thankfully now the older game is free DLC on both PSN and the X-Box store, you still need a copy of Madness Returns to access it, but still, better than on PC, now available only through Origin (it was on Steam as well but got delisted), it doesn’t seem to include the original American MacGee’s Alice game. At least not anymore. I’m not throwing cash away to find out for sure.

A re-release of both titles might be in order, i guess as soon as MacGee can buy back the rights from EA or when we’ll have some news about that hypotetical Alice: Asylum, who had a tentative date of 31 October 2021… but in 3 years we didn’t hear anything aside from the fact that the title is in pre-production, meaning clearly that release date is not gonna be final, so for the meantime these are the options to visit (or revisit) the series.

Continua a leggere “Alice: Madness Returns PS3 [REVIEW] | Swimming The Seas Of Sanity Lost”

American McGee’s Alice PS3 [REVIEW] | The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

Oh yes, American Mc Gee’s most well known work, his take on Lewis Carrol’s Alice.

The story is not really that original in retrospect, it’s the usual “let’s give fairy tales an edgy reinterpretation with a grim, depressing tone” applied to Alice In Wonderland, so here Alice is Alice Lindell, a british orphan that by chance survived the house fire that took away her family at the age of 10 (or something), and was basically raised in an asylum, mostly likely treated to a Richard O’ Brian-less brand shock therapy as well.

Continua a leggere “American McGee’s Alice PS3 [REVIEW] | The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!”