[EXPRESSO] The Cuphead Show (Season Three) 2022 | Devilicious

I’m gonna be brutal and make it extra clear (in case you didn’t read the reviews of the two previous season/slices/cours): i’m kinda glad this is the end and i hope there’s not more of this to come.

Unsurprisingly so, the whole cliffhanger with Mugman dragged to literal hell by the Devil and Cuphead finding a way to rescue his brother is immediatly dealt with in the first episode, though at least it’s a longer opener to better make the Devil… basically Squidward. Even more than before.

After that we’re back to the usual episodic fair, but there are still some notable moments that also elicit some legit laughs even for the older audiences, and guess what, once again it’s due to the Devil being such a big pile of luciferian ham.

Just in time for some delightfully long christmas themed shenanigans, with a 30 minutes Devil-centric Christmas special that also happens to be the best episode, hands down.

Actually, to be fair, this season does involve the Devil more into the various episodes, might as well since his presence stopped being special, and he still the best character by far (alongside Porkrind and King Dice, of course).

As much i really forced myself through all of The Cuphead Show more for completition sake after season one, i can’t deny this show can still whip up some intriguing visuals and show off some nice editing and composition, alongside some decent jokes, not too bad for something that it’s aimed at kids and just isn’t interested in the amazing opportunity brought by its license…. to do anything that resembles the Cuphead “inspiration materials” aside from the looks.

It’s a Netflix style adaptation of a popular franchise/brand alright, but keeping all THAT in mind… it’s alright, it’s inoffensive. It sure is content.

The (New) Super Mario Animated Movie Trailer Reaction Post For Blogs

I was about to just don’t bother, but since Nintendo decided this warranted a specific 15 minutes Direct to show the first actual teaser trailer for its Illumination produced animated Super Mario movie… whatever, have another pointless hot take, since this thing it’s gonna make gagagorillions of money either way.

I’ll be brief and start with some actual criticism.

As in, the movie looks pretty okay overall judging from what the trailer showed, Illumination isn’t the choice of animation studio i would have preferred, at all, but i get why a company like Nintendo would, especially as they already had ties with other french companies like Ubisoft in terms of collaborations between various IPs.

But honestly it’s look alright, could be fun.

In terms of the english voice acting, i don’t have the same amount of vitriol to spout, mostly because i live in Italy, and like in most european contries, we’re gonna get a localized dub that’s often better than the original, because… it will involve actual voice actors, and not just random ass Hollywood actors that are popular but are some voice actors in the sense that i am one because i can speaketh da english.

Heck, the french dub already sounds better, quite good.

So no real surprise to hear Chris Pratt not even bothering to do a “naw yark” accent, but as expected Jack Black is great as Bowser, and Keegan Micheal Key sounds good as Toad, so yeah, Mario doesn’t sound like Mario as it’s just Chris Pratt talking, but who knows, this dog’s breakfast of a voice cast could work.

We’ll see next year, as it’s slated for a worlwide release April 7 2023.

In the meantime, you could actually watch the original Mario anime movie, 1986’s Super Mario: The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach!, as it received a 4K HD fan restoration that you can find online, even on Youtube.

Just sayin’.

[EXPRESSO] Congo’s Caper/Joe & Mac 2 SNES | Sun Wukong Upon A Star

Ah, yes, the three inescapable truths of life: death, taxes and SNES caveman platformers that somehow you didn’t play or knew existed, like todays’s Congo’s Caper, just recently rereleased on the NSW Online subscription/retro apps.

This one it’s a bit more recognizable than stuff like Prehistorik Man, as it’s basically a spin-off of the Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja series by Data East, but also the second game in the series, since it was actually sold as Joe & Mac 2 in Japan and PAL regions.

And i kinda get why, as Data East also recycled some characters from the mainline Joe & Mac series, like the devil or the first stage t-rex boss , and the controls are similar, as it retains the high jump, but not the weapons, as you use only a small club to attack.

The more distinctive feature is the player character turning back into a monkey if hit, and regaining your human form with a red crystal (Mario style), with the ability to enter a “super saiyan” invincibility state too, you’re a half-monkey man after all.

Controls are actually pretty smooth, arguably better than the original Joe & Mac, the new protagonist has some new abilities like hanging from vines, so it should be better…. and it arguably is, it’s definitely more polished, has a lot more levels, BUT it’s too easy for its own good, it’s fun, but it lacks challenge, and the level themselves are very short, while also not providing anything you haven’t seen (or heard, as some of the sound effects are pretty much “ripped off” of Super Mario World…. or its sound libraries) done better in terms of level design.

So it’s not a bad game, but a decent one that could have been potentially quite good.

Shame, really.

[EXPRESSO] Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (2022) | & Knuckles

Might as well, since i did watch the first live action Sonic movie 2 years ago, i didn’t hate it, so let’s see if there are some improvements or whatever. Shame that since it’s dubbed here i won’t be able to hear Idris Elba voicing Knuckles, but what can you do?

After banishing Eggman/Robotnik into another dimension at the end of the first movie, Sonic and his acquired human family move to a peaceful town in Montana. Sonic tries to moonlight as a superhero-vigilante but as he causes more trouble by doing so he’s recommended to lay low and wait until his powers will be needed again.

Turns out that time is sooner than expected, as Dr. Robotnik comes back from his fungine dimensional exile, bringing a powerful creature known as Knuckles fighting for him in search of the fabled Master Emerald, while Sonic finds an ally in the two-tailed fox Tails.

To my surprise, this one (in a similar fashion to the actual videogame sequel of the original Sonic The Hedgehog game) is better, still nothing mind blowing, but it’s definitely a step up, not only as the story ups the ante (as expected), introduces more characters, but also has more lore about the world from where Sonic was born, with the owls vs echidnas wars and stuff.

It’s just more fleshed out all around, with even the human characters having some funny bits, the various elements from the game being integrated more into the plot, which is pretty much predictable all the way but quite enjoyable, in no small part thanks – once again – to Jim Carrey’s gargantuan serving of acting ham as Doctor Robotnik, but also due to the more substantial plot.

It’s honestly a decent family-kids movie with a 90s flair (deliberately and fittingly so).

[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.

Slower-posting and maybe rubric resurrections

Thought over this for almost a month, but in order to improve the quality of reviews and my physical-emotional status (i also have a full-time job and didn’t stop working aside from during the first wave of the pandemic, for some prospective), from February on there will be a post and/or review every 2 days instead of daily.

This will hurt my stats and views, obviously, but i’m pretty much burnt out, and some extra time would also be spent in reviving the old platformers rubric i had on my italian blog time ago, Platformation. Really would like to, but i need to write out some rules, quirks and whatnot, consider what to feature on there, etc.

Kirby Star Allies NSWITCH [REVIEW] | Brainwashing Stars

While we wait for the first 3D Kirby game (affectionately dubbed “The Last Of Kirby” by me of now) to launch next year, let’s talk about the last main installment in the series, 2018’s Kirby Star Allies.

The Kirby series is arguably the most traditional of Nintendo’s portfolio.

Kirby is Kirby, and the developer, Hal Laboratory, believe that Kirby is Kirby because it’s simple, it’s traditional, and it’s accessible, especially regarding the main series and it’s main genre, platformer. We have seen interesting spin on the formula with Kirby Mass Attack, Canvas Curse and it’s Wii U sequel, Kirby even had small rhythm spin-off, an entire spin-off dedicated to fighting, a pinball spin-off, and even a racing game. Each, even a “battle royale”. Kinda.

But Kirby is mostly a series of platforming that are charming as they are incredibly traditional and fairly easy for experienced players, but fun, wholesome and entertaining regardless, in fairly typical Nintendo fashion, so the formula is the same each main installment, but there are new systems layered on top of the basics.

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[EXPRESSO] Jelly Boy SNES | Europlatforming Of Old

Figured i’d check in with the SNES and NES online measly offering and see if some obscure back catalogue title dropped while Nintendo forgot to say it or did but we didn’t care.

And Jelly Boy is indeed one of those titles you might have gone your entire life without knowing about as it blends perfectly into the humungous pile of platformers of the 90s, and only came out in Europe, to boot.

So, it’s one of those 16 bit platformers that wanted to jump on the bandwagon, so it has a Sonic style health system, and often very tight time limits for the levels…. which i guess were made to make it feel more like Sonic when it’s otherwise a more linear “europlatformer” of british descent starring a humanoid shaped jelly in baby pink that can morph in various shapes, including a duck… when you duck, so the game has a sense of humour.

The main issue is that you have to find jigsaw pieces hidden in the level to unlock the zone’s boss, bu beating bosses only nets you item needed to finish the game, but to actually enter the next zone/world you have to find out first that there’s a hub area to access each world’s map, and you need to find a key in each zone to access the next one.

The game doesn’t tell you about any of these, most likely on purpose to sell guides and avoid people from easily beating it while renting it in the day, even more because just the first world it’s so obtuse. Once you know what the hell you’re supposed to, the game is actually decent, looks good , has a lot of levels, i’d say it’s worth a play by platformers buffs…. with a walkthrough on hand.

Medievil PS4 [REVIEW] | Re-re-remaking The Past

While not what you would call a system seller, if you ask anyone growing up in the 90s, Medievil will probably come up in the discussion, so ingrained this little, beloved series of action platformers in the Playstation brand and overall legacy, despite remaining a cult/nostalgia sensation.

Though, when i say series, i mean the PS1 original (still available as digital PS1 Classic release on PS3 and Vita), Medievil 2 exists, but it’s mostly forgotten by the internet hivemind/consciousness, and this isn’t even the first remake of Medievil, as there’s a PSP port, Medievil Resurrection, with upgraded graphics that also changes some of the story, adds new features and remove others.

This is more of a remaster than an actual remake, a complete technical re-built but with minimal changes to gameplay and controls, very few modern concessions, all in order to offer a faithful recreation, for best or worst. Because as much as i like Medievil, this remaster/remake also works as an interesting litmus test of where bringing back the 90s, and – expanding the question – appealing to the nostalgia market eventually leads.

At least without going into the unholy effects of meming fuckin Bubsy (and Shaq Fu) unto life again, we’ll visit these forsaken lands of excrement and death, but not today.

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Coffee Pigeons and Nintendo sub-subscriptions bullshit

So Nintendo had an Animal Crossing Direct yesterday, mainly to show what would be in the next big AC New Horizons software update, alongside the previously teased return of Brewster and his cafè situated in the museum.

Let’s start with the good.

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