Capsules, Round 2!
Another handful of capsule reviews as I continue to
procrastinate work on longer pieces.
Something I’m watching: Legend of Korra, Book 4: Balance
I was a little nervous about the idea of a three year time skip between seasons, but it worked great, and this season is off to a tight, smart start. I’m happy to see Varrick playing a bigger role in the supporting cast again, and while I don’t like how Toph was treated in Book 3, she is awesome so far now that she’s actually appeared on-screen. It’s too early to tell for certain how well Mako’s and Korra’s characterization will fare this time around, but these first few episodes have me confident that the writers will handle them well. Something else I’ve always liked about Legend of Korra as a whole that struck me watching this new season is that the show questions a lot of standard fantasy tropes, such as the romanticization of monarchy, or the idea of one superhuman solving all of the world’s problems. Also, props to Book 4 for having the best villain since Amon. Well, at least, I think Kuvira’s supposed to be the villain, but I’m a little worried that I’m mostly agreeing with her right now. I, for one, welcome our new metalbending overlord.
Something I’ve just watched: Aldnoah.Zero, Season 1
Aldnoah.Zero started out as a good, if not great military sci-fi anime with a cool mix of Real Robots and Super Robots. It followed the paths of two young men, Inaho Kaizuka and Slaine Troyard, who find themselves on opposite sides of a Terran-Martian war, sparked by the presumed successful assassination of the Martian Princess. There was some great action and plenty of unknown motives to keep you guessing, and then…and then…it just kind of fell apart. Ironically, the moment the show stopped being Mecha-of-the-Week action and focused more on the characters, the less I realized I cared for the characters (except for Slaine; Slaine’s awesome). They were either kind of bland (Inaho “I’m too cool to really care about anything” Kaizuka), or started acting stupidly (Princess “It’s my fault people tried to assassinate me” Asseylum). Then, in the finale, things started to improve, until literally the last few minutes, when Slaine suddenly went completely out-of-character, and Inaho once again demonstrated that he’s a horrible communicator when lives are on the line. Unsure if I will return for Season 2, but with all the good anime out there, it doesn’t seem worth my time.
Something I’m playing: Magic: The Gathering Khans of Tarkir/Super Smash Brothers 3DS
Well, mostly the demo; given the choice between new video games and Magic cards, Magic invariably wins out. Plus, Khans of Tarkir limited is tons of fun. I’m stoked to see Delve making a return, and Morph turned out to be way more fun that I could have ever imagined. Raid, Prowess, and Outlast are all great as well—can’t get enough Mardu Hordechiefs, Monastery Swiftspears, or Ainok Bond-Kin—but I’m not as into Ferocious. For one thing, Ferocious sounds odd as an ability word; given that most players use these words like nouns, I think Ferocity would have been better. Second, I’m just not a huge fan of ‘Power/Toughness matters’ effects; too dependent on certain creatures staying alive.
Anyways, back to Super Smash Brothers. It translates well to the handheld controls, and the movements are nice and fluid. I do wish I was playing it on a 3DS XL though, as the larger screen size on my friend’s makes it look even better. Dash attacks are a neat addition, as is the lightning that flashes onscreen whenever someone gets smashed. I’m also loving some of the updates to past characters (stronger adult Link, and Zero Suit Samus’ up-B actually being a recovery move as well as a badass flying kick, are highlights) and a lot of the new characters (Megaman and The Villager are tons of fun, and Shulk looks to be insane in the hands of a skilled player).
Something I’m anticipating: Magic: The Gathering Strategy Board Game
IT’S BASICALLY HEROSCAPE BUT WITH MAGIC CARDS TOO AND COOL LITTLE PLANESWALKER FIGURES CURSE YOU GENCON ’15 WHY MUST YOU BE SO FAR AWAY. *Ahem* Link to video from Essen here.
Something I’m working on: “The Color Wheel and the Cross, or, The Magic of Orthodoxy”
In which I examine Catholic philosophy through Magic‘s color pie, and explore the idea that while fantasy Xtianity is represented in Magic by White, the real Church is all five colors, and straying too far into any one color results in error, with examples drawn from historical heresies. A pure White Church, would, for example, be Calvinistic.
Posted on October 21, 2014, in Reviews and tagged Aldnoah.Zero, Anime, Anime Review, Capsule Review, Khans of Tarkir, Korra, Magic: The Gathering, Super Smash Brothers. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.