Saturday, July 31, 2010

Video Spotlight #9 Tron Legacy LITERAL Trailer Parody



Sharing videos I managed to find scattered across the Internet.

Not that Toby Turner needs my help in getting his movies spread across the multiverse that is known as the Internet but I figured I would share the hilarity regardless.

This video is a LITERAL trailer of the movie Tron Legacy. It's exactly what it sounds like. You get to watch the trailer of the movie but with Toby dubbing it over as he literally describes what is going on in musical fashion. ENJOY!

This is Kylak signing out and literally typing text as I finish this sentence. Cut.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Decklist Ex Machina #5: Concealed by the Shield you Wield



Coming up with fun decklists so you don't have to.

Did you ever want to sit in a multiplayer game of Magic the Gathering and have a way to defend yourself regardless of the scenario? Did you want an entire deck to represent a shield to keep your enemies at bay while you planned a strategy to overtake them all in your goal of conquest? Did you ever have this really bad rash on your leg that you just kept scratching? Well, then you should go see a doctor before getting back to this shiny new decklist.

As is the new format, I'll post the decklist first before explaining the choices:

Wall of Denial 4
Mnemonic Wall 3
Pride of the Clouds 3

Luminarch Ascension 4
Palliation Accord 3
Austere Command 3
Ghostly Prison 3
Sun Droplet 3
Leyline of Sanctity 3
Hindering Light 4
Jace's Ingenuity 3

24 Lands
Prahv, Spires of Order 2
Celestial Colonnade 3
Sejiri Refuge 4
Island 6
Plains 9


Wall of Denial is "the" choice for defense. It laughs at those that try to ram through it and spot removal is wasted on it. It wanted a pal to go along with it so I began my search. If there was a Wall that could search or bring back Enchantments then Mnemonic Wall wouldn't be here but for now, it is rather handy to bring back Jace's Ingenuity, Austere Command, or Hindering Light for a second party. Let's talk about those last though. They round out the package.



If you're big on multiplayer and you didn't know about Sun Droplet, you should take a look right now. This thing is a life saver. Not the candy but it is rather sweet. The key here is that it's effect goes off EVERY upkeep. Take a look at Palliation Accord. Seriously. You might not realize how insane that card is in multiplayer until you test it out. By themselves they work miracles but combined together they will prevent most enemy forces from ever doing you harm.

Ghostly Prison stops giant armies from swinging at you at all. Leyline of Sanctity prevents quite the number of combo decks from ruining your day and any burn, discard, mill, or other nasty effect that might come your way. Prahv, Spires of Order can even help stop the big guns your opponents might try to sling at you.

Pride of the Clouds gets its own paragraph. That's right. It can make flying tokens for you every turn and then you can plop it down to be a massive and evasive Mufasa (Lion in the clouds joke *nudge nudge*). It gets a bonus for every flier on the field, not just yours, so this kitty is going to be intense! Not only does this one card alone provide so many combat tactics but the other reason it needs its own paragraph is that it is easily replaceable. Maybe you prefer Windreaver? Maybe you prefer a Planeswalker as one of your win conditions? Either way, that's fine. Pride of the Clouds is cheap and effective so he's in my list but there are things out there that are possibly better against your group.



It appears that the giant floating card above combined with the process of elimination have given away what I shall be talking about next. Luminarch Ascension is already scary in multiplayer due to how long people usually take to setup. This deck pushes it over the top. You rarely take damage as it is with all of your defenses and so this will be pumping out a giant army of fliers. Did I mention flying tokens? Why, yes I did. Pride of the Clouds will be very pleased. One last group to discuss. The instants and sorceries. I did mention I would talk about those last.

Jace's Ingenuity doesn't need explanation. It's heavy card advantage at instant speed. Austere Command however is delicious in that it can take out almost any group of threats on the board. It's a Swiss army knife with tactical nukes people! Remember that most of your deck is made up of Enchantments so only choose that option in the right circumstance. Hindering Light seems like the perfect "defensive" counterspell to me. This deck is only concerned when something might target you or something you own so it's okay if that's the drawback when you've got this big of shield for a deck. Plus, it's a two mana counterspell that replaces itself. Can't forget that.

Summary:
So you've got defense for armies, single massive creatures, spells, and more. You've got walls, flying armies of your own, giant Mufasas, and more. Spot removal is useless against token armies and shroud. Mass removal barely makes you yawn between the token production and the sleeper land (Celestal Colonnade). Your Leyline lets you ignore most burn, discard, and mill. You're set for just about every scenario a deck could throw at you which is important at the multiplayer table. Mission complete!

This deck is still a work in progress but for a first version, I think I've got something going here. Throw some comments down if you like it or if you actually got to play a version of it. Let me know. I'm interested as always. The same goes for ALL of my Decklist Ex Machina articles.

This is Kylak signing out and making the Spartan shield look like a wet rag full of holes.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wicked Reviews Series: Sengoku Basara Season 2- Episode 3



Keiji attempts to stop Toshiie from attacking Kenshin but his voice falls on deaf ears. Toshiie and Matsu arrive at Kenshin's front yard (so to speak) and Kenshin warns they should head back to Kaga. Kenshin has already sent half of his troops to Kaga to seize their land so Toshiie can't win this battle and it hasn't even started. They don't call Uesugi Kenshin the God of War for nothing. Though it could have been argued in the last season (since he didn't really do much in that season).

_____________________________________________________
Uesugi Kenshin "The God of War" is not to be confused with:

1) Kratos - Playstation's God of War that not only wields grafted chain blades but also giant amounts of angst and revenge in each hand respectively.

2) Himura Kenshin the Battousai (Kenshin Himura if you speak English) - The main character of Rurouni Kenshin that everyone in that series wants a piece of.

An easy way to remember which one is which is that the last two are fictional. Fun fact of the day.
_____________________________________________________

Toshiie returns to Kaga to find the army Kenshin promised. Toshiie yells to charge through their lines. Halfway through the battle, Keiji arrives but he isn't here to help. Keiji and Toshiie have an intense fight that is probably the most confusing fight in the entire series simply due to the lack of blood (they show blood in the flashbacks during the same fight so it's confusing why they are so selective of what they censor). Despite that, it's still intense and enjoyable so get to watching. I'll let you see for yourself who the victor is. Regardless of who stands, no one actually wins in a fight between family or friends.



Then we see a depressing scene of Masamune standing among bodies as he yells in desperation for his men to wake up. It's obvious they've been fighting for over a day at this point (possibly longer) and while many lay dead, some manage to stumble their way back up to join their leader. Just as they plan to head back, Hideyoshi shows up.

Then we see what progress Yukimura is making before he begins hearing the haunting cries of a woman. A very familiar voice reaches Yukimura's ears, "It's Ichi's fault."

THREE CLIFFHANGERS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE EPISODE!

This is Kylak signing out and wondering if Kenshin will ever truly get to fight in this series.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wicked Reviews Series: Highschool of the Dead - Episode 4



What a shame! I thought this Anime was going to do well from start to finish but we got our first forgettable episode. Almost half of this episode is literally recaps and the other half is mostly one major scene at a gas station that I could have personally done without.

I will admit that there are reasons for episodes to have piles of recaps but that doesn't make it any more comforting does it? I almost don't want to spoil the gas station scene except then I wouldn't really have anything to review now would I?

Motorcycles don't run on dreams and so Takashi and Rei pull over to a Gas Station. Some thug is hiding in the shadows and watching the two of them and eventually makes his move once Takashi goes inside the gas station. After grabbing Rei from behind, he puts a knife to her throat. Takashi tries to reason with him multiple times but nothing gets through. And we get a rather awkward and unwanted groping scene. In the end, the guy gets what he deserves and is not only shot in the chest but is left to be slowly mangled by the incoming zombies.

I realize that this series really wants to delve into the struggle of humanity and raise the topics of not only man vs zombie but man vs man but I'm slowly getting pushed away from all of it. It's hard enough to deal with just Shido and his flunkies but then we have the ultimate bully immediately after their introduction. The series is hoping to be a pile of cake that you want to enjoy but it's handing you three layers of shit that you can't stand. I'm no Chef but I highly doubt that shit is part of the recipe of a good cake. There is a distinction between characters you love to hate and characters you despise and would have preferred were never created.

This episode isn't a total loss and there are many aspects that were rather necessary for the progression of the show so you should still sit down and watch it albeit you may need to skip around... a lot.

Site note: Shaun of the Dead reference since the Gas Station is literally titled "Shaun".

This is Kylak signing out and realizing that ninjas would survive this particular zombie apocalypse by default due to the lack of noise they make.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wicked Reviews Series: The Legend of the Legendary Heroes - Episode 4



Trying out something different this time around so let's see what you guys think.

Sion plays the ultimate game of russian roulette with Ferris's brother (Lucile). Lucile's bullets are instead questions, if he doesn't like the answer, Sion's head will be ripped off before he can even blink. Consolation prize? It's so fast that he won't feel the pain.

We're introduced to the kindest prison guard ever who takes care of simple requests for Ryner. Ryner and the Prison Guard become rather close over the years and they both agree that war is a terrible thing. There's a giant pile of touching moments here and it's definitely worth the watch.

Ryner is let out to be taken to his execution and Ferris happens to be his escort. After an attempt to break free, Ryner is presented to the King of Roland. Much to Ryner's shock, it happens to be Sion. It would appear he didn't get the consolation prize.



Sion defies all laws of time and space by not only showing that he already has Ryner's report that he left in his prison cell but that he's already read it. Apparently, Sion actually enjoys the contents which involve using Artifacts made by Legendary Heroes of the past and having that combined power to be made into a deterrent to stop war. Sion presents a very persuasive deal for Ryner: Find the artifacts or be executed. Since he believes that Ryner will slack off too much, he forces Ferris to go with him. Lucile's voice in the shadows are enough to get Ferris to grab Ryner and get out as fast as possible. This marks the beginning of their journey.

This is Kylak signing out and hoping that a Kingdom of Afternoon Naps is possible in this series.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Video Spotlight #8 Half Life: Full Life Consquences



Sharing videos I managed to find scattered across the Internet.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking... I've been doing a lot of videos lately. There are a few reasons for that but I'll get to that after the summary of this lovely piece of work here.

This was literally inspired by possibly the worst fan fiction ever written on the face of this very planet we exist on. It's filled with horrible grammar, plotholes, inconsistencies, incoherent thoughts, poor descriptions, and literally just terrible ideas all together. That's what makes it so wonderful to watch in a literal form as a video. Enjoy!

The major reason for the sheer number of videos is lack of time. There is a giant pile of articles to be posted very shortly so don't worry. If you want the other reasons:

1) Working on audio editing for a project that is probably going to get shot in the backyard instead of being posted.
2) Company being over.
3) Working on several D&D campaigns.

There's more but I think you get the picture.

This is Kylak signing out and chaining himself to the desk to get some writing done.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Leak Sauce #4 Omnibus Style!




Leaking info to you and bringing the discussion.

It's omnibus time and this bus has to keep moving over 50MPH or the bomb will explode so let's get this party started!

POSSIBLE SPOILERS SO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

I'm a bit late on this I must admit but you'll forgive me right? For anyone who hasn't seen Avatar: The Last Airbender (the series) all the way through, then don't continue reading. Do a barrel roll over to the closest place that will allow you to watch this and finish it immediately. The new series takes place 70 years after the original. As the title would suggest, we have a new Avatar named Korra. In the picture, you can see Republic City which is said to be a "Metropolis powered by steam-type technology". It's inhabited by members from every nation but apparently there is rampant crime and an anti-bender movement. Big spoilers just below this.

Korra is a hot-headed and rebellious girl from the Southern Water Tribe. Her Airbending teacher is in fact Aang and Katara's son Tenzin. There is a giant pile of rumors on the web but I'm sticking to just the facts.




Driving into the next big piece of info. Carnage is back! If you haven't been in touch with Spider-Man's comics for awhile, a lot of the old villains have been revamped entirely. The big facts about the new Carnage:

1) Cletus is dead. This is fact. He's been dead for a long time now and Carnage has been dormant for some time. That means there will be a new host. It's a female in fact.

2) We get to find out how much of the villainy was Cletus and how much was Carnage due to the character development with a new host.

3) He's coming back a bit "augmented" so we'll most likely see some new powers.

4) The Venom symbiote was in fact an adult before it met Eddie Brock. As you should know, Eddie died years ago and the Venom symbiote has had a new host for awhile (Mac Gargan). Carnage was merely a child when it bonded with Cletus so it's had a bit of a dysfunctional childhood.

5) The new storyline will also involve Iron-Man.




Our next bit of leaked info is for Scars of Mirrodin. The Sword of Body and Mind is intense! See the picture above to get a nice look at that thing. If you can't see it well enough, here's the rundown of the card:
_______________________________________
Sword of Body and Mind 3

Artifact - Equipment

Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has
protection from green and from blue.

Whenever equipped creature deals combat
damage to a player, you put a 2/2 green
Wolf creature token onto the battlefield
and that player puts the top ten cards
of his or her library into his or her
graveyard.

Equip 2

____________________________________

This is going to be a serious threat to players attempting to abuse Jace 2.0 in Standard right now. Who am I kidding? It's going to be a serious threat period. This is just as powerful as its sibling cards: Sword of Light and Shadow and Sword of Fire and Ice.




Amaterasu from Ōkami and Thor were revealed to be in Marvel VS Capcom 3.
Other known characters so far are:

Dante (Devil May Cry)
Deadpool
Ryu
Iron Man
Morrigan Aensland
Captain America
Chris Redfield
Doctor Doom
Chun-Li
Wolverine
Trish (Devil May Cry)
Hulk
Felicia
Super-Skrull

Dormammu has also been confirmed for the game but no one is sure if he's a playable character. Most likely he'll be the final boss but we'll have to wait and find out.

Annnnnd that's enough to spoil you for now. Time to jump out of the bus people.

This is Kylak signing out and wondering what characters Carnage and Korra would pick to face off in Marvel VS Capcom 3.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Video Spotlight #7 Haloid



Sharing videos I managed to find scattered across the Internet.

This is one of the first videos Monty Oum posted (that I know of at least) and it's just as magical as any of his other animations. Monty Oum is also known for his work in Dead Fantasy (Dead or Alive VS Final Fantasy) and his work on the newest season of Red VS Blue. You should dive into all that he's done and see why he's getting so much attention.

This particular video, as the title would suggest, is a wonderful mish-mash of Halo and Metroid. Everything from shotgun nunchuks, crazy martial arts, and giant explosions. What's not to love? So give the man your attention and enjoy.

This is Kylak signing out and looking forward to whatever Monty Oum does next.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Musical Chairs #2 *removed* See link

The content of this post has been removed.

A link will be added to the new post soon.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Critical Playtesting #4 The Battlemind



Playtesting different classes and races so you'll give them a shot.

Faylar specifically requested this and Joe said a Battlemind article would help him out as well. Consider it done.

The Battlemind of Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition is not just a blend of tank and psionics. The Battlemind is a recipe consisting of repositioning, flexibility, speed, and quite possibly cinnamon sugar.

There's no need to break down the competition because I was one step ahead and managed that in my Fighter article. Speaking of being one step ahead...

1) Before it even begins - You are unique among classes in that both of your Psionic studies are in fact tailored to the beginning of an encounter. You are ready to take advantage of the first moments of the battle before anyone else.

2) Speed - You're probably the quickest on your feet of any Defender. You're able to keep up with anyone who dare attempts to shift around you by merely giving up your opportunity action that round. They can't outmaneuver you if you keep this up and there are plenty of other powers in your arsenal to shift, teleport, and strike before they knew what hit them. The Battlemind is all about tactics and repositioning yourself constantly to make the best use of your different powers.

3) Defense - Are you ready for this? Constitution is your main stat no matter what build you make. That means your HP is literally the second highest in the game. First place still goes to Warden but you still outweigh the rest of the competition. You've also got every armor proficiency other than Plate. Even better is the sheer number of powers that allow you to change your body's aspects. These aspects grant a variety of benefits such as temporary HP, healing surge uses, resistances, as well as always adding an interesting and powerful offensive benefit to boot. Another unique trait is that you get a +2 to Will defense and your secondary stats help your Will defense as well. Defenders usually fall prey to crippling control effects that target this very stat but not you my friend. Some of your aspects are the equivalent to Colossus from the X-Men but others might recognize certain abilities that are suspiciously similar to another popular character...



4) Flexibility - You've got a tool for every job. Your mind is the swiss army knife. Just to run through a few examples: You can change your weapon to take on insubstantial enemies, you can change yourself to ignore difficult terrain, grant allies invisibility, you can change a melee attack into a ranged one, and so much more. Another interesting thing about the flexibility of the class comes in the variety of builds that are possible. There are literally a minimum of seven archetypes already and this class has only existed for a few months.

5) Repositioning - Of the Defenders, you are king of repositioning. You and the Bard can squabble over who is better at this. It would be considered cheating in Chess to be allowed to move the enemy pieces but that's exactly what you do. Sliding, teleporting, pushing, and pulling your enemies and your allies to have control over the battlefield. I've already explained in the Bard article a handful of reasons why this is amazing. Take a look there if you haven't.

6) Psionic Augmentation - What separates you and the other Psionic classes from other classes in the game is your augmentation. Psionic classes don't get Encounter powers and they don't need them. Instead, you get a giant pile of different At-Will powers as you progress in levels. You also have a certain amount of power points that you regain at every short and extended rest. You can spend these points to augment your At-Wills to basically make them the equivalent to an Encounter Power. The beauty of this is you get less powers to choose from overall but more reliable powers in the long run. You also get more At-Wills than non-Psionic classes do so you can have fun manipulating those At-Wills and powering them up whenever necessary.

(It should be noted the Monk is the exception of all Psionic classes. It does not have augmentation with power points and it still has Encounter Powers.)

7) A different kind of defending - This is actually more of a WARNING then it is a bonus and yet it's still a unique trait. The Battlemind's class features are rather weak in comparison to most Defenders so you can't rely on them like a traditional Defender would. You will be utilizing your powers in place of these class features since many of your powers also punish or work with your Marks. As stated before, you've got to actively reposition yourself, enemies, and allies to utilize your Defender effects and powers to the best of your ability. The good news is, the Battlemind has the tools to pull this off.

EDIT: Errata in July says that Blurred Step is now a free action. That makes it ten times better which increases the power of the Battlemind immensely.

This is Kylak signing out and playing Chess horribly wrong thanks to this class. What do you mean I can't move your Knight diagonally to attack your Queen?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Video Spotlight #6 Super Mario RPG: Rawest Forest



Sharing videos I managed to find scattered across the internet.

The original video can be found here:
http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/382576

Music by Martin "Märta" Hagwell
Animations by Chris "Kirbopher" Niosi

Let me start by saying that I'm a crazy huge fan of Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. If you've never played it then you need to fix that shit right now. Moving onto the video: This is easily my favorite remix of the Forest Maze song (Beware the Forest Mushrooms by Yoko Shimomura). To top things off, I almost feel spoiled thanks to Kirb creating an excellent video that gives both tribute to the game and the song itself.

You can find Kirb's most recent tribute of Super Mario RPG here:
http://www.allgeeksrejoice.com/2011/07/video-spotlight-32-smrpg-waltz-of.html

This is Kylak signing out and hoping Geno and Mallow return some day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Anime Summer Season 2010 Reviews



Just figured I'd give you something so here's my fave ending song so far for Highschool of the Dead (yes, there is a different ending song for each episode).

So it's very obvious I dropped Shukufuku no Campanella like a bag of shit. I didn't announce it but after watching the third episode of Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi I also got fed up with it. That's two shows dropped completely from my original seven. The others I've been reviewing:

The Legend of the Legendary Heroes
Sengoku Basara Season 2
Highschool of the Dead
Seitokai Yakuindomo
Shiki

I was originally going to review Kuroshitsuji 2 and Amagami SS but I haven't finished the first season of Kuroshitsuji (lack of time) and Amagami SS turned out to be a bit too plain for my tastes. That would have been nine to start off with. That's insane! I might review all of Kuroshitsuji if even four people leave comments asking for it. So let me know people. That wouldn't be a problem as I could take my time with it.

The reason I'm bringing all of this up is I'm going to listen to Joe's advice here and not bog myself down with so much to review on my own. My site isn't like most Anime blogs, I have other topics that need my love and devotion as well. I'm not sure if this really effects anyone but I'm going to stop reviewing Seitokai Yakuindomo as well. I'll still watch it but it isn't as important right now to me and I need to drop something. I may even drop down further to only reviewing three Anime a season but only time will tell. Dropping down to four will already help me a ton and leave me more time for my other topics.

So that's the current situation folks. Got any questions about anything? Never be afraid to comment.

This is Kylak signing out and pondering if three is the magic number.

Wicked Reviews Series: Highschool of the Dead - Episode 3



The episode starts off with news channels reporting the pandemic going on across the globe. Saya and Shizuka compare the widespread infection to famous plagues and Kohta points out that the difference now is that the dead continue to move and spread the disease. This essentially means the outbreak could spread endlessly. Endless parties people. I'm sure we're all glad about that news. I honestly don't know how this series can end happily if it only took a few hours for the entire world to go into chaos and the zombie outbreak to already have seized enough lives to the point that news broadcasts get cut off. Doing the math with how quickly these things seem to multiply, the show should be over in a few episodes right?

Our group makes a plan to head through the front gate and make it to a bus for escape. On the way there they manage to come across another group of survivors. The group then exploits the only weakness these corpses seem to have. This brings up my confusion of why the zombies don't attack each other if only their sense of hearing seems to be working. Their eyesight has already been proven to be labeled legally blind, their sense of smell can't work or the zombies that Takashi gets too close to would have already come after him, and we know their sense of touch is utterly useless as that's part of the reason they're so tough. Their nerves are literally dead so they're rather stiff (hence their slow speed) but they can take a beating and their strength is increased.

Anyways, Takashi pulls through and just as the entire group is almost out of the building, someone has to screw things up royally. Takashi and crew make a run for it to the bus and make it their in one piece. Our other survivors become a tasty buffet for the zombie swarm. One final group of stragglers rushes forward and we're introduced to the biggest scumbag I've seen in an Anime in quite some time. Shido is a piece of trash that I imagine will be the source of much displeasure for the coming episodes. Rei obviously knows and despises the guy and sadly no one listens to her when she literally suggests they should leave them to die. It's moments like these that only happen during a zombie apocalypse. Shido can be seen below with one of his many scummy faces.



After democracy dies a little on the inside when the other students elect Shido as their "leader", Rei ragequits and jumps out of the bus. Takashi follows and then plot inconvenience arrives in the package of a bus filled with zombies. The bus flips and crashes with Takashi grabbing Rei and diving into the nearby tunnel. The bus slides and blocks the path of the tunnel (as improbable as that sounds). Takashi yells to Saeko that they'll meet at the police station around 7PM.

Takashi and Rei finally run head first into some luck by finding a biker zombie! What I mean is, a zombie that was formerly a biker which means there's a bike nearby for transportation. Before the credits roll we get some grim foreshadowing from Takashi.

As a side note about characters: Kohta has grown on me a lot. He's such a likable guy. He's beyond polite to Saya even though she's extremely brash and rude to him and he pulls through with his marksmanship skills every time. Shizuka has earned a little respect from me since last time but I'm not going to get into all of the Shizuka business because I could write an entire article about just her.

This is Kylak signing out and not wearing a towel around my neck. Watch the episode... you'll get it.

Wicked Reviews Series: Sengoku Basara Season 2- Episode 2



You can tell just how much this series has developed from this episode alone. Tactics and strategy are at an all time high already (yes, those are actually two different things). The conflict is much more complex this time around and even the action scenes are more intense with a higher budget to throw around this season.

Regardless of Date Masamune being arguably the best fighter in the series, Hanbei's schemes have managed to get him in over his head (much like Mitsuhide's plans in the previous season). This time it seems much more dire as his right eye Kojuro is taken as a prisoner of war. I actually feel sorry for Masamune because thanks to Hanbei, he makes Masamune seem inadequate to lead his own troops. Before Kojuro was defeated and captured, he made mention that only Masamune could lead their land and he would follow no other. I really hope those words are true and Masamune steps things up other than his combat skills because those aren't going to be enough. We might see a push in his character because of this as he won't have his right eye to help him through.

Keiji stands at a crossroads. He's at odds with his own family as he doesn't want them joining Hideyoshi. He hoped for peace but even after Nobunaga's defeat, his friends are still at war among each other. He visits Kenshin to ease his mind but things turn for the worse in the end. His family is on their way to attack Kenshin (due to their alliance with Hideyoshi).



Finally we have Yukimura ready to leave with Takeda's elite. Yukimura will have to lead without the Tiger of Kai's help and will be forced to aid the far West if they hope to get an advantage over Hideyoshi.

Things are getting very intense and everyone is resorting to drastic measures when we're only two episodes in. Since Hanbei plans to attack Chosokabe next, I'm looking forward to his appearance.

This is Kylak signing out and advancing his troops for a delicious meal at the Olive Garden. If only that last part was true. *sigh*

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wicked Reviews Series: The Legend of the Legendary Heroes - Episode 3



The episode begins with Brophs being killed by Ferris's brother and Ferris knocking her sister out so she doesn't see the dismembered head. You see, he was able to rip off the guy's head faster than anyone could even realize he was already dead. That's how hardcore this guy is. Shortly after a discussion, he vanishes into the light... yes... the light. He's like five regular ninjas taped together to make one super ninja.

We switch over to our military students getting along and trying to get Ryner to talk to Kiefer about her feelings. The problem is, Ryner literally thinks she's joking when she makes it very clear that she cares for him. Bad move pal. Kiefer gives the signal and the Estabul Magic Knights start decapitating and cleaving torsos in different directions. Did I mention that this episode is a little graphic?

After being knocked out, Ryner wakes up to see that only Sion and Kiefer are left alive. Ryner's provoked until something snaps and his Alpha Stigma goes into God mode. The problem with this is, his personality changes and he begins wiping out their existence without mercy. The 50 (yes, that's almost a full Magic the Gathering deck) Magic Knights are turned to shit and Sion and Kiefer are the only ones left to rip apart. For some reason, Ryner's eyes start to close on their own which after being shut allow him to regain control of his mind and body. Roland knights show up and Sion is escorted back as a hero.



Ryner and Kiefer are locked up because they were both pawns of the military to begin with. Ryner is beaten while making snappy comebacks and given one request. He is escorted to Kiefer's cell and locked in with her. The two discuss things of importance ,that you should watch the episode to find out about, and Kiefer is released in place of Ryner as he requested. Then there is some smoochie smoochie before Kiefer has to leave.

Sion manages to find Ryner and he even passes him a way to freedom but Ryner refuses. He doesn't want to get involved with war or anything for that matter. He's much happier being able to nap all day in his jail cell and have three meals a day. The episode ends with Ryner contemplating all that's happened.

This is Kylak signing out to take an afternoon nap. Just kidding. I have insomnia.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Video Spotlight #5 The Last of the Dashkin



Sharing videos I managed to find scattered across the Internet.

This is the origin story of Bitey of Brackenwood. The video is made by Adam Phillips who also does some rather awesome work for some of D&D's comedic videos. Everyone should take a look at his work here:
http://www.newgrounds.com/collection/brackenwood.html
He's simply an amazing animator and his world building has expanded in his different vids so go check those out.

I posted the Youtube video to get your attention but he needs the Newgrounds support since Youtube doesn't exactly make him any money.

This is Kylak signing out and jumping from couch cushion to couch cushion (the floor is lava). One day it will be tree to tree... in my dreams.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Critical Playtesting #3 The Avenger



Playtesting different classes and races so you'll give them a shot.

While the first two Critical Playtests were all about classes that don't get enough attention, this week is dedicated to a class that happens to be exclusive to Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition. The easiest way to sum up the Avenger is a Jedi Knight but that's only a half truth. Avengers are the Divine Striker class that are all about separating their target from the group. Whether you like being a mysterious warrior, a divine ninja, or just wielding a giant freaking weapon, this class is for you.

Normally this is the part where I tell you what the competition is. I would tell you what the other Strikers are known for except that's a giant list that would take quite awhile to go through. Sorry folks. Let's just skip on into what makes an Avenger stand out shall we?

1) Accuracy - Oath of Enmity is what it's all about. You get to roll TWICE! You get to roll TWICE! Sorry for repeating but it fills me with so much joy I had to say it twice. Do you understand how insane that is? You are twice as accurate as anyone else. There are some rules to get this double roll however so strategy is still involved. I should also mention you even get a power to let one of your ally's reroll.

2) Isolating - This is what the Avenger does best. Avengers are all about going toe to toe with someone and isolating them from the rest of the hordes of enemies. Many of their powers force enemies to separate so you can pull this off. It's almost like force push and pull.



3) Defense - Not every Striker can say they have Defender level HP or ways to be sticky. You're rather awesome at both and you don't even wear hefty armor (you get a bonus for not wearing the extra armor and their are feats to boost your AC instead). You can take hits with the best of them and hold your own in a fight. You even get some tasty utility powers so you can keep getting back up.

4) Maneuverability - Strikers are known for this quality but let's talk about how the Avenger pulls this off. Since the Avenger is based around having a target and keeping track of that target, many of your powers give you free shifting or even teleportation to stay with your target (but only your target).

5) Damage - Avenger's don't honestly bring out the damage you would think. The way an Avenger pulls off having Striker-level damage is their consistency. Thanks to the accuracy I mentioned earlier, you'll hit more often. Hitting more often means more damage even if you're doing less per round than Ranger Smith over there. Getting the chance to roll the dice twice to hit also means twice the number of chances for a critical hit.

6) Divine - Being a Divine class is awesome. You get Channel Divinity feats, Domain feats, and you're based around Wisdom so your perception is insane. Plus, it's simply fun to roleplay.

"And shepherds we shall be,
for Thee, my Lord, for Thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
that our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
and teeming with souls shall it ever be.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti."


This is Kylak signing out and suddenly in the mood to watch Boondock Saints again.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Reverse Dungeoneering #1 - Speeding up Combat of 4th Edition



Improving your D&D experience. For Dungeons and Dragons Players and DMs.

There are a variety of things the DM and players can do to speed up combat in Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition. Here are several:

__________________________________
1) Be prepared!

For DMs -
No laptops, no books, no rules checking, none of it. Books are for reading and planning before the game begins. You don't need to bog game time down because you have to look through your .pdf file for Monster Manual 2 to find a specific creature's stats. NO! Bad DM! You should have already printed that out or typed up the stats yourself. If you've got the physical copy of the Monster Manual then stick some different colored tabs between pages and title them so you can bust open the pages you need faster than you can say ROLL INITIATIVE! Heck, there's even these nifty lil cards that have the stats already on them if you can get a hold of those.

Have your maps drawn BEFORE you start the game. A nifty trick is to literally have your tiles or grid already at the center of the table but place something over it. If you have multiple battles planned out just stack the different fields and place something between each layer to hide the next battle. That way when you want to start combat you just pull off the cover and BAM! Players can instantly put their characters where they want.

Already have initiative rolled for all of the pesky things you're going to have your players face against before you even meet up. Already have notes for different events. Already have things ready already alright?

For Players -
All powers should be written out and ready with all of your mods and bonuses calculated ahead of time. You should be able to roll the dice and add just one number and be done. Take a look down below about Power Cards and Character Sheets.

Have a rough idea of what you plan to do. When it gets around to your turn, you should be stating what you are trying to do and rolling your dice immediately. If you really don't know what to do then just use an At-Will. When in doubt, at-will out. It might not be the most "tactically efficient" thing to do but it's something and you won't be wasting five hours trying to figure out your next plan of attack.

______________________________
2) Adjust!

For DMs -
You're allowed to adjust the way the battle ends. By that I mean the enemies are close to death. HP is low, it's the bottom of the ninth, the fat lady is about to sing, insert another metaphor. Why waste time? You can either:
A) Have the enemies fall over from blood loss.
B) Have them surrender.
C) Have them try to flee.
D) Have them go for one final strike before collapsing.
Not every battle has to end with the HP down to 0.

Adjust the way you DM. It might be fun to make them squirm but it's totally acceptable to let them know what the defenses of the enemies are. Let's say the boss has a really low Reflex defense but your party is trying to hit Will. You don't have to spill the beans on all of the stats but here's a method that makes sense and works to speed things up a ton: Once a player has tried to hit, you can tell them the target number they had to aim for to hit that defense. It fits since their character would know how close they were to hitting the enemy. If they were 2 points away then they know what they have to roll next time.

Adjust the rules. If there is a rule confusion and it isn't THAT important to know the exact rule then make something up. Write a quick note about it and look the rule up later after the battle so you can correct it for the future.

Adjust the monsters. Sometimes it's just better to lower the HP of the monster and increase the damage it deals. This way, the monster is more of a threat for a shorter amount of time. It can make people really wake up and it makes combat go by much quicker.


For players-
Adjust the way you play. When you're trying to attack you should tell the DM, "21 versus Reflex." If the DM says, "Hits." then you should follow up with, "28 fire damage." Always tell the damage type to save time.

Adjust the way you setup your dice. I'm pretty sure your class only uses a few different kinds of dice to attack. Have those few up front and ready to roll and the rest can hang back and chill.


_____________________________________
3) Tools you should be using:

Initiative Tracker -
http://www.dragonavenue.com/downloads/initiative_effects_tracker.pdf
This isn't the only way to go about this but it's a great start. Keeping track of everyone's initiative, conditions, effects, HP, and defenses make things go by so much quicker since no one will have to ask.

Power Cards -
There are a million sites with different free downloads, you can make your own, or go with the best and buy the real thing (yes, it's a real product). I've tried having my powers printed out and it still takes too long to look through different powers. There is nothing quicker than the cards and there's a big reason why. Not only are they color coded but you can flip over your dailies and encounters face down after you've used them. You'll never be looking through ALL of your powers because you've used some already. That's simply amazing.

DM Screen -
Have the group pitch in and get one NOW or buy one yourself. If you're super cheap then make one. The whole point of a DM screen isn't to hide what is going on but to have the conditions list and other tables all organized in front of you.

Character Sheets -
No offense to the official character sheets but they aren't the best by any means. My personal favorite after testing out several is this right here:
http://www.dragonavenue.com/downloads/Shados_4e_DnD_Character_Sheet.pdf

I have to thank Shado for that sheet a thousand times over. It prints in landscape and for some reason that actually works better than the standard. You want to know the big reason Shado's character sheet is better? Placement! Everything is placed where it should be expected. HP, healing surges, and all of that are next to each other. Passive perception and insight are actually next to the skills section. Combat is on the first page (stats, skills, etc.), character building and items are on the second (feats, equipment, etc.). Location, location, location. Improper placement wastes time as you'll be forced to hunt down numbers.


________________________________
4) Learn the rules!

One way to help with this is reading this forum thread:
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19686254/Rules_you_didnt_realize?pg=1
It's been one of the most helpful things for my groups EVER! Make sure everyone reads it, not just you.

_________________________________
5) Turn order:

It's not just about knowing initiative order (which the initiative tracker should help with as mentioned above) but knowing how turns work. D&D players should learn the phrase: Ongoing/Actions/Save. You need to get into the habit of knowing that ongoing effects happen at the beginning of a turn, then your actions, then you can try to save for any ongoing effects. Repeat the phrase until it sticks.

_________________________________
6) Team work:

Learn the roles of each class and work together. Defenders should be up close and personal to other party members, Controllers should be splitting enemies away from each other, Strikers should be maneuvering to flank and helping take out one enemy at a time, and Leaders should be keeping everyone stable. Those obviously aren't the only things but we would be here all night if I were to explain it all right now.

Work as a team out of game as well. If you've got some casual or new players then partner them up with someone who knows what they're doing.


_________________________________

Let me know if this helped your group.

This is Kylak signing out and speeding up combat by putting extra sugar in my green tea.

Wicked Reviews Series: Shiki - Episode 2




This episode is all about the aftereffects of Megumi's death as well as finally focusing around the almost forgotten main characters.

Megumi's mother and father cope with the loss of their daughter and Toshio (Head Doctor of the Ozaki Clinic) asks if he may complete an autopsy. The father refuses.

Natsuno struggles with an ever increasing dread to dare open his own window. Before, he would be forced to close it due to Megumi's stalking antics. Now that she's gone, he still can't leave it open without the feeling that someone is watching.

We find out the reason the town seems so cut off from the outside world. The town is literally surrounded by momi fir trees and the making of grave markers which coincidentally surround the town in "death". Sounds cheerful huh? Great vacation spot if you're of the undead variety.

Ritsuko bumps into Natsuno and we find out about Natsuno's hate and discontent about living in the small town. We also get to see a LOT of his dynamic facial expression the entire episode and by dynamic I mean NEVER CHANGING!

Kaori finds a letter that Megumi wrote for Natsuno and attempts to give it to him after the funeral. Then we find out Natsuno is a cold hearted bizzotch and he just walks off without accepting the letter.

The rest of the episode involves Toshio investigating the deaths of the town's citizens. Anemia isn't a normal cause of death and Megumi's wasn't the common iron deficiency anemia. Toshio realizes that all of the recent deaths involve the same symptoms and worries that there is an epidemic. His friend Seishin (Local Priest) and Ishida (Public Health Officer) decide to help him in his investigation.

Natsuno wonders why he continues to close the window screen but just as he's about to slide it open a heightened sense of fear overtakes him.



This is Kylak signing out and opening my window as often as I like.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Decklist Ex Machina #4: Chandra Ablaze it's Time to Amaze! - Special Edition



Coming up with fun decklists so you don't have to.

So it's rather obvious that Chandra Ablaze is considered the least powerful Planeswalker printed so far. Numbers don't lie and she is literally listed at 2 bucks (as of the time of this writing). You have to realize how insane that is since the Core Set Planeswalkers have literally been reprinted multiple times, most are in Duel Decks, and have promotional printings and they aren't even that cheap. So first we're going to go over the card itself and then some deck ideas.

You might wonder, "Why is she so terrible?" I'm here to go over the basics.

1) Mana cost - Most Planeswalkers that actually are worth anything are around four mana. Chandra Ablaze is at six. This not only hurts her in the fact that she arrives unfashionably late but she's also in the wrong color for such a high mana cost. Red sadly has a major gaping flaw in the game of Magic and that's the fact that the color runs out of steam rather quickly. I'm glad that the design team is trying to give Red a weapon for late in the game but the phrase, "too little, too late" rather fits here. Much like most of Red's heavy hitters, they don't do enough by the time they finally hit the board. This already makes the card rather unsightly.

2) First ability - This generates card DISadvantage. That alone makes this ability utter crap. To make it even worse, you have to specifically discard a Red card which narrows down some interesting options to pitch. Remember kids: Lands are colorless so you can't pitch those. Since Red runs out of steam so easily and is the worst color at drawing cards, that makes it very difficult to feed Chandra Ablaze cards to pitch. That makes it even harder to build loyalty counters for her final ability.

3) Second ability - This is literally her best ability and it isn't a good idea to use it the second you drop her on the field but it's what you're going to want to do almost every time. By the time you can play a six mana card (which isn't usually turn six mind you) you're going to be running on top deck mode. Top decking is when you literally have no cards in hand and each turn you're hoping the top card you draw from your deck is worth something. If you dare use this ability first, she's going to be at three loyalty which puts her dangerously low. The only problem is that this ability is a double edged sword. You might be able to go from zero to three cards but your opponent gets cards too. It's rather unlikely that they had more than three cards by the time you cast this so it isn't that effective at getting rid of a full hand either.

4) Third ability - Her ultimate is useless if you're packing too many creatures but most likely this is literally a "win more" situation. Most people don't understand the "win more" concept so let me explain. If you are already playing a Red deck with tons of spells (typically burn) to abuse this ultimate with then by the time you've managed to get Chandra seven loyalty counters, you've probably already won.

5) Protection - The best Planeswalkers have ways to protect themselves. Typically that means making tokens to block for them or stop creatures in some way. Sadly, the only thing Chandra Ablaze has going for her is her first ability to stop creatures and it isn't very efficient since you'll probably just be discarding a creature that could have blocked or another burn spell that would have done about the same thing.

Now that we're on the same page here and you understand her flaws, you also have to realize that these flaws do NOT make her unplayable. She is very useful but only in VERY niche decks that can turn those flaws around. Since this is a special edition of Decklist Ex Machina, I've got multiple decks for you this time. All three of these decks are Red/Black with drastically different strategies. I'm going to do the opposite of the previous weeks and show the decklist first and then explain the choices.



_______________________________________________
FIRST DECK: Slag it to Them!

Chandra Ablaze 3

Dread Slag 3
Jaya Ballard, Task Mage 3
Reckless Wurm 4
Squee, Goblin Nabob 4
Gathan Raiders 4

Gibbering Descent 3
Blightning 4
Fiery Temper 4
Punishing Fire 4
Demonfire 2

Keldon Megaliths 2
Akoum Refuge 4
Mountains 12
Swamps 4

A friend of a friend recently opened up a pack and pulled a Dread Slag. It made him rather sad faced so this list is meant to cheer him up. This goes out to all of you Dread Slag owners out there!

Dread Slag is a rather clumsy critter. If you dare have two cards in hand then he's rather worthless. Having three cards means he's kicked the bucket. The good news is: We don't plan on having any and we're going to like it.

Hellbent is a keyword on some of those cards above that get bonuses when you have no cards in hand. To do this, you'll need ways to get rid of those cards. Chandra Ablaze, Jaya Ballard, Gathan Raiders, and Gibbering Descent all have ways of letting you discard cards. Rather than discard cards for the hell of it, we're going to discard cards with Madness (and a couple reusable cards). Fiery Temper, Reckless Wurm, and Gibbering Descent all have Madness. What this means is, it still counts as the card you had to discard but you get to play them at a cheaper cost. Squee and Punishing Fire can also be discarded multiple times (reduce, reuse, and recycle folks) and the beauty of their card text is the fact you "may" return them. You never have to if it's a bad situation to do so. Most likely though, you'll be returning Squee almost every turn to discard him over and over to get the full use out of them. Chandra Ablaze's first and second abilities are easily abused in this deck and that's what we're aiming for. Discarding cards is now a GOOD thing. THIS IS MADNESS! No.... THIS IS DREAD SLAG!

Most of these card choices are rather obvious after you look at the cards themselves. They all work wonderfully together and the deck abuses Hellbent and Madness rather maniacally. If your group allows slightly older cards then Violent Eruption is another card to take a look into. Gathan Raiders is probably the only card I need to explain. You can play it as a morph creature (3 mana for a colorless 2/2 face down) and then use it's morph cost to flip it up (discard a card) to be a 3/3. If you have no cards in hand then it gets +2/+2 so in this deck it's typically 3 mana for a 5/5. Reckless Wurm and Dread Slag are rather similar in that they are huge for what little you have to pay to get them on the field. I think we can all agree that it's rather awesome to play a consistent Dread Slag and this deck offers that chance (as well as full use of Chandra Ablaze). It might be interesting to change one of the cards for Fling since then you'd be able to Slag it to them literally (two mana to deal nine damage? yes please).

Warning: Do not use Chandra Ablaze's second ability if Dread Slag is on the field. It will die due to state based effects. This isn't a flaw in the deck since most people are going to want to kill your giant 9/9 trample creature in the first place. If they don't then they're as good as dead anyways.



______________________________________________
SECOND DECK: Parasitic Paradise

Chandra Ablaze 3

Kederekt Parasite 4
Sedraxis Specter 4
Mogg War Marshal 4

Underworld Dreams 3
Burning Inquiry 4
Spiteful Visions 4
Howling Mine 3
Dragon Fodder 4
Blightning 4

Mikokoro, Center of the Sea 2
Akoum Refuge 4
Terramorphic Expanse 4
Crumbling Necropolis 4
Mountain 4
Swamp 4

Key players are Kederekt Parasite and Underworld Dreams. Spiteful Visions (which is a Red permanent) and Howling Mine force everyone to draw extra cards which draws you into more things to abuse while draining them of life. Burning Inquiry and Chandra Ablaze can help you discard Sedraxis Specter so that he's Blightning's 5-8. You might give them the cards temporarily but no one said you had to let them keep them. Chandra Ablaze also counts as a Red permanent for the Parasite and her second ability is rather gross in a deck like this. Thanks to the Specter and all of the card draw, her first ability is rather useful here as well. The goblin tokens are there to be Red permanents and chump block anything your opponent throws at you.

If you can find room then Quest for the Nihil Stone is rather nice but otherwise forget it. I can't think of what to take out for it and right now it looks like a "win more" card in this decklist. Wheel of Fate is another card I was looking at buuuuut I'll just have to make mention of it here for now.

Side Note about the Lands:
It's much more preferable to have dual lands and fetch lands to really abuse this deck but I realize that many can't get a hold of them so I only put the cheapest lands in the list itself. As of now, the deck runs slower because of the mana base but it's still consistently able to play Underworld Dreams (which is the real problem child due to the three black mana requirement). Molten Slagheap is another budget option for lands. Dragonskull Summit and Graven Cairns are examples of expensive but effective dual lands for this kind of deck.

If you have the mana to go into Grixis colors than here are some other options:
Cerebral Vortex
Wistful Thinking
Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
Tomorrow, Azami's Familiar

And some older options:
Words of War
Obstinate Familiar
Wheel and Deal
Whirlpool Warrior
Phyrexian Tyranny



__________________________________
THIRD DECK: It's Worth the Unearth

Chandra Ablaze 3

Sedraxis Specter 4
Shambling Remains 4
Hellspark Elemental 4
Hell's Thunder 4
Extractor Demon 4
Viscera Dragger 4
Rotting Rats 3

Blightning 4
Sign in Blood 4

Rix Maadi, Dungeon Palace 2
Crumbling Necropolis 4
Terramorphic Expanse 4
Mountains 6
Swamps 6

This deck aims to unleash a quick swarm of creatures that can be reused with unearth if they fall in battle. Certain cards like Sedraxis Specter and Extractor Demon are meant to be discarded by Chandra or Rotting Rats on purpose so that they can be used as insanely efficient burn spells. Crumbling Necropolis was added in in the rare chance you can cast a Sedraxis directly. Sign in Blood, Viscera Dragger, and Chandra's second ability refuel your hand for more burn and unearth style burn. This deck isn't afraid of spot removal or mass removal and the unearth creatures are more potent than most burn spells. I was tempted to throw in Seething Song just to boost speed and get out Chandra as early as possible or make insane plays with Hell's Thunder but I figured it might be best to just leave it out.


___________________________________
Final Notes on all three decks: I made it my goal to make three Black/Red decks without having to use the staple Lightning Bolt and making sure to have Chandra be rather important for each list. I also wanted to make each list have vastly different strategies and play styles. Last but not least, I've managed to stay in a budget. I think I've accomplished all I can do here for now. These were all made literally in one day and haven't been playtested yet so they lack a bit of polish and fine tuning. If you get the chance before I do then please let me know what works and what doesn't.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wicked Reviews Series: Sengoku Basara Season 2- Episode 1



Let's party!

That's right. It's that time again action fans. If you enjoyed the first season then be prepared because everything to love about the first is back. From Date Masamune's attempts at speaking english phrases, the Tiger of Kai punching Yukimura through the ground and into the sky during regular conversation, massive explosions from sword swings, and over the top EVERYTHING!

We start with our three main groups in a battle against each other for conquest of territories. We have the Tiger of Kai and his forces facing off against Kenshin and his troops. Sanada Yukimura and Date Masamune are facing off nearby as should be expected (they're the main characters after all) and Masamune actually beats Yukimura. Unexpectedly, another group arrives with thunder clouds looming overhead (apparently Nobunaga isn't the only one that can make storm clouds follow him). Toyotomi Hideyoshi appears and his troops have already surrounded the battlefield. He demands they join him and prosper or suffer imminent death. Obviously, our main characters aren't backing down and Masamune is ready to face this mammoth of a General on head first. When I say mammoth, I mean it, Hideyoshi is literally a freaking Titan! Not only is Masamune not even half his height but this guy doesn't even bring a weapon into battle. He doesn't need one. One swing of his arm sends back countless arrows to the archers that released them and a raised fist to the sky forces the clouds to separate to allow light to shine through. This guy is scary.

After the groups manage to escape, we switch to Keiji, Toshi, and Matsu having a discussion about Hideyoshi. Apparently they know the titan and Toshi is in an alliance with him (similar to how Toshi joined Nobunaga in season 1 but for different reasons this time). This is actually the first time I've seen Keiji and his monkey sad faced.



Then we have an injured Yukimura discussing war strategies and tactics with the Tiger of Kai in typical fashion with the Tiger of Kai pounding the ever loving crap out of Yukimura. I don't know which punch I liked more... the one that seemed so unexpected and knocked Yukimura off screen or blasting him off like Team Rocket and Yukimura comes running back up moments later as if he wasn't knocked all that far. I don't know about you but I find it hilarious. It seems that Mouri might be teaming up with Hideyoshi and the plan is to send Yukimura to the West on his own. Then we have the traditional screaming at each other as a ritual of bonding.

Data Masamune and Kojuro discuss their strategy and they have come to the conclusion that the only way Hideyoshi would have known when to strike was because their is a traitor in the war council. They decide to go spy hunting first thing in the morning. That night while Kojuro awaits to see if anyone flees, Hanbei (right hand man that looks like a woman for Hideyoshi) shows up and wants Kojuro to join them. He brings along hostages to help Kojuro make his decision. What a nice young fellow.

This is Kylak signing out and tempted to jerry-rig my katana to explode on impact. Just kidding folks, that would be a horrible idea. Don't try this at home.

Wicked Reviews Series: Shiki - Episode 1




It's difficult to really discuss this so far. There is a giant pile of characters to be introduced to (an entire town for crying outloud) and since this is a supernatural horror/mystery there isn't a lot explained just yet. If you're into the genre then take a look. It's a very interesting series so far and I plan on watching it all the way though but I don't know if I'll have time to review it. We'll see how that goes alright? I have a spoiler but I think I'll save it for the podcast.


Summary:

The introduction begins with villagers looking for the body of a girl in the woods. A closeup shows us the body before jumping into the very stylized and yet creepy intro. Even if you aren't going to watch the show, go check out that intro. In fact. Here it is:



Megumi is the focus of the first episode and she's the same girl everyone was searching for in the woods. The episode skips a few days back to show how things lead up to this. I just have to take a moment to explain something... I hate her character in every conceivable way. She's rude, doesn't have respect for her elders or peers, she thinks fashion and style are the most important things in life, is a complete stalker, she has wild irrational fantasies that I could care less about it, she's only in the 10th grade and she thinks it's okay to wear skimpy whorish clothes, and is just an unlikable bitch. Don't let that stop you from watching this show though. Trust me.

Then we're introduced to some other characters who are being asked questions by the police. They're investigating the deaths of three people in the town. All three deaths are rather strange with unknown circumstances. Then the ever disturbing fact that the old lady had to have been living with dead bodies for several days.

Dun dun.

So we go back to Megumi's annoying antics, sour face, and her apparent dislike of just about everyone except for Yuuki. She runs into him as he's waiting for the bus and bothers him as he literally ignores her and looks in the other direction. It's very obvious he despises her as much as I do so I'm kewl with this guy. High five!

Some other characters are introduced and we go back to Megumi who gets pissy that someone else dare have a different opinion than her own so she storms off. I failed to mention before that her fantasies involve a strange European styled mansion/castle up on a hill. She goes storming off towards the place. We switch to nightfall and Megumi hasn't returned home. The entire town gets involved in trying to find her. We see the scene I mentioned from the beginning again but this time with some beautiful yet eerie music.



Megumi isn't dead (much to my dismay) but is diagnosed with anemia. Her family worries because she just lies in bed and won't eat. Then we get a trippy dream sequence that I suppose is meant to be foreshadowing but means nothing as of now. Literally it's just swirling petals and a shadowy figure and then a lady that lives in the mansion holding her hand (which we get to see just shortly before in person) and theeeeeeen that's about it. We find out later that Megumi has died before the episode ends.

AWESOME!

Is it really obvious that I rushed this review? ALSO AWESOME! Don't worry, that will be a rarity. Sorry for writing the review four days later after watching the episode but it can't be helped.

So yeah... lots of "hey look, this will be a character in the show later", annoying moments of Megumi, and then the strange events surrounding the different deaths that are starting. Oh, and really wicked hair. Let's see how this plays out shall we? Though I sadly already know.

This is Kylak signing out and realizing that this is an Anime adaptation to a Western Novel.

Wicked Reviews Series: Highschool of the Dead - Episode 2



Sorry I'm late with all of these posts...
While the first episode focused on Takashi, Rei, and Hisashi, this episode focuses on Saya, Kohta, Shizuka, and Saeko. For those just checking in: Zombie outbreak is going on, your shit is ruined, and it's about time you watched this show.

As I said in the previous review: This series is going to do very well for the three big factors it has going for it even though I'm not one to jump all over those kinds of things.

That being said, the reason I'm following this series is the sheer excitement. Chaos is the name of the game here and there is conflict at every turn. Emotions are riding high, everything is at stake, one false move means you're dead, and friendships are unstable.

So here's how things start:
Takashi's hopes of his friend Hisashi leading them are crushed while he worries about his Mother (who works at an Elementary School), Rei attempts calling her father but only mixed emotions come from that, Saya figures out some of the strengths and weaknesses of the zombies, Kohta is a gun otaku and makes a nail gun into a very functional weapon, Shizuka is the only adult left alive (that we know of) but has the IQ of a pile of dirt (and apparently her giant breasts and ass make noises when they move? I guess that's important to note with how weird that is), and Saeko is apparently my new favorite character of this series.

For those wondering about personalities and their skills:
Takashi is your average guy really but that's what makes him stand out. He's the guy that can't keep the girl he cares for and fails in comparison to his peers. Because of this, he's able to push himself to achieve what others can't. He's our underdog and main character. Weapon of choice: Baseball bat to bludgeon skulls.

Rei is a bit high strung right now. She's rather sensitive and she just lost her boyfriend, might have lost her Father, has a hard time being around Takashi because of their past, and has to deal with that whole zombie thing that happens to be going on about now. Weapon of choice: Anything that can be used as a spear (she was trained in using one).

Saya is a know it all. She's a genius and isn't afraid to condescend to you and let you know it. She constantly has a plan or is able to construct one rather easily. She has a tough exterior but on the inside is another story. Weapon of choice: Brain.

Kohta is your stereotypical chubby geeky kid. He obviously has feelings for Saya but also has zero confidence (unless he's holding a gun). His skills with and knowledge of firearms are rather impressive. He's also voiced by Viral of Gurren Lagann fame so that's rather nifty. Weapon of choice: Any firearm or just enough parts to make one.

Shizuka so far hasn't had time to show any emotions or any real skill as of yet (unless making your giant breasts make weird noises when they move is a skill). She's the High School's doctor and so she'll obviously be handy at some point when it comes to chemicals and medicines. The only issue so far is that you can't treat a zombie wound as the person will turn regardless so I'm not sure how exactly her medical knowledge will help. Right now she feels like dead weight that has only made it this far by luck. The only advantage she has is she's an adult so she's able to do what the students can't such as drive a car. Weapon of choice: A vehicle later maybe? Possible use of chemicals? Not sure yet. (Prediction: She will become very useful soon enough. I'm basing this on the fact that Saeko didn't seem to rescue her by chance. It was more like she specifically sought Shizuka out.)

Saeko is the most level headed of the group. She also seems very honorable and reliable. To sum her up rather easily: She's a senior and the captain of the kendo club. That one sentence is capable of defining her rather nicely. The biggest two reasons she's my current fave in this series are simply her ability to stay calm even in such dire situations and the way she handled the incident with Ishii Kazu (you'll just have to watch to find out). Weapon of choice: Bokken.



How things continue:
The different pairs meet up towards the end for different reasons and it isn't some half baked reason either. Many had a similar plan to get the keys from the faculty room to drive out of there and the rest heard the screams of Saya and wanted to help. Kohta runs out of ammo and Saya was two seconds away from becoming zombie noms when she pulls a drill off a shelf and manages to bury it in the face of the zombie while it looms over her. This part is censored like many others that could potentially be too graphic. After the group finishes off the zombies in the room, Saya lashes out with harsh words before having a complete break down. Saeko holds her as Saya cries in her arms from her recent escape from death's clutches.

There's a moment after the credits end, so keep watching.

This is Kylak signing out and sharpening his katana for such a scenario.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wicked Reviews Series: Seitokai Yakuindomo - Episode 2



I'm multiple days late on this so let me get the apologies out of the way. I had to watch the episode again just to refresh my memory. So let's jump into it shall we?

Right from the get go, we're given formal reintroductions to the cast from the main character's point of view. The President Shino is amazing at literally everything but she's a perv, the Secretary Aria is the gentle motherly type but also a perv, and then there's Suzu who has an IQ of 180, can speak multiple languages, is capable of doing calculations of around 10 digits in her head, and is literally a prodigy but happens to look like she should be in elementary school.

Our main character has been in school for a month now (We jumped rather far ahead in just one episode) and we're introduced to Mutsumi who sounds like the voice actor for Maka from Soul Eater (I should look that up later). She's a martial arts fanatic who wants to start a club so she asks our main character, that I forgot the name of (it's Tsuda but yeah... I did forget), to help her out. The requirement to start a club is five members but Mutsumi would prefer their club be the exception to that rule at four members due to stretching partners needing to be in pairs. Shino ponders upon it and then decides to make them an exception to the rule and by that she means they have to have six members to found the club. Ouch.



Then we find out about midterms coming up. Student Council members have to be in the top 20 and our very average main character gets depressed since he doesn't think he can pull it off. Wait a second... average main character, not good with school work, black hair... HOLY CRAP! That literally describes our main characters from almost every show this anime season. Wow... the ship is sinking folks.

Tsuda tries to get help from each of them and hilarity ensues.

Lots of typical High School Council jokes mixed in with Shino and Aria being complete pervs (in the most casual and oblivious way). Then the group has to move boxes. BOXES PEOPLE! Boxes with things inside them no doubt. Wake up! This is going to be action packed except not at all and I'm just getting you excited for no reason... sorry. There's a few good jokes here and we're introduced to Narako. Say hello everyone. She's the teacher from the opening sequence and the supervising teacher of the student council. Buuuuut she's never around so everyone in the council forgot about her existence and they treat her as if she isn't a teacher due to her maturity level. Burn.

I've gotta give credit where credit is due. This show is simply amazing with its use of angled shots, facial expressions, and changes in style. The comedy is still hit or miss so far but it's still a good ride the whole way through. I honestly don't know how the voice actors pulled this off because if I had to say their dialogue, there is no way I could say it without bursting into laughter myself and yet they say every line ever so casually.



Joke of the week: To remedy this issue of low birthrates, our Student Council must act to do our best! When we get older and have sex, cum shots must always be inside.
Note: Shino is actually recommending this as a serious plan to help with the low birthrate issue.

Then we find out that the second years have to go on a trip and so our third years (Tsuda and Suzu) will be left in charge of the council. CLIFFHANGER ENDING!

This is Kylak signing out and taking care of three student councils that are run by grizzly bears at four different colleges (figure that one out). It will be the hit comedy/drama of next season's Anime. Truly.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...