TORT - Episode 41 - "Deck the Halls"

Check out the latest ep of TORT where we discuss Christmas past

TORT - Episode 40 - "Put'em in a Body Bag"

Check out the latest ep of TORT where we discuss The Karate Kid movie

Comic Book Recommendations - Batman - Part 3

Check out Part 3 of my Comic Book recommendations for Batman

TORT - Episode 39 - "It Takes Two To Shenmue"

Check out the latest ep of TORT where we discuss DCC 2014 and Shenmue

TORT - Episode 38 - Iron Man Origins: The Dark World

Check out the latest ep of TORT where we discuss Batman Arkham Origins, Thor the Dark World and Iron Man 3

5 Reasons 2 Hate: Batman Arkham Origins

Don't say I didn't tell ya so

TORT - Episode 37 - "JP3, PS4, USF4"

Check out the latest ep of TORT where we discuss Jurassic Part 3, PS4 and Ultra Street Fighter 4

Comic Book Recommendations - Batman - Part 2

Check out Part 2 of my Comic Book recommendations for Batman

TORT - Episode 36 - "Mr. DNA's Betrayal"

Check out the latest ep of TORT where we discuss The Lost World and Ultra Street Fighter 4

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Review: Iron Man: The Animated Series Episode 4



Iron Man the Animated Series, Episode 4: “Silence My Companion, Death My Destruction.” We open with Justin Hammer, an Army general and James Rhodes. Hammer and Rhodes are competing to have the army use their defense robots that they have created; “The Invincible Guardian” for Hammer and “The Watchman” for Rhodes and Stark Industries. The Watchman makes quick work of the Invincible Guardian, winning the Army's approval. Hammer retreats to his limo and contacts the Mandarin whining because his robot cost millions to make. Mandarin unveils that the Watchman has a self replicating virus installed and will spread to all the other models when they are created. How did this virus infect the Watchman? I don't know. IT IS NEVER EXPLAINED. It just happens. Ugh, what bullshit. Once again, this show just has an event happen with no explanation whatsoever. Self replicating viruses just waltz their way into technology and infect all technology, I guess.

We cut to Iron Man revisiting his Virtual Reality simulation when he is attacked by Dreadknight and yet another piece of Iron Man: TAS comes to life: “It's dying time, rrrrrrrust bucket!” -Sigh- Tony escapes and his baffled by what happened. Apparently, his suit was not set correctly to receive solar energy so he began to hallucinate due to the lack of power he was receiving. Hmm, that's weird. I thought Iron Man and Tony were kept powered and ALIVE by the “Arc Reactor” that is surgically implanted in his chest.

Arc Reactor
Oh well. Tony then describes that if Mandarin every found out that the source of Iron Man's power is solar energy – WAIT! WHAT? NO! I am calling BULLSHIT on this! Tony Stark relies on the Arc Reactor to live, function and power Iron Man. Solar energy would be for auxiliary or back up, NOT THE PRIMARY SOURCE. Why is this character being RAPED by the same people that FUCKING CREATED HIM? Total, 100%, fucking horse shit! So after that icon crushing explanation, we cut to a robot bird that SOMEHOW got into Stark's HQ and flies away to report back to MODOK. Then we cut to a banquet, -cough- shit editing -cough-, where Tony, Julia and Julia's daughter Rachel, are listening to a famous piano player. Julia says she wishes her daughter would be more enthusiastic about her piano lessons in which Rachel retorts that she will never need classical music in her life, also known as, OBVIOUS FUCKING FORESHADOWING. Gee, I wonder what will happen in the climax of this episode? I don't know, but I got my money on something to do with CLASSICAL MUSIC. Another out of place transition, cuts us to Mandarin and MODOK receiving the info from their robotic spy. Our villains try to come up a vicious and cunning strategy to....”drain Iron Man's batteries.” Um.....ARC REACTOR, FUUUUUCK!

To the next morning we go, as Julia and Rachel are having breakfast. Rachel is upset that her mother has to work all the time and “like, totally jets out of the scene, to her like, piano lessons, or something. Whatevs.” If you're wondering why I just wrote that, it is because Rachel's sounds like the stoner bum offspring of Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Everything is either “rad” or “awesome” or “totally, like, whatever.” And you know what gets worse? Is all her words DRAG ON. For example, “Liiiiiiiike, whaaaaaaaat?” Did she have a stroke recently? It is so fucking annoying. Why is it that in every episode, there is voice acting that makes me want to jab knife in my ear and put my fist through the TV? Why, show? WHY?! 

Julia & Rachel
So Rachel is walking to her piano lesson when a mysterious punk girl dressed in red, sees her and morphs into Rachel's best friend, Linda. And who is this shape shifting character? You guessed it; NO ONE FUCKING KNOWS BECAUSE IT IS NOT FUCKING EXPLAINED! “Linda” catches up with Rachel and tells her there's a new mall around the area. Rachel is unaware that a new mall was constructed, so they run....about twenty feet into the mall. Really? You didn't know there was a new mall? It only took you two seconds to get there. You know – Fuck it, just forget it. The two hit the arcade where “Linda” convinces Rachel to play “Armor Man.” Yes, it is a game where the player plays as Iron Man. Against Mandarin. And nothing clicks with the character. She wants to quit, but the game has electrically gripped her and she is trapped.

The arcade cabinet demands MORE QUARTERS!
Justin Hammer then contacts Stark Industries and tells Julia that if she wants Rachel back, that Tony would need to hand over the plans for The Watchman. Tony suits up into Iron Man and goes out in search of Julia's daughter. Then something weird happens in the next cut. Mandarin is sitting on a throne and there a figures of people standing on a chess board.

Mandarin Chess
He says something about Iron Man falling into a trap. And then finishes the scene by screaming, “Get off my chess board!” This is just a kooky scene. It is unnecessary and had me scratching my head saying, “I don't get it.” I mean, there are pieces on the board of people that aren't even in this episode. What the fuck is up with that? Moving on, Iron Man tracks down Rachel's location and falls into the trap. The arcade Rachel was in was actually a hologram and Mandarin announces, “Welcome to Nightmare Alley!” Now I'm expecting some cool shit to happen. Like arcade type obstacles and booby traps. Here is the first challenge, Iron Man and Rachel enter a room that all of a sudden seals. Spikes come out of the wall and it's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The walls close in. So Iron Man smacks and bends some spikes on the left wall....which for no reason at all makes the walls stop moving. He then cuts a hole in the other wall and they escape. Wow. That was really lame. Especially with Iron Man touting, “I'll use my handy-dandy can opener.” YAWN. Obstacle two. Our hero runs and falls into a pit belching with fire as he must act quickly to save himself and Rachel. As they fall, Iron Man realizes his power is running low, and attempts his best Shatner impression. “Magnetic, pulse, will take, us, to safety.” Must, destroy, television, before show, ruins, brain, beam me up, Fox Kids. And that's it. That's all the stunts “Nightmare Alley” had to offer. LAME. Next!

Magnetic beam, weakening, must, beam to, a better, show
Now we go to a useless scene where no one can find Iron Man or Rachel. James says they must return to HQ and wait. Ok. That was 30 seconds of my life I can't get back. Does a 20 minute show really need filler? I mean, we see all the Iron Man heroes just standing there and then that's it. Fucking horrible scene. Back to Iron Man and Rachel. Rachel is crying that her life is over and that she is going to die and – WAIT JUST A GOD DAMN MINUTE. Her VOICE is different?? What the hell, show? We went from, “Like, tacos are so, like, totally rad and stuff” to “Oh, great Iron Man, can you find it in your power to rescue us from a most gruesome fate?” Now that is not it exactly, but you get the picture. During Rachel's crying, the cave starts to vibrate. Iron Man realizes that the power of sound is just as good as the sun. And if he plugs his suit into Rachel's Walkman, then he can recharge and escape. Yep, that's right folk. Iron Man can recharge of a tape player. That is the most RIDICULOUS and IDIOTIC thing this show has offered so far. Oh, and of course, it all comes full circle, because the tape she has is of the piano player from the beginning of the episode. FORESHADOWING COMPLETED.

This Walkman's power is over 9,000!!!
Iron Man escapes just as the virus begins infecting all the Watchmen around the world. Or at least just one in the next scene. The Watchman starts attacking yet ANOTHER random military base(popular for this show) when Iron Man is on the scene. And then out of nowhere, Mandarin's cronies are just standing around, for some reason, and we FINALLY get a fight sequence. Or I should say, a narrative. Whirlwind attacks and proclaims his epic dialogue by actually explaining that by sucking the water out of a nearby tower and by spinning it in the air, Blizzard and can freeze it forming the world's first flying glacier. Did this need to be explained? FUCK NO. And how to cap off this drawn out form of attack? With Iron Man crushing it in one second. So all that for fucking nothing. Oh, but Blacklash(I thought they meant “Backlash” but the intro titles him Blacklash) wants to a piece of Iron Man and throws his electric whip at him, only to be duped into throwing it on a transformer box. Which gets this funny shot that reminds me of a move right out of Street Fighter:

One should never stand too close to Blanka
Iron Man defeats the bad guys, tells the general that everything will be fixed and flies away. But this isn't how the episode ends. Oh no. We go to Rachel with two of her friends. They are all listening to music. The two girls are listening to some rock, and I think one of them say Meatloaf(Ha!), and ask what Rachel is listening to. Classical music. Aw, isn't it great how the episode just completes itself? -Sigh-

This was a weird episode. Too many random, pointless scenes, narrated fights, and poor and obvious foreshadowing. But I do give it credit. Though I found it lame, they did manage an actual story arc with Rachel. Even though you can't really gather an important message or even believe that Classical music can save your life, but it was a full circle character plot nonetheless. I didn't find this episode quite as bad as Ep 3, but it wasn't that good either.


ARC REACTOR!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

CrossCounterLive Episode 1, Part 2




So back with Part 2 of my coverage for CrossCounterLive Episode 1. Some time last night they uploaded the episode on their YouTube channel and it is divided into 3 videos spanning about 42 minutes. A slight recap on how the show started, Gootecks was very excited about Street Fighter III Online(which is available now, btw). He was able to try it out for about an hour and loved it. Now continuing from that, Mike Ross began a little rant about the Street Fighter 4 AE: 2012 Balance update. He explains how everyone was telling him that “Honda(Mike Ross' main) is back! Are you happy?” In which he proclaims that HE IS NOT. Basically, Honda will regain his ability to use his light headbutt for anti-air. 

Gootecks & Mike Ross, Hosts of CCLive
Mike said he wanted the damage back. See, when AE came out, Honda took a damage nerf which many felt ruined the character. Now, I like Honda as well. He's really fun to use and it really gets to people when you beat them with Honda. Gootecks and Mike then discuss the various balance changes that will come out in the future SSF4:AE update(which will be a free update). To learn more about the balance changes for the upcoming update, check out Eventhubs.com(I would get more into the balance changes but this is about CCLive).

Latif on CCLive
CCLive featured a guest for their first show. Latif, the man that came in second at EVO, joined in to discuss his way to practice in Street Fighter. He explained that he played at a local arcade and a big part of his training was focused towards playing online. HE continued by stating that playing Ranked Matches(an online mode where you gain and lose points based of win/loss) in good tournament practice based on the random players you can go against. Now, Ranked Matches are no joke. Everyone comes to play when you fight in these matches; everyone brings their A-game. Or, based on my experience, everyone picks Yun and uses dive kicks(lol). CCLive then discussed Latif's sponsor, Broken Tier(http://www.brokentier.com) and what it meant to be sponsored. Latif explained that you represent the name and the you need to perform for it. He also included the perks, which are basically having hotel rooms and flight paid for, along with the sponsor hyping yourself as a player. This is just awesome. I mean, I would love to play a game, get some perks and mad exposure for it. I said it before, it just sounds like the life. Before I continue to the final part, CCLive almost scared me for a second. About each 15 minutes, they state that they will take a short break. I freaked out. Commercials?? Really?! What the hell?! But then I saw that the commercials were based towards players and anything upcoming that involves the competitive gaming community. Which is totally bad ass! I mean, these guys are taking this shit to a whole other level. The presentation, the exposure, the discussion; this is starting to get big. Really big. It makes you want in SO BAD.

October 14th - 16th
To wrap up their debut show, Gootecks and Mike Ross shared some announcements. First off was the short trailer for the next major tournament, Season's Beatings. Season's Beatings will be held October 14th - 16th in Columbus, Ohio. I'm pretty excited and I'm going to TRY to write an article about the Finals like I did with EVO to make up for totally dropping the ball and missing GodsGarden. The dynamic duo then revealed that they will be hosting an event once again. Gootecks and Mike Ross did a few, Bar Fights and L.A. Riots(which can be found on their YouTube page). But this event has a good premise. Working with Beyond Gaming, they will hold online tournaments for the PC Version of SF. I think this is a great idea. They wanted to find players that maybe deserve their time in the spotlight. You can enter this online tourney at http://www.beyondgaming.com.

Overall, I think CCLive's first episode, ignoring the LAAAAAAAAAAAAG, was a success. I really liked the conversation with Latif and I hope they do that for every episode. I found Gootecks and Mike Ross HILARIOUS and very entertaining. I hold mad, mad, respect for them, taking a game I love, and trying to make it get as big as it can be. I look forward to these episodes and recommend it to anyone interested in competitive fighting games or if you are just a fighting game fan in general. In closing, I would like to note that I am not going to do a series of CCLive's episode recaps, I just felt I needed to write something after experiencing the insanity of their Pilot episode. By that I mean, LAAAAAG!

But keep it up Gootecks and Mike Ross. You are gods among men.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Geek Juice: Trailer Park #3


Check out Geek Juice's new Trailer Park.

CrossCounterLive Episode 1, Part 1



So, like many of you Street Fighter fans out there, I tuned in at 10 pm PST to check out Cross Counter Live. For those of you that don't know what Cross Counter is, it is an internet show starring Gootecks and Mike Ross who are very popular and skilled players at Street Fighter. They give their thoughts and inside scoops on fighting games. Also included are interviews with other players and recordings of them playing online and a lot more awesome stuff. As to much to all of our dismay, the stream for their first live episode had a major issue. LAG. They started up, played some music in the background, and every 5 seconds or so would be a cut out that lasted about 2 – 3 seconds. This went on for twenty minutes. The Mods for the chat that coincides with the stream assured everybody that they have been doing this forever and that this is the first time they have encountered this problem. The insanity that ensued in the chat was ridiculous. People rage typing that the stream was broken, random hate and failed jokes in the attempt to get some “LOLs.”

ComboFiend
After about 10 more minutes, they aired a small segment with an announcement from Combofiend, another famous and very skilled player, asking the viewers to voice their opinion on whether to continue this Live and just deal with the lag or to just record and play later. The decision was mainly to record and post later. After about 10 more minutes, they stated that they were going to do both. At this point, the 1080p for the stream was working fine with minimal lag. They started the show Gootecks and Mike Ross joking about the experience. It was pretty funny, I was laughing with them. Gootecks went into his excitement about Street Fighter 3 Online and they he got to play a little bit of it. According to him, it was really smooth with no slowed inputs. It then cut to Mike Ross about to talk about the upcoming Balance Changes for Super Street Fighter 4 when, guess what? The lag returned! I could not take it any more and am now waiting for them to post the episode.

Gootecks & Mike Ross
Now, this has got to suck but I trust it when they state that they never encountered this problem before. But still, it has to be a bummer. I've always had mixed feelings about Gootecks and Mike Ross(not the show in general, just their segments when they play online) but I respect them a lot. I really like Gootecks because, win or lose, he is always laughing his ass off and having a good time. Mike Ross can tend to get salty at times, but that's just who he is. But my favorite videos that they have is where other players come on and play. For example, they have segment called "The Excellent Adventures" and two of their episodes had FlashMetroid and Poongko playing as RANDOM characters online(I should mention that both FlashMetroid and Poongko were in the Grand Finals at EVO). They are doing some great things with just video games and it is awesome. Can you imagine just getting paid to play, comment and discuss video games? That sounds like the life to me.

So until they get the video up, enjoy these links to the CrossCounterTV and CrossCounterLive YouTube Pages:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Review: Iron Man: The Animated Series Episode 3




Iron Man the Animated Series, Episode 3: “Data In Chaos Out.” We been with a news story about satellites being stolen and reprogrammed. All the defense networks on Earth have stopped and the stock market has crashed. We even see people throwing riots at banks across the world. An interesting way to start an episode. Of course, Mandarin and MODOK are behind this evil scheme. They are reprogramming the satellites to control all information and finances. Now this is some evil stuff. I like how the episode just jumps into random chaos. It's great until this happens:

ELF
What the hell is that? Talk about a scene from Total Recall. The little MODOK clone is “ELF” short for “Extraterrestrial Life Form.” Ugh, weak sauce. So the little Kuato rip off is dispatched to find James Rhodes, and instead of the epic “Quuuuaid” we get the little shit repeating, “I serve! I serve! I serve!” You serve to piss me off you little piece of FUCK! This thing is so god damn annoying. Little high pitched voice screeching “I serve!” Total garbage.

Use the Force, Tony
We cut to Iron Man working in a computer simulated environment. He's testing to see if his suit can with stand the mining of Xenebrium, an element that is extremely strong. Rhodey enters the scene, freaking out like usual, that Iron Man should not do tests alone. The simulation starts to get hairy and Iron Man says “Time to get the iron shell out of here.” -sigh- I'm not even going to start with this one. Jim checks to see if Tony is – Hmm...wait a minute. I'm only noticing this now but, James Rhodes' voice sounds awfully familiar...

Hmm, makes sense when you compare side by side
Yep. It's James Avery, the dad from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Which is awesome. Seriously, I like the Fresh Prince. Cut to the – WHAAAAAAAA? Bill Clinton is in this show?! What the fuck? I wasn't expecting that! I mean, I just thought this show would use a generic President, not an ACTUAL one(NOTE: It is not the REAL Bill Clinton do the voice). Any way, our former U.S. President is questioning Tony about the current crisis and wants proof and assurance that Stark is not the cause of this. Yes, because the main hero of the show is going to be the bad guy. Jesus, moving on. Our little buddy ELF makes his way into Jim's, uh, fish tank. Hmm, ok. And floats around until Rhodes has his back turned. He then infiltrates his mind and tricks him into believing that Tony is the one really reprogramming the satellites. Cut to Tony and Julia checking on...YAWN...a satellite...to....see...what...the......zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Why is this episode so FUCKING BORING? Seriously, all this talk about satellites, simulations, almost this whole episode is just people standing in front of computers hitting buttons. There's no action and we are half way through. Just puts my ass to sleep.

"Where the bitches at, Tony?"
So Jim arrests Tony because he was brainwashed that he was guilty leaving the ELF controlled War Machine in charge of Stark's assets. Then, Justin Hammer capitalizes on Stark being locked up to promise the American people that he will not betray them. Then he is never seen in the episode again. What a waste of 30 seconds. Julia bails Tony out and they head somewhere. And there's a satellite there. Wait, what the fuck? He gets bailed out and then goes to some unnamed location where there's a satellite? Fuck it. Whatever. There are way too many moments like this in the show, you just have to try to let go of some of them. Stark's plan is to send a satellite in space and hide in it knowing that Mandarin will pick him up in their space ship. Our villains take the bait, and Iron Man faces of against Mandarin and MODOK. We start the ONLY battle in this episode with Iron Man tossing MODOK out of the way forcing him to call ELF for help. Now Iron Man is stuck in a laser battle with Mandarin. Holy shit this is fucking boring. I never thought a hero/villain crash could be so LAME. It's just cuts to close ups, with their hands sticking out and lasers shooting. ARGH! Marvel! You disgrace IRON MAN!!! Combat continues when Mandarin has Iron Man pinned to the wall, disabling him leaving him defense and open to the slaughter. AGAIN. And what does Mandarin do? Talk and laugh. He does not kill. He stands there and laughs. FACEPALM. AGAIN. But Mandarin is alerted to War Machine and company crashing through since MODOK's little ELF is a DUMBASS and when he summoned War Machine, Rhodes brought EVERYONE with him. How stupid can you be? FUCK! Mandarin panics and tries his killing attack against Iron Man....a floating green skull that shakes his head like he wants to give a ghostly blow job!

Look at those DSLs
Dear god, lets speed this up. Iron Man helps War Machine get rid of ELF, good guys fight bad guys. Good guys knock around bad guys. Then the show delivers another “dynamite” line of epic dialogue. The Scarlet Witch knocks down some robots and says, “I love dominoes, my cupcake!” My cupcake? What the F – No, no. Moving on. Enemies escape, set their ship to self destruct, good guys escape, blah, blah, blah. Fucking hell! This episode was so boring. NOTHING about it was entertaining in any sense. There wasn't even anything campy to laugh at. Episode 3 is straight up nonsense and boring as hell. The worst one yet.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Review: .hack//Quarantine



.hack//Quarantine
Developed by: CyberConnect2
Published by: Bandai Games
US Release Date: January 4th, 2004
Platform: Playstation 2

Intro

.hack//Quarantine is the fourth and final installment of the .hack game series. This review will cover Part 4 and should give a good general cover of all information for all 4 games. Also, this will be the last time I review something with this current format. I actually started these .hack reviews just to post on a Forum to see if I could get any feedback. I used the Forum's format and not my own which is why it's more of a generalization without spoilers. But since I did the first 3 games using it, I will use it a final time for the last .hack review. Also, I will not have the “Cast” section in this review. You do not get any new characters and I'm sure my views have been expressed on how I feel about them. And normally there is a “Replay Value” section which I cut and will be placed in the “Closing Thoughts” section.

Story

Quarantine begins with a meeting to figure out how to stop the Cursed Wave from destroying The World and to prevent everything being thrown into chaos. Kite, BlackRose, Helba, Lios, Wiseman, and Balmung gather in the new Omega Server, which is a hacked server created by Helba. Their final option is to manipulate the data of The Wave and develop a vaccine to stop it. Kite must travel to certain sections of The World to measure data fluctuations to determine how to create the vaccine. All of Kite's friends must gather together along with the help of Aura to prevent the Wave and defeat the darkness infecting The World. But as Kite finds out, his bracelet is linked with the monstrous foe, Cubia, and enemy that shares the same fate as the Twilight Bracelet and was created at the same time when Kite received the bracelet. Also, several blackouts are occurring all across the earth including the hospital where Kite's friend Orca is being held. The Wave, Cubia and The World's infection must be halted and beaten if our heroes are to save the lives of all the coma victims and prevent a global shutdown.

Wiseman feels the power of Optimism
My Thoughts: Story

Where Outbreak took that step forward with story, Quarantine takes the same step backwards. Apparently the massive story injection from Outbreak was all the background and development offered. So when playing this game, I'm expected to now care about everyone? BULLSHIT. I don't give a smooth fart about any of these characters. How can I? Only one game delivers with any information about ANYTHING. I'm supposed to go off of that?? Fuck that. The idea for Quarantine is simple. Do tedious tasks and beat the bosses. YAWN! This game bored me. The twists they try to throw at you are totally lame, especially IF YOU DON'T GIVE A SHIT. I know I'm going on about this but seriously. Maybe I would be interested in plot twists and turns if I had more story to go off of instead of the sneeze of garbage that was given to me. I mean, this game is literally like 15% story, 85% gameplay. There's no balance. Now I didn't mention Cubia in the last review because his purpose wasn't explained and I knew it would be in this game. And it is FUCKING stupid. “Cubia exists because the bracelet does. They are two sides of the same coin.” So let me get this straight. This is just some monster roaming around for no reason. Seriously, it doesn't explain what it does or what its purpose is. It is just there because the bracelet is. My ankle has never twisted so hard for it is stuck in this plothole.

Cubia
This is a poor close to a game that started(back with Infection) with some promise. It's too focused in the actual game. I want to see what happens in the actual world that's not in the bullshit Anime DVD. I want to see the consequences and hardships that are happening. I can't honestly believe, that some 8th grade kid is having this dramatic crisis in a video game and then has a normal life outside of it. But we will never know. Oh, and the ending is pretty basic. Beat the last boss and everything is fixed. Yay! WAIT. Hold the phone. Here is the dialogue that ends the game. Lios says, “Is it all over?” then Kite replies with, “No. It's just begun.” What the FUCK does that mean? I mean, in this game the talk about rebirth and things need to die to be reborn, but the way the game ends with THIS, makes it seem like it isn't over. This is HORRIBLE dialogue to end a game. Be ashamed of yourself game, BE ASHAMED!

Gameplay Updated

Exploration: Quarantine is setup as an MMORPG. There are towns, or known in The World as "Root Towns"(the area you go to Save the game, Buy/Sell/Store Items, etc). Root Towns change based on what "Server" you are in. There are 5 Servers in all and Quarantine allows access to 5 of them(all of them).

Word List from the Chaos Gate
Here you can access the "Chaos Gates." Chaos Gates are the device in which the player uses to enter a Field(the level you will battle through). They are compiled of a 3 word system. One word decides the difficulty and monster population, one decides the Element(Fire, Water, Thunder, Earth, Light, or Dark) and the other decides the Special Attributes(anything extra in a Field) that the Field will contain. Example, if you are in the Theta Server, then the area would look something like this: Theta - Capricious Unending Corridor. A Word List is also added to keep track of the places you've been and witch areas that are given to you. Quest areas will be marked with a check next to it. Also in the Root Towns, you can interact with various NPCs. By talking to the NPCs, you will get a little dialogue and have the ability to Trade items with them. Fields contain locations known as Dungeons. Each Dungeon holds either Treasure or Bosses.

Gate Hacking: Through out the game, some areas you attempt to enter will be "Protected." Items called "Virus Cores" must be used in order to access these areas. In order to get Virus Cores, you must use Data Drain on enemies. Once the correct amount of Virus Cores are collected, the areas are accessible.

Combat: Quarantine uses a basic system. A character locks on to a target enemy by adjusting the camera angle and getting in close enough proximity. Actions that can be used are Basic Attacks with weapons, Magic, Item selection, or the use of Data Drain(Kite's ability to change the Data of an enemy and transform them into items). Data Drain can be used whenever an enemy is hit enough times(this will be displayed by the words "Protect Break"). Be cautious; if Data Drain is used enough times it can lead to Death.

Data Drain
Quarantine also uses a command for party control. For example, you can select a command to have the entire party use Skills or to Heal. Each character also has its own command control so you can have one character Attack and the other cast Magic. Magic includes Elemental attacks, Heal spells and Buff and Nerf abilities.

Experience and Levels: Quarantine is based on the common RPG leveling system. A player gains levels that increase Stats(Strength, Defense, etc.) by defeating enemies and gaining EXP(Experience Points). Every level is increased by earning 1,000 EXP. Quarantine has a system developed that presets the amount of experience earned based on the character's Level. For example, if your difference in Level compared to the monster is 10 levels higher, then you will earn minimum EXP for defeating that monster. If the difference in your Level compared to the monster is 10 levels lower, then you will earn more EXP.

Stats & Equipment: Quarantine uses the typical stat system you find in most RPGs. You have a stat for Physical Attack, Defense, Physical Accuracy, Magic Attack, Magic Defense, and Magic Accuracy. Also, there is stat to determine your tolerance for the Elements. Characters have Hit Point(HP) which is a measure of health, and SP(Spirit Points) which is a measure of magic use(same as MP). The higher the stat, the better the attack, defense, accuracy, or tolerance characters have in the game. Stats are increased(or decreased) by equipment. Each character can equip a weapon, helmet, armor, glove, and boot. There are also items in the game that will permanently increase your stats. HP and SP are increased based on Level increase.

Desktop: Quarantine features the use of a Desktop. On the Desktop, you can play The World, check e-mails that characters in the game will send you, check News stories detailing random events in the real world, change your background image and music, and save your Game Data. When The World is accessed, you have the choice of either Logging In or checking the "Board." The Board is a Forum in the game that gives hints and details about gameplay, leads you to new areas to explore and discusses random topics. Most of Kite's monologues are showcased while using the Desktop.

FMD Goggles: (FMD = Face Mounted Display)The characters playing in The World, use a headset when they play. It allows them to view everything in a 3D Field and talk to other players in The World. The goggles are attached to a controller which is used to play.

My Thoughts: Gameplay

Thank GOD it is fucking easier than Outbreak. Yes, this game starts off more balanced then Part 3. When I went into my first combat in this game, I didn't cuss at my TV. Enemies were challenging and manageable at the same time. This made combat more involving and more suspenseful then just monsters straight up raping you right our of the gate. So the combat, excellent, the best balance and challenge out of all 4 games. But then there comes one DREADFUL part. Virus Core collecting. There is a part before the end of the game where you need to travel to 4 locations to collect specific Virus Cores to get to the last area. Now collecting those Virus Cores weren't annoying, it was collecting the Virus Cores to access each of the four areas that made me want to shoot myself. See, each server has monsters and each carry virus cores when you Data Drain them. The monsters are categorized by size, small, medium and large(EX: small holds Virus Core A, medium B and large C; letters change depending on server. So I went to the first gate and was missing 3 J cores and 3 G cores. So I had to go to their respected servers and Data Drain monsters. WHICH WAS A PAIN IN THE ASS AND MADE THIS THE WORSE EXPERIENCE OUT OF ALL 4 GAMES. No joke. It was annoying. I was always missing Virus Cores for each area. So I had to go back and get and find the right sized monster to fight, OVER AND OVER. And if I was fucking lucky would a monster turn into a Virus Core. Most of the time they turned into USELESS FUCKING ITEMS. Do you want to know how long it took me to get these Virus Cores and beat the 4 areas? FIVE AND A HALF MOTHER FUCKING HOURS. It was grueling as all hell and made me never want to play this game again.

Graphics

Cutscene Example
The graphics are the exact same from Outbreak. Everything looks infected, nothing looks good any more. Even the new Root Town looks like shit staked on shit because it is supposed to be a “Hacker Server.” Oh my, goodie! There were a lot more cinemas in this game, particularly at the end. But even some of the in game cutscenes at the end had the same issue like in all the games. Talking with no mouths moving. I mean, come on. It's the finally game. Why not make the ending one large cutscene? Instead it is sliced between cinema and in game. Totally horrible. It makes it seem like the people designing it were just fucking lazy. Plus, this game series has stretched out from 2003 – 2004. You would think SOME improvements might have been made. But no. It's just cut and paste from Outbreak.

Sound & Music

I am actually rejoicing in means of Sound in this game. Why? Because unless you actually have here in your party, TERAJIMA RYOKO DOES NOT TALK IN THIS ENTIRE GAME! Thank the fucking Gods! She doesn't even have a quest, it was marvelous. As for everything else, guess what? Exactly the same. Nothing new, just the same shit, just like the Graphics. BORING.

Bonus Features Updated

Grunties: The animal and vehicle in Quarantine. They appear to be a mix between a Cow and a Pig. You raise them by collecting "Grunty Food." Grunty Food are found in Fields and Dungeons. Each one you collect will alter the raising cycle of a Grunty. There are various types of Grunty Food and determining on what type of area you are in will decide what type of Grunty Food will appear. When a Grunty is fully raised, you will have the ability to summon them when you are in Fields. They provide for faster travel. If you continue to raise Grunties, they will become NPCs in Root Towns and you can Trade Items with them. You can raise different types of Grunties. When you are on the Field, you can summon a Grunty and have it lead you to Magic Portals, Grunty food or the Dungeon.

Grunty Racing: So I need to make a correction to some previous statements. I thought there was no Grunty Racing until this game. I WAS WRONG. You can actually start Grunt Racing in Mutation. Here is where I got confused. In Mutation, when you get the e-mail, it says, “You can start Grunty Racing once you raise each Grunty in each server.” Now, I took that as ALL the Grunties MUST be raised in order to play Grunty Racing. I did not take it as, “Once you raise all the Grunties IN A SERVER, you can then play.” THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN WORDED. So I'm sorry that I made a mistake regarding this part of the game but it should have been FUCKING CLEARER. So when I FINALLY played it, was it worth the WAIT? Yes and no. Yes, because you get items that boost your Max HP and SP and No because the game gets boring after the first 5 races.

Desktop Image won from Grunty Racing
Grunty Racing is a Flag Race. Once you raise all the Grunties IN A SERVER, you can choose one to race around the server collecting 3 flags as fast as possible. It is ranked on a 1st to 3rd place ranking system each giving prizes for based on time. If you get 1st place in each server, then you receive a bonus prize.

Sidequests: The sidequests that Quarantine provide are character based. They are optional and only have the goal of adding a new Party Member to your roster. To obtain the characters, you have to fetch the item that they desire from a location. When a character is recruited, you will be able to accompany them in future quests as the story progresses. These sidequests will result in obtaining special items or equipment. Also, some side quests involve investigating areas to find items or to received items from NPCs in the game.

Images/BGM/Movies: Throughout Quarantine, you have the ability to unlock more Images, BGM and Movies that can viewed from your Desktop.

Ryu Books: There are 8 Ryu Books in Quarantine(Outbreak, Mutation, Infection). They are obtained by using Data Drain a specific amount of times. These books are Key items that collect data, more specifically, the number of times you perform a certain act(ex: Enemies found, trades made, portals opened, levels completed, etc). You can use these Books in Root Towns. By using them, you can unlock Images, BGM and Movies that can be viewed on your Desktop.

E-Mails: Throughout Quarantine, you can communicate with any character you recruited via E-mail on your Desktop. You can reply with three pre-determined messages. You are given three selections: two are replies, based on your feelings on the topic, and the other is No Reply.

Liminality: A Bonus Anime DVD that tells the dramatic conclusion of the four part Anime show(more at the end). Bonus Areas can be found by exploring the Liminality DVD and by watching it.

Continual Play: After you beat Quarantine, you can continue to play and explore the game. Bonus areas are also unlocked upon completing the game. And in Quarantine, special characters are made available upon completion.

My Thoughts: Bonus Features

I was actually shocked that there is continual play after beating this game. After the game is complete, everything is back to normal and free to go any where and do anything. But why? Take my advice, just turn it off when you beat it. Don't do the extra mission, just shut it off. Why? The .hack games are based on the MMORPG format that's simulated. So when you beat the game, it is actually like an MMORPG. You're free just to go around and do anything. Which is great when your are playing a REAL MMORPG, not so great when it is a simulated one. What am I supposed to do? Read the same dialogue and NPC says over and over? Why would anyone fucking do that? They should have just ended the game with no continual play. And then you can save a Data Flag? What, am I going to transfer it to .hack//GU? I played the first GU game. I don't remember transferring data. What the FUCK is the point? Were the developers SO LAZY that they just cut and pasted from the last game? The only plus side to the Bonuses in this game are the new Images you can get. They are more detailed and some look pretty sweet. Aside from that, pretty much the same stuff.

Closing Thoughts

I'm going to be blunt about Quarantine and then just go into the full series. I will never play Quarantine again just for the retard Virus Core collection. FUCK THAT. With that said, the 4 part .hack games overall are actually disappointing. I felt the series started out so great. I liked the premise, the gameplay, the whole idea when playing Infection. But now that I'm at the end of it, this game totally lacked improvements that could have been incorporated with each installment of the game. Better graphics, different places and objects to look at, etc. And the story is just such BULLSHIT. If there is some gigantic, world shattering phenomenon happening WITH A VIDEO GAME, then just pull the plug on the whole thing, wipe out as many hard drives that you have to, and just be done with. “But wait! What about the coma victims?!” Fuck'em. It would be a sacrifice of the few to protect the lives of the many. And I am still not buying Kite in these games. What kind of KID would take on that responsibility? Don't want to be in a coma? STOP PLAYING THE FUCKING GAME. I just want you to imagine this. Kite goes through all this drama, all this hardship, while sitting with a fucking headset, probably in his room, yelling and screaming nonsense. What do think his parents heard when they walked by his room? “I must save Orca and The World! All the people are in comas because of this game I'm playing right now! My own life is at great risk!” Wouldn't you freak the fuck out if you were a parent hearing this? What the fuck is the matter with these people outside the game?? Because of stuff like this, makes this game totally bogus and too unrealistic. I know most games are like that, but you are playing a player that is playing a game. He has his OWN WORLD outside of the game he is playing. So what the fuck is the deal with people? Does Kite have parents? Do they give two shits? We would probably know if you got some insight to Kite and his surroundings outside the game. Shit, even that Mega Man Battle Network game for the GBA shows what happens inside the network and the outside world. If a shitty game like that was able to do it, then so can .hack. I will never play these games again. I have now beaten them twice and that is good enough for me.

What the FUCK does that MEAN?!
.hack//Liminality Part 4: Trismegistus

"We helped too!"
In the final Anime DVD, we have all the girls from the first 3, Mai Minase, Yuki Aihara and Kyoko Tohno. Teamed up with Junichiro Tokuoka and Ichiro Sato(Helba's contact), they all must break into a CC Corp HQ and steal enough information to take CC Corp to court. Also, they must hack into all systems and rout them to Helba in order to put an end to all the drama once and for all.

My Thoughts: Liminality

This is garbage. It makes no sense. There's not much explained and when it is, it doesn't really translate well back to the game. It's like, they are supposed to be in unison, but they don't feel that way. Basically they break in, fight some security and get home in time for Corn Flakes. Totally lame and the whole DVD thing with the .hack games is just a waste.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Review: Iron Man: The Animated Series Episode 2



Iron Man the Animated Series, Episode 2: “Rejoice! I Am Ultimo Thy Deliverer.” It starts out with Mandarin guiding a tanker through a thunderstorm. He pulls into a hidden base on an island where he meets MODOK and Justin Hammer, a wealthy weapons developer. The ship opens and inside contains the robotic alien behemoth, Ultimo. Or as far as it appears, Seth from Street Fighter 4.

Seth & Ultimo
Mandarin attempts to awaken Ultimo using his magic rings, which is pretty much the totality of Mandarin's powers. It has no effect and MODOK and Hammer cry about all the time and money they wasted. Oh, and MODOK is finally addressed by his NAME in this episode. In Episode 1, it was not mentioned. I just happened to know who he was. Hammer settles for making Ultimo scrap metal and sends some robots to dice up the phenom. But antagonizing the monster makes it become aware as this huge, metal, silver giant puts quick work to the robots using its...nose lasers. Yes, Ultimo is attacking with purple lasers from its nostrils. Then the thing speaks. “Rejoice! I Am Ultimo Thy Deliverer!” I had to pause and laugh. Ultimo's speaking is a combination of three voice overs: the Budweiser frog, random emotionless voice actor #27 and Bender from Futurama. And that's all Ultimo says. The same line over and over. I keep waiting to hear, “I am Bender, please insert girder.” Mandarin attempts to halt Ultimo by shooting his own arsenal of lasers...which Ultimo just opens his mouth and eats the lasers. Wow. Ultimo then blasts a hole to outside and continues to stomp away

We then cut to Tony and Rhodey at a party, and based on the random Spanish that made me check my fucking language audio, I'm left to assume they are in Mexico? James pulls Stark aside and shows him footage of Ultimo stomping through Baja, California. Tony notices a cloud following Ultimo which he reveals as Mandarin's, get this, “Sky Saucer.” LAME! Tony suits up and leaves James to make small talk with the party. What does Rhodes say? “How bout them Cowboys?”

STOP.
FUCK THE COWBOYS!
CONTINUE.

Mandarin and MODOK catch up to Ultimo and plan to take control of it by using what appears to be a gigantic digital watch. Apparently, this 70 foot monstrosity has a weakness for a nice Rolex. Iron Man appears and engages Ultimo and gets his Iron'd ass kicked. Bitch slapped, viced and crushed to the ground, Ultimo lifts his megaton foot to crush our hero...Mandarin makes him stop and has Ultimo put him in the Sky Saucer? What the FUCK?! This show is only on the second episode, another gigantic enemy has Iron Man beat, and Mandarin REFUSES to Iron Man killed. WORST. VILLAIN. EVER!!

"This will look good with his nostril lasers."
Cut to Iron Man's HQ while Rhodes and the gang watch a news update of Ultimo heading towards “Dark Enterprises.” Um, Dark Enterprises...ok? James then states that if Ultimo destroys the armory there that it could blast a hole in the Earth destroying everything. Which I fucking doubt he's going to do. Mandarin is controlling it. Why would he destroy the world? That makes no sense. James gears up into War Machine, whose mouth got fixed in this episodes(YAY!) and takes off with his clan. And Hawkeye flies out on his rocket powered motorcycle. Which is totally...bad ass.

Awesome!
Back to the Sky Saucer where Mandarin is torturing Iron Man. Mandarin claims that he find out the secrets to Iron Man and he will find out who he is.......WHAT?! Iron Man's identity is SECRET in this show?! That is total bullshit! One of the unique aspects of Tony Stark is that he is totally open about his identity of being Iron Man! This is RUINING one of the most important staples of Tony Stark. HE IS IRON MAN! Marvel, how can you fuck up your own character?! So, War Machine and friends attack Ultimo. He blasts of the control Rolex device and Ultimo wanders off. Our villains catch wind of this and decide to abandon Iron Man to follow Ultimo. How does Mandarin do this? By blasting the ground where Iron Man is laying and just leaving him there. FACEPALM. Why do bad guys just leave their opponents assuming their dead? Seriously, Mandarin should be casted as the next Bond villain. Century finds Iron Man and heals him causing him to fall unconscious. Iron Man scoops up his ally and takes him back to base.

Iron Man and company figure out that Ultimo must have an “ON/OFF switch” and need to find a way to shut it down. Tony tells War Machine and the others to stall Ultimo while him and the Scarlet Witch – HALT! What the fuck now? The Scarlet Witch? Back in episode one I discussed how some random hero morphed into a zombie and beat another zombie with a club. Apparently she was the Scarlet Witch? I don't remember the daughter of Magneto looking like a butch Russian swimmer. So to recap, here is Iron Man's gang: War Machine, Hawkeye, Century, the Scarlet Witch, and Spider-Woman.

Scarlet Witch
We get back to Ultimo's rerunned “Rejoice!” rampage where it reaches its destination. It then proceeds to tap into the Earth's core to draw out the planet's energy which can crumble the world. Our heroes arrive and Century tosses his battle axe. That bounces off Ultimo and into his hand. He then proclaims, “His power is limitless!” Because when some weapon dinks off of metal giant that is obviously far superior to mere bladed axe, it's power MUST be limitless. SHUT THE FUCK UP, CENTURY! While the fight happens, Tony discovers that Ultimo's power must be in another dimension. The Scarlet Witch uses her “Hex” powers to crack the mystery. She then begins her chant: “Shalalalala, lalalala.” What? Then she begins to purr. Yes, the epic combo of “Shalalas” and purring will crack all the secrets of the universe. She finds the opening to the other dimension and Tony constructs a weapon to fire into it, destroying Ultimo's core. Iron Man arrives at the battle, gives Hawkeye the weapon and asks War Machine to run a distraction with him. But War Machine is sad. He feels he would be a bad partner since he couldn't stop Ultimo before. GOD DAMMIT! Why is War Machine so FUCKING emo?! He bitches through out the whole episode that he's not good enough to help Iron Man. Thanks for pussyfying an awesome character, Marvel!

War Machine cry
Iron Man reassures War Machine that he would want anyone else to help him with this task. Distraction is run, Hawkeye fires and Ultimo is down. Mandarin escapes claiming victory another day, yada yada yada, end of episode. Now, I did enjoy this episode more than the first. At least I got all of Iron Man's friends down, which should have been obvious in THE FIRST EPISODE. My synopsis so far is that Mandarin is a shitty and absolutely RETARDED villain. But it is only the second episode. I'm sure him and MODOK have plenty of opportunities to kill Iron Man to FUCK UP.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Review: Iron Man: The Animated Series Episode 1



Did anyone else know that there was an Iron Man Animated Series? I had no clue until I was browsing Netflix and saw it. Apparently, somehow, without me knowing, Marvel had what was called the “Marvel Action Hour” which started back in 1994. It was an hour log block of two Marvel Animated Series, Iron Man and the Fantastic Four, that aired on Fox. It lasted only two seasons before it was canceled. Which doesn't give me too much confidence going in. So. there was a Fantastic Four Animated Series I didn't know about either?? What the hell? Hmm. I remember Spider-Man and X-Men. I don't know how I could have missed this. Damn the short attention span of youth! Now, I'm not really a big fan of the F4, so I'm going to review each episode of the Iron Man Animated Series. Lets start with Episode 1: “And the Sea Shall Give Up its Dead.” Well, that sounds pretty cool.

Stan Lee
The intro to show begins with Stan Lee giving a quick preview to the episode. For the Marvel Action Hour, Stan Lee does a preview for all of the episodes. Which is awesome! I mean, the most famous face in comics creation intros every show. Then we get to actual title sequence for the show. It's your standard cartoon intro with random clips. But what makes it feel weird, is the intro music. Remember the Spider-Man and X-Men song intros? They were badass, I mean, really badass. Iron Man's theme sounds like knock off Tetris music played from an organ. It sounds very Russian which does not mix well with an American comic icon like Iron Man. Why not make it awesome like the X-Men theme? There's not even any lyrics. And during my confusion, they start showing images of the characters in the show with their names. So I guess character development is out of the question, here's their name and what they look like, suck it down. It's really lame and I already have a bad feeling about the show.

After the head scratching intro, we open up to a military base where two officers are noticing something weird about a Russian submarine out in water. Then cut to the sub. Two sailors open a door to the sub to find, and I quote from the show, “Woman!” Yes, the sailor screams “Woman!” The Woman! Is Hypnotia, a villain working for Mandarin, the main villain in this episode. She then laughs and sparkles really bad colors and freezes the sailors in their tracks. Hypnotia covers a glass cube filled with, what looks to be green Play-doh, and says that they will be ready for the Mandarin in one year. She then blows a hole in the side of the ship and leaves but not without saying her farewell: “Hasta la vista, Boris, sorry to hypnotize and run.” Wow. Real catchy there genius.

We then cut to crotches in water moving. What the fuck?! And then grunting sounds are heard from a male and female. Well, this is great for kids now isn't it? Apparently it is Tony Stark(Iron Man) doing some workouts with a therapist. They start to do an exercise where the therapists grabs Tony's torso from behind, and Tony starts to...kick his feet up and out of the water like an infant? She screams “Do it harder!” and he continues to throw a tantrum with his legs, from what it seems. What is the point of this? Why does Stark need physical therapy? I don't know, it's not FUCKING explained. We then see James Rhodes(War Machine) come in to get Tony to an appointment. Cut to them walking in a hallway and a gigantic tornado appears crashing through. The therapist screams, “What is that?” and Tony replies, “It's a code 10 alarm!” Well, call me crazy but, IT LOOKS LIKE A GOD DAMN TORNADO TO ME. The tornado appears to be the villain Whirlwind, another henchman of Mandarin, breaking into Stark's HQ and stealing a chip from a computer. Another crony, Dreadknight appears, and escapes with Whirlwind with Tony and Rhodes watching them fly away. Then it is cut to Whirlwind giving the chip to Mandarin. WAIT A MINUTE. So, some villain can just crash through, steal Iron Man's stuff, and then just report back to home base without any problem? I guess this is what the Skrulls should have done during Secret Invasion. Just make a tornado, wreck through Tony Stark's house, and take his shit. Mandarin, who sounds like a low volumed Yoda that desperately needs a cough drop, then proclaims no one will get in his way of “Wooooooorld domination!”

One year later – What? I'm six minutes into the first episode and it's already skipping ahead one year? Uh, sure, why the fuck not. Hopefully this year will be better. Tony is contacted by some random military guy to investigate the Prometheus Sub and find out where it is. Any ship that has gone near the sub has been...melted into, what appears to be, green pudding and disperses in the sea. Hmm, I guess EXPLOSIONS are just too cool for this show. During the mission briefing, we show a woman pushing a baby stroller attached to an electric balloon listening in on the conversation. The woman is Hypnotia, in disguise, and in the stroller, I shit you not, is MODOK. A head with arms and legs, not in disguise. So are the people walking by just assuming that all babies look like fucking MODOK? No one stops and yells, “What the fuck is that freak show in your stroller, lady?” No. I guess in the Marvel universe, babies are butt fuck ugly. 

What woman would breast feed this?
We then cut to Mandarin summoning his henchmen. He is not happy with one, Blizzard, and drops him down a bottomless pit, for, get this, spilling his drink on his flowers. But he spares Blizzard giving him the grueling and torturing punishment OF...fertilizing Mandarin's flowers...Uh oh guys, look out for this “ruthless” Super Villain. We cut back to Tony who is getting suited up in Iron Man. You get a little Voltron montage of each piece fitting to him, then – wait a minute, what the hell? It cuts to 3D?! Parts of his suit up montage is in 3D. And really shitty 3D, but I guess not bad for 1994. It cuts back to regular animation then he takes off...in 3D. So this whole sequence cuts back and forth. I'm starting to get a thought. Why not make the whole show in 3D? Obviously you can do it. Oh, but I guess Iron Man's pose and lift off are the important parts of the show. Seriously, he lifts off through a tunnel in 3D then when he flies out, it is back to cartoon animation. What a waste of effect.

Iron Man in 3D
Iron Man approach to his destination is prepped and he sends out little cameras so his crew back home can help monitor. Monitoring are James Rhodes, and, um, some chick in a black costume that wasn't introduced, and, Hawkeye? Where the fuck did he come from? So am I now to assume that they are at The Avengers' Building? Listen TV Show, you can't just throw people in with no explanation and expect me to accept it. What were they thinking? Hawkeye then turns on a TV to a new tunnel opening. Which is obvious foreshadowing. Then cut back to Iron Man diving into the water, searching for the sub when Mandarin's cronies attack. Rhodes sees that Iron Man needs help and quickly suits up into War Machine. I know that it's War Machine, because as soon as he was ready, he flexed his biceps up, yelled, “War Machine” while the background turned white and a loud clash of thunder blared through my speakers. Then cut to – Hold on, stop for a second. I just have to mention that this show's editing is god awful. It just watched my TV scream “War Machine!” and before Rhodes could even finish saying it, we are cut to the next scene. What the hell, Marvel? So back to the fight under water, Iron Man is getting straight up owned. Then back up arrives – WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?! Who are all these people?! Now there's a guy named Century, that teleported them there with his staff? Where the fuck did he come from? Why is he there?! Tell me TV Show! Tell me!!! Mandarin then summons the dragon Fing Fang Foom to help in the battle. The dragon reigns fire on Iron Man witch fucks with his suit and he begins to sink. War Machine then proclaims that they must help Iron Man. A quick side track, every time War Machine talks, his mouth in animated. It moves. The metal mask moves when he talks. Iron Man's doesn't. Did someone not notice this? Then cut to – OH COME ON!! Another shitty edit and cut to?? We go from Iron Man in trouble to Tony in a bed back at his HQ?! WTF?!?! No shots of him being saved. Crap. Straight crap. So Mandarin summons his “Zombies” from the sub that have spent a year getting ready. Zombies, right. More like cheap Scooby Doo villains. Remember the Tar Monster? That's what they look like.

Scooby Doo's Tar Monster
So Iron Man and his friends suit up and take action. And I mean shit action. The action sequences fighting the zombies are awful. It's the same cuts replayed over and over. Iron Man shoots lasers, then zombies fall to, Hawkeye and Century punching zombies, to Iron Man shoots lasers, then zombies fall. Over and over for about three minutes. And, oh no. What's this? Another FUCKING character that is just with them, out of nowhere, no explanation whatsoever. So foreign chick that can copy the appearance of someone and changes herself into one of the zombies. Then hits them with a big club. Here's a thought, WHY DID YOU HAVE TO MAKE YOURSELF LOOK LIKE A ZOMBIE IN THE FIRST PLACE? And back to the heroes that come out of nowhere. Don't think the villains don't do the same thing. Just like Fing Fang Foom, MODOK has called upon Titanium Man who shows up and starts pounding on Iron Man. So we have a cluster fuck of characters with no knowledge of who they are and what they are doing. But Iron Man and War Machine make quick work of the new foe. How? They trip him to the ground, then using the earth below them, roll him up like a carpet, and toss him into space. Wow. I never knew the ground could be rolled up like a carpet. And then chucked into space? Jesus! Whatever happened to a hero not sentencing people to the black abyss of space?

So the bad guys are defeated and the sailors recover. The episode then ends with Iron Man flying away with Mandarin screaming “I'll be back!” Well that doesn't make any fucking sense. Mandarin wasn't even there at the fight. What the hell is the point of screaming something like that unless they are around to fucking hear it?? And why, the, FUCK, would you show Iron Man flying away with that stupid voice over playing?? That's like if I was leaving home and just screamed “I'll be back!” to my girlfriend that's 5 miles across town leaving the store. It makes no fucking sense, does it?

Dreadknight: "WTF? This show blows!"
I did not prep myself up for a big downfall on this one. I always liked the Spider-Man and X-Men cartoons and I really like the Iron Man comics. Then I saw the Animated Series for Iron Man and really set my hopes up just so they can be crushed into oblivion. As far as the animation goes, it's good, except for War Machine's mouth and 3D fucktage. It's about the same as the other Marvel cartoons. The voice acting isn't terrible, except for Mandarin's. But if they could have just not thrown so much at you for the FIRST EPISODE, it could have been a lot better. Well hopefully the episodes in the future can make up for such a shitty start.