Monday, July 9, 2018

Dragon Ball Super: Broly (He's Back!!!!)

Broly is back and as ridiculous as this is, I AM HYPED!


Let's be honest.  Dragon Ball Super has a lot of flaws and so do the Broly movies, but oh my goodness are they fun as hell (and about as dumb as dumb can get most of the time).  It was just revealed today that the first ever Dragon Ball Super movie, with its sparkling new art and animation via the design direction of Naohiro Shintani, will be featuring Broly in a lead role.  Hell, the movie's title was literally revealed as Dragon Ball Super: Broly.  And this means a lot of things to a lot of people because Broly is a polarizing character in the Dragon Ball community.

First let's address the elephant in the room.  Broly wasn't a very good character and as time went on, the mystique, fun, and wow factor of his initial appearance wore off drastically and put him in C-List villain territory for a long time, I mean seriously, what the hell were they thinking with Bio-Broly aka Broly and Clayface Do The Fusion Dance?  What was cool about Broly and very effective during his first outing as a villain, was his design, his pure rage, his concept, and his overwhelming levels of ass kickery.  He completely manhandled the strongest Z Warriors of that time all at once and made it look easy.  His last minute defeat deflated him a bit, but the power of Broly's design and concept was so strong that he remained popular for nearly 25 years (with the help of some videogame power wanking, but we'll probably talk about that in another post later on down the line).

One thing I really didn't like about the Super anime was its use of a character named Kale who was supposed to be a Broly homage, but they really upped the octane on that to turn her into mostly a Broly ripoff during her initial couple of appearances.  They fleshed her out a bit more by the end, but having Broly-not-Broly was really a poor use of that Broly's legacy and only managed to pigeonhole a brand new character concept that could have been cool (and actually is very much so in the manga adaptation).  Because that particular homage was so on the nose, so blatant with its imagery and purpose and so illogical at the end of the day, I always simply wondered, "Why not just put f***ing Broly in Super?"  Seems that those behind the brand new Dragon Ball content felt this way too and now Broly's getting the Cadillac treatment from the man who designed him over twenty years ago, Akira Toriyama.

Toriyama had previously designed Broly for the first movie he was featured in all the way back in 1993.  As far as I know, Toriyama didn't write anything for the movie, only drew designs, so Broly's lack of personality is Toei inspired.  This time around, Toriyama is penning the character and he has stated that he is reworking some things after viewing that original movie.  After Toriyama's stellar handling of Goku Black, which I felt should have been a throwaway concept, I feel that this new Broly -- and knowing Toriyama it will indeed be a version of the character with a side we have yet to see -- will be much more interesting and multifaceted than he's ever been.  Toriyama has a bit of a spotty track record as of late so we'll just have to wait and see how this pan's out (no pun intended), but I have decent hopes for it.  Nothing too high.  Never again will I let Dragon Ball deflate me like it did with Super's first two arcs ... really first three arcs.

For now, I am excited, well, as excited as a jaded Dragon Ball fan can be anyway.  With Piccolo's inclusion in the promotional materials, brand new art direction and animation style, the inclusion of Beerus and Whis, a new and terrifying Broly being penned by Toriyama, and some awesome new retro designs for Goku and Vegeta this movie is shaping to be something that really captures the interest of Dragon Ball fans of all stripes and even those outside of the fandom.  So, to answer the question of those who wondered where the series could possibly go after an immensely powerful antagonist like Jiren.  The answer: bring back Broly.

Take care everyone!  Let's make the world a less sucky place.
BW


P.S. Had fun with this one.  I might make more short and to the point DB content.  There's enough DB announcements nowadays that its easy to write a little piece here and there.  To those who enjoyed my previous Dragon Ball articles, I'll try to create more of this content and get even more of those other DB articles I had planned out of my draft box.  Thanks for the support, everyone!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Games With Gold March 2018 Disney Pixar Brave: The Video Game Review - Gaelic Hero

Developer: Behavior Interactive
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Xbox Release Date: September 25, 2012 (according to Xbox.com)


This month's Games With Gold release for the Xbox 360 was Brave: The Video Game and it's one that pleasantly surprised me with a crisp and fun gameplay experience.  I haven't been this pleasantly surprised by a free Xbox game since I downloaded and played Dark Souls back when it was offered for Games With Gold back in 2014.

The first thing you'll notice when you play this game are the visuals.  Brave has the look of a budget title visually. Textures are simple, animation is limited, and the camera is pulled back greatly.  With the amount and placement of enemies, you'll be glad for the latter, but it all does give Brave the look of every other licensed title that hardcore gamers prefer to skip.  However, once you get into the gameplay, the simplistic visuals are a mere afterthought and are competent enough to not get in your way while offering a nice enough backdrop to the action.

During my initial playthrough of the game on Normal difficulty, I found the game to be a fun breeze of running, jumping, shooting, slashing, and collect-a-thon action.  The controls are simple, easy, and smooth.  Shooting Merida's bow is done with the right thumb stick.  There is no targeting reticle to deal with which works in this game's favor and the projectiles generally go where you want them to go.  Melee is performed with (X) and is standard, quick, and competent, but I always preferred to use the bow.  Jumping with (A) feels good and the level design leads to some fun and sometimes challenging platforming.

The game breaks up the standard combat sections with simple puzzles that I sometimes managed to solve in only a few seconds along with a different style of combat featuring a freaking bear -- ahem -- Merida's mom, Queen Elinor I mean.