Tag Archives: Anime

High Score episode 5


For some reason, I forgot the topic for High Score episode 5. I guess there’s just a lot on my mind with the start of school. When I saw the teaser at the end of episode 4, I was excited. Then, it just left my mind completely. And, so it was when the episode started, I said, “Oh yeah!”

Once upon a time, there were these things called “arcades”. They were kind of like stores. Except they didn’t sell anything. You traded your bill money for quarters, which you then put into a machine that let you play a video game. “Okay, Grandpa, why are you telling us this?” Well, the subject of High score episode 5 was fighting games. During the height of the fighting game renaissance, I spent an obscene amount of time and money in these “arcades”.

Yes, much of it was due to Mortal Kombat. More on that later.

Street Fighter – “That old grey mare…”

I can’t remember if I used the old grey mare metaphor in one of the other articles. I know I was considering it for the Atari article, but went with Grandpa instead. Even if I have, it is apt in this case. Many these days say that Street Fighter sure ain’t what she used to be. But, let’s focus on the positive.

Like Final Fantasy, Street Fighter got its inspiration from anime. When they talked to the artist for the game, he mentioned how anime is not viewed as art. Or, it wasn’t. He wanted to help people see the potential of the art form. Apparently, he and his contemporaries succeeded. At least in my case. I certainly consider anime to be an art form. Then again, I’m easily impressed by any creative process.

Seriously, though, if you can’t appreciate the beauty of this picture, then there’s no hope for your soul.

Takahiro Nagano – “Living the Dream”

One side note before moving on. I forgot to mention in the previous section, mainly because my notes only said “Chun Li – Madden” and I couldn’t figure out what that meant. What it meant is that they put a female character into Street Fighter II (and then expanded the female roster with future editions) similar to adding different skin tones to Madden. Gaming is supposed to be inclusive, mad nerds.

Now, for Takahiro Nagano. His life mirrored mine in many ways. I mean, other than winning a gaming championship and starting his own esports team, we are basically kindred spirits. He found himself in a dead end job that he didn’t find much inspiration from. So, really, when you think about it, I’m basically him. Another note from this section is “training montage”, a reference to the introduction to his esports team, which took on the form of the old 80s training montages a la Karate Kid or Rocky. I got a good chuckle out of it.

Since we have so much in common, I will give a shout out to my brother from another mother. Link. <–Green “Link” that isn’t trying to save Zelda.

Night Trap – “Where’s the Naked Ladies?”

I’m doing these out of order, but that’s intentional. Always save the best for last. I’m not sure if you will agree with my assessment, but I have good reason for it and you can’t change my mind! I remember Night Trap. I might have even had a friend who bought the game. See, it was supposed to be this risque horror game, but production issues caused it to be neutered beyond belief into a not quite campy enough imitation.

That didn’t stop Congress from trying to neuter the game and the industry further. As games started to become more “realistic” and feature more violent content, folks like Tipper Gore and Joe Lieberman (If you don’t know him, say his name like Droopy the dog. If you don’t know Droopy the dog, Google him, then say Joe Lieberman’s name like him. Then, Google Joe Lieberman and have a good laugh.) got their panties in a bunch. And that, boys and girls, is why we have ratings on our video games today.

Never ones to pass up an opportunity to (a) star f**k and (b) look like complete idiots in the face of advancing technology, think the Facebook hearings but with Nintendo execs instead of the Zuck.

Mortal Kombat – “Or, should I say, ‘MORTAL KOMBAT!'”

So, I said I was saving the best for last. Similar to Street Fighter, you might say that Mortal Kombat hasn’t been good since (insert your favorite version here) and that’s fine. Up until recently, I might have even agreed with you. However, Mortal Kombat 11 is a ton of fun and I wasted many an hour over the last year trying to collect as much as I could in the game.

MK also helped to usher in the “video games are warping our kids’ brains” era. But, I come here to praise John Tobias (who is interviewed for the series!) and Ed Boon. Given the limited resources that they were working with at the time, they made a game that has been with me for over 25 years and has been passed on to my kids.

And, it was able to survive whatever the hell this is.

The Verdict

High Score episode 5 has come a long way from the low of episode 2. I regained my faith in the series and even had it boosted by the Sega episode and this one. The entire series is an amazing walk down memory lane. In addition, we have met some new faces along the way. I’m feeling a bit melancholy that there’s only one episode left, but it should pave the way for some actual factual retro content that’s been promised for weeks now.

Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters Review

A couple of months ago I nearly dropped my phone out of shock. I had received an email from Netflix announcing a handful of Netflix exclusive future releases and while that’s not noteworthy, the fact that there was going to be a Godzilla anime movie was. Yup, Godzilla. Hold on a second while I get this rubber monster suit on…

I love Godzilla!

I’ve seen every Godzilla movie there is, as well as every spin-off movie that Toho has released. Ahem. Toho is the studio that makes all of the Japanese monster flicks like Rodan and Mothra. Hey, don’t say you don’t learn anything by visiting our site. Anyways, back to my confession of my love for cheesy sci fi monster movies. I have a region free DVD and Blu Ray player just so I can watch the Japanese imports, yeah, ok, maybe that’s not the only reason, the wife does likes to watch foreign thrillers, but to her I say this: is there anything more foreign than a Japanese guy in a rubber Godzilla suit beating the bajeezus out of another guy dressed in a rubber monster suit with 3 heads ( King Ghidorah, A.K.A Monster X, the lessons keep coming guys, try to keep up)? I say thee nay! Little Thor talk for my comic nerds out there.

So needless to say, I almost soiled my pants on the spot. I sniffed out a trailer for it online, told my boss I’d get the budget reports to him when I was done watching godamn Godzilla, and hit play. I was blown away by the art immediately and grew excited, this was the real deal! Although a short trailer, it looked amazing.

Fast forward to last weekend. Netflix finally released Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters Part 1 (of 3). I grabbed a beer and some snacks and plopped down on the couch ready to be transported to a world of monster magic. I was a little disappointed knowing that I was going to have to wait for the other 2 parts since this surely was going to be amazing. The movie started and right away the animation grabs you. It’s really, really, good guys. Probably some of the best anime work I’ve seen. Interesting tidbit for you: this was animated by the same studio who animated Street Fighter V.

The story goes like this: Godzilla as well as other monsters , graduate from just stomping Tokyo to taking over the entire friggin’ planet. The last group of humans left are forced to leave the planet on a spacecraft and travel through space looking for a new planet capable of sustaining life. Unfortunately, this doesn’t pan out and they are forced to go back to Earth but it’s 20,000 years later. It must be safe by now? Right? Right?! Uh no, not by a long shot. They send an expeditionary group to the planet to see what’s left and discover that the Big G is still around. FYI these are not spoilers, did you really think Godzilla wouldn’t be on the planet in a movie called Godzilla: Planet of Monsters?

Where this movie separates itself from all of the other Godzilla movies, besides being an anime, is that Godzilla isn’t the aggressor here, the humans try to hatch up a plan to take him out and he just defends himself. It’s a very interesting plot point and essentially the main focus of part 1. I was disappointed when it ended because it really felt like the story had just started to hit its stride and the end was surprising to say the least.

Final verdict:

As with my comic book and game reviews, I will be rating this on the trusty 0-10 scale. With 0 being the absolute worst (Godzilla 1998), to 10 being the best (Godzilla: Final Wars). The voice acting on this movie was spot on and as I’ve gushed about a couple of times now, the art is really well done. They used a cool CG technique on Godzilla that translates nicely on the screen and the images of a barren Earth are creepy. The story did lag in parts but as I mentioned found its pacing towards the end. That said, I give this movie a 7/10.