Posts Tagged ‘Batman’

 

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Elements Assemble!

The Power Ponies episode is about Spike and his insecurities. Always in the background, Spike identifies with a character from a comic book named Hum Drum. The comic book is enchanted and  the Mane six, along with Spike get sucked into the pages. Living the lives of super ponies they learn they have to deal with the Mane-iac in order to get out of the comic book.

I have never seen so many leaked scenes from an episode before. Even before the season started there were leaked Power Ponies photos floating around. The Royal Wedding didn’t have as much leaked material. We all knew the episode was coming but I wasn’t prepared for it to be so well written and fun. They didn’t actually ruin the story any so, I guess it’s alright. The over all feel of the episode is similar to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Batman: The Animated Series. The Mane-iac is a combination of the Joker and the Creeper. She was actually created when she fell into a vat of chemicals and then being electrocuted. This accident brought her hair to life and it grows out of control. The Mane-iac’s hair can move on its own and is used as a weapon.

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The Joker from The Batman series.

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The Creeper and his hair cape. Weird…

 

Spike winds up as the bumbling side-kick Hum Drum. He’s less than thrilled because every time he gets a chance to help them and win the day he screws it up. None of the accidents are on purpose but seem to be related to his self-consciousness. The issue of Spike has always been part of the show. He is alone in the world and still trying to find his identity.  In the series there have been several episodes that deal with Spike’s insecurities. The first was “A Dog and Pony Show,” where Spike wants to save Rarity so badly. He imagines himself as a big brawny Knight and rides in to save Rarity. This is confronting his Mickey Rourke syndrome, being self-conscious about being small. Then in the second season “Owl’s Well That Ends Well” has Spike feeling like he could be replaced by anyone. Twilight does eventually manage to reassure him that no one could ever replace him in her life. In Season Two, we also see dragon nature in “Secret of My Excess,” which confronts their tendency towards greed. He finds that he’s trying too hard to grow up and decides to slow things down again. The episode also shows that Spike has incredible willpower and can over come anything. They also have “Dragon Quest,” where Spike decides to get back to his roots. He follows the Dragon migration and hangs out with teenagers of his own kind for a while. In the end he decides that his friends are better than trying to hard to fit in with people who don’t share his values. Season Three, has three great Spike episodes even though it’s a short season, starts with “The Crystal Empire.” Spike’s loyalty is on full display as he saves Twilight and the Crystle Ponies by insisting on accompanying his friend.  “Spike at Your Service” also covers issues of loyalty and duty. He finally learns that you shouldn’t do things because you feel you have to but because you like helping your friends. “Just for Side Kicks” wound up being more about not lying, fulfilling your promises and not being greedy. With the help of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, he managed to discover he was being a lousy babysitter. This new episode is just another character building moment where he learns about how important he really is to the gang.

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How he see’s himself.

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How his friends see him.

 

Kids will get a great message from the episode. How many times have we felt like a fish out of water? Good friends need diversity and sometimes you have a talent that seems ordinary but is extraordinary after all. Now back to the Bat Cave!

Holy hoofed heroines Batman!

Apple Jack was Mistress Mare-volus which is a version of Wonder Woman. They have a magic lasso and magic handcuffs. If we had gone any longer there probably would have been an invisible vehicle

Fluttershy was Saddle RAGER! It’s hilarious that she is the She-Hulk rip off because she does have a temper. In this episode she has a hard time really digging into her inner aggression. That is until a little tiny Fire Fly is harmed by the Mane-iac.

Pinkie Pie was Fili-Second. Can you say Flash? Yes, she’s the Flash rip off and hilarious. It was like watching elements of “Too Many Pinkie’s” all over again.

Rainbow Dash became Zapp. Her special powers had to do with elemental and weather control. She was like Storm but her outfit reminded me of Black Lightning.

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Old Black Lightning

Rarity was transformed into Radiance. She could make anything from the energy in her accessories. This was a lot like the Green Lantern’s ability.

Twilight wound up as Masked Matter-Horn. Her powers were an energy beam from her horn that was like Cyclops’ eye beam. Her outfit though reminded me of the Phantom.

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The Phantom in his awesome purple cat suit.

Spike as Hum Drum was an obvious Robin riff. I can’t stop alliterating.

The back ground goons were fantastic. They had one that looked like Tony P of the Disco Boys! If you haven’t seen Mystery Men, you should. Tony P was played by Eddie Izzard and at one point he uses hair spray as a weapon. Compare, I swear they are the same character.

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The episode was definately a nod to the fans. There were elements from classic comic books like the overly elaborate death trap and likenesses to pop culture. I enjoyed it enormously. Some people are calling it pandering to the Bronies. I don’t think there was anything about the episode that couldn’t work on two levels. Adults and children would enjoy this Adam West Batmanesque escapade. Really what this shows is the writers understand their audience and can have a variety of episode styles. They go from action to narrative type story lines very well. They all tie together some how and the continuity will not be lost. I am sure some where later on the issue of the enchanted comic book store will come up again. I really hope it does because at the end of the episode the comic book disappears. How mysterious.

In the end, the day was saved again, by the POWER PONIES and Hum Drum!

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LEGO : The Video Game Series

Posted: December 5, 2013 by Kane Blaireau in Kane, Legos
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LEGO entered the video game world years ago, but it wasn’t until recently that the name has come to be a reliable brand for quality licensed titles. The turning point was LEGO Star Wars by Traveler’s Tales. This game, released in 2005, was not only the best LEGO video game at the time, but arguably one of the best Star Wars video games as well.

LEGO Star Wars

The game supported two players and minimal penalty for “dying”. Your character would lose some Studs (the games currency used to by extra characters and other add-ons) and you would re-spawn. This made it great for not only younger players, but for people who didn’t necessarily play video games very often. The comedic approach also made the whole thing more approachable and accessible in comparison to most “hardcore” gaming titles then or now. The familiar Star Wars trappings did nothing but favors to the whole proceeding. Kids and adults could enjoy interacting with some of their favorite characters in familiar locales told in a comedic fashion with no voice-work, just pantomiming and general grunts. Win all around!

LEGO Star Wars 2

Of course, success, especially in the video game world, always breeds sequels. The followup, LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy followed the story of the original movies and refined the formula subtly. No large changes were made, but the formula was still fresh and it still worked. Good thing because it didn’t change through Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Batman and Indiana Jones.

LEGO Batman

One thing that remained consistently entertaining through all of these early titles is the sense of humor. For example, Batman feels like Adam West trying to be Micheal Keaton. The silliness was enough that we had to stop to laugh at the game several times in the first level. You are given special suits for environmental puzzles. Batman makes himself a glide suit. For Robin…magnetic shoes. That look like trash can lids. Yeah. This kind of silly humor is all over the series and makes it very much worth playing through the back catalog.
The first innovation in the series after this point didn’t come until LEGO Indiana Jones 2, the 6th game in the Traveler’s Tales LEGO series. This was the first title to support split screen play. Early games relied on fixed camera and players were forced to stay within a fairly close proximity. The split screen shifts and adapts to the characters position relative to each other on the map and lets the players explore individually while still being able to figure out where they need to go to get back together. This allowed for larger levels and more exploration leading into the Harry Potter games and Pirates of the Caribbean.

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Each of these follow ups added a more extensive and interactive hub area where the players could unlock items and select what levels to play next. Harry Potter focused more on exploration, the levels all branching out from a central hub in the middle of Hogwarts school. Pirates of the Caribbean had a dock area with two extensions where there were further puzzles to play with and being a hub for all of the unlock-able characters to play in. Some unlocked characters were even required for some of the hub puzzles!
The next innovation was added in Star Wars III: Clone Wars. It was the first LEGO title to include voice acting in addition to the pantomimic comedy of the early titles. Batman 2 followed and is considered the first fully voiced LEGO title.

LEGO LOTR

Following on that was Lord of the Rings. This one stretches across the whole trilogy and includes voice samples from the movie in addition to the usual pantomiming. You would think that something so very dark in subject would be difficult to make funny, but you would be very, very wrong. The other thing that Lord of the Rings added was a fully realized over-world. You travel all over Middle Earth and interact with towns that have their own puzzles and unique interactions. That is broken up by the more action oriented scenes from the movies in their own scene that then leads you back to the next part of the over-world. This is (according to Wikipedia) the first “open world” game in the series and I would not disagree. This open world has lead into the latest game in the series; Marvel Super Heroes which (I am told) also features a narrator in many parts in addition to the voice-work.

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Once these games get their hooks into you, they stay there! You want desperately to unlock every hidden gem. They become engaging on a level that most “kid oriented” games do not. Noccie and I just recently beat the story mode of Pirates of the Caribbean (review coming soon!) and are still going back to finish of those missing bits we missed. It simply has not gotten old yet. We are also working our way through the first Batman title and first Harry Potter. Highly recommend all of them to anyone who has kids or is in touch with their inner kid. Thoroughly enjoyable and a TON of fun!

Loot Crate: Celebrate!

Posted: December 3, 2013 by Noccie in Life in a Box, Noccie
Tags: , , , , ,

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My Loot Crate is here! YAY! I can’t wait to open it. We picked it up from our building’s front office. I actually opened it on the bus while running errands but we waited till we were home to take picutres of the UNCRATING!

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The theme this month is Celebrate! It’s for partying and all the items inside help you celebrate.

Cellphone I take to many photos 229Here is a look at the goodies!

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That balloon has a police box on it. This goes with the sticker in celebration of the Day of the Doctor! That takes care of the decorations. The wallet is for money. You need that to drink right? I think it’s funny that it’s a Batman wallet. I love Batman. Kane and I spent a good part of yesterday playing Batman the Lego video game. That game is hilariously bad. At one point I was playing Robin and I had on magnetic boots. Batman had on a glide suit. Who is more practical in factory where is everything is made of raised platforms made of metal.

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This is a mini-speaker. It’s pretty cool and battery operated. That takes care of the music. Kane’s going to use it at work. His speakers are starting to go bad.

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Cards are for games! Let’s play poker. Poker? I don’t even know her.

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There we go… Shot glass and drink. Eat, drink and be merry. I love it. This shot glass is going with the collection. We have a bunch from all over the place and we also have one with a skull inside. You pour in the drink and it fills the skull.

Finally, they included my member card.

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WOOT! It was a good box this month. They also included a coupon to get more of that breakfest drink.