Video Game Review: Sonic Battle (2003)

Hey guys n’ girls! Sorry about the unexpected hiatus that we ended up taking due to multiple ‘life’ bombs being thrown at us one after another. On the plus side it has given us something new to talk about, and since its been awhile since we’ve done one of these, we’re gonna review a classic fighting video game from the Game Boy Advance that many of you might know. It features Sonic and company as they duke it out against each other in a no-holds-barred beatdown known as Sonic Battle.

We’re SUPER excited to talk about this game not because it was a part of our childhood (and probably yours), but because next to Sonic the Fighters, this game was actually a lot of fun to play. Sonic Battle is a 2003 fighting game created by SEGA and THQ for the Game Boy Advance and GBA SP. It features 10 playable characters (although only eight of them are playable during Story Mode) that you get to choose from, and head out onto the battlefield and b@#!h-slap your opponent back to Mobius.

The story follows a 4000-year-old ancient robot created by a civilization, who is able to copy the fighting techniques of other people simply by watching them in battle. Eggman wants to use said robot as the ultimate combat weapon against Sonic and friends, but ends up getting rid of the bot after copying its data into his own army of robots to capture the chaos emeralds and become an annoyance to Sonic and his friends. The robot named Emerl (thanks to Sonic) becomes involved with the various exploits of Sonic and Co. while also looking for the seven chaos emeralds.

One of the coolest things about this game is the fact that you don’t have to worry about paying any type of ‘energy’ or something to that effect to use special moves. At the start of the fight you select the move you want to use on the Ground, the Air, and to Defend against. You get free movement while in a 3D arena, as you use combo attacks, heal damage, and spam out special moves to damage your opponent and try to drop their HP to 0. The big orange bar is your Health gauge while the small blue one is your Knockout gauge. When your blue gauge is full, the next special attack you use will grant you an insta-kill against your opponent. (Best fighting gimmick ever!)

Another cool thing about this game is the fact that you get to customize Emerl, and make him into a badass fighting machine using skill cards you’ve picked up during battles. When you start the game with Sonic’s chapter, Emerl won’t seem like much help at first, but after playing each character a few times (while beating the story in the process), you’ll grant those rare skill cards that bring out Emerl’s true power. Out of all of the characters in this game, Emerl is the most OP, seriously!

Despite the fact that the controls were simplified and taxing at times (especially when fighting those three guard robos during Knuckles’ chapter, it was hell – utter hell), this game wasn’t half bad. The plot was decent, the game play was fun, and getting to customize your own fighter (Emerl) and battle it out against three other guys (or gals) was cool! Even though this game was underrated on so many levels, some fans still see the potential of it making a comeback in the current market. Some are even calling for a sequel, but we can do you one better!

Remember this little number from awhile back? Nintendo has been doing a hell of a job staying one step ahead of SEGA, and one of its latest creations is doing a few remakes on some old classics like Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and Luigi’s Mansion (The 2001 original). Instead of doing a sequel to Sonic Battle, they should take a page out of Nintendo’s playbook and upgrade the graphics, character roster, and battle arenas.

Don’t make the characters 3D, instead remaster them as High-Resolution 2D sprites and have two separate story modes; Classic Mode which is the original story with all eight playable characters in their separate episodes, and an all new story arc exclusive to the game’s remake that features ten new characters such as Espio, Silver, Blaze, Omega, Mighty, Shade (from Sonic Chronicles), Eggman, Bean, Bark, and Metal Sonic. That will give you a 20-character roster to work with!

Also you should add seven new stages and feature some from previous games like Sonic 2 and Sonic & Knuckles. Keep the use of spamming those specials free, as well as the ability to customize the skills of Emerl. Instead of just the 3-attack-combo followed with either a Heavy Attack or Upper Attack, I would bump it to a 5-attack-combo; the first, second, and third attacks followed by a strong fourth attack that stuns the opponent for a few seconds, and then knock them away with a knockout blow (or upper attack). This game has the potential to be amazing! This game HAS the potential to be LIT!

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Brand New Original Sonic Fanfiction

Upon righting the review for this game, we’ve decided to create a Sonic Battle fanfiction with a brand new origin story for Emerl. We don’t have the full plot planned out just yet, but know that we’ll be using 110% of our creative writing powers to make this one of the best Sonic fanfic titles you’ll ever read!

So in conclusion, we give this game a 9.5/10!

We hope that SEGA gets the chance to read this post and realize that it has a chance to turn an underrated classic, into something as epic as Dragon Ball FighterZ! Okay, maybe not as epic as that, but on a level that’s close to it.

Thus ends our review on this awesome classic. Until next post, stay golden! 😉

 

 

Anime Love & Hip-Hop: Part 2!

Welcome back guys n’ girls to our two-part filler post about the relationship between anime and hip-hop! If you’re an anime fan, then you’re fully aware of where the medium stands in terms of popularity. What was once a close-knit medium has now become a world-wide phenomenon. From Spain to the UK anime is pretty much everywhere; just like hip-hop. The crazy thing is that its not just rappers that have mad love for anime, but a few famous celebrities and professional athletes have revealed their nerdy side as well.

Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan (aka Killmonger) revealed his love for not just Dragon Ball Z, but Naruto as well, during an interview for his new role in Rooster Teeth’s newest anime-style sci-fi adventure, gen:LOC. Kim K. tweeted her new hairstyle was inspired by Darling in the FRANXX’s Zero Two. Green Bay Packer’s Mike Daniels is not just a threat on the football field, but he too is a lover of anime.

There are so many similarities between the two mediums/platforms, which may be the reason why they’re so intertwined with one another. Both cultures tell a story about themselves that often include fantastical elements and experiences. Because of this connection between them, anime and hip-hop have spawned a number of awesome shows (and manga) which has opened the door to new ways for artists from both Japan and Western culture, to collaborate and come up with something awesome.

In Part 1 we talked about the various artists that helped to merge the two subcultures together, but when it comes to giving credit where credit is due, the rappers that come to mind would have to be RZA, Outcast, and MF DOOM. (Big Boi and Hatsune Miku did a track together, if you don’t believe us check this out!)

Quiet as it’s kept, hip-hop met anime first long before mainstream America discovered it. Both of their cultures and styles seem to have a brother-sister relationship; where one end of the medium can identify with the other. Thanks to the genre as a whole, hip-hop will always find new ways to reinvent itself; such as ‘nerdcore’ which is a subgenre of hip-hop for nerds that talk about anime and video games. Even Samuel L. Jackson is no stranger to the medium, as he’s been in a few anime titles that you might know about.

It’s hard to believe that some of us are just now realizing the connection between anime and hip-hop, but truth be told, this dance has been going on for years. Whenever you watch an anime title or listen to a song that has either a rap verse in it or elements of the genre itself, just remember who found anime first. And on that note, that will conclude our two-part filler post on the relationship between anime and hip-hop. With anime being at the level that it is now, there’s no telling what new creations and collaborations will come about from this match made in heaven.

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see! 😉

Anime Love & Hip-Hop: Part 1!

Sometime in the 80’s in a little place called the South Bronx a new and raw sound was starting to emerge. It was more than just the language of ‘the streets’, it was the language of African-American culture. These days whenever people think of Hip-Hop a few names come to mind; Kanye West, Drake, Travis Scott, you name it. Being from the 90’s ourselves we grew up with people like Sir-Mix-a-Lot, LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, and Ice Cube.

Hip-Hop was more than just about the music, it was the lifestyle and culture that came with it. Anime on the other hand was something different; it was a vast new world of animation filled with vivid colors and complex plots that was different than what you would find in western animation. If these two subcultures are vastly different from one another, how in the world did they come together in the first place? Well guys and girls, we’re about to tell you the the love story between anime and hip-hop…

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Japanese Rapper Lotus Juice

Hip-Hop made its first appearance in Japan back in the 80’s thanks to Japanese DJ Hiroshi Fujiwara, after being in the U.S. during that time before bringing back some records with him. From there it spread like wildfire; as hip-hop was now being infused with various other styles such as jazz, EDM, pop, and so many others. This relationship may seem farfetched to some, but with anime being the audio-visual medium that it is, creators and music producers are always looking and trying new ways to reach out to western audiences. It’s almost like mixing different ice cream flavors together, until you come up with a concoction that takes your taste buds on a journey.

A lot of great titles infuse hip-hop into their soundtracks and stories. One title that demonstrates this would be Samurai Champloo. When you listen to the opening title song, you’re introduced to a track that’s a mixed blend of urban rap with the culture of Feudal Japan. Another title that comes to mind when you’re talking about anime and hip-hop’s relationship would be Afro Samurai. Yep, the one with Samuel L. Jackson and Lucy Lu (from Charlie’s Angels) in it.

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“Nothing personal, it’s just revenge…”

Various artists like RZA (Wu-Tang Clan), Lotus Juice, the late Nujabes and a few others have contributed to a lot of the tracks from many of our favorite anime titles. (Even the “Never Say Never” opening to Danganronpa: The Animation.) Hip-Hop in anime is more than just the unique blends and styles infused with audio and visual esthetics, its also about the style, the grooming, and the ‘gear’ that is associated with hip-hop. In the 80’s it was about the ‘LL Cool J’ type of look, but as the 90’s and 2000’s rolled around we’ve got gold chains, grills, watches, skinny jeans, Jordans (or Air-Force Ones from back in the day), the whole nine yards! The Tokyo Tribe series created by Santa Inoue is an example of this, as it brings in various elements of hip-hop culture, and even has a live-action hip-hop musical as well.

With all of the new shows that are coming out this year, there’s no doubt that there will be more hip-hop and anime collaborations, and new ways where artists and creators can express themselves while also paying homage to hip-hop culture.

PART 2 is coming up tomorrow! Stay tuned! 😉

5 Anime Moments That’ll Make You Reach For The ‘Kleenex’ Box…

Sometimes in our lives we find ourselves crying on the side due to a situation that has gone beyond our control, or we find ourselves depressed or flustered as to what our next goal is. Perhaps there was a dream we had back when were were in our youth, but now that we’re older reality has started to kick in, and responsibilities have tripled in certain parts of our lives. Sadness is an emotion when all of the feelings inside of ourselves can no longer be contained, and sometimes…its good to let it out. It’s not just us that experience moments of sadness in our lives, anime has had its fair share of ‘Kleenex Moments’ too! Here are five anime moments that will make you reach for your Kleenex box…

5. Koro Sensei’s Death – Assassination Classroom

We knew it was going to happen eventually, but when it did most of us had that box of Kleenex in our hands. Koro Sensei was the best teacher those student junior assassins could ever have; even if his plan was to destroy the world should they fail to kill him.

4. Chiaki’s Execution – Danganronpa 3: Despair Arc

This moment is far more brutal in the anime than the actual game itself, and boy did it hit fans hard when they had to watch it. Chiaki was a fan favorite of the 77th class of Hope’ Peak Academy, but when Junko came to town she became the final piece of her plan to bring despair upon the world. Dropping her into an underground labyrinth full of traps and laughing at her expense, the strawberry-haired witch succeeded in killing the last bit of hope the 77th class had left – their beloved gamer girl.

3. Ushio’s Death – Clannad After Story

When someone you love or that you’re very close to dies, it does things to you. When its hard to let go of someone you lost, it can cause that person to experience a deep and dark state of depression. In this case Tomoya suffers from said depression after the death of Nagisa upon giving birth to Ushio, and took up alcohol and cigarettes as a result. Five years later he and Ushio reunite again for a trip, but due to suffering from the same disease as her late mother, Ushio eventually falls unconscious and dies…

2. Alucard’s Past – Hellsing Ultimate (OVA)

Alucard is one of the baddest anime vampires ever, however it didn’t come without a tragic past that made fans feel for the OG vampire. During his youth before he became a monster, he got raped and was abandoned by his parents and was also left for dead. At that time he hated humanity and cursed God for what he had gone through, but not long after he was found by Integra’s father, he became assigned to be her bodyguard and kill any human who dare try to cause her any harm. As tragic as his past was, it was the reason why Alucard became what he was.

1. Nina Tucker’s Death – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

This one hit fans the hardest; as it is the most depressing, most disturbing, and saddest anime moment in anime history. Why Shou Tucker used his own daughter for one of his own experiments is beyond us, but we’re pretty sure whatever happens in this clip is what he deserved (based on the fans, and us). This one also shows just how selfish and cruel the world can be, and that everyone has something worth fighting for.

Ok, that’s enough Kleenex and sadness for one post. Time for something funny!

And on that note, that will do it for this filler post! Until next time guys n’ gals, peace out!

5 Female Anime Characters Who Are Lovable Airheads

Depending on the genre of anime you watch, there’s always that one male (or female) character who’s mannerisms and logical thinking make the rest of the cast look smarter than they actually are. Whenever the plot gets too serious or takes a dark turn for the worst in one episode, these characters show up in a future episode to put a smile back on our faces, and laughter in our hearts. At times they can be annoying, and sometimes their actions and critical thinking skills can cause more harm than good, but nevertheless they’re always there when you need them, and they never let that stop them from being themselves!

Here are five female anime characters who are lovable airheads.

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5. Mako Mankanshoku – Kill la Kill

Coming in at number 5 is the best friend of Ryuko Matoi. Mako is a teenage goofy-yet-energetic girl with a carefree personality, who happens to sleep a lot even before class begins (which does clash with her hyperactive nature). When it comes to making friends however Mako will cling onto anyone she grows attached to; especially Ryuko. Whenever she becomes motivated Mako will do whatever it takes to achieve her goals, and despite being an airhead at times, she’s a good friend to have around.

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4. Mey-Rin – Black Butler

Everyone’s favorite maid from every anime fangirl’s (and guys) favorite series! As the maid of the Phantomhive Household, Mey-Rin is tasked of cleaning the house, doing the dishes, and other chores. Even though she’s enthusiastic about her job, its the one thing she’s terrible at. She’s a total klutz around the house and is at her worst when Sebastian is watching, but underneath that klutzy airheaded persona (as well as behind the glasses) lies a former trained assassin that would give any sniper a run for their money.

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3. Astraea – Heaven’s Lost Property

One of the ‘Delta’ Angeloids who possesses skill and power in close-combat battles, but suffers from long-range attacks as well as being an attractive…idiot. She doesn’t know how to hunt or obtain food and fails to answer simple questions during a quiz show, but after spending time with the main character, Tomoki, she develops feelings for him and breaks away from her Master’s orders to kill Nymph. Thanks to Tomoki’s words of encouragement, Astraea can decide if she is useless or not.

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2. Himeko Katagiri – Pani Poni Dash

As energetic as they come, Himeko is a total airhead who shouts out a nonsensical catchphrase known as ‘maho‘ (which references the word ‘aho‘ which means ‘idiot‘). Her antics and the inability to carry a straight train of thought has caused her classmates to be rather annoyed with her. The source of her energy comes from the small lock of hair on her head called an ‘ahoge‘, and should it ever be removed, she would lose her energy.

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1. Aqua – Konosuba

Yep, we had to save the best for last on this one. As of now Aqua is the Queen of Anime Airheads who many deem as a useless goddess (most of the time, but not always). Even though she does a lot of good deeds and is supernaturally beautiful, some of them can turn out to be disasters to the point where she can actually make a situation worse. Aqua can be a little pushy when it comes to praises/criticisms from others, and can be gullible when people try to lie to her about the smallest of things. She’s not totally airheaded and completely useless, as Aqua can be knowledgeable when she wants to be. Sure, she’s not the best goddess in the world (and sometimes forgets that she is a goddess at times), but she’s honest with who she is and what she’s capable of…hopefully.

And there you have it! These are our five female anime characters who are lovable airheads. They may not be the sharpest tools in the shed, but when it matters most, these characters are always there for the main character (or cast) whenever they’re needed.

That’ll do if for this filler post, until next time! 🙂

Dragon Ball Super: Broly [D&A Review]

It took almost two weeks for us to find the time to go see this epic movie, and we FINALLY did! Right off the bat we will say this about Toriyama-san’s latest work; Money. Well. Spent! Before the big reveal about this movie fans didn’t know what to expect or even what direction Toriyama was going to take Goku and the gang in, and when we found out that the main baddie for the movie was none other than the ‘Legendary Super Saiyan’, we were a bit skeptical. Rest assured that the Broly we saw today, was NOT the one we have known from back in the day.

The plot of the story deals with the events that have happened 41 years ago, when King Cold turned over his forces to his son Frieza; thus calling it the Frieza Force. King Vegeta and the rest of the saiyan race served under the tyrant several years after Cold’s retirement, however everything wasn’t all sunshine and roses. King Vegeta then had his mind focused on his son (our Vegeta of course), who would soon become the new king of the saiyan race. However next to his pod was a saiyan by the name of Broly, who King Vegeta deemed to be a low-class warrior (but truth be told he was actually jealous because his power level was, well…over 9000 higher than Vegeta’s). So he had Broly sent to another planet leaving his father, Paragus, to chase after him. Of course, that was 41 years ago before the actual story…

Since the movie is still going to be in select theaters up until the end of the month, we’re going to keep the spoilers to a minimum. However if you haven’t seen the movie yet and want what you’re in for to remain a mystery, then you’d better stop reading this post now, or forever be SPOILED! (*laughing evilly*)

On that note, here are three things that jumped out at us after seeing the movie:

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Enter, 2019 Broly!!!

This Ain’t The Same Broly From 1993!

Even though this movie is an upgrade from the original, some fans still like the type of swagger that the OG Broly brought to the table. He was a bloodthirsty killer with no remorse and no control, and hated Goku (who will also answer as Kakarot) because of being stuck next to him when they were babies. This time around Broly was in his own chamber, however a small part of his original (quiet) demeanor remained; with the exception of a whole new look (even down to the skin tone).

Classic Broly was, as he quoted, ‘Not a monster, but a demon!’ as he laid waste to anything that was in his path to Kakarot. The Broly we saw in this movie (aka Modern Broly), has feelings and a backstory about how he made friends with a big green monster he called Ba, on a planet called Vampa. The green cloth around his waist is symbolic of his friendship with the beast, which is an upgrade from the red one most OG fans know him for. The Super version of the Legendary Super Saiyan comes across as aloof, yet powerful, and we doubt this will be the last time we see this new and improved Broly.

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It’s SSG Vegeta!!

Vegeta Reveals His Super Saiyan God Form!

Toriyama teased us about it but now it finally came to past! The Prince of all Saiyans unleashes his Super Saiyan God form (for the FIRST time ever!) for all of us to see in all of its blazing glory! We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know when – until now!

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Super Saiyan Blue Gogeta

Gogeta Returns!

This was a big surprise for many of us who saw the trailers for the movie, however when the big reveal trailer for Gogeta came out, the hype was over 9000! This movie marks Gogeta’s second appearance in a Dragon Ball movie since Fusion Reborn, and his third overall appearance in the franchise if you count GT. Somewhere along the line Goku and Vegeta had to fuse in order to take Broly down, as for why they didn’t do it in the original 1993 movie, they didn’t know about it yet – until the Buu Saga.

There were various other things that we got to see in the movie; like Goku’s mother, Gine, who is the wife of Bardock. The animation quality was out of this world, and the battle scenes were done as only Toriyama could do them; freakin’ epic! We can see why so many people were soooo hyped about this movie, and after seeing the results from the box office, we gotta say that it was money well spent. Who knows what will happen from this point on after the movie is all said and done, will Broly’s role be upgraded during the Super series like his brand new look? What new saga will Toriyama work on after the Tournament of Power is over? Guess you’ll have to wait and find out!

Dragon Ball Super: Broly – 4.8 / 5 Stars

Until next post guys n’ gals, stay gold! 😉

5 Anime Titles To Watch When You’re Having A Bad Day

We all have them. Those days we wish we could’ve stayed home as opposed to going to work, and having to deal with a co-worker you wanna punch in the face. For anyone working a ‘typical’ 9-to-5 this is usually the story of your life, unless you’re working your dream dob and making a decent living. For many anime fans ‘adulting’ doesn’t come easy; between paying rent, bills, going to work, going to school, or taking care of a child, growing up while being an anime fan can be quite difficult and exhausting. It’s during these rough days that fans turn to their favor titles for comfort, and if you’re one of those fans who is having a bad day at work, here are five anime titles that will turn that frown upside down! 🙂

Recovery Of An MMO Junkie

Are you a fan of anime and online gaming and wish you could log more hours into your character, as opposed to working with that one guy/girl who is a little too nosy for his/her own good? Then check out this awesome title about unexpected love and online gaming known as Recovery of an MMO Junkie! It tells the story of a 30-year-old woman named Moriko, who works at a boring 9-to-5 job and wants to spend more time playing MMORPGs and being a NEET. She then creates a hot male avatar in one of the games that she’s playing, and soon crosses paths with a new female player. What happens next? You’ll have to watch it to find out!

Dagashi Kashi

No matter how bad your day is, there’s always someone out there who has it twice as worse than you do. Luckily for us we’ve got anime titles that’ll take our minds off the stress of life and work; this title being one of them. Ever wonder how stressful it can be when you have a passion to do something and travel a lot, but your parents want you to stay home and run the family business? Kokonatsu does, and you can follow him and his adventures with his dad, Hotaru, and the rest of the gang in Dagashi Kashi; a show that’s basically candy-coated comedy! (P.S. The thumbnail is not as ‘naughty’ as you’d think…or is it…?)

Pop Team Epic

Had a sucky day at the office or at any job that give you stress? Here’s a show that takes that stress and turns it into a smorgasbord of absurdity, and bizarre comedy. Pop Team Epic takes the elements of those dank memes you see all over the internet, and fuses it with a western-cartoony anime style that looks like it belongs on the midnight line up for Comedy Central (or one of those animated comedy sketches for MAD-TV back in the day). If you plan on watching this series, be prepared to check your sanity into rehab! XP

Ghost Stories

When someone tells you that the perfect anime dub doesn’t exist, then they haven’t heard the story of Ghost Stories. Long before DBZ Abridged and all the other abridged anime titles that have come after it, this title was professionally abridged by FUNimation. Badly suffering oversees, the original plot of Ghost Stories was supposed to be a mystery/horror series, but ended up becoming a dark-comedy with ‘Deadpool-level’ writing and jokes, that rips into everything – and everybody! If you wanna laugh your ass off after a bad day at work, then this is the title for you!

Various Funny Moments From Dragon Ball Super Featuring Vegeta

We all know that he’s the saiyan prince, but ever since Vegeta’s hooked up with Bulma (HIS Bulma) he’s made us cackle with laughter during various moments in Dragon Ball Super – even in the new Broly movie! As a father of two he discovers that being a parent as well as keeping up with his fellow saiyan rival, is not exactly a walk in the park. Nevertheless Vegeta has come a long way from his narcissistic ways (yet still retains his saiyan pride in his own right), and continues to grow on us and with us for years to come.

Bad days suck, but just know that you’ll have more good days that’ll override the bad ones. We all need some time away from the stress of life, and if you’re an anime fan then you already know what you need. (Cuz’ you’re probably already watching one of these titles or a different one right now.) Until next post guys and gals, keep calm and watch anime! 🙂