The premiere of Thundercats 2011

Okay, again I’m a little late posting this because of storms, but…

So today is the day Thundercats premieres. I decided that since I did this for Voltron Force I might as well do this for Thundercats as well.

Now, whereas the original Voltron was just a show I watched that I kinda-sorta liked, the original Thundercats was one of my all-time favorites. I own the original four DVD sets and I’ve been through the whole series at least twice, and really–American animation doesn’t get much better. Thundercats had it all: great music, anime-style animation, a magical sword that could pull a can of whoopass in a world where villains verged on Lovecraftian horror at times, just, everything. That show had a unique charm and atmosphere that is going to be hard to replicate.

That being said, keep in mind that this is a liveblog. I’m recording these thoughts as the show airs. I don’t have time to think about it or revise (and no, I don’t have a DVR), so these are my honest feelings.

Anyway, if you just want the skinny, skip to the section called “Final Thoughts.” Otherwise, read on:

Here’s the liveblog of Thundercats

7:00 PM – The Premiere!

7:02 – I was into this before the “thanks for the assist” line.

7:08 – Kinda mixed on Lion-O. He reminds me uncomfortably of a mix between Ariel the Little Mermaid and the 2003 version of Prince Adam.

7:14 – “And I’m gonna ring yours!” Uhhh…

7:17 – First commercial break. Okay, so far I’m having an okay reaction to this. The visual aesthetic is more like real anime than most American attempts at same and while the setting isn’t (so far) as generic as expected. And though Lion-O reminds me of Prince Adam I find he’s not quite as badly done. Tygra seems like he could become obnoxious later. But the special is far from over yet.

7:19 – So is Gandalf the Gray here supposed to be Ja… yes, that’s Jaga.

7:20 – Actually, for some reason the music and the visuals, especially whenever Wilykat and Kit are on-screen, remind me of Final Fantasy games.

7:24 – Okay, New Snarf is kinda cute.

7:27 – Second commercial break. No new thoughts at this time.

7:33 – Those blinking orbs look familiar, but I can’t tell from where.

7:34 – I can believe the technology, but the mecha kind of made me go “eh.”

7:35 – Third commercial break. My real-life cat has decided she wants to watch with me. So far this show isn’t bad but not especially great.

7:39 – I know Lord of the Rings comparisons are rather inevitable, but actually, the lizards remind me of the designs from Rankin-Bass’ Tolkien movies. I suppose that shouldn’t be a surprise, considering…

7:41 – Running fast just looks silly when Jaga does it.

7:46 – Fourth commercial. And I hate to say this, but considering my previous blog entries on the subject, I actually find myself eating my words. This special only has fifteen minutes to go and so far this hasn’t been a bad premiere. Nothing has struck me as particularly ill-decided, contrived or badly-executed, and its all just kind of… well, it’s got that “Wait, I wanna see where this is going” vibe going for it.

7:53 – Oh yes! THAT is the Sword of Omens!

7:56 – (I think the time on my computer is off) Well, the pilot is over. It’s time for…

Final thoughts

I repeat:

Earlier, I predicted this show would be awful.

I find myself eating my words.

When I started watching, I was biased by both my love of the original and being tired of the constant stream of remakes America craps out like babies in a lower-class family. When I liveblogged Voltron Force everything so annoyed me that it basically became a game of finding out what else I could comment on, and I went into Thundercats thinking it would be mostly the same.

But Thundercats was different. The more I watched, the more I found myself actually watching it, and almost forgetting about this liveblog altogether. It was genuinely an interesting experience. And if the first episode is any indication, it keeps some of the things I love about the old series while mixing in new themes that actually work quite well. If I was going to make any complaint at all, it would have to be that this new series has a rather generic fantasy premise. But even typing that line, I’m like “Is that really the only thing you can come up with?” It’s not even worth trying to take a gem and make it look like a turd. The only thing that could possibly go wrong now is if the later episodes absolutely suck, and I think–hope–that isn’t gonna happen.

I never quite followed through on my words and watched more episodes of Voltron Force. I just didn’t care enough to work my schedule around it. This, though, I might very well find the will and the time, because this pilot started a train and I really want to see where that train ends up.

I guess I’ll tune in for those new episodes next Friday. I won’t liveblog them though–I’ll just try to enjoy them.

Like Sands in the Hourglass

Well, I decided to tone down the review since last night. It really didn’t need to be that angry.

So lately, I’ve been trying to catch up on the smash hits of the previous console generation. Metal Gear Solid went swimmingly, so next on my hit list was Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

I’m a sort-of fan of the original, 2D Prince of Persia games. They’re not great, but they’re not bad either. Their main problem is just that they get dull after awhile. When I first started The Sands of Time I initially thought “Wow, this is pretty awesome.” I liked the combat and the platforming was cool. Admittedly, I think its only real flaw is that its too long and the game isn’t varied enough, nor the plot interesting enough, to make up for such a length. I also dislike how long the combats go on.

However, then I ran into something that made the game unbeatable: There is a bug that can make the game unbeatable.

The bug occured on me during the baths. There’s a part where Farah is standing on a pressure plate, you push a statue into another and then run up the wall to get to a last one, opening a series of three doors that guard a switch. Now, there’s a save point right there, so I saved, did the puzzle, drained the water and was about to head onto the next platforming segment, but I got tired and just turned the game off. When I came back to it, I redid the door puzzle… except that one of the doors wouldn’t open. The one whose pressure plate Farah was on. I tried everything, even knocking her off of it, but that didn’t work either. So it seems like my only solution is to restart the game.

Seriously, things like this shouldn’t even happen in the PS2 era, and especially not with a game often called “one of the best of all time.” This just totally killed the experience for me. I’m going to have to put the game away for a bit and come back later.

Sigh.

I apologize for the negative tone my blog has taken lately. It seems like, despite being aware of the nature of blogs to become bitch-rags, I nevertheless fell into the trap myself.

It’s not like my life has been all gloom and doom either. I wound up with some extra cash from a local contest which I’m putting towards getting a copy of Earthbound (finally), and I’ve been resuming my collecting of Super Nintendo RPGs. Why Super Nintendo? Because honestly, it had the best RPGs. The worst that can be said about any SNES RPG is that a lot of them are generic, and hey, after Final Fantasy VIII I’ve grown a new appreciation for generic.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (the 1983 one) is getting a re-release in two sets covering the entire series. Jem and the Holograms is getting a complete series set. All the shows Shout Factory copped out on back in the day are finally getting finished by Mill Creek. My best friend had a new baby. And lately I’ve discovered the wonderful world of shooters. R-Types has been sitting in my library for like ever and is only now getting the playment it deserves.