Friday, August 31, 2012

Lamest Giant Robots

The funny thing about the Sentinels that appeared in the old X-Men cartoon is that they're often a much more realistic depiction of durability than most giant robots you'll see in fiction... the point where one wonders why anybody bothered.

Because in all seriousness, most robots that size would probably come apart pretty easily.

Of course, it doesn't keep watching them from being entertaining...

-Signing off.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Once Again Nothing To Do With That Movie (Despite All Appearances)

There's a good chance you've seen these around, but they're worth watching more than once, in my humble opinion.

Granted, they're a bit on the "deranged animation" side at times, and they're definitely very "anime style," neither of which is to everyone's tastes, but they're very good (if simple mindless action/crazy pretty stuff) regardless.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pay Attention-There Will Be A Test Later

Yesterday, glancing at the front page of a rather tiny and frankly kind of pathetic local newspaper, I saw a news story about phosphorus in lake sediment and runoff.

The problem? It called it "phosphorous."

Phosphorus is a chemical element. It is a noun.

Phosphorous is an adjective meaning "pertaining to or of phosphorus."

(This is not a nitpick at all. This is a pretty significant and central part of grammar. And spelling, too, I suppose.)

In this era of being able to instantly produce links to websites such as the above, or even more reputable sites than open source ones like the wiki derivative projects, there is no excuse for even the tiniest and poorest-staffed newspaper to make a mistake like that. If one isn't sure of the exact spelling of a word (or if it's a word one is less than perfectly familiar with) one should double-check with a quick Google search. If the author doesn't catch it, the editor ought to double-check.

If the editor doesn't catch it, people are going to berate you for it on the internet.

I don't get after people who make this kind of mistake on their personal websites. After all, such people aren't generally charging for content and they don't have any kind of editors or oversight. It's forgivable when a one-person operation goofs like that, especially on a project that they might devote less than an hour of their time a day to. But this mistake made it past multiple educations that ought to have been at least high school diploma level, and anyone with a high school education could have (I'm not saying would have, I'm saying "could have if they did their work and retained it"-I'm well aware not everyone with that level of education definitely absorbed that much) caught such an error.

Further, institutions like newspapers (and other print publishers) do play an important role in a modern society. Along with other media, print media forms the central part of one of the great pillars of modern society: Communications. (I'd go so far as to call it one of the big two or three pillars, for that matter.)

Sure, people will know what "phosphorous" was supposed to mean. Most people won't even notice it was an error. But even a small error should be acknowledged and have attention brought to it in this case. Ignored errors lead to ignorance. Ignorance leads to apathy.

Apathy leads to suffering stupidity.

Stupidity leads to suffering. (And I do mean that one.)

When communications break down, society will start to crumble. Please, stop the rot at the low levels (i.e. puny and rather lame local newspapers) rather than let it creep up.

(Obviously, education is important for this. Yeah, the other two of the big three pillars of modern society? Education and technology.)

-Signing off.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#56)

551. Ketes. Every time I read "Kete," I think "keet." You're welcome/I'm sorry.

Anyway, the Ketes are among the many, many sapient inhabitants of Endor. Many. They're some form of social insect.

Wookieepedia speculates them to be "related" to the ruby-throated kete, but this is rather unlikely, as the ruby-throated kete is a bird, as the phrase "ruby-throated" suggests.

Rating: 3/5, merely because they're fairly charming cartoon bugs.

552. Ketton. The Ketton are describes as having a "more mammalian" biology, even though they're covered in tough exoskeletons. These exoskeletons are presumably an adaptation to the desert conditions they apparently traditionally live in. They look pretty bug-like, with rather nasty-looking fangs. Apparently, they're among the standard "looks fierce but they're pretty nice for the most part" races, and it's also noted that they prefer "not to soil their fangs in combat," which I suppose really just means they're not into biting folks.

Rating: 3/5. I'm not sure what the heck they're trying to say with "more mammalian" biology there. Are they trying to indicate endothermy? Because insects (and other arthropods) in the real world don't practice endothermy generally because they're so small they'd die if they tried, not because they're insects. Endothermy is something suited to a specific lifestyle and a specific size, and it most certainly isn't a sign of superiority. (If it was, cats would be higher on the food chain than humans because their average natural body temperatures are higher; for that matter, there are probably plenty of rodents who have even higher average natural body temperatures, though I don't know any specifics.)

553. Khil. The Khil are a rather cosmopolitan race of Cthulhu-faced guys. They consider themselves "citizens of the galaxy" and are generally very nice to members of all other races... Wait, this sounds very familiar. Cthulhu-faced guys who are friendly with everybody? I know I covered this somewhere.


Ah-ha, here we are! The Ebruchi! The Ebruchi are basically a viking-esque version of this.

They probably don't have bikini babes, though.

...Did I not mention that? Khil women look suspiciously like human women below the neck, or rather below the base of the skull. (And Khil men look suspiciously like human men over the same area, so at least they aren't being sexist in the "hot women ugly men" way.)

They apparently have musical voices because of their mouth structure.

Rating: 4/5. They're less awesome than Viking Cthulhu-faces, but you can never really have too many Cthulhu-faces, and very cultured Cthulhu-faces are probably the next-best thing. Cthulhu-faces.

554. Khoan. Khoan are shorter than humans and significantly heavier than Wookiees ("twice as heavy"). It's hard to say, but they might achieve this through denser tissue, because they don't look that heavy. They have "collars" of spikes growing from around their throats (which rather suggests that this might have conferred some kind of advantage to them in their primitive days) and fins on their heads.

One gambled with Han Solo once.

Also, their name makes me think of koans, which is frankly a little annoying.

Rating: 3/5. There's pretty minimal information, all things considered, but they're still potentially interesting, if only in appearance.

555. Khommites. Khommies (what is it with names that make me think of other things today?) Khommites tried to eliminate all mutations and variations within their own society; to this end, they started a really big cloning program, and made it so that their society wouldn't change for about a thousand years through the stability that each clone raising its own clone granted. (They claim genderlessness, but they're sexist so they're all called "he." Kind of like the Transformers as Simon Furman writes them.) Then an Imperial remnant bombarded their world halfway back to the stone age, and they realized this wasn't a good survival strategy. (You'd think that they'd have figured that out if they were halfway decent geneticists [y'know, master cloners and all], since homogenous populations suffer from worse disease outbreaks, but whatever...)

They really disliked Force sensitivity, as it was partly a sign that their cloning program wasn't working as they intended.

Rating: 3/5. They produced exactly one interesting character and story. They're pretty terrible beyond that, but credit goes where credit is due.

556. Khormai. The Khormai are walrus people.

You can never have too many walrus people. These are considerably better drawn and more proportionate walrus people, so they're even better. They also have cool-looking (ha, ha) cold weather environmental suits.

Rating: 4/5. Walrus people are fun.

557. Khotta. The Khotta are well-known as the inventors of Khottage cheese, which they built a Khottage industry around. They live in Khottages.

(Hopefully you realized I was making that up even if you couldn't see the strikethrough formatting.)

The Khotta, of Kho Nai, can "alter their perspective of the world around them." Whatever the heck that means.

Does it mean they can move around (thus changing the "perspective" of how they can see things)? Because if they can, big whoop.

Rating: 1/5, and I'm that generous because I got to make the "Khottage" jokes.

558. Khramboans. Khramboans are amusing-looking guys. They have eyes on stalks and rather aggressive mustache-like/tusk-like facial tentacles.

One of them ran a rather shady fruit stand.

Rating: 3/5. As long as they don't flanderize all Khramboans as shady fruit salespeople, I'm quite happy with their appearance.

559. Kian'thar. The Kian'thar are the third group I've talked about today that have facial tentacles (theirs emerge from beneath a rather distractingly human-like nose). They apparently are known for being able to sense others' emotions, and many feel less than comfortable with Kian'thar as a result, for while they're good at mediating conflict and such, they're also good at using their ability for deception.

Most Kian'thar remain in a primitive lifestyle; some, the Iith'lon, don't want to improve their tech base at all from where it is, while others, the Lllun, want to add at least some innovations. However, while they're at odds, their debates are never more passionate than conversations over coffee (they themselves discuss the subject over "oceanroot," a presumably somewhat similar beverage).

They were discovered by Shistavanen, who are basically wolfmen. Just thought I'd mention that.

Rating: 4/5. A pretty well-developed concept here.

560. Kibnon. Kibnon are rather interesting-looking insectoids. Most known Kibnon seem to be involved in the underworld, as spice merchants (drug dealers) and other such occupations. Some were the victims of mad science experiments by Doctor Evazan, that ugly guy who says "I don't like you either" during the cantina scene.

(He wanted to become immortal by building a mind transfer machine, so that he could swap into young new bodies forever; apparently, mutilating various aliens [note that Evazan, despite general ugliness, is supposed to be human] helped with that somehow. Note that despite my disparaging commentary, his machine was functional.)

Rating: 3/5. I like their appearance rather a lot.

-Signing off.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Without Context/With Context

It's a teeny bit misleading (and I don't mean that ironically) to say that the first video is a scene without context; all things considered, it's got most of the context necessary.

On the other hand, that bit at the end? Totally out of its original context.

Either way, it's pretty funny.

And awesome. Y'know. Batman.

-Signing off.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Don't Mess With That Guy

Yes, this guy is a few notches above the normal intelligence level for a thug.

Or at least, he shows basic common sense ("don't mess with Batman").

-Signing off.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#55)

541. Kedorzhans. Kedorzhans (is that the "zh" that's pronounced like a "j" instead?) are described as "rotund" and "rodent-like." Fat rats, perhaps? Okay, no.

They supposedly tend towards near-blindness because of spending all their time in mines mining. Maybe. They also have very good senses of smell.

Y'know, if you don't work your eyes too hard, dim lighting can be good for them. Overexposure to bright light is more likely to be damaging. And mines can be dusty and clog up your nasal passages. (Never worked in a mine myself, but I have worked in some darned poorly ventilated and extremely dusty environments. I used to get black mucus on bad days, which were all the days I worked the particular job that caused it. Concrete mix dust, if you're wondering.)

Rating: 2/5. Not very interesting, nitpicking aside.

542. Keed. Near-humans from Keedad.

Rating: 2/5. I give them more than I probably should by virtue of them having a fun name and a planet with an even more fun name.

Keedad Keedad Keedad.

543. Keitumites. The Keitumites were members at one time in an alliance called the Keitumite Mutual Military Treaty. They may have been a planetary society instead of a species. We don't know.

Rating: 2/5. Another streak of twos? Anyway, they get the extra merely because they're clearly not political nonentities.

544. Kel Dors, or Kel Dorians. Kel Dors are interesting-looking dudes. (And the occasional dudette, who naturally has an inexplicable bosom despite Kel Dors being very, very non-mammalian.) They were at one time believed to have greater Force sensitivity on average than other races, but this apparently was partly a myth some of their members created. (On the one hand, apparently they made up claims of Force telepathy; on the other hand, apparently predictive visions weren't uncommon.)

Apparently, the Kel Dors could be kinda harsh, putting to death even thieves who only wanted enough to eat.

Rating: 4/5. The whole "most of them appear to be Jedi" thing is a bit annoying, but they're interesting and have potential.

545. Kelrodoans. Apparently, their major appearance was in a story where a very old and somewhat out of place Separatist remnant was trying to cause their world problems, and an Imperial remnant (this was about a decade after the movie era) protected them.

Rating: 2/5. It would have been nice to see more information, but it's always nice to see an inversion of the normal "EMPIRE BAD NOT GOOD" thing. Now let's start seeing inversions of the "SEPARATISTS BAD NOT GOOD" thing, mmkay?

546. Kemlans. Kemlans can recognize their relatives by scent.

Rating: 1/5. Yeah, that's reasonably interesting, but it's also all there is.

547. Kentra. Kentra apparently are flocking winged feline entities. Batcats? Catbats? Batcatcatbats? Catbatbatcats?

Okay, I'll stop.

They apparently are tribal in nature and have ethnic distinctions based on fur pattern; these patterns apparently are partly indicative of their temperaments and physical abilities (which almost suggests that they're slightly divergent subspecies).

They rely upon primitive weapons, preferring melee weapons and also using bow and arrow when necessary.

They apparently take truth as something flexible and mutable, but take honor very doggoned seriously.

How much of their culture was influenced by the Jedi who crashlanded on their planet and taught them things is questionable, but their race name comes from the name of his ship.

Rating: 4/5. They're pretty interesting.

548. Kerestians. Kerestians once had a civilization more advanced than that on Earth today, but climate change pushed them back into a dark age. (Global cooling and an ice age, incidentally, caused by the random cooling of their sun.) They're mostly humanlike in appearance, aside from their eight nostrils on either side of their faces (and the associated lack of a human nose-i.e. they're the relatively common "human but with a head altered by makeup" aliens), which were apparently once crucial to a form of long-ranged communication that atrophied away over time.

They use weapons called "darksticks," which were originally supposed to be lightsabers made of darkness, but were changed to hook-shaped blades of varying sizes. They apparently follow a religion which says that their souls are consigned to a Great Darkness after death, and look at it not as a horrible fate, but an opportunity to battle adversity forever (maybe-it's mildly unclear, but they do look at it as not bad).

In other words, they're kinda hardcore.

Rating: 4/5. That religion thing alone kind of makes them awesome.

549. Kerkoidens. Kerkoidens are ugly, and look evil and scheming. (Actually, in a way that's reminiscent of propaganda imagery of nonwhites in times past. Uncomfortable.) As if we didn't get the point, the named Kerkoiden character is called Loathsom.

Seriously, guys? You're stooping that low?

Rating: 0/5.

550. Keshiri. The Keshiri of Kesh apparently are almost-human in appearance, to the point of being mutually attracted to humans, though being unable to interbreed. They lived on an isolated planet; at some point in the distant past, a Sith spacecraft with a lot of Sith on board crashed there, and the Kesh mistook them for their gods. They eventually realized they weren't, but apparently weren't unhappy to serve these Sith for about five thousand years.

They came back into contact with the galaxy at large when an eldritch abomination who eats Force users showed up and started causing general havoc, and "their" Sith, the "Lost Tribe," were eventually recruited by Luke Skywalker to help fight said monstrosity off. (Incidentally, this eldritch abomination used to be, like, the Celestials'/Force wielders'... maid, or something. Which is kind of funny out of context.)

Rating: 2/5. Modestly interesting, although they're associated with an era of stories I haven't read because I've kind of given up on what lead into them. (I dunno, some of it's almost piqued my interest reading about it; maybe I'll give it a try.) They don't seem terribly interesting beyond their connection to that group of the Sith, though.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'm Pretty Sure I've Already Mentioned At Some Point That I Hate Basketball

Incredibly stupid thing to do with giant robots #438: Play sports with them.

That, and advertise Nike shoes. Seriously.

-Signing off.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Or Is It "Get In The Van?"

I hadn't heard there was a new(ish?) Looney Tunes show out there.

Incidentally, I find Porky a little odder than a lot of cartoon animal characters. Why? He's got no fur, and he still doesn't wear any pants. That's just wrong.

-Signing off.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Two Unrelated Videos

1: I can't really say I'm a Doctor Who fan by virtue of not having seen anything more than a few clips and such, but I do love the Daleks for their amusement value. So this trailer is pretty great.

2: One of the best scenes from the underrated (though undeniably incredibly campy) live-action Super Mario Brothers movie is when somebody gets turned into a monkey chimpanzee.

Also, I love the Goomba with the actual dinosaur head. That is hilarious.

-Signing off.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Not Technically His Theme Song, But Just Go With It

(I kept getting distracted from my mostly-weekly Invid's Guide post. Sometimes I think not being allowed to use the Internet would make it easier for me to blog. Then I say "...wait a minute...")

This giant robot dude here is inspired by and paying homage to a silly old Ultraman-like dude called Jumborg 9/Jumborg Ace (he kinda had two forms that he took depending on situations). So of course, he gets Jumborg's theme song attached to him a lot. (That's also Jumborg's transformation sequence at the beginning there. Bow in awe before the mind-bending retro.)

All I can really tell you beyond that is that Jumborg was an anniversary series, and also loosely connected to the legal dispute between a Thai company and Tsuburaya Productions which caused a lot of grief and some weirdness in Ultraman distribution (e.g., English DVD releases of the old Ultraman have some empty spots in their English soundtracks because they were licensed by the other company rather than Tsuburaya, and only Tsuburaya had access to the full audio for the English dub, and with the resolution of said dispute it sounds like said DVD release was rendered technically illegal). So... yeah. Kind of a messy thing.

-Signing off.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cartoon Profiles: The Bots Master

The Bots Master is a series that is full of flaws, but still incredibly lovable.

WARNING: If you aren't a fan of rap (and possibly if you are), this song is both catchy and annoying as heck. You might want to turn the sound off. (I did.)

Flaws? Oddball designs, general "'90s-ness," the music in the intro, the fact that the intro makes you think that some of those characters will be more relevant than they are (that chef robot? I don't remember a single thing he did, if he even showed up at all), and the fact that it ends on a cliffhanger (the villains can finally manufacture intelligent robots, which is game-changing in a series where the standard robot is basically an even stupider mook than you usually find).

Lovable parts? The fact that every kind of robot imaginable shows up (intelligent robots, stupid mook robots, pet-like robots, talking head robots, giant combining and transforming robots-and all built by the same people), the fact that the villain was a half-step from post-Crisis/DCAU Lex Luthor, the fact that the heroes were basically rebels or terrorists (depending on your point of view), and the fact that the director was actually named Xavier Picard (okay, so that's kind of a little thing, but it's hilarious).

I always enjoyed the show. Unfortunately for it, its success relied on a rather lackluster toyline, and it was in a cartoon suicide slot (6:00 AM locally-any cartoon in that slot or the 2:30 PM weekday slot was pretty much dead after a single seasonal rotation, the exception being the wonderful Exosquad).

It could have been better, but it was already better than it perhaps had any right to be, even with the theme song.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Yes, Cthulhu Is The Protagonist

The mere fact that there is a game called "Cthulhu Saves the World" is more than enough to make me smile.

I've also read that there is no limit on your characters' levels in the game, which is appropriate for such a thing.

-Signing off.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Also, I'm Not A Fan Of The Mario Games Themselves

Y'know, the Cruz sisters are very lovely women, but this ad is still kind of... weird.

Yeah, I get how the whole "these people are sexy so they make this appealing" advertising thought process is, but aside from the fact that studies have shown that this kind of advertisement actually distracts people from the product, and it's funny to see one of them dress as Mario (though again, weird), but...

Seriously, who would sit next to their outdoor pool and play a video game? Seems like a good way to wreck stuff by getting it wet to me.

-Signing off.

Monday, August 13, 2012

I Suppose With A Magic Ring Theme This Joke Was Inevitable

I can't understand what Kamen Rider Wizard there is saying, so that only makes the resemblance to a marriage proposal starting at 0:52 more striking. (My sister's response was essentially "Is he asking her to take his hand in lawfully wedded Kamen Rider matrimony? Because that would be great.")

I suppose it could be a transformation device of some sort, and from the general look of things it's certainly magical, but still.

(According to various material, the character he's talking to in that bit is a police officer who doesn't understand why the police aren't trying to do anything about the rampant demon activity or something. ...That's always a good question in a show like this, actually.

Wait, also according to various material, the ring he gave her is called the Engage Ring. Seriously? Are they doing this on purpose?)

-Signing off.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Anime Review/Profile/Rambling Discussion: Guyver (2005)

As noted previously, I recently watched the 2005 Guyver anime.

As noted previously (yes, I realize I'm repeating myself), Guyver pays homage to the older tokusatsu programs, particularly the original Kamen Rider, which it is very like while going in different directions permitted by its different media (manga and anime as opposed to low-budget live action). Its direction is also different because the scope is deliberately rather larger-while the original Kamen Rider is the battle between a neo-Nazi organization called Shocker and several of their rebellious creations called Kamen Riders, it turns out that Chronos, the less Nazi-esque organization that is linked to the Guyvers, created less and is working off of leftover material from an alien civilization that created all life on Earth.

Yeah, it's one of those series.

Guyver is dark, bloody, features non-explicit nudity (slightly more explicit are largely unnecessary shots of several dudes' butts at various times, because generally the villains explode out of their clothing when they transform-the Guyvers don't have this problem, but there are still circumstances under which they lose their clothing, which I'll talk about in a bit), and quite a bit of swearing.

However, it never really feels gratuitous, despite the violence often being rather extreme. For that matter, the swearing never feels out of place (and that's a problem a lot of series have).

Things are pretty violent from an early point (the first episode features Guyver I, within seconds of his first transformation, casually ripping off the arms of a massive, monstrous opponent who had earlier shrugged off a grenade and then breaking his neck), but the tone is really set by the end of the sixth episode, "Beyond the Desperate Battle," when a new enemy type uses a suicide attack to outright melt Guyver I into a puddle. And then Guyver I gets better (and since his clothes were melted, he's naked, as noted above-my sister laughed so hard). Better yet, on multiple occasions, Guyver I wanders around killing people while he's technically unconscious, and is a better fighter when he ought to be clinically dead than when he's in good health. ...It makes sense in context.

As for the swearing, it's fairly frequent, but when you consider that these people are being confronted by some truly insane events, who wouldn't swear like that in their positions? ("Oh, I've got the Guyver on the ropes, and he doesn't stand a chance! Wait, he just grew swords out of his arms and started dismembering me? [EXPLETIVE] what the [EXPLETIVE] [EXPLETIVE] [EXPLETIVE]?!!??" "Oh, Guyver I is dead, and Guyver III has infiltrated the base. Oh wait, Guyver I is alive and inside our base because we took a sample, and Guyver III apparently has intimate knowledge of our facilities? Wasn't Guyver I turned into a [EXPLETIVE] puddle? And now he's killed a guy who was specially designed from data on his fighting abilities to fight him? And OH [EXPLETIVE] THEY'RE HERE [EXPLETIVE] [EXPLETIVE]-Ghk!")

Narratively, there's a small problem I have with the story generally, that being that after a certain point, the villains just start walking all over the protagonists, and this trend doesn't reverse until the end of the final episode, which takes place after a year-long timeskip which sees Chronos conquering the entire planet. (The series ends on an odd note, that being that Guyver I has just unveiled his awesome new game-changing powers and come back after a year of seemingly being dead, but the series producers were probably hoping for a third season, the Guyver manga is still ongoing, and it's actually a surprisingly satisfying end of the story arc, even if there are literally dozens of loose plot threads.)

Outside of the story itself, there's another problem: The Guyvers are genuinely among the most powerful anime/manga protagonists (well, the non-planet-busting kind, anyway), but they tend to misuse their powers a lot.

(WARNING: About to get seriously rambly.)

Not as badly as in some other series, but there are still some clear flaws. The poster child for this is the Guyver's head beam, which in the second episode, its debut appearance, is used to stop a bullet from hitting Guyver I's buddy.

This is the first time he uses it, and he uses it instinctively. Using it this way is the only reason he knows he has it at all.

He starts using it a lot less by the fourth or fifth episode because it never seems to actually work on most enemies after the first few-the third episode featured an enemy who got shot through the chest with it, but merely regenerated from it almost instantaneously. So perhaps he has forgotten the original usage when he encounters multiple enemies who fire guided missiles that are considerably larger and slower (and thus much easier targets) than bullets. You've got frikkin' point defense, and these are bothering you at all? (Granted, said enemies have lots of missiles they fire all at once, but the beam is actually a continuous beam that can be used to cut things in this particular series.)

Not much better is the gratuitous misuse of the mega smasher. The mega smasher is described as the strongest weapon the Guyvers possess, and in terms of raw brute power, that's pretty much indisputable. Its destructive potential is so great that it's only used in isolated areas, because otherwise they'd be knocking down buildings and wiping out whole city blocks. It also has rather long warmup and cooldown times, leaves its wielders with an opening in their armor, and also has a telegraphing glow it emits. (It's also rather inexplicably stopped by clever use of vibrating blades, which since it's some kind of "particle beam," makes about as much sense as stopping a flamethrower with a wiggling sheet of paper.) The mega smasher also requires full use of one's arms, as a Guyver must manually pull open the armor plates covering it. (This is mitigated a bit by the fact that the smasher can be fired one-armed at half strength.)

As a result, it's the likeliest weapon in the entire series to fail spectacularly. Guyver III, the second heroic Guyver, seems particularly vulnerable to this-while Guyver I fails on multiple occasions, it's justified at least partly by the fact that he's actually a terrible strategist. Guyver III outsmarts numerous individuals and has considerable combat training intended to bring out the potential of a being like a Guyver. And so what happens when he tries to use his mega smasher? He epic fails almost every time. Taking a guided missile to the chest while charging up, for instance, or failing because the enemy is spectacularly stronger than he expected (and for that matter almost invincible even compared to a Guyver), or because the enemy did something that was a stretch by any standards (see above about the vibrating blade thing).

You'd think that Guvyer III at least would have learned to charge up the mega smasher while the other guy didn't even know he was in a fight yet, then jump out and fire it. But no, the closest anybody ever gets to that is Guyver I charging his mega smasher while it's closed (which is odd that it's even possible, and odder still that they'd not do it this way normally) and then popping it open by sheer force of will (instead of using his arms) and firing immediately. (Incidentally, that's easily among Guyver I's most awe-inspiring moments.)

Possibly the single worst misuse of powers, though, is the "sonic emitter" weapon.

When it debuts, it's something of a deus ex machina to get Guyver I out of a fight with enemies with sonic powers. It overwhelms these enemies' own sonic powers, which cancelled out all sound to the point where the sequence seemed unreal (this was part of the point of the ability). It turns out to be pretty powerful, able to completely destroy enemies without harming the surrounding area-in fact seemingly being able at fully strength to destroy enemies as quickly and totally as the mega smasher without the collateral damage-thus being possibly the Guyver's most useful weapon.

And after that, it's used maybe two or three times... and that's it.

Seriously, you forgot that you have a weapon that can destroy your enemies effectively without the long recharge time and high collateral damage of the mega smasher?


Regardless of all that, it's a pretty good series, and since you can watch the whole thing on Hulu (provided you're an adult with a Facebook or Hulu account), I pretty much have to recommend it if you don't mind the things I'm talking about (and even if you do somewhat).

-Signing off.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

There Is Something Wrong When Your Gameplay Has Better Animation Than The Cutscenes

Oldschool cutscenes make me laugh.

I mean, just look at those crazy lips. Look at them. And the one general's hand-waving, for that matter.

It gets better as it goes, but it's still pretty silly.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Would You Like Some Cheese With That Ham?

I've played a few different space combat simulators (the obvious Star Wars ones, though less of those than one might expect, and especially Star Crusader, which I played through two or three times before the only computer that I could play it on died forever). I've also played demos for a few more. The demo I remember best was the demo for Tachyon: The Fringe, a game that sounds like it ought to be part of a series, but isn't.

The main thing I remember was that it had flexible gameplay, a super-slick control scheme, and ship customization that actually was pretty fun.

It being a demo, I didn't get to see the best part, this scene from some part of the game or another:

"I WILL NOT TURN OVER THE PRETTY CEILING! IT IS MINE NOW! MINE, MINE, MINE!" (It has to be all in capitals, because dang is he loud!)

Apparently, that's the only voicework that guy ever did. Kinda sad, because that was pretty great.

-Signing off.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#54)

531. Karfs. Apparently, the Karfs are sapient tree-dwellers that live on the same planet as the Brolfs. They are small and delicate and are treated as a minority, probably.

Rating: 2/5. Minor but relatively useful details.

532. Kari. I'm unclear on how large the Kari are supposed to be, but the picture makes the individual shown look like a hulking giant. (They are described as "small," but that's vague as all heck.)

Apparently, the Kari have such rapid population growth that they scared the Empire, which banned them from space travel. Their home planet had a population of at least 100 billion. This becomes a bit less staggering when you consider that the galaxy is supposed to have 180 billion potentially habitable planets (I used to cite a much smaller number from the old Star Wars novelization, but apparently there's been some retconning going on), and thus that's kind of a drop in the bucket by comparison.

The Kari live in twenty-to-thirty member families called hatches. They apparently specialize in manufacturing little kitschy gadgets and selling them for food, as they need lots of that. They also, despite a relative lack of individuality (to the point where the hatch families were said to be sapient, but not the individuals), have a strong bardic tradition. They apparently largely live underground and few ever see their sun.

Rating: 4/5. I've kind of indicated repeatedly in the past that I don't really care for characterizing an alien species based solely on stereotypes about animals they resemble. That's the main reason I give the Kari less than a 5/5 (the whole hive-minded thing), because if they'd been given some other more unique psychological characteristic they'd have been really interesting.

533. Karkarodons. They're shark people. Incidentally, "Karkarodon" is a corruption of "Carcharodon," which is an animal you may have heard of. Apparently, at least one could keep pace with a small submarine and sympathized with the Separatists during the Clone Wars.

Rating: 3/5. Shark aliens are surprisingly rare...

534. Karnak Alphans. Karnak Alphans are basically all Cousin Itts.

Rating: 4/5. Taking them down a notch is a weird custom about basically forcing people to bring their kids along to diplomatic stuff and having them serve food to them as some kind of gesture of respect. ...What?

535. Karrans. The Karrans are "large and lumbering insectivores," which is an... interesting combination. Apparently, they are very close to being hive-minded.

They are also ugly giant rat-things.

Rating: 2/5, mainly for the weird irony of a hive-minded insectivore.

536. Kashoonara. The Kashoonara are humanoids who believe creatures called humbabas are sacred. "Humbaba" was a figure in Akkadian/Sumerian/Babylonian/Assyrian mythology who was some kind of ugly giant (he had visible intestines and stuff). (Personally, I can't help but think of one of the elemental summons from the game Septerra Core, which had the same name.) Fittingly, at least one depiction of the humbabas is freaky as all heck.

The Kashoonara hated the Empire because they killed a lot of humbabas, apparently for the heck of it.

Rating: 2/5. They're very modestly interesting. They're also pretty one-dimensional.

537. Kath. The Kath apparently disliked the Empire for subjugating them, and one was a Rebel operative. They're reptilian.

Rating: 1/5. A little too little to go on.

538. Kathol. Oh hey it's the Kathol!

Believed to be descendants of the Old Ones, the Kathol made a determined effort to bring every H.P. Lovecraft reference they possibly could into the Star Wars galaxy. In the process, they created several other species (notably the Charr Ontee), an awesome giant magical monster/computer thing (which itself created a number of new species), and (apparently unintentionally) caused others (the Aing-Tii) to start religions.

After some Dark Jedi put them on the brink of extinction, they used the aforementioned DarkStryder to preserve their souls for later physical resurrection, but the DarkStryder didn't like that plan, they fought about it, and the Kathol's souls were then the power source for a special form of Force powers.

Eventually, stuff happened and the Kathol's souls were freed, but they either decided to finally let go or became very cranky and contentious ghosts.

Rating: 5/5. I loves me some Lovecraftian silliness, and the Kathol represent the lion's share of it in Star Wars.

539. Kaump heavyworlders. Ambiguously canonical... well, heavyworlders... the Kaump apparently are short, "dense" (you might want to reconsider the phrasing there), and flat-faced.

Rating: 2/5. Mainly because of the chuckle I got from the use of the word "dense."

540. Kauronians. Kauronians were once seen by Greedo entering the infamous cantina. However, when he got there, there weren't any, because there weren't any there in the movie.

Less offensively to continuity, the Kauronians apparently had a pirate fleet hiding out in their home system at some point, which means entry #540 wasn't completely stupid, anyway.

Rating: 1/5. There just isn't enough to even think about giving them more.

-Signing off.

Monday, August 6, 2012

One of Those Posts That Looks Weird When You Can't See The YouTube Embeds

It sounds weird to say, but Weird Al is totally a class act.

Really truly.

Grammar, people.

-Signing off.

Friday, August 3, 2012

You'd Think People Who Merged Into A Giant Robot Would Have An Easier Time Coordinating...

I often miss shows when they air because I don't have cable, and don't really hear about them until after their runs are over.

I'd heard of Sym-Bionic Titan a few times, and now I've decided I need to hunt it down and watch it. Why?

This clip is reason enough for me.

I mean, really. That's fantastic.

-Signing off.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Invid's Guide to the Star Wars Universe: Alien Species (#53)

521. Kaleesh. Kaleesh are mask-wearing warlike primitives. (Gr.) They believe that those who achieve great deeds in life become gods after they die. They were wrapped up in a war with the Yam'rii, AKA the Huk, who are basically huge praying mantids. They didn't do too well. One of the heroes of that conflict, Qymaen jai Sheelal, would go on to become one of the most famous Kaleesh, under the name General Grievous.

There are some mild inconsistencies in Kaleesh size and leg structure owing to some of their more unusual members; most notably, Grievous's droid legs are probably responsible for the inconsistency, as most of the time Kaleesh are illustrated with relatively human feet.

Rating: 3/5. The Kaleesh are modestly interesting. Grievous himself is a bit more interesting (and horrifically tragic), because the Separatists for whom he worked were allied with his enemies from the war with the Yam'rii/Huk, and there's no indication he was aware of this. (Despite his tactical brilliance, I believe he was confirmed to have suffered severe brain damage at some point before he became Grievous, not surprising since there wasn't much left of him.)

522. Kalkals. The only known Kalkal wanted an interview with Jabba the Hutt, and one of the requirements was that he make Jabba laugh, but Jabba had heard the joke he came up with before. He had also heard a scream much like the one that the Kalkal made as he got dumped in the rancor pit before.

Rating: 2/5. We don't know much about the Kalkals, but I'm giving a point for a reasonable bit of dark comedy (even if it was a shaggy dog story).

523. Kallidahin, or Polis Massans. The Kallidahin became known as Polis Massans because a bunch of them were spending all of their time on Polis Massa, a space rock, digging for archeological information on a group who might be connected to their ancestors.

They basically have no faces and can't speak, and so use telepathy and sign language to communicate.

The place where Padmè gave birth to Luke and Leia was Polis Massa, and the droid that attended to her was one of theirs.

Rating: 3/5. A bit of mysterious weirdness (which these guys are) benefits any fictional universe.

524. Kalsunorans. The Kalsunorans of Kalsunor were apparently trounced by the Sith Empire, the old one that existed more than five thousand years before the movie era. (There are several more recent Sith Empires, and some other empires to boot.) The means by which they were trounced? Giant dark side-empowered crab monsters "dropped" onto their planet.


Rating: 3/5, by pure association.

525. Kalzerians. The Kalzerians have black teeth, black (it isn't explained what they mean by "black," though) leathery skin, and yellow eyes. And they're otherwise probably essentially indistinguishable from humans.

Rating: 2/5. Eh, reasonably interesting color scheme, but a little boring, and not much information otherwise.

526. Kamarians. I feel like I've told this story before: Han and Chewbacca were visiting this fairly primitive planet and showing them some holographic documentaries. They got a riot when they changed to an action movie, because the documentary was about water, and the primitive folks they showed it to lived in a desert... and so much water was a religious experience for them. (Ah, here we are, I offhandedly mentioned the incident here.) Anyway, not all of the Kamarians were nearly that primitive, and in fact others on the very same planet had developed nuclear weaponry and ballistic missile point defense independently of the rest of the galaxy. (Just why they bothered when they could have bought themselves some nice good stuff from an offworld contractor is beyond me, but hey.)

The Kamarians are also cool bipedal insectoids, so that's all good.

Rating: 4/5. The Kamarians are pretty unusual in terms of their unusually well-developed culture and technology level compared to the rest of the galaxy, and in the fact that they vary greatly from region to region on their own planet (with desert-dwelling primitives and rather advanced if feudalistic cities).

527. Kaminoans. The Kaminoans are those tall, excessively thin aliens that were described as very good cloners and who created the Clone Army for the Republic. They are, incidentally, totally into eugenics, as in they actually practiced the heck out of it. Their culling of the overly sentimental is probably why they all sound so calm all the time, and their culling of just about everybody is probably why they all look alike. Aside from the cloning, of course.

Rating: 4/5. I like the Kaminoans, because they have the look of these gentle, ultra-peaceful people, but when you start digging into their background you realize, "Oh, hey, these are really horrible people."

528. Kanduh. The Kanduh are ambiguously canon, and even if they weren't, they'd all be dead.

Rating: 1/5. Way to be irrelevant, guys.

529. Kanzer Exiles. Apparently, a group of sapient reptilians, who may or may not have been exiled from someplace called Kanzer (the only known aspect of their origin is that they came from the Unknown Regions). One of their leaders apparently made a temple the size of a planet at some point.

You go, may-or-may-not-be-exiles.

Rating: 2/5. I was leaning towards a 3, but all that ambiguity was a bit too much.

530. Kardurans. Kardurans apparently form dancing troupes.

Rating: 1/5. Yeah, like no other species ever would, right?

-Signing off.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Design Sense Incongruity

Y'know, I understand it's a classic design with nostalgia value (and I don't mean that sarcastically) and I can see why it would be a popular piece of bonus content...

...but ol' G1 Optimus Prime looks really out of place there.

-Signing off.