Saturday, May 24, 2014

Into the Unknown: Watching Avatar for the First Time

It's 2:00 PM on a Thursday and I have just finished all current episodes of Avatar: The Legend of Korra. Over the past two weeks I have watched every episode of the series and it's predecessor, The Last Airbender. Although Nickelodeon began the Avatar series when I was 13, a primo age for cartoon watching, I only watched a few episodes before abandoning it. Nine years later, I was faced with a few days between my last finals of college and a sudden urge to marathon the series. I watched the three seasons of The Last Airbender in three days, and in the following week and a half I watched the two seasons of Korra, season three is starting later this year.

To put it succinctly, I really liked the series and I regret not watching it earlier. It really is a pretty great cartoon, especially for one that remains so kid friendly in its content. The world constructed around the series is both easy to grasp but deeper than what is shown and it leaves me wanting more details, which I always appreciate. Characters are pretty well sorted into their archetypes, but I was regularly impressed when someone stepped out of the single dimension. Nobody really falls under one trope, excluding the Fire Lord but every kid's show needs a villain, and I was always happy to see some legitimate discernment from most of the characters. The show doesn't have masterful writing, but when compared to most other contemporary kid's shows, Avatar takes the writing cake.

The first series left me with very few actual complaints. There were a few story loose ends but my understanding is that some of these are brought up in the comics that followed The Last Airbender. Certain episodes were noticeably filler, and unlike the engrossing non-story episodes of shows like Adventure Time, I wasn't really interested in the mini plots. Avatar's strength in the first series really seems to come from its continuity and call backs of items that felt unimportant at the time. I was always happy when a character or event from an unexpected earlier episode would have major consequences on future happenings it made watching the series all at once a benefit.

Moving to Korra, the lack of overarching continuity is what really seems to be holding the series back. Korra has many of the great traits, good characters and an engrossing world, of The Last Airbender, but with no end goal, there is no good purpose to really build up to. Each season does the building well, but there is no connectivity between them. This may change with the next season but that's just speculation.

In short, my soiree with Avatar is over for the time being and I guess I should be happy that I was hooked after so much had happened. If you are reluctant as I was, give the show a try, the first season takes a little while to get especially interesting, but the finale is worth it. I may look into reading the comics, but I will probably have to wait until Korra's new season to appropriately geek out on Avatar.

-Peter

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Some pre-E3 screenshots of Hyrule Warriors

With E3 coming up, my inner nintendo lover is about to explode with anticipation. Nintendo's E3 lineup isn't publicly known, but there are some educated guesses that can be made about what they will showcase. Of the many possible choices, I can say that Hyrule Warriors will probably be there, as it was announced back in December and is slated to come out some time this year. Hyrule Warriors will take the characters, settings, and enemies of The Legend of Zelda series and present them through a Dynasty Warriors, horde battling, game. It looks quite fun and will hopefully be a game to help pull the Wii U up a little, along with other upcoming titles.

The Japanese website for Hyrule Warriors released a set of screenshots recently and they show some pretty cool things. Link is shown beating up hordes of bokoblins and other baddies but a few new aspects of the game are also revealed. Impa, Zelda's bodyguard/handmaiden (depending on the game), will be a playable character and the game looks like it will have an original story with its own new bosses (those weirdos in the helmets).

I look forward to seeing what else is released about Hyrule Warriors at E3 (June 10-12), and hope that  it's as fun as it looks.

Check out the slideshow by GameXplain for the new photos

-Peter

The Post-Commencement Re-Commencement?

It has been some time since I last wrote on this now 2 year old project. There are many reasons leading up to this, but I will credit it to being busy, senior year funk, and abandoning most of my comic reading. I have no current monthly subscriptions, and I don't know when I will take that back up. I still love comics, but it is hard to write about something you aren't doing very much of. I have now graduated from Hendrix, and am temporarily filling the nerd stereotype of living in my parents basement while I look for permanent, and moderately well paying, employment.

Going forward, I plan to keep this blog up and may make it more of a personal experience blog. Since its beginning I kept trying to make this blog about more current and news items, but that is pretty difficult without any other people or extraordinary time to commit to following all of my interests. I will now write about things I do, shortly after I do them, whether or not they are recent. If I read a 10 year old book, I'll write my thoughts on it. I think this will lead to more posts, more interesting posts, and a happier me.

Thanks for reading

-Peter