The 'Shroom:Issue 127/Critic Corner

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Director's Notes

Written by: Hypnotoad (talk)

Shroom2017 Anton.png

Halloween is here, the best time of the year! Spooky stuff and candy, what a wonderful holiday! What you'll get from us here at Critic Corner this month is (mostly) a collection of haunts and horror-themed reviews. Little bit more brief than I usually am but maybe I'll sneak something more in later if I think of it, but shhhh don't tell Meta Knight (talk).

Thanks to everyone who continues enjoying Half-Baked Reviews, and congrats to Alex95 (talk) and Yoshi876 (talk) for placing in September's CC Section of the Month! Additionally, congrats to Nabber (talk) for making it onto the Staff SOTM with his Movie Review of Baby Driver!!! Also, please welcome MsRetroGeek (talk) to the team with her section G. TV!

Last but not least, next issue we will be having a 2D Game theme as well as a send-off for the Wii U, so if you want to join in please try to gear your sections for those!

Section of the Month

Place Section Votes % Writer
1st Anton's Half-Baked Reviews 8 28.57% Hypnotoad (talk)
2nd Could Have Been 6 21.43% Alex95 (talk)
3rd Movie Reviews 5 17.86% Yoshi876 (talk)

Opinion Pieces

The Wii U qualifies as horror/tragedy, right?
[read more]

Anton's back from vacation and you can bet he's terrified by that
[read more]

The thought of Rabbids gives me night terrors
[read more]

Teaching players to destroy pots is a fright as old as time
[read more]

Maybe it's a meta-horror movie, 876?
[read more]

Cliché? Cringe-worthy? Sounds like horror to me
[read more]

Could Have Been

Written by: Alex95 (talk)

Early logo for Mario Kart 8
The early logo for Mario Kart 8, which looks close to the final version.

Hello everyone! My name is Alex95 and welcome to "Could Have Been". In this segment, I talk about features that didn't quite make it into a game's final release and see just how the cut content would've affected the game. The Wii U may have been a failure commercially, but there are a few games that have managed to make owning the system worthwhile. One of these games, Mario Kart 8, became the best-selling game of the console, to the point where it got an updated rerelease on the Nintendo Switch called Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I will be covering both of them this month, so let's dive right in and take a look at what could have been.

Before the game entered development, the dev team was throwing around ideas on new mechanics to include. Of them, anti-gravity and a drill attachment were the most popular, but the team instead went the F-Zero route when the drill proved uninteresting. But what if they had included it? Imaging the karts drilling into the side of a wall in order to progress or find a secret passage. Or maybe the drill could've been used as an attack, damaging karts it touches like a Green Shell would. …Actually, that sounds a little overpowered, not to mention that retro courses would have to have been completely redone in order to make up for it. And if the drill was an optional item in courses were it is required, well, then you'd be screwed. It might work as a Battle Mode item, though.

Mario Kart 8 screenshot
The flag-less Thwomp Ruins.

A common thing to do when developing a new game in an established series is to use older assets as placeholders until the finalized stuff is created. Kart and character noises were recycled from past Mario Kart games like Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7. The early E3 build of Mario Kart 8 showed plenty that was ultimately changed in the final game, such as the aforementioned sounds. Twisted Mansion was originally generically named "Boo House", which was probably a reference to the Ghost Houses. Some vehicle changes where present, like Donkey Kong's Standard Bike being brown instead of yellow, and the Goomba Towers in Mario Circuit were taller. Thwomp Ruins also lacked some flowers and the starting line, so maybe the players were meant to start elsewhere on the track. Most of the courses, however, remained mostly untouched between the game's reveal and the final release, which is nice I suppose, but now I can't cover them (insert sad face emoticon here). The addition of anti-gravity isn't the only mechanic that was changed, the E3 trailer also showed off some interesting changes between that build and the final. The roster was much smaller, containing twelve characters out of thirty-six, and the look of the roster is different, too, with the character simply floating off to the side rather than being placed on a pedestal. The HUD also looked different, with the minimap looking like how it did in Mario Kart 7, and the laps being limited to two rather than three. Perhaps the strangest change between builds where the items, specifically how many of them you could hold. In the original build, you could carry up to two items at a time, much like how it was from Mario Kart 64 and onward. Now the dual-item carrying did return in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, along with the return of the Double Item Boxes, but why this was cut from the original game, we may never know.

Unused Kamek emblem from Mario Kart 8.
He'll get his time one day.

Moving into the truly unused data, there are several graphics that went unused. An icon of a Magikoopa is included, possibly hinting at its inclusion as a playable character, who was first teased at for Mario Kart 64 (more on that game at a later date). Among all the various unused trees, pipes, and a Purple Toad are some intriguing graphics of course cup icons of a Yoshi Egg, Shine Sprite, Boo, and a Spiny Shell. Their internal file names are "CupIconDLC00" through "03", so they were intended to be the cup representatives before it was decided The Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing would join. The Yoshi Egg is used as a cup icon, but with a different graphic. There is also an unused testing track that looks like an unfinished version of Mario Circuit, though it appears said version is used in the menus when you're selecting your engine speed.

Unused icons of the DLC cups in Mario Kart 8
The "Spiny Shell" cup would've probably been brutal.

Since Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was simply a remastered port of Mario Kart 8, it makes sense to copy everything from the original game over to the new one. The icons that were used for the unpurchased DLC characters in the original game are present in Deluxe's coding, but go unused since the DLC characters are available from the start in the port. Also, the first update of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe removed, or rather corrected, one of the Inkling Girl's animations which resembled an obscene gesture, which, as you can probably guess, is not good. It's likely Nintendo didn't know of this gesture until it was brought to their attention. That's really about all that's specific to Deluxe, as it shares the same development history of the original game.

Be sure to check out our page on Mario Kart 8's development or you can head over to The Cutting Room floor for both Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for images and data of the stuff I rambled about. Until next time, see you around!


Written By: Hypnotoad (talk)

Well I’m back from vacation! Along with going to Florida to check out my new apartment, I also hung around with Weasel and 2257 (talk) at their respective places. During each of these visits I had TONS OF FUN and OTHER THINGS and also tried a whole bunch of nonsense to pack my half-baked review queue for easily a year, which will likely come in handy since around my moving date I might take a pseudo-hiatus. For this month we celebrate the anniversary of my previous vacation and subsequent review in Issue 115 by me having tried more stuff in North Carolina with the Weasel himself.


First thing up when I stopped by his place were some drinks I requested while on my way. Cheerwine is some kind of red soda thing that people in the Carolinas really like. I know my 3-part fizzy theme is over and here I am doing another soda, but having heard about it last year and not getting it I figured I should get some this time. So when I arrived, first thing I did was awkwardly get my enormous suitcase out of my car that Weasel tried to get downstairs, plopped it down on the floor, popped my shoes off, and flopped onto the couch. Almost immediately Weasel brings me a nicely chilled Cheerwine, which was very nice as I panicked to find a coaster because it was like 80000 degrees as it was technically the south and the glass was already drenched in condensation.

I’m not sure what I was expecting with trying this, because it was mostly just like…’s a soda. That’s not a negative comment, but it’s more just neutral. It smells like cherry and also tastes like it, without being unnecessarily sweet like that garbage piss water Jones Soda that no one should ever consider buying ever at all because they’re a disgusting elitist company. Quite the opposite, Cheerwine genuinely was refreshing and didn’t leave me with a kid of sticky feeling that things like Pepsi or Mtn Dew, or more comparable the overpowering sweetness of Cherry Crush, would leave, and the flavor was pleasant without being too subtle or overpowering, and instead just tasted like cherry (despite it still technically being artificial as well), and with that being one of my most favorite flavors I feel that’s a good compliment. The soda itself doesn’t feel as fizzy as others and due to that it feels a lot smoother despite it still being carbonated. Other reviews I looked at just to see what other people thought all said that it was super extra carbonated so I’m not sure where they got it but it totally wasn’t. I feel that drinking it out of a glass limits plenty of the negative impact a bunch of carbonation would have if you were to drink it from a cup or can, and while I’m not a glass bottle snob I would genuinely recommend buying that form.

The company also apparently produces a Cheerwine-flavored ice cream, so I know what I’ll be attempting to locate next time.

Rating: CornChex.png Regular Corn Chex piece but from inside of a bag of Sweet & Salty Chex Mix Popped instead of Traditional

Explanation: For all intents and purposes it’s basically the same exact thing, but just by virtue of the properties of what it’s around it tastes just a bit different in a way that I would say is better but can be debated as not. Unlike the Chex pieces in Turtle, which are coated with a disgusting amount of sugary something, the Chex pieces in the Popped version just get a light amount of transfer sugary salty flavor dusting that only enhances it instead of overpowers and kills you. Whereas Cherry Crush and Jones Sodas overcompensate by pumping some bubbly water full of hyperconcentrated artificially-flavored sugar syrup sludge, Cheerwine is the right amount of flavoring and bubblies.

Mi Carreta, Part 2

The next day, we figured we should probably eat something, and decided to go out. We chose Mi Carreta again, the Mexican grill restaurant place whatever that was good last time. Once again I was faced with their enormous menu of easily over a hundred items, not including variations of each with options and sides, with nearly all of them either being in spanish or me just having absolutely no idea which dish was actually what. I’m sorry, I don’t know the difference between an empanada and an enchilada without googling it, sue me. Also, once again, the waiter brought us an enormous bowl of tortilla chips and some dipping sauces that we gorged ourselves on nearly to the point that it became sufficient for our meal.

That day, though, I was in the mood for chicken and rice, so I scoured the chicken list for things that sounded good and whammo there was pollo mango. Grilled chicken breast marinated with special mango sauce on top, with a choice of two sides: Rice, Black Beans, Mashed Potatoes, Baked Potato, Stewed Vegetables, House Salad, Refried Beans or French Fries; naturally I chose fries and rice. When it came out, the portion size was enormous--especially the rice--but the sauce didn’t come on top like it said, but in a little tub on the side. I was a little __ about this until I tried it, learning that the mango sauce was EXTREMELY spicy and legitimately made me start sweating and tears well up, so I was glad that it wasn’t just drenched in it and I had the option to dip as much chicken I wanted into however much sauce I wanted. Now, I’m not someone who has historically liked spicy things, but I’ve been gaining a taste for it recently and I’m not sure why, but luckily eating this lined up with my taste evolution just in time for me to appreciate the flavor of this because it was pretty alright. My only criticism was that the chicken was a bit thinner and tougher than I thought it would be, but this could easily be chalked up to me just not understanding the dish in general since that’s already a given.

Once we left I immediately could feel that my gut had swollen and gases were brewing, but social anxiety forced me to keep them inside as I inflated to New Super Mario Bros. U/deviantART proportions. I didn’t get or feel sick, though, just an overbearing sense of fullness that I don’t think I’ve experienced since uhhhh….I can’t remember, but I totally experienced it again like about 8 days later when I got this really tasty tiramisu at Olive Garden that was about the size of my head and I inhaled it all in about 2 minutes. Since there was a whole ton I obviously brought leftovers back. They reheated well enough and were a pretty ok late night snack.

Rating: FirePretzel.png Pretzel from Hot & Spicy Chex Mix

Explanation: Similar to the rating of Hot Corn Chex Piece from last year, the Pretzel from Hot & Spicy Chex Mix is an upgrade. Not only was the quality on par with last time, it was also something I liked as a standard now astonishingly hot recreating the scene where you’re flailing around with a fork in one hand and a tortilla chip covered in sour cream in the other.

Granite Falls Brewing Company

On the last day hanging out with Weasel we went out to some fancy brewery place he had been saving for a ~grand finale~. The actual building of this place was a lot larger and fancier on the inside, and I could appreciate it without a cacophony of kids screaming and local brew hipsters relentlessly attempting to show off how tight their manbun is. As we sat down the waitress came up to do the usual waitress gambit and ask what we want to drink, but she referred to me as “ma’am” and immediately got extremely embarrassed and said she was gonna reset and walked away. She eventually came back refreshed and I asked for whatever that grape alcohol drink thing was, which tasted alright.

Still in the mood for chicken, I scoured this menu as well for some kind of grilled chicken burger and wowee it had a few options that were wild and crazy. The one I selected was “Icard's Honey Mustard n' Apple Butter Chicken Sandwich, with GFB's Honey Mustard n' Apple Butter sauce”, which appealed to me mostly because it also came with homemade chips and a pickle. After ordering we sat around and watched the wait staff panic about an impending large party of people coming in and trying to figure out how to coordinate it, as I remembered that I forgot to say “no tomato, please” and planned how I could skillfully remove it without the waitress seeing I had taken it off wherein I would literally die of embarrassment.

So, drum roll, food arrives and it sure is a sandwich.
HalfBaked 127 1.jpg
It’s a lot larger than what I expected, since I’m used to most restaurants not really bothering much with their chicken sandwiches and just plopping on some flimsy piece of reheated pre-cooked grilled chicken like I have at the deli I work at to use as a pizza topping. After spending a significant amount of time just eating chips and sucking down my soda I decided I should probably eat this burger since I spent like $10+ on it. Despite the GFB's Honey Mustard n' Apple Butter sauce looking like it would explode and dribble everywhere as soon as I took one bite, it was surprisingly stable, which is always worth a few points for any sandwich that has some kind of sauce on it. The color of it was kinda concerning because it appeared to be brown like bbq sauce until it was spread thinner and revealed its true self as some kinda weird green organic paste, but rather than being frightened of something new I figured it’s probably because it’s homemade and real and not pumped full of artificial color. It had a strange flavor that definitely was apple, but I couldn’t tell it was honey mustard at all. I had no idea what apple butter even was, but apparently it’s “super concentrated applesauce” which to me just sounds like they sucked out all of the unnecessary water and whatever. I’m not sure why it’s called a butter, but then again there’s peanut butter, so now I’m thrown for a loop that I took to IRC for a late night rambling, which I’ll now share after heavily editing it:

03:45 Anton{Politoed}
03:45 Anton{Politoed} what is wrong with their thumb
03:48 Napalm apple butter is really good
03:48 Uniju i agree
03:48 Anton{Politoed} why is it butter
03:48 Anton{Politoed} what's butter
03:49 Anton{Politoed} there's dairy butter but then like
03:49 Anton{Politoed} butter isn't a form of something
03:49 Anton{Politoed} paste would be the word
03:49 Anton{Politoed} but why is there apple butter and peanut butter and all that
03:51 Anton{Politoed} according to merriam-webster it's a term applied to things that are buttery
03:51 Anton{Politoed} a creamy food spread
03:51 Anton{Politoed} there's just no other word for it so it's just compared to butter
03:51 Anton{Politoed} and if it's buttery it's also called butter
03:51 Anton{Politoed} despite it not being butter
03:51 Anton{Politoed} this is disgusting
03:51 Anton{Politoed} there needs to be another designation
03:51 Anton{Politoed} peanut paste
03:52 Anton{Politoed} am I the only one outraged by this
03:52 Anton{Politoed} 22
03:52 _2257 uhhh
03:52 _2257 just dont be dutch and call it apple cheese
03:53 Anton{Politoed} why do they call it cheese
03:53 Anton{Politoed} what’s wrong with them
03:54 Anton{Politoed} paste pāst/ noun noun: paste 1. a thick, soft, moist substance, usually produced by mixing dry ingredients with a liquid. "blend onions, sugar, and oil to a paste" synonyms: puree, pulp, mush, mash, blend "blend the ingredients to a paste"
03:54 Anton{Politoed} apple mush
03:54 Anton{Politoed} that's what I called it when I was a kid and still do sometimes
03:54 Anton{Politoed} tfw i was a child genius
03:54 Uniju its because they base their lives and economy around butter and the butter producers took offense to peanut butter claiming to be butter i think
03:55 Uniju why they picked cheese as the alternative is beyond me

Back to the review at hand, it was a pretty good sandwich that I actually finished all of, which doesn’t happen ever--I’m notorious for getting full after only a few bites, and then asking for dessert and finishing all of that quickly. Near the end of it I was getting tired of the apple flavor and the texture of the butter paste mush slop, but it seemed to be portioned perfectly enough that I would just simply finish the meal before I grew to fully and irreparably dislike it. Granite Falls Brewing Company seems to know what they’re doing when it comes to the food they serve.

Rating: ChocolateChex.png Chocolate chex piece

Explanation: I had a hard time deciding on what to rate this, and almost gave it the Golden Pretzel, but I’m a bit apprehensive to toss that around. I’d probably have given it if the drinks were larger for their price or if they had pretzel rolls or something that I’m super picky about, but these nitpicks don’t mean it’s bad, it just turns a 110% into a 98%. The Chocolate Chex piece is a unique staple of chocolate flavors of Chex Mix, anchoring itself as a prime example of something that is good but not overloaded in excess, keeping me wanting to try more.


Organic Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

This isn’t anything I tried while on vacation but, spoiler alert, what’s Halloween without a horror story?

One day while browsing around the grocery store just for like… blow my money on and try. Having been a fan of an organic food place in my college town that had some funky ice cream that was pretty good I wandered to the organic frozen section because sometimes they have wacky ice cream flavors that are worth a try. This time, though, I saw a chocolate peanut butter one that was on sale for a price that was a bit lower than what I usually spend on the pints that I get, so I figured this would be an ok enough thing to try to fill in a review space for an off-month I didn’t have some kinda theme planned.. The brand is Arctic Zero, Fit Frozen Desserts. Fat free, GMO free, lactose free, gluten free, low glycemic, with whey protein, the full shebang. With all of this on here I’m kinda expecting all of the flavor to be sucked out and leaving behind literally just some ice chips with how accommodating they’re being to basically every dietary affliction.

Guess what?! I was right!
This is all of it that will ever be eaten, too
It tastes very icey and flavorless. I’m not getting any hint of chocolate or peanut butter out of this, just freezer burn. The actual color of it looks like very diluted chocolate almond milk and that’s probably what it is. Rereading the label again and I saw that it says “a blend of rich chocolate & roasted peanut butter flavor”. Flavor. Key word is flavor. Here I am expecting there to be ribbons of peanut butter in it because that’s my favorite part but no, nothing. I know organic peanut butter exists that fit all of the criteria listed, so why is it not in here? I also noticed that it never says it’s ice cream, just that it’s a frozen dessert. Feeling robbed of a satisfactory creamy experience, I could feel my life essence drained and weakened. Desperate, I hurried out to my garage where the second freezer is, swiftly but carefully tiptoeing because I was barefoot and the concrete floor is cold and dirty, knowing that there’s been many nights where I’ve had to fend off wild animals and drunk people with my giant machete near this same area, but I also knew I could not waste any time lest my body and soul wither up into a miserable pile of unmoisturized skin like the other gluten/lactose/fat/GMO-free-by-choicers. Plunging my spoon into a gallon of off-brand chocolate ice cream because that’s all my mom buys as her standards are significantly lower than mine, I gorged myself, instantly feeling my body become rejuvenated, my lips no longer dry and chapped, my hair no longer frazzled and broken, my skin now smooth and silky, and my belief that there is still some good left on this planet, however modest, replenished to continue my quest in life--reviewing nonsense and giving it an arbitrary Chex Mix-scale rating.

Later on I forced my dad to try some, and he also hated it and thought it was the worst thing ever. Validation.

Rating: Trying Turtle Chex Mix after you’ve found out that Chocolate Peanut Butter Chex Mix has been discontinued.

Explanation: As you sit there mourning the loss of a beloved friend--Chocolate Peanut Butter Chex Mix--you figure that trying something similar but new will help mend wounds, only to be fooled by a bitter universe once again. Turtle Chex Mix makes high promises cocoa-coated Chex, sugary pretzels, and candy chocolates, but all it does is take the perfect blend of salty, smoky, savory, and sweet that peanut butter brings and instead replace it with some fabricate saccharine sham “caramel” that undoes all of what you’ve treasured and works to replace all of your fond memories with nothing but trauma.

Tune in next month where I review ..something! Probably stuff I tried on vacation! Also, tell me what to review next! Here’s my Steam Inventory filled with games I haven’t played for some ideas, but things you can tell me to do can also be movies, shows, physical actions, trying new foods, music, literally anything and I’ll cover it eventually if it’s not too ridiculous. Just send me a message here on my talk page or PM it to me on the forum. Don't like what I have to say? That's fine, and probably bound to happen because I've been told about how much people like Super Mario 64 and how they feel about any criticism of it! We at Critic Corner will welcome your alternate review of it as a new section for the next issue!

Marioverse Reviews

Written by: Rosalina1999 (talk)

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle NTSC/PAL boxart

Hi everyone! It is October already! I can't believe it! This year is going by fast, and Super Mario Odyssey releases next week! Anyway, it's time for me to review Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle!

Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle released on August 29, 2017, on the Nintendo Switch. It received pretty good ratings. It is also one of the most successful Mario Games that was not developed by Nintendo. Anyway, I'm going to explain what I like about the game first, and then what I don't like about it last.

I loved this game! It seemed like an RPG game to me, because of the HP, but it's actually turn-based tactics. The gameplay was great. It's like every Battle is a different level, and you exceed once you defeat all the Rabbids, or get to a safe point without all your characters dying. Its a different Mario Game than what I'm used to. I've never in my life seen Mario with a “gun” before. Also, I like the boss fights. Sometimes they could be frustrating, like the one from World 2-8. But once you finish them off, you get into a whole new world, similar to the Super Mario Franchise. Yep. There are so many things that I like about this game! My favorite character, by the way, is Rabbid Peach. She is so cute with that sass she has!

There is a couple of things I don't like about the game. You know about the puzzles you do when you're not battling? Some might be a little fun, but a lot of them are very tedious. I sat through one puzzle, and it took me about 30 minutes to complete it. BORING. Also, I don't like the battles where you have to get a specific character (Toadette, per say) to a safe point. It's so frustrating! They can't move very far, and on top of that, they can't jump, or hurt an enemy. The only thing they can do is move. So if they get killed, game over. UNFAIR.

I will give this game an 8.5/10. I mean, there are more battles than the puzzles and other tedious things, so this game shouldn't have a bad rating in my book. What do you guys think? Feel free to tell me! Also, the next issue is my last issue, so just a heads up. Happy Halloween!!! 👻

Character Review

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

Roger the Potted Ghost

Roger the Potted Ghost's art from Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3
Roger, a scary name for a boss..

It will come as no surprise to anyone to find out that I'm a fan of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. I love all the level variety, the enemy variety, and the boss variety. Yes, you might have to beat all the bosses by lobbing eggs at them, but a lot of them have a little thing about them that makes them really memorable. Including this spooky guy, who is the one of the few bosses in that game where you don't have to chuck eggs at him. Yes, it's Roger the Potted Ghost

However, despite having this small little niche, there's not much to say about Roger. As the final boss of World 2, his fight is ridiculously easy, just push him until he falls off the edge. The only difficult thing about it are the Shy Guys on the other end who push him back, until they're taken care of. In all honesty, Bigger Boo would've made for a better world boss, and Roger is better suited to being a mid-boss.

There's also the part of how he came into being. Originally, Roger was just a flower pot, but all of a sudden a little magic made an entire creature come out of him. But if he was just a flower pot before, why did he have his own castle? Who'd listen to a motionless flowerpot? To top things off, flowerpots appear in the game, and as many of the game's bosses are based off of its enemies, it would've been reasonable to have had an enemy in there so it's logical for Roger to appear.

Roger the Potted Ghost is probably the only boss from the game that I don't actually like. He suits more being a mid-boss, and his mere existence is questionable. He was probably one of the last ideas the developers came off, considering how bland he is.

DragonFreak's Review Quest

Written by: DragonFreak (talk)

DFRQ 127 1.jpg
Greetings all you ‘Shroom readers, DragonFreak here with another section of DragonFreak’s Review Quest. This is a wonderful time of year with the weather being perfect, my birthday is near the end, and to top it all off, Halloween is my favorite holiday! So you would think that the horror genre would be one of my favorite things ever, right? Well...I wish, but that’s not exactly true. I was going to review a horror game for this month, but because of reason I’m not going to have enough time. So instead I’m going to mix things up a bit, and review the horror genre in general in my opinions and thoughts, because I feel like I have a fairly unique outlook on horror as a whole.

I wouldn’t blame anyone for not liking horror, because it is far from a genre for everybody. You have to be in a certain mindset to consume horror media and enjoy it. For most people who don’t like horror, it’s because it’s too intense for them. However, I have the opposite problem. Horror is usually not intense enough for me. Now I will say here that I am not a complete expert on horror media by any means, so this is based off of only my experience, but I do feel like I have experienced enough to know what I am talking about.

For me, the best type of horror are the ones that affect you psychologically. That is the horror that I hope to experience whenever I see some kind of horror media. Ones that use the many unique visual and auditory effects that can make horror so thrilling. Psychological horror definitely affects me. However, the problem is that I can quickly get used to most levels of horror, so unless the bar keeps raising on how scary it is, I just end up getting used to it, and sometimes becomes boring. Take for example the game I was going to review, Fran Bow. This game is extremely creepy and has a very good horror aesthetic. However, it uses the same kind of horror for the first chapter and a half, and because of that, I kind of got bored. It’s not the game’s fault, it’s mostly mine. Now because of that and time I didn’t review Fran Bow, but I definitely will finish playing it in the future, and maybe even review that too.

One thing in horror I absolutely hate are jumpscares. A few of them in a game or movie is fine, because it is part of the trope of horror, but when most of the horror are jumpscares, that’s unacceptable. It’s not that jumpscares don’t get me, they are pretty effective in scaring me, but jumpscares aren’t satisfying to me. Maybe this is just me, but with horror media, I expect the scaring to be satisfying in a way that makes me actually feel scared and that feeling continues on. With jumpscares, after the initial scare, I feel kind of cheated that something so simple and biological could scare me. It almost never adds to the sense of horror for me, and if not done right, it actually takes it away.

DFRQ 127 2.png
What I think is the most effective horror trope is “fear what you cannot see”. I, like many people, fear the unknown to a certain degree. Knowing that there is something scary but not knowing exactly what it is can drastically increase the atmosphere and suspense. For instance, one of my favorite horror movies of all times, Pontypool, is a good demonstration of this trope. For a good chunk of the film, the setting is in a radio station in Canada. The horror is relayed through vocal accounts only, but it’s up to your imagination to what it actually is visually. This anticipation is the most effective form of horror for me. Naturally, humans fear what they don’t understand.

Horror is a genre that I respect. Unfortunately, because I’m extremely picky about it, it makes me less interested. But when it’s done right, like the Amnesia games or with the movie Pontypool, it can lead to a fantastic and thrilling experience. I always like a good scare, so I hope this Halloween I will get just that.

Movie Reviews

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

The Pyramid

The Pyramid
The Pyramid.jpg
Genres Horror
Release date December 2014
Starring Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O'Hare, James Buckley, Christa-Marie Nicola, Amir K
Runtime 89 minutes
Ratings 15 (UK)

Found-footage films aren't usually that good. They come under flack for essentially being a small series of jump scares in between the mundaneness of normal life, before suddenly exploding into a farcical series of events that leads to the death of pretty much every character in the film. The Pyramid follows this formula rigidly, as well as having its own shortcomings.

The main issue with The Pyramid is how it routinely forgets that it's supposed to be a found-footage movie. It achieves impossible camera angles, and even has several slow-motion shots throughout. At least try and be the film you claim to be. The other found-footage tradition that it also breaks is having actor / actresses who are reasonably well known. James Buckley starred in the hit British show The Inbetweeners, and Denis O'Hare was in True Blood, a popular American show, so this again suspends your belief in the film.

The characters are all flimsily written as well. If they manage to have any defining character traits, they are hammered home so hard they might as well have it written on their foreheads. And because of how flimsily written they are, I have no motivation for any of them to survive. Unfortunately, the madcap ways that they die actually gives no satisfaction. So I'm sat there watching people I don't care about die in a way that ultimately doesn't satisfy me.

Does the plot manage to save it? No, absolutely not. The plot is dire, but this is probably the one bit of found-footage films that The Pyramid does right. In short, some archaeologists send an expensive robot into the titular pyramid, it gets damaged, and they have to get it. They're trapped for whatever reason, and then hunted down by the Egyptian god Anubis who desires to move into the other realm. Apparently being one of the heroes of Egyptian mythology doesn't bestow upon you a pure heart, maybe he should ask Mario for one. There are also some cat-creatures roaming around, but they're just there for jump scares and whatnot.

And as for jump scares, in that department they're pretty poor. The occasional scream, cat darting, or the standard something round the corner. If you've seen a found-footage movie before, you know how these scares work, and in all honesty this makes all of them fall flat. The atmosphere isn't much better. Because of how flimsily written the characters, and how far suspended you are from the events, there is no atmosphere, because you don't care enough for there to be one.

The Pyramid is genuinely an awful film. It has no redeeming qualities bar the moment you clock that James Buckley is actually in. Yes, most found-footage movies are piss poor, but if you do desire to watch one, pick literally any other one. The Pyramid should have remained buried.


Written by: MsRetroGeek (talk)

It's time to, go faster! ~

Hi Guys! Geeky coming at you with a new review on a seriously cheesy video game classic anime laughably tainted by 4kids, Sonic X. The show focuses on Sonic and his friends on Earth due to a massive explosion where Sonic had once again stopped one of Dr. Eggman's schemes. Shortly after the gang meets the Thorndyke residence, where they take Sonic and his friends Cream, Cheese, Tails, and Amy into their home to let them stay there. Later in the series Sonic discovers others are trapped on Earth like Rouge and Knuckles. A portal that is eventually created that sends them back to their dimension at the end of the series. If you are someone who enjoys the Sonic video game franchise, adventure, space, romance, and friendship, while also being able to deal with a whole lot of cliché moments thrown in, then this is definitely a series I would recommend.

That being said this show definitely has its flaws. I know this is a kid’s show but must it be this cringe-worthy with its dialogue? I also felt like it sort of lacked a plot a few times. There were miscellaneous episodes that just had the gang doing whatever they pleased. This seems to be a case of too many filler episodes, and not the good kind. There are also some pretty terrible characters such as Chris Thorndyke. I despised him from the beginning. There was nothing relevant about his character. Sure he was the one to give Sonic and the gang a home, but it often felt like he was getting in the way of everything. There were plenty of undertones as to Chris’s so called adoration also known as love for our blue protagonist. It's almost as if they're trying to set up some sort of creepy bestiality, and it doesn't work as proven by Elise in Sonic 06.

I can't.... Why Sega why??? Burn these two with fire!!

There are some things to enjoy about this show though. I honestly really found that the voice actors and actresses had really filled their roles for being their given character for the most part. They really brought out their characters well. I really enjoyed how they mixed in some stories from the games in this show such as the Space Colony Ark from Sonic Adventure 2. That particular segment was nicely mixed into the plot of Sonic X. I also liked that they added characters within the series like Cream’s robotic friend. In one episode she ended up drowning him for harming her friends, and I really felt for her. It really showed her maturing as a character when she had to understand death. Tails has a personal growth that I thought was well done in the last episode that I won't give away for those that are interested in finding out. Occasionally the show will step towards themes of death and loss, and I thought the writers really wrote it in properly.

Favorite Character
Thanks buddyMagikrazy (talk) for drawing this accurate drawing of Amy!

My favorite character in the show may not be a surprise to some of you, but I’ve got to hand this one to my main girl, Amy Rose. Not only was she drawn and designed very cutely in this series, but I really loved her personality throughout it. She was such a tough go-getter in this show. She always went for the things that she had wanted, which mostly consisted of trying to go on a date with Sonic. Some people may call Amy pushy or just overly obsessed over Sonic. However others seem to forget that, Sonic is the hedgehog that had saved her from Metal Sonic. She also wasn’t worried about getting harmed if it meant protecting her friends. She’s one determined headstrong girl who wants to strive for the things she wants.

Favorite Episode
Poor Amy worked hard on that bracelet for her love ;_;. Watch out Eggman your butt’s about to get served by a mighty Piko Piko Hammer!.

My favorite episode is Amy On the Beach (Season 1, Episode 9). I love the focus on Amy, and it had such a cute plot line of Amy wanting to have Sonic come to the beach with her, Tails, and Cream. I love sweet little romantic moments. I found her fantasies to be adorable, and something that I could relate to. I also loved the part where Amy finds a couple within the beach, and how it gave her an idea to create a shell bracelet for Sonic to help him in the water. Not only does that show how caring and understanding Amy is of his fear of water, but it shows that she’s willing to help her crush with his fear of dangerous terrains by giving him a good luck charm.

Later on Eggman attacks the Hotel that Chris and his two servants are visiting. Tails and Amy bust in to help out Sonic. Just as Sonic gets dragged down into the ocean by Eggman’s robot, Amy uses her hammer and breaks off the rope to free Sonic. When the coast seems clear, Amy reveals the shell bracelet and gives it to Sonic. The surprised expression he gets sends my shipping heart a flight, but in my opinion the next part is even better. When Eggman comes back with a new robot, Amy’s bracelet that she had gifted to Sonic breaks. This summons a very angered Amy that no one wants to deal with including Eggman himself. He gets really intimidated by her when she ends up wrecking his robot with her mighty Piko Piko hammer, and I found this scene hilarious in that sense.

This is so cannon and no one will tell me otherwise!! ^^

Amy gets launched by the robot, automatically targeting Eggman lashing out her fierce hammer skills on him making him get launched into the water. This causes Amy to fall into the ocean, and it seems as if she’s about to drown. Sonic yells out her name going in after her. Everything fades out as Amy clutches to the broken shell bracelet having Sonic swim out to her. She goes through a dream of having a romantic chasing scene with Sonic across the beach, both of them merrily laughing. She’s woken up by her friend Cream the Rabbit and wonders where the bracelet had gone. Crying to herself about how much that necklace had meant to her and her regards towards Sonic, the scene spans out to Sonic wearing the bracelet she had made him.

This episode was nicely planned out. I really loved how Dr. Eggman used the ocean to his advantage in trapping Sonic. This showed one of Eggman's genius moments in this series. I also love how this focused on Sonic's friends coming together as a team to try and help their team leader, such as having Tails come in and give Sonic a ring so that he can easily beat the robot that had attempted to drown Sonic. Amy played her trope just nicely in this episode, in that behind every great man there’s a great woman behind them. Amy stepping up to defeat that robotic sea serpent, made me definitely think of that. It made me happy knowing that Sonic has some awesome friends to aid him in defeating Eggman, and that he doesn't have to solely rely on himself to defeat his nemesis. I also love how Chris wasn't even the main focus of this episode. Sure there were some moments with him involved, but he wasn't the main focal point. Thank god for that. Well done towards the writers for writing such an adorable and thought out episode.

To recap, I felt like Sonic X could have done a better job with the plot. There could have been a lot less filler episodes and that it shouldn't have focused so much on Chris. It's named after Sonic for a reason.

From the Geeky scale of meh to oh my gosh this exists. I'll give this show an ehh. It could use more improvement in plot and possible character dropping *cough**cough*Chris... *cough**cough*

Just as I was about to end my section a grey cloud colored kitten with a purple scarf around its neck runs in scampering at my leg. "Oh! Hello there friend. Do you have something for me?" I say automatically noticing the white envelope with a golden star attached to the front of it with the initials, N.S. written in a crafty font. Petting the kitten it nuzzled my hand allowing me to take the letter. "What's this?" Taking the piece of parchment the chibi feline dashes out the door. I automatically get intrigued by the suggestion. “Interesting”.

That's about it guys! Thank you for checking out my section and don't forget to check out all of the other awesome sections in the Critic Corner.

Have an awesome day! ~

The 'Shroom: Issue 127
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