The 'Shroom:Issue 132/Critic Corner

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Director's Notes

Written by: Hypnotoad (talk)

Shroom2017 Anton.png

Hey guys, I'm back! Sorta! I'm still pretty busy moving in and doing stuff, combined with Anniversary stuff, but still have time to be here at the Critic Corner! Florida is very hot so please mail me some snow.

Congratulations to Alex95 (talk) for winning February's CC Section of the Month! Additionally, for a variety of reasons, including how I haven't been the only person here caught up with offline stuff consuming my time, our numbers here at Critic Corner are dwindling. We still have a nice amount of sections, but we could always use more! If you've got stuff to say and think we should hear it, please toss us an application following the instructions over at the Sign Up page!

Quite a short intro compared to what I'm used to, but, !

Section of the Month

Critic Corner SECTION OF THE MONTH
Place Section Votes  % Writer
1st Could Have Been 12 40.00% Alex95 (talk)
2nd Anton's Half-Baked Reviews 6 20.00% Hypnotoad (talk)
2nd World Wide Weeb 6 20.00% Freakworld (talk)
3rd Character Review 5 16.67% Yoshi876 (talk)



Opinion Pieces

It's the Party that never happened that never ends!
[read more]
Reviews

Don't croak, we're almost to the end!
[read more]

Grab your popcorn and your Nabber, the movie is starting!
[read more]


Could Have Been

Written by: Alex95 (talk)

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. Last month, I covered the Mario Party games that were developed by Hudson Soft, so if you haven't read the first part yet, you should do so before reading this section as this is part two! This month, I'm looking into the development history of the Mario Party games that were developed by Nd Cube: Mario Party 9, Mario Party: Island Tour, Mario Party 10, Mario Party: Star Rush, and Mario Party: The Top 100! So let's dive right in and take a look at what could have been.

Mario Party 9

Early Toad Road

Let's start off with Toad Road. Toad Road looks completely different from its final appearance, and the board is all loaded at once rather than in separate chunks. This earlier map used different geometry from the final version, having various features that are either not present of were meant to be placeholders.

  • The starting star marker looks like it's just imprinted in the dirt (aside from shining in the final)
  • There are three mountains instead of two, with the extra mountain having a Beanstalk grow to the clouds
  • There are ruins that don't appear in the final board at all. These ruins are located around where the center island would be
  • A Mini-Star area before the boss is landlocked rather than being an island, and it has a Star print on the ground
  • Several platforms and decals are missing
  • The Wiggler Boss is lacking the Bowser gate before it, and Wiggler itself is using a placeholder image of its artwork from Super Mario World
Some unused spaces

Among the various textures that simply had their resolution increased are unused space graphics! These include a Blue Space, a red Back Space, a Lucky Space, a Dry Bones space, a Dice Block space, a Happening Space, a swirling space, a blue arrow space, a VS Space, a Bowser Space, a Shuffle Space, a space with two hands coming together, a Star Space, a Ztar Space, and an orange space. There are also some unused space images of a Red Space, a +3 Jackpot Space, a +5 Magma Space, a Stop Space, a space with plenty of Mini Ztars, and large +10 Mini Stars Space and +10 Mini Ztars. None of these appear exactly how they do in the final version, or at all.

Bowser Jr. also has unused animations for when he's driving in the kart, but whether he was meant to be playable or was just there for testing is unknown. Bowser Jr. is playable in Island Tour and Star Rush, but he has yet to be playable in a numbered titled, so this would've been his first playable appearance overall in the series. Shame.[1][2]

Mario Party: Island Tour

There are a number of changes between Mario Party: Island Tour's early and final stages. For Perilous Palace Path, Toads used 3D models rather than 2D sprites, Whomp did not appear at the end, and characters used cards as items rather than using the standard items. For Banzai Bill's Mad Mountain, several Bullet Bills could be launched at once, players would run back to the start whenever a Banzai Bill passed by, and there are signs signifying where it is safe from said Banzai Bills. For Rocket Road, the multiplying effect when using Boosters is applied after the roll rather than being shown on the dice block, the Comet Observatory was lacking the Domes, and there was only one sign showing 10 spaces left rather than having one sign on every space.

For the minigames, Match Faker originally had had six rounds to memorize sixteen tiles (yeesh), the character boxes in Buzz a Fuzzy used two-digits ("00") rather than just one and there was no indication whether someone had their arrow ready or not, and there were a different amount of digits shown at all times for Cheepers Keepers (three) and Musical Snares (two).[3]

Mario Party 10

Placeholder images of various minigames

Now for the only Nd Cube title I've actually played! But there isn't a lot here, aside from a number of test images. These range from unused sprites with "dummy" or "temporary" written on them, to screenshots also with "dummy" or "temporary" written on them. A lot of the screenshots have development text or windows over them, such as a debug window.

At E3 2014 during the Nintendo Treehouse Event, it was stated that Nabbit would be the one to supply Bowser with additional dice blocks. In the final game, Bowser Jr. takes that role, and Nabbit actually takes the dice blocks away.[4][5]

Mario Party: Star Rush

The promotional image originally used on the Star Rush box

There is absolutely nothing I can find on this game's development. HOWEVER! If you were there when the game's boxart was first shown, you may recall the amount of media hype that was generated concerning the image that was used on Star Rush's boxart. This image of Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad was also used on Spaghetti-O's cans during a cross promotion. This was quickly noticed and picked up by various media sites, and was hilarious to see everyone freak out over a generic promotional image that actually originated in 2012, long before the Spaghetti-O's cross promotion. It would've been funny to see the image stick around.[6]

Mario Party: The Top 100

Aside from some noticeable changes to the revamped minigames that anyone is capable of noticing if they've played the original games, there's nothing currently documented on Mario Party: The Top 100's development. No unused minigames, no unused characters, nothing. But this is the most recent game in the series, so it's possible dataminers may find something in the future. But for now, there is nothing, so…

That's it for our look into the Mario Party series! I hope you enjoyed this two part in-depth look into this long-running series. This was rather fun to put together, I might do another two-parter some time in the future (not soon, though). Next month, I'm going to change things up with how I do this section, so do look forward to that! Until next time, see you around!

References

  1. ^ list of Mario Party 9 pre-release and unused content
  2. ^ tcrf:Mario Party 9
  3. ^ list of Mario Party: Island Tour pre-release and unused content
  4. ^ Mario Party 10#Pre-release and unused content
  5. ^ tcrf:Mario Party 10
  6. ^ list of rumors and urban legends about Mario#Mario Party: Star Rush packaging

AntonHalfBakedLogo.png

Written By: Hypnotoad (talk)

By now I should be settled into my new apartment, but I’m still writing this in January so hello future me! Look how proactive I’m being, are you proud???

Part 2 of Anton’s Half-Baked Pre-Written Reviews 2018 where this month I’ll be going over some various bread things I got at a really nice Asian grocery supermarket while on my hunt for a bunch of Asian snack foods that I begged people to tell me to try.

I’m sure in a later review I’ll babble on about how my adventures doing this all went, but now is not the time because time is a social construct meant to trap us in cycles of indenturement and illusory pleasure to distract us from experiencing the eternal, and when I have the chance to not observe it I will absolutely take it. This particular one is the Mia Supermarket in Orlando, which is a recent addition to the area as of May 2016. Mia Supermarket ended up being the last store I went to on my list of specialty supermarkets in Orlando, but once again, time isn’t real. Unlike the rest of them this particular grocery store was very clean, very organized, had staff who looked like they still had souls, had their shelves stocked, and didn’t have black mold all over everything. Mia Supermarket also makes an effort to stock items that would appeal to the surrounding community, alongside their Asian specialty goods; I appreciate this as both a marketing scheme as well as general appeal because I don’t feel out of place in there, but I do acknowledge that me being a white dude that my sensibilities may not always be the target audience and thus a business such as an Asian specialty store in an Asian neighborhood doesn’t have to appeal to me if it doesn’t want to. But, it did, so, !!

At Mia, I did yoink a few things to try for later reviews, such as Milkis and some Ramune, my main focus was their in-store bakery which local newspapers cheered on. So in I went, dragging along my brother as a captive customer as he chauffeured me through the city. After wandering through the aisles, with my brother left in pure awe and amazement that this place actually mops their floors, I came across the bakery section which had a nice rack and cooler full of assorted baked things. As far as I know I think this is the first baked thing I’m trying in Half-Baked Reviews, so congratulations to me.
bread
The lady at the bakery section was very nice, and didn’t give me this look of “why is this white dude inside this store” displaying a fresh sense of awareness that white people might want to buy their products. When I went to cash out she was busy stuffing her face with some extra bread and giggled while she tried stuffing it all in her face quickly enough to get to me patiently waiting, then got embarrassed when she asked “are you all together?”, pointing at me and my brother along with some other Asian customer, who got all like “oh, no!” It was super cute and I hope she still has her job and is enjoying it because I went there in like September 2017.

I was unsure of how to do the rating for this, whether it be each bread thing individually or for the store’s bakery in general, and I decided that it would be more accurate to rate the bakery because the bread selection was based entirely on my own personal tastes. As such, I’m recycling the Toadbert101 (talk) faces because, eh, I guess it works, and people really liked them; a grand display of the fine art of reusing assets.

Clockwise starting from the 3 o’clock position is some Chocolate Bean Thing Bread, Some Kind of Peanut Bread, Hokkaido Milk Bread, something my brother got and I didn’t try, Taro Bread, and a Chocolate Swiss Roll. For scale, these were like the size of my hand, so just ask 2257 (talk) for measurements of my hands to get a proper visual image.

Chocolate Bean Thing Bread

I tried this one while at 2257’s place so I’ll let him have the first say:

22:23 Anton{Politoed} 22 how asleep are you
22:23 _2257 notvery
22:24 Anton{Politoed} if it's less than 100% help me with my review
22:24 Anton{Politoed} [link to bread image]
22:24 Anton{Politoed} you ate that one on the far right
22:24 Anton{Politoed} tell me what you thought of it
22:24 _2257 oh god, wasnt that like
22:24 _2257 5 months ago
22:24 Anton{Politoed} yeah
22:24 Anton{Politoed} this is how i do my reviews
22:24 Anton{Politoed} recalling things I tried half a year ago
22:25 _2257 i think it was... too moist... i was uncomfortable
22:25 Anton{Politoed} it had the beans in it
22:25 Anton{Politoed} how were the beans
22:26 _2257 uhh like azuki beans...?
22:27 _2257 im not really a bean fan
22:27 _2257 it was ok
22:27 _2257 but not something i would go out of my way to eat again
22:27 Anton{Politoed} yes them
22:28 _2257 i liked the kitkats better
22:28 Anton{Politoed} that's for a later review, I'll get back to you in....let me check when that's slated for
22:29 Anton{Politoed} probably like august or something

As for me, the red beans were a surprise but not a absolute shock since it recently came to my attention that red bean paste is a common filler for desserts in the Asian Pacific. I just flat out wasn’t expecting there to be red bean paste in it mostly because I didn’t bother reading many of the labels and just saw that this had chocolate on it and I like chocolate, which is where my surprise came from. I don’t like beans in general for no real reason beyond I didn’t like them as a kid and have just been stubborn about it ever since. In the picture you can see how round it was, but it was kinda like...hollow, with the red bean paste just kinda hangin’ out inside of it. The bread was kinda hard, making the textural difference between it and the bean paste kinda awkward, plus the chocolate bits didn’t stay on.

Upon googling what this thing might be, I came across Anpan, a Japanese sweet roll filled with red bean paste, which was the most similar. I couldn’t find anything with chocolate on it like this so it’s probably a unique recipe based on this. Most pictures of it look like it has a similar outcome, with a gelatinized crust and a pocket containing the filling. Thinking I was just eating it wrong because I don’t exactly like hollow things where the nonsense just falls out of it easily, I watched a mukbang of some dudes chompin’ away at it. Turns out you just bite it, who’d’ve thunk.

P.S. I also hate jelly-filled donuts.

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Hokkaido Milk Bread

I selected this one because it had “milk” in the name on its tag. It smelled nice in a way that’s had to describe because not many people would exactly think of milk as being a light and fresh scent. The bread was kinda sweet; I could definitely taste some kinda milky cheesy flavor, and the consistency of it was soft and fluffy, but still dense enough to be a satisfying snack on its own. It was basically perfect. The cheese on it seems to be mostly flavorless, or at least is more subtle than the bread itself, and were kinda hard. It’s possible they were hard because I refrigerated these instead of eating them right away, so I won’t deduct from the rating for it, but this would certainly be even more perfect if it was softer cheese like fresh mozzarella from the Wegman’s fromagerie.

I googled this so I could figure out what made this special, and I found basically nothing except that it’s made using something called the Tangzhong method. I’m not sure what to do with this information so here you go.

AntonScale6.png

Chocolate Swiss Roll

Very light, very airy, very messy. I can taste a coffee flavor, but I don’t remember it being labeled as such. It could probably have used more chocolate shaving piece things, or at least put them on in a way that would make them stick on. It was pretty alright but honestly Little Debbie does it better and if a mass-produced product is better than homemade, what is you doin’ boo?

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Taro Bread

The bread portion itself tastes pretty similar to the milk bread, this just happens to have like….things in it. I’m guessing that stuff is the taro, which google tells me is basically a potato but not really. The way it was folded made it easier to pull apart instead of just taking big chompy bites out of it, so that was nice.

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Some Kind of Peanut Bread

It tasted like some kind of bread with peanuts.

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Rating: Honey Nut Chex Mix

Explanation: A solid variety of things you already know you like if you use the amazing gift of reading labels before you buy something. Everything was fresh, with a wide variety of options familiar and new, for a very fair price. I also got to see the Asian equivalent of a White Suburban Soccer Mom with a Bob Haircut Asking To See The Manager scream at a cashier and the cashier give the biggest eye roll and side eye I’ve ever seen in my life. I will absolutely go back again and make this bakery a somewhat regular trip.

I went back there a couple weeks after I moved in and apparently they renamed themselves as iFresh Market or something which sounds stupid but the bakery is still there and apparently is a standalone business called Formosa Bakery that just happens to be inside of it, and still had a bunch of tasty bread things; all still Buy 5 Get 1 Free which runs around $10 USD. On the second time around I got a bunch of thick cake things, almost like pound cake which is my favorite, and ogled a few of their selections that had hot dogs inside of them--a little too odd for my tastes this time around.

Here’s this picture one more time for no reason other than it’s my favorite face out of the bunch

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Bonus review! Because I feel bad about how the rest of this month’s review feels lackluster but I’m unwilling to reorganize how I’ve split up my pre-written segments!!!

Mokomoko Mokoretto 3

So me and my brother were walking through the mall as we usually do
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, checking out shops and eating Chinese food and spending more money than we really should, when all of a sudden his arm starts bleeding due to some wacky and wild medical condition that is now resolved at this point in time of me writing this. We were in FYE at the time, a store that sells uhhh...stuff, I guess, pop culture things, and also has a predatory “loyalty” card system that is difficult to get rid of because they charge you for it and overall they’re a scummy and awful company. The cashier was very nice, though, and panicked to go get him a bandage. Later on I returned to FYE because I felt bad that my brother bled all over the floor and ended up spending $8+ on this gimmicky toilet thing because everything else looked stupid. This was waaaaay back when I did my review for Wario Land 4 in June 2017, but ended up not bothering with it and just forgetting about it 29 times between then and now, opting to finally get it done because I didn’t want to have to pack it up for when I move.

To start, I have no clue how to read Japanese, and can only get by on using Google Translate or bothering 2257 (talk) if he’s ever awake for me to do so and I currently don’t feel bad for having utilized him for too many assorted tasks within whatever arbitrary timeframe my anxiety decided for me. The name doesn’t translate directly and is likely a portmanteau that means something like “fluffy toilet fluff”. The side of the box gives biographies of all of the toilet characters, the Mokoretto Friends. First up is the white one, Japan, Mitarai Bennosuke--a pun that’s like “holy-water-font handler-of-excrement; he is the first kabuki player of the toilet world, and he really likes Japanese culture. Next is another white one, France, Toiletta; he likes to travel around France and is very proud of his red beret. Third is the blue one, America, Ben Johnny; he is a funky American boy who likes junk food. Fourth and finally is the pink toilet, China, Shǒu Xǐxǐ--two separate puns, “because お手洗い means bathroom, and those kanji are used to write her name, and also her surname sounds like shishi which is like equivalent to peepee i guess, in that its how a little kid might say urine”; she adores Chinese clothes, and her charming appearance makes everyone fall in love with her. Luckily the box has pictures on the back. From the looks of it, this product is some foaming candy suds that you can suck out of a toilet for some kind of goofy novelty, and then when you’re done you can reuse the toilet to hold toothpicks or a cactus. I dumped out the box and it was a bunch of plastic parts, a straw, stickers, and some packets of I guess candy nonsense. Of course, the first thing I did was cover the toilet in stickers, which are supposed to anthropomorphize it because that’s totally what you want to do to a toilet right before you suck some gunk out of it through a straw. I used what I thought were the eyelashes (but were actually kabuki makeup) instead as a flaming mustache, which gets in the way of him talking so you can’t really understand what he’s saying. I gave him a name and then forgot what it was because I stopped caring once I tried his sludge; foreshadowing events to come.

Those pictures are easy enough to follow when putting the physical plastic toilet thing together, but a bit tougher to figure out what I’m supposed to do with the candy. From the looks of it, and what I did, was first dump a candy packet in, then shake it, then pour in some water, and then i guess there you go, slurp it up. The flavors available are Strawberry, Melon, and Cider I guess according to Google Translate. The packets appear to just be flavored sugar nonsense like Pixie Sticks. I tried the strawberry first because it’s the flavor I’d mostly likely enjoy out of those three. No idea how much water it wants me to put in, I’m guessing the toilet top to measure but it’s really not enough. It’s apparently supposed to foam up but just didn’t. The sugar doesn’t dissolve at all, and just kinda floats around in it. Thinking that it’s just some science nonsense getting in the way, like static or nonpolar hydrophobic whatever, I decided to mix it around some, to no avail. Giving up on the novelty effect, I just sucked it up, and it nearly choked me. I tried it again and again with the two other flavors, slightly changing how I pour it in or tapped the bowl or mixed it together, and nothing worked; I got no foam or fizzing at all, and the sugar just either sat on the top or clumped together. It was just really unpleasant all around.

Here, enjoy a collection of pictures that would look too messy if I tried to integrate them into the text body:

HalfBaked 132 3.png HalfBaked 132 4.png HalfBaked 132 5.png HalfBaked 132 6.png

Rating: Brokenpretzel.png Broken pretzel pieces at the bottom of the bag.

Explanation: You don’t exactly want to eat them but you spent $3 on this bag because you had a craving and some carnal urge to throw your money at something you didn’t actually need, and you’re just going to enjoy whatever it is. The broken pretzel pieces are disappointing and upsetting, because you thought that maybe there’d be something salvageable from this but instead it’s a bunch of stale dust. I still have the plastic toilet bowl but I have no clue what I’m going to do with it. At the very least it adequately filled out this section, and I can thank it for that.



Tune in next month where I post a pre-made review because I'll be busy moving! 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!

Movie Reviews

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

Bee Movie

Bee Movie
Bee Movie.jpg
Genres Animated, comedy
Release date November 2007
Starring Jerry Seinfeld, Renée Zellweger
Runtime 91 minutes
Ratings U (UK)

I remember absolutely loving this movie when I was younger, I was roughly ten when it came out, and let's be honest, throw in a couple half-hearted jokes and animate it and most kids will lap it up. So, when I revisited Bee Movie, it wasn't as great as I remembered it.

The plot is slightly ludicrous, and I use slightly in the loosest terms possible. For those of you unfamiliar with the film, basically Barry B. Benson doesn't want to have the same job until the day he dies so he ventures out into the human world. While there, he meets Vanessa and discovers that humans are profiting off of honey. Barry then proceeds to sue the human race, wins, and the world goes to hell in a handcart. Oh, and he also falls in love with Vanessa during this whole process, there's even a really strange dream sequence, although it does amusingly end with her flying into a cliff.

However, I'm willing to forgive the movie's plot, because at the end of the day it's a kid's movie, it doesn't need to be Oscar worthy. But I can't forgive the romantic sub-plot, if the producers of this movie really wanted one, then throw in a female bee. Although, speaking of female bees, all of the ones in the movie are Barry's cousins, something that the movie really wants you to know. Obviously have adult jokes in there for the adults, but do we really want incest jokes in our kids' movies? And also, as much as the suing aspect is an integral part of the plot, do kids really want to watch a legal case play out?

But one of the worst aspects of the movie are its characters. They have nothing going for them. I guess we're supposed to identify with Barry because of his free-spirit, but for the most part all he does is moan his way through 97 minutes. Vanessa is literally just a doting female who is solely there for plot reasons, and Barry's best friend is fairly forgettable, considering how I can't actually remember his name; although there's probably a bee pun hiding somewhere in there. Chris Rock also receives an almost starring bill, despite his character being in the whole film for about two scenes. His appearance in the ending isn't even justified, he's just there for a cheap lawyer joke, and while an adult may find it slightly amusing, it's a common one that most will probably have heard several times.

Bee Movie is more like a… well, b-movie. It's watchable, but once you've gone into adulthood, it's not something you particularly want to revisit. And no, not even the memes surrounding the movie make it any easier to watch.

Graphic Novel Review

Written by: FunkyK38 (talk)

Land of the Lustrous
GNReview132.jpg
Author Haruko Ichikawa
Release date 2013
Genre Manga
Pages ~192
Available From


Greetings readers, FunkyK38 here to bring you this month's edition of Graphic Novel Reviews! This month, I will be taking a look at the manga series Land of the Lustrous by Haruko Ichikawa.

Land of the Lustrous is a manga series as well as an animated TV show, although I've only read the manga. The back of the first book calls it "an elegant new action manga for Steven Universe fans," and that is a fair comparison. While I do think the premise of SU good, I have too many problems with the show to be able to give time to watch it, but I won't go into that now. LotL is like SU, in that it revolves around gem people, but that's about where the comparison ends.

The basic premise of the series is that the gems, the Lustrous, live with their "father," Sensei. Each gem is ranked by hardness, and they have different tasks, such as fighters or medics or scientists. They fight against the Lunarians, strange sky-creatures who wish to harvest the gems to use them for decorating. Who the Lustrous and the Lunarians really are is not revealed until later in the story, so I won't go into it here.

Our main character in this series is Phosphophyllite, or Phos for short. She is a Lustrous who has a hardness of 3.5, which makes her much too fragile to fight with her sisters, or even be of much use to anyone, as even the slightest touch can shatter her body. Still, she wants to fight and be useful. Sensei eventually gives her a task, though: make a report of the natural history of the Lustrous. And so she walks around with her clipboard, until she meets Cinnabar. Cinnabar is a strange Lustrous, with a hardness even lower than Phos', who breathes out pollution. Everything she touches dies, and thus she has been relegated to night duty, where she is cut off from the other Lustrous in solitude. Cinnabar is a very lonely Lustrous, wishing for the Lunarians to come take her away, even , and thus, Phos decides to try and find a new task for Cinnabar, so she won't be stuck alone. It's not a huge plot point, but it is something that's always present in the story- in the second and third books, you are always reminded of Phos' stretch goal: find a new job for Cinnabar.

The art style for this series is quite lovely. The way Ichikawa draws the Lustrous reminds me of the way Naoko Takeuchi's style from Sailor Moon of very long legs and arms compared to the rest of the body. Each gem is dressed in black and white, but their hair is the color of their gem, and each book in the series has the first two or three pages printed in color, where you'll get a look at all of the gems together with their hair colors showing, and it's there that the beauty of the art really shines.

One big thing I have to caution you about is death in this manga. It happens very quickly and very often. Characters that you may have just gotten to like can be snatched away at any moment, and if that's not your thing, then don't pick this one up. If losing Bismuth in SU made you cry, you probably won't like this one.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this one to older fans of Steven Universe, and those who just want that series to actually GO somewhere with the plot. You'll get a plot here, although it will be shrouded in mystery for a few books. If you want to see it in color, I hear the animated show is quite lovely to see, so check that out too.

That's all for me this month, readers! Come back next time for a new book review!

Character Review

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

Greninja

It's a ninja frog, what more could you want to know?

In the latest Nintendo Direct, it was announced that there would be a brand new Smash game, launching in 2018. I love the Smash series, and in its latest iteration for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS I play reasonably well with several different characters, one of whom is Greninja. However, I have chosen to do with review now, because sadly, I don't see the ninja frog returning in the next game.

Now, even though I love to play as Greninja, he is quite generation specific, we've already have Gen VII of Pokémon, and a Pokémon from there is a likely candidate, and plus Greninja didn't appear as a fighter in Pokken Tournament, even though all of the other Pokémon, excluding Jigglypuff, did.

One of the main reasons I loved Greninja is because of his speed, which suits my playstyle exactly. I like jumping around, and doing aerial attacks, although I must confess that I am not a fan of his Final Smash. I do find it quite annoying that some rely on you hitting your opponent before activating. Of course, this style of Final Smash relies more on skill, but I personally think that the Final Smash should have the potential to hit all opponents, instead of mistiming an attack and failing it.

Sadly, there's not a lot you can say about a character from Smash, particularly as Wii U and 3DS didn't have a story mode. It would have been really interesting to see who they paired Greninja up with. I could easily imagine him being paired up with someone from the Star Fox series, or perhaps Shiek, considering she's also a ninja.

And you can't really derive a lot of character from his original series as well, considering Pokémon doesn't really characterise the Pokémon. However, Greninja in general just looks cool, even if the tongue as a scarf is a little unsettling. However, despite my like of Greninja as a Pokémon, I didn't actually choose it as my starter (yes, I am aware that technically Froakie would have been the one I picked), instead I chose Fennekin. Maybe that was a mistake, but I am quite happy with my fire fox.

Overall, I do like Greninja, even if I didn't pick him as a starter, but that doesn't affect my love for him in Smash, and I will be truly saddened to see him gone.

Late Night with Nabber

Written by: Nabber (talk)

It occurs to me, typing up this top 10 list, that it was a pretty scary year for film. Stephen King’s It was the 7th highest grossing movie of 2017, and that certainly terrified plenty of people; even more scary is that Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was the 4th highest grossing movie (and yes, Despicable Me 3 got onto that top 10). Outside of that, cinemas were treated to such pleasantries as It Comes At Night, Get Out, and Alien: Covenant, along with the usual horror fare like Jigsaw and Insidious: The Last Key. But even those movies on my list that aren’t outright horror movies seem to traffic in fear of some kind, often cranking up audience anxiety to the max. Perhaps it’s a commentary on the current political climate? Or maybe I just have strange taste in movies and hate happiness? Who knows! Anyway, here are my top 10 movies of 2017 as they stand now.

10. mother!

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Professional “Guy Most Likely To Piss You Off” Darren Aronofsky is back at it again, teaming up with Actress People Really Hate For Some Reason Jennifer Lawrence to create the delightfully bonkers mother!. Receiving a putrid F Cinemascore, decried by many as horribly pretentious, and even described by our own director as boring, mother! is undeniably inflammatory – and, in my opinion, an inflammatory movie is much better than a safe one. Throw all the allegorical bullshit aside and watch in awe as Aronofsky and Lawrence manage to create one of the best on-screen portrayals of social anxiety as Lawrence has to deal with an insane house party and insufferable guests. This is a movie in which the camera rests on Lawrence’s face for nearly the entire film, and she absolutely carries it, manifesting “oh god why won’t these people get out of my house” as a fundamental human emotion. mother! may not be for everyone, but it’s a film everyone should check out, because so rarely do we get a movie this wildly inventive.


9. Get Out

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Get Out is a damn good movie. There’s something of a paradox in its existence; 20 years ago it could have easily been one of the most popular movies of the year, yet its racial politics is uniquely aimed at today’s audience. If nothing else, its low budget ambitiousness helps it stand out from the blockbuster fare to create something truly shocking: a crowd-pleasing film that doesn’t talk down to its audience, a horror that’s both scary as well as genuinely funny, a movie made by a lover of film for others to love. There are so many memorable moments in this film, from the terrifying use of bingo to the terrifying use of cereal to the terrifying use of housekeeping to… well, you get the point. That it cleverly comments on the way white people try their best to convince themselves they’re not racist is only icing on the cake – though perhaps “icing on the cake” is the wrong way to describe something that’s so integral to the movie’s plot and themes. Get Out is wickedly smart and an absolutely jaw-dropping debut from Jordan Peele that deserves all of the attention it’s getting.


8. Good Time

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The Safdie Brothers’ Good Time takes the retro neon synthwave aesthetic used so well this year in Blade Runner 2049 and channels it through a modern point of view to create a gritty, pulsing nightmare. At the heart of it is an absolutely phenomenal Robert Pattinson playing a criminal on a never-ending night of breaking and entering, alcohol, and LSD. Like mother!, much of this film is shot in close-up, creating an acute sense of anxiety that is then bounced through a colorful LED-drenched nightlife. Unlike mother!, though, Good Time can genuinely be described as, well, a good time – as intense as it gets, there’s something horrifically compelling about Pattinson’s character, who isn’t relatable as Lawrence’s character is in her movie, but rather a tragic figure on a course of self destruction. It’s all driven by a phenomenal electronic score by Oneohtrix Point Never that, frankly, out-synthwaves Blade Runner 2049.


7. The Killing of a Sacred Deer

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Any schmuck can create scares out of darkness. The skill of a true horror master is to draw terror out of the daylight. Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer is one of the most uniquely terrifying movies I’ve seen, despite taking place in the comfort of suburbia, and despite not even being a real horror movie. The world in The Killing of a Sacred Deer seems to so closely resemble our own, and yet something always seems just off; everyone talks without any emotional inflection, and the characters seem to have more in common with robots than with humans. Then comes the movie’s central premise, which I don’t dare spoil, but what follows is a paralyzing account of a family afflicted with a kind of curse, and an example of how humans are utterly incapable of acting under extreme pressure. Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman give electric performances as the couple dealing with this stifling paranoia in one of the most unique psychological thrillers you’ll see in a long time.


6. Baby Driver

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Having already succeeded in my mission to get virtually every user on this site to see Baby Driver, and written a review earlier this year, I don’t think there’s much left to say about Edgar Wright’s fantastic new movie. But it certainly serves as a testament that blockbuster action-type movies can be crowd-pleasing and artistically accomplished. Baby Driver doesn’t just set up a series of delightfully memorable action sequences; it creates a world of morally ambiguous characters that are both enjoyable to watch and root for and are worthy of emotional investment. If seeing Baby and Deborah tapping their feet as they share a song together before their reflections melt into a laundry pile of love doesn’t make your heart sing, then there’s nothing I can do for you.


5. Phantom Thread

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If Baby Driver is the kind of instant cult classic that’ll become the favorite movie of its viewers, Paul Thomas Anderon’s Phantom Thread is the kind of fine wine that will slowly but surely slip its way into the twisted hearts of those who are lucky enough to give it a chance. Phantom Thread’s tale of the romance between an intense dressmaker and his muse defies any easy explanation; at times it is perversely humorous, at times it is achingly sad, and often it is wondrously romantic – if your romance takes the form of, to steal a joke from a tweet I read, “two doms trying to make the other a sub.” Phantom Thread is luscious in its portrayal of the tactile pleasures of clothes and food and shrewd in its uniquely twisted love story, and deftly bounces between moods and tones to create an utterly remarkable and evocative period piece. Just listen to Johnny Greenwood’s fantastic score and try not to fall in love.


4. A Ghost Story

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The signature scene of the Turb biopic A Ghost Story seems to have become the scene in which Rooney Mara eats pie for the first time in her life, devouring an entire pie in a single take. It’s a great scene, but just as striking is a later scene that focuses on Mara’s face as her character listens to a song made by her deceased husband. In a movie whose loose narrative often collapses years into seconds, single sustained years feel like eons, and the tiny affectations in a person’s face as they process the sounds of music into something personal lay bare an ocean of emotion, threatening to overwhelm. It is not often that a film entrances me as thoroughly as A Ghost Story, but director David Lowery manages to craft a transporting experience that creates a feeling unique to itself, one that I cannot truly transcribe in words. It is a film that is comforting in its often terrifying scope, an existential crisis will likely leave a different impression on each viewer. Put this film on and let the images wash over you as, for 90 minutes, you are transported somewhere unknown to this world.


3. Call Me By Your Name

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When you fall head over heels in love, you fall in love not just with a person, but with the time and place in which they inhabit. The world becomes a tactile place where smells and sounds, even years after the fact, bring back the memory of a bygone era. Call Me By Your Name understands this, and creates a romance that supersedes its image-based medium to seemingly touch all of the senses. Set in Italy in the 80’s, Luca Guadagnino’s coming of age romance finds itself in a place in between freezing splashes in the lake, the sweaty frolic of summer sports, and the shade and comfort of a quiet rural house; environments feel tangible and vibrant, and the love in the air has a weight to it that seems to be visible, a secret between shared between stars Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer and the audience. If there is a summer that could last forever, it is this one, and the six weeks of the movie seem to elongate to encompass a lifetime.


2. Dunkirk

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There’s a notion that Christopher Nolan’s films are cold and removed. The exception to this view is Interstellar, which, on its release in 2014, was hailed as the director’s most openly emotional movie. When comparing that film to Dunkirk, it’s easy to think that this is yet another cynical Nolan movie. But I have always found Nolan’s movies to be built on sentiment, and Dunkirk only works because it fiercely believes in the spirit of each of its near-anonymous individuals. A relentless war film stripped down to its essentials, Dunkirk asks us to consider the inhumanity soldiers are forced to face in battle, and the strength of will required to escape it. It does all of this with few words, instead using the magic of film edited to produce this intense, never-ending frenzy that is as powerful as it is exhausting.


1. The Florida Project

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When I was a kid, the world felt inherently magical. Not in the way that I appreciate sunsets and the sounds of a quiet night as I do now, but in the sense that every landscape and building was a ginormous playground of everlasting possibility. I remember running around my elementary school, imagining that I was Mario and battling Bowser in some imaginary world whose rules were only comprehensible by those my age. Sean Baker’s The Florida Project takes me back to those days in a way I never thought possible, using its pastel paradise version of a shoddy Orlando hotel to sneak its way into your heart as you shed your crusty old skin to remember that you, too, were once a kid. Baker paints an idyllic portrait of childhood, balanced against the struggles of the adults who take care of the younger generation to ensure they lead a happy life.

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