Star Driver to the Future

I have been meaning to mention this for a while. From the first episode of Star Driver there was something shockingly familiar in the fight sequences. But it had nothing to do with past anime. To put it simply Takuto’s victory music is the main theme from Back to the Future. Or rather it reminds me of it so readily that A) it must be an homage and B) it throws me out of the show every time!

Back to the Future

Star Driver

It isn’t just the most well-known part of the song that it borrows from either, plenty of the little nuances are there as well. I still don’t know rightly how I feel about Star Driver but this musical occurrence makes me grin. I should also mention that I rarely notice music in shows, but I guess when its something that I’ve seen a million times and happens to be near the top of my all-time favorite movies lists it sticks with me!

Ongoing Investigations: Case #077

It was a natural combination that was an inevitability like the teaming up of Jackie Chan and Jet Li we have the combination of Detective Conan and Sherlock Holmes. Thankfully Detective Conan Movie 6: The Phantom of Baker Street turn out better than The Forbidden Kingdom. When Conan and his detective gang are invited to the world premier of a high tech virtual reality game the festivities quickly turn to a race to solve murders in real life and the virtual world. The draw of the movie is going to be Conan substituting for the world greatest detective as he tries to solve the Jack the Ripper murders in a virtual London. The fact that if they lose the game everyone playing dies also ramps up the tension. The action in the virtual world and the real world work well in tandem but eventually tie together in an unexpected manner. There was always some bit of action or excitement going on which helped keep the movie lively. It was great to see Professor Moriarty and Sebastian Moran in the game as well although there is less Holmes than I expected. The Junior Detective League also seems like they were deliberately part of the script as opposed to crammed in like the other movies. Overall it was a good time and a fine addition to the franchise.

I can’t tell you how trilled I was when I got my hands on this movie, I insisted that it be next on this list. My goodness, what a combination: Conan (love!), Sherlock Holmes (love!), 19th century London (love!), and a Jack the Ripper mystery (love!). I really enjoyed that the creators finally cooked up away to bring all those elements together even if it takes place in a virtual world. And the virtual reality aspect of this film tells you exactly when it was made, the mid-90’s when everyone was convinced that was going to be the next big thing! But it’s not like Detective Conan isn’t already set around some pretty crazy technology so this doesn’t seem out of place. Everyone contributes a lot to this movie and we even get an appearance from Conan’s parents. There are of course many twists and turns, and this one does have some very suspenseful moments. I found the final confrontation scene especially thrilling and once again tip my hat to Ran, in fact the franchise is very good at the final scenes overall. Detective Conan Movie 6: The Phantom of Baker Street is a great romp in the collection!

Continue reading

Ongoing Investigations: Case #071

At some time in the past I used to have some amount of skillz, but no more. Nothing has proven this more than me playing the New Super Mario Bros. Wii. You can play it like a standard Mario game in which case it plays pretty much like every old school 2D Mario platformer. It really reminded me of Super Mario Bros. 3 quite a bit. The other way to play it is is multiplayer which just adds to the madness. The second you add another player on the screen the game changes completely. It makes many things in the game that were simple very hard and several hard tasks very simple. If you play the game with the right people it will add to the fun especially if you use the bubble trick during some scrolling parts and if you use the team ground pound. Also partners can make getting the coins so much easier. But if you play with some other people death by scrolling and “stolen” powerups can lead to some petty grudges. Our little group pretty well together. We beat the game proper without too much difficulty but having some very good players did not hurt. We still had to go back and get all the star coins but I think we had a great time.

Playing New Super Mario Brothers Wii with 4 players is the only way to roll, seriously. It is fun, it is insane, it is hysterical, and it is deadly! Biggest issue that we all had was when someone would get hit there would be a slight pause of delay which totally threw off your rhythm causing much mayhem and plenty of extra deaths. This was never more evident than in the hidden world in World 8 with the rollercoaster-like contraption. I also found the game to be the right mix of difficulty, which is certainly ramped up with multi-player. While I agree that is references Super Mario Bros. 3 a lot, I think it really took a ton for Super Mario World, possibly my favorite, and things from Mario 64 and even Super Mario Bros. 2 U.S. This game was a wonderful culmination of great pieces from each older game and I have faith that when they make a sequel, they had better make a sequel, that they will fix some of the annoyances and add even more fun stuff! I can’t recommend this game enough, it’s a gem, Mario’s still got it!

Continue reading