Nostalgia is in full swing in some of the recent media I’ve consumed. Some of these franchises are near and dear to my heart so I figured I’d dedicate a space where I talk about them for a little bit.
I’ll primarily talk about the game Digimon Survive, the movie Rise of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, and the Netflix animated series Tekken: Bloodline. But I did see and play a few other things in between and around my travels during the last two weeks so I’ll touch on those too, briefly.
The main trio
I’m in the minority on this but I’ve always been a Digimon over Pokémon type of person. I was a big fan of the 1999 animé and its banger of an opening song. And I also dedicated an entire summer to playing the Digimon World game. I missed the train on the Digimon World: Next Order game so I was elated that Digimon Survive came out recently.
I haven’t played it as much, but I feel like I’ve played it enough to let you know if this is something you should buy now or just wait for its price to drop. We got a review code from the publisher which is why I was able to play.
To properly set expectations, Digimon Survive is a visual novel first and turn-based strategy game second. From what I’d experience so far, it’s about a 70-30 split. There’s a lot of dialogue to get through, and the prologue part is a bit of a slog.
That said, the story is engaging. While it’s nothing entirely new, there’s enough care put into the characters and the narrative to keep you invested in the story. And how you interact with characters will ultimately decide their faith in the game. It’s not a light story by any means. If you neglect certain characters, they will ultimately meet their demise.
The turn-based combat, though, is child’s play. It doesn’t really require that much thought and anyone should be able to pick it up without any trouble. If you’re looking for a challenge, this isn’t it.
Digimon Survive is a tide-you-over kind of game. It’s mostly an okay way to gauge interest in the franchise but I don’t see this as something a lot of people will play. Even if you’re a die-hard Digimon fan, it might be prudent to wait for its price to drop or for it to show up on subscription services.
Rise of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie
It’s not something I’m loud about, but I really like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As a kid, my first exposure to these heroes in a half shell was through the 1987 cartoons. They were so big in the early 90s I remember we even had towels and bedsheets featuring the turtles (Team Mickey over here).
There have been many iterations of these crime-fighting turtles since, and I never really got to follow any of those series. I did, however, enjoy all the live action movies. Yes. All of them.
So, when the Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie dropped on Netflix, I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t even on my radar at all. And I didn’t know I needed a Turtles flick until I watched it.
The movie serves as a sort of sequel to the two season cartoon series on Nickelodeon. But I hadn’t seen a single episode of that series before jumping into this movie. And that’s fine. If you have any sort of prior knowledge about the franchise, you won’t feel lost at all.
This version of the Turtles mixes things up a little bit with Raphael taking the role of the leader first. And the movie primarily deals with the transition of leadership with Leonardo learning exactly what it is to be a leader.
It’s a fun flick with some “Sakuga” level animation. Some characters might be jarring for long-time fans. But I think it’s a nice, fresh take on the franchise. The action is unrelenting and Leonardo’s character arc is one worth learning from especially if this will be seen by many kids around the world.
I wasn’t too hot on the art style when I first saw the trailer for Tekken:Bloodline, But between this and the Ultraman anime on Netflix, I guess I’m starting to warm up to it.
I’m not too familiar with the story behind Tekken. And the only game I really spent a significant amount of time on is Tekken 3 – which is great because it seems like it’s the game that the show is most loosely based on.
Netflix’s take focuses squarely on Jin Kazama and his family, hence the “bloodline” tag. I watched all six episodes in one sitting and, more than anything, I feel like it could have used a few more episodes.
The only character you can really invest in is Jin. And perhaps that’s by design. But Tekken is filled with plenty of colorful characters that can certainly be fleshed out with more episodes.
I sincerely hope more people watch it because I’d love to see more of it animated.
Other things I’ve dabbled in
Sonic The Hedgehog 2
I missed this in the cinemas but thankfully, I was able to catch it as an in-flight entertainment. It’s a little more unhinged than the first one. The whole sequence with Sonic and Tails together was pretty darn weird. I’m not sure Idris Elba was the best choice to voice Knuckles. And Jim Carrey was fantastic as always. It’s a wild ride but there are probably better things to do than spend over two hours watching this. Unless, you’re in a long-haul flight like I was.
Tower of Fantasy
The Tencent game that boldly claimed to be the next Genshin Impact. As of writing, Tower of Fantasy seems to be enjoying a plethora of players. But with any MMORPG, the challenge is being able to sustain this momentum. I’ve played a little bit and as I was thinking about what to write, I realized one thing – I’m not an MMO enjoyer. I totally skipped the whole Ragnarok wave and everything else that came after. That’s not to say that I think the game is bad. I was just not looking at it properly.
What I’m looking forward to
I have surprisingly been able to keep up with Marvel’s offerings. I guess I’m an MCU nut after all. Ms. Marvel was fun but teenager me would’ve enjoyed it more. It was great for representation and the finalé had a couple of big reveals that’ll affect the greater MCU picture.
Now comes She-Hulk. I’ve seen the trailers and reactions to the first episode but I have yet to watch it myself. I’ll probably wait until the series has wrapped up and binge it on a weekend. I’m excited to do so because it looks like it might not be a usual MCU thing. Hope it turns out great.
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero
Gohan is my favorite Dragon Ball character. After his being relegated to the side since the Buu Saga in Dragon Ball Z, Gohan has been on a downward spiral with his lowest moment probably coming in the Resurrection F movie.
But Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero looks to rectify that. I’ve already been spoiled with the transformation he’s going to make but I still am looking forward to watching the movie and seeing how it unfolds. Bad-ass Gohan is back and I’m here for it.
NBA 2K is my comfort game. I have been playing NBA simulations since NBA Live 98. And I use basketball to relax my mind. 2K seems to be adding plenty of new things to keep it interesting. I’ll detail everything that’s new in a separate article. But as always, I can’t wait to play it.
Cyberpunk 2077 soars to 1M daily players after Edgerunners
The RPG gets a major milestone
Following the release of its much-anticipated Edgerunners update and Netflix anime, Cyberpunk 2077 has reached a major milestone.
CD Projekt Red’s single-player, open-world sci-fi RPG has reached one million daily players (new and returning) ever since the patch was made available earlier in the month.
The Netflix anime, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners also debuted last September 13, further elevating the game’s popularity to new heights, so much so that is has become a Steam top seller yet again.
This achievement makes up for the game’s disastrous release in late 2020, when technical issues, particularly bugs, hounded its PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions.
Enhanced for Next-Gen consoles
The Edgerunners update enhanced the game for Next-Gen consoles. It also gave players an opportunity to access in-game goodies inspired by the anime series such as new wardrobe and fresh weapons, as well as a host of new features and content to dig into.
Set in the futuristic Night City, Cyberpunk 2077 revolves around its protagonist V, a mercenary outlaw who needs to secure a one-of-a-kind implant — the Relic — which is the key to immortality.
In exploring the vast city controlled by corporations and highlighted by gang wars, players must customize their character’s cyberware, skillset and playstyle to overcome every obstacle they encounter.
Genshin Impact gets anime series
Version 3.1 also out soon
Genshin Impact is getting its own anime series! And HoYoverse has tapped no less than Japanese animation studio Ufotable, which created the likes of “Demon Slayer”, to be its partner for this endeavor.
It is naturally starred by main characters Lumine and Aether – who both look amazing in an animated version.
Not only that, they are together in the trailer. It is a scene that doesn’t usually happen in the game as the twins search for each other in the game’s premise.
Watch the trailer here:
Genshin Impact Version 3.1 update out soon
Meanwhile, Genshin Impact’s Version 3.1 update, “King Deshret and the Three Magi” will be out on September 28.
More details have been unveiled, including the main area which is the desert of Sumeru. It’s a stark contrast to the usual tropical rainforest. At the heart of this desert stands the Mausoleum of King Deshret, dungeons full of puzzles, mechanisms, and robotic guardians.
The Aaru Village will also be found in the desert. It’s a settlement for the desert people, and as players explore the area more, more quests will unfold.
Three Sumeru characters, two boss enemies
Three Sumeru characters will be playable as allies in the teams: Nilou (five-star Hydro), Cyno (five-star Electro polearm wielder), and Candace.
Candace is the newest character among the three. She is a half-blood descendant of King Deshret himself and will debut as a guardian of the Desertfolk and village.
Two new boss enemies will likewise make their appearance: Semi-Perpetual Control Matrix, the leader of mechanics guarding the Mausoleum of King Deshret, and Aeonblight Drake who will challenge players in the rainforest.
Mondstadt Festival Weinlesefest
Far from the desert, on the other hand, players will have the opportunity to reunite with friends in the Mondstadt via the annual Weinlesefest and help Razor uncover more about his past.
The Weinlesefest features a limited-time seasonal event and four mini-game. Players can redeem various rewards which includes a four-star weapon, the Missive Windspear.
WhatsApp is releasing a film starring Giannis Antetokounmpo
Releasing on September 21
Everyone is getting into content creation these days. Formerly a realm exclusive to those experienced in creating them, the world of content has opened its arms to companies like Apple and Amazon. Meta is slowly joining the party with the first short film from its messaging platform WhatsApp. Presented through a short trailer, WhatsApp has announced its first film featuring NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The short film, title Naija Odyssey, sees the Greek basketball superstar return to his roots in Greece. While it doesn’t reveal much, the trailer reveals hints of a combination between a travelogue and a narrated memoir.
Though it seems like a strange partnership, WhatsApp and Antetokounmpo have a history together. Back in February, the messaging platform announced the star as its first global spokesperson. It’s a good choice for WhatsApp, who leverages on the star’s endearing rise from local Greek hoopster to NBA champion. The upcoming short film will likewise leverage on his success.
Notably, however, Naija Odyssey is not the beginning of WhatsApp Films (or whatever a hypothetical studio might be called). Instead, it’s branded content designed to promote the platform as a way to cross geographical barriers.
Also, the film isn’t the world’s first taste of the Antetokounmpo story. The star already has a biopic film about his life on Disney+ called Rise.
Complementing that film, the 12-minute Naija Odyssey will premiere on September 21 through WhatsApp’s social media platforms, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video.
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