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Name: Pokémon: The Movie 2000 and Pikachu's Rescue Adventure.
Other names: The Power Of One, Mirage Pokémon: Lugia's Explosive Birth, Revelation - Lugia, The Pikachu Expedition.
Featured Pokémon: Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Lugia.
Generation: 1.5(no games.).
Anime season: 2(Orange Island.).
Opening theme: Pokémon World.
Ending theme: The Power Of One by Donna Summer, Polkamon by Weird Al Yankovic, and Flying Without Wings by Westlife.
Thus, the earth shall turn to Bob.
*SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS NOT A TEST!! AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE WILL FOLLOW!! XD*
Hi, everyone! Welcome to Gotta Review 'Em All part 2, where I'll be talking about the second Pokémon movie: The Power Of One! Now, before I go much further, let me explain something. I refer to the Orange Island series as Generation 1.5 because there are no games for it, and because it takes place between the original series and The Johto Journeys(Season 3.). As such, Generation II Pokemon made fairly frequent occurrences. By the way, being a Pokémon fanatic myself, I know that Nintendo would make a lot of people happy if they released a Pokémon game in which the player could go to the Orange Islands, since, aside from the fan-made game "Pokémon Naranja," that hasn't been possible. But I digress.
Alright, fair warning; I hope you like Donna Summer, because you'll hear a lot of her. Well, not her, but one of her songs. In fact, I'll be counting the number of times part of the song is played! Alright; let's do this! Without further ado, here's a synopsis, and review, of Pokémon: The Movie 2000, AKA The Power Of One!
The movie starts with a nice view of the ocean. 3 islands are visible in the distance.
*Power Of One count: 1(Background music.).*
The "camera" pulls back, showing another "island." I use quotation marks there because it looks more like a shrine than an island, but whatever. More pretty scenery is shown, as is a Generation II Pokémon: Slowking. Then, just like in the first movie, we're treated to a disembodied voice. This one, however, recites a prophecy.
"Disturb not the harmony of fire, ice, or lightning, lest these Titans wreak destruction upon the world in which they clash. Though the water's great guardian shall arise to quell the fighting, alone, its song will fail; thus, the Earth shall turn to ash. Oh, Chosen One, into thine hands bring together all 3. Their treasures combined tame the beast of the sea."
We're treated to a view of the inside of some sort of flying fortress(because fuck logic; this is Pokémon!), and we now see that the voice wasn't disembodied; it belongs to a dapper-looking man. His name is Lawrence III, but you're not supposed to know that yet, so this'll be our little secret; got it?
Anyway, he had been talking to himself, apparently, but a sudden beeping noise from behind him makes him turn around. Apparently, technology in the Pokémon world was advanced, even back then; Siri starts talking to him. She informs him that she has deciphered the prophecy and concluded that the Titans it refers to are Moltres(fire.), Articuno(ice.), and Zapdos(lightning.). They're very rare Pokemon, only found in Shamouti Island(according to the movie, at least; anybody who's actually played Pokémon knows that's bullshit.).
Lawrence asks Siri which one of the birds is closest, and she tells him that Moltres is. As such, he sets his sights on it first. It doesn't take him too long to find Moltres, and about the same amount of time to capture it within a forcefield generated by metal rings. Lawrence remarks how easy the capture was, and that, once he has Zapdos and Articuno, he'll find his true prize. Viewers are then treated to a scene that should be familiar to anyone who's played Pokémon Silver; Lugia swimming through the ocean.
*Power Of One count: 2(Lugia vocalizes it.).*
Another epic title sequence shows us the movie's alternate name: The Power Of One.
*Power Of One count: 3(a short, rock version is played during the title sequence.).*
With that out of the way, and now that the viewers know what they're watching, it cuts to a boat in the middle of the ocean, while the narrator points out what a beautiful day it is. We see that the main characters, including the captain, Maren, are on the boat. In particular, Pikachu is perched on a thin ledge, scowling. I guess, since he's an Electric type, they're using him to check for storms. That's actually pretty clever and funny at the same time.
So, as an excuse to show off their current teams, our heroes decide to let their Pokémon out to enjoy the beautiful day. We're treated to scenes of them playing around, set to a remix of the Season 2 theme song, "Pokemon World." Soon after that, the storm that I'm guessing they had Pikachu on the lookout for hits. The trainers recall their Pokémon, except for Ash's Pikachu, Misty's Togepi, and Tracey's Marill. Pikachu is left hanging onto the barrier on the bow of the boat.
*Power Of One count: 5(Lugia vocalizes it, then it's played as background music.).*
The storm, which disappeared as soon as it started, has nevertheless thrown our heroes off course; they're now headed toward Shamouti Island. The storm has also thrown Team Rocket around in their Mecha-Magikarp. One fourth wall break("An island!" "In a storm!" "I've seen this movie!"), and one McDonalds reference("We're about to be..." "Filet 'O Fish?"), later, they crash into a rock.
We are now shown what's going on back in Ash's hometown of Pallet Town. Ash's mom(whose name is first revealed in this movie to be "Delia.") is tending to her garden, while her Mr. Mime sweeps up. Professor Oak shows up to check on things, and he likes what he sees. He and Delia both comment on the nice weather, but, as if on cue, the weather turns nasty. It rains, then starts snowing. The viewers are treated to a beautiful aurora as a flock of Pidgey takes to the sky. All at once, the sky clears up. Oak(after almost being carried away by a huge group of Diglett.) points out that Pokémon are more in tune with nature than humans are, and the fact that the Pokémon are acting strange is a very bad sign.
We see that our heroes have made it, more or less unharmed, to Shamouti Island. Unfortunately, they're ambushed by a group of people dressed in bird costumes. Our heroes find out that Shamouti Island is currently host to a festival, and that a young girl named Melody is going to be the festival maiden. As for the role of the Chosen One, guess who takes that. You won't figure it out, but guess! It's Ash! Shocker; I know. Melody overhears that Ash is the Chosen One, and she gives him a "traditional welcome kiss." That pisses off Misty, which gets Melody's attention. She guesses that Misty is Ash's sister, and, after Misty refutes that claim, she guesses that she's Ash's girlfriend. Misty shoots down that possibility, as well, but Melody is intent on pissing her off even more. She says that there is a banquet that she'll be performing at, then tells Misty(calling her by name, even though Ash's friends hadn't introduced themselves yet.) not to get jealous.
Ash and his friends are led up some stairs, while surprisingly ominous music plays. Pikachu doesn't look too happy, but that's nothing out of the ordinary; he barely smiles at all throughout the entire movie. Anyway, the next minute or so that follows shows a big festival being held. After that, though, the festival isn't mentioned again, and we cut to the aforementioned banquet, and get to hear the end of what I'm sure was an adult joke("...and she says 'no, but I have Krabbys!'"). Misty is still mad at Melody, and takes her anger out on a piece of fried chicken. Ash, however, is more interested in what being "the Chosen One" entails.
*Power Of One count: 6(Melody plays it on her weird instrument.).*
Suddenly, all eyes are on Melody, as she plays a song while doing a weird jerky dance. She runs up to Ash and recites what I assume is another part of the prophecy from before.
"From the trio of islands, ancient spheres shall you take, for, between life and death, all the difference you'll make. O, Chosen One, you must climb to the shrine to make right what is wrong, and the world will be healed by the guardian's song!"
Ash doesn't quite understand, so Melody(using nearby fruit as props.) puts it in layman's terms for him.
*Power Of One count: 7(Melody plays it for a second or 2.).*
Now that Ash understands what he has to do, he wants to do it right away. Melody says he should stay for the party, but he's having none of it. Maren admires his enthusiasm, and offers to take him to the islands in her boat. Ash invites Misty, but she angrily declines. Then, completely unprovoked, Pikachu decides to be a dick and take Ash's treasured hat. Apparently, they made it to the boat, though, because the very next scene involves Team Rocket almost getting run over by it. Then, suddenly, it starts pouring rain again. We cut to the Slowking from earlier, reciting part of the "disturb not the harmony" part of the prophecy, before pointing out the sorry state of things, with a voice that wouldn't be out of place in an Emergency Alert System message. For those of you in the UK, who don't know what the Emergency Alert System is, I envy you. Slowking's voice in this part, and Lugia's speaking voice later, creep me out for reasons you luckily don't understand.
Back at the banquet, Melody decides that she's going to go after Ash, considering he's caught in the storm because of what Melody thinks is just a silly legend to entertain tourists. Misty and Tracey tag along, resulting in another back and forth between Melody and Misty, which, apparently, distracts them well enough for Team Rocket to stow away on their boat undetected.
Meanwhile, Lawrence III, in his floating fortress, points out a disturbance in the force, so to speak. Siri tells him that Zapdos is nearby, so he sets off in search of it. Now, we're shown a weather report that's being viewed by people on the island, as well as back in Pallet Town. The odd weather, though centered in the Orange Islands, is global. It seems to be caused by an underwater river. Delia, knowing that Ash is in the Orange Islands, is understandably worried. Then, we get to see another example of Pokémon technology; Professor Oak gets a call on Skype.
The call is from Professor Philena Ivy, a character exclusive to the Orange Islands arc. She confirms what Oak had already told Delia much earlier; the Pokémon are acting strange. We see a cameo appearance by Brock, as he runs back and forth, carrying Pokémon. Back on the boat, the storm is over for now, but that doesn't stop the waves from being treacherous. This results in the boat breaking it's rudder off on a rock, then getting washed ashore. At least the island they're stranded on is the one they were looking for. Pikachu runs off, because he's a dick, and Ash follows him.
Meanwhile, Melody is in hot pursuit of Ash, and she shows off some impressive boating skills. She assures Misty and Tracey that they don't need to worry, since she grew up around boats. Misty points out that she wasn't scared, anyway, since she's a Water type Gym Leader. Suddenly, the boat almost gets swallowed up by a huge wave. They avoid that, just in time for another huge wave to throw the boat into the air, and send Team Rocket flying. We see the interior of Maren's boat as Maren is about to have some coffee. Unfortunately, another wave crashes into the boat, causing Maren to spill the coffee. That's gotta hurt!
Melody's boat has landed on a giant rock, but everyone seems to be okay, although Maren's boat is wrecked. Suddenly, though, Melody's boat starts falling. Melody, however, reveals the sail of the boat and uses it to make the boat fly, taking advantage of the strong wind. Another back and forth between Melody and Misty later, and we get to see Lawrence III again. He pretends to feel sorry for Moltres, since it's all alone, but, when Siri tells him that Zapdos is near Fire Island, it becomes clear that Moltres won't be lonely for long.
Meanwhile, Pikachu has led Ash to the first of the 3 shrines he has to go to to get the spheres. Ash grabs the fire sphere, but has a fourth-wall breaking run-in with Team Rocket("...and make it double; we're on the big screen!" "I'll have to catch this on video!"). And cue the Deus Ex Machina; Melody's "flying" boat shows up and almost crushes them.
Melody scolds Ash for not staying at the party, but, when Misty butts in, Melody decides to piss her off by assuming she and Ash will get married. Team Rocket warns Misty about the dangers of romance just in time for Zapdos to come flying in and put on a kickass light show. Pikachu sees this giant bird of death, and decides to do the only rational thing: attack it! Or, at least, that's what it looks like. Meowth points out that Pikachu is actually trying to talk to Zapdos through those shocks, and even translates what Pikachu's saying; he wants to know why Zapdos is on Fire Island, and what happened to Moltres. Zapdos shocks him back, which Meowth also translates. Zapdos is taking Fire Island for itself, now that Moltres is gone.
With that, Zapdos goes apeshit and tries to shock everyone, but the electricity gets drawn upward by an unseen force. Well, unseen until it floats into view.
*Power Of One count: 8(background music.).*
Lawrence III is sucking up Zapdos' electricity with his fortress, which weakens it enough for him to capture it with the same method he used for Moltres. This time, though, he accidentally, and unknowingly, captures Melody's boat, and everyone on it, as well! Lawrence III remarks that all he needs now is Articuno. Then, we see another Pokémon Silver-esque scene.
*Power Of One count: 10(Lugia vocalizes it, then it's played as background music.).*
Lawrence III is alerted by Siri that the fortress picked up something extra when they were capturing Zapdos, so he goes to check on things. The chair he's sitting on happens to be on a platform that can rise and fall, so he reaches the holding area right after Melody reads the first part of the prophecy from earlier. He brags about his collection, which causes Misty to tell him off, calling him a bad trainer. Lawrence III, however, corrects her, saying he's just a collector. Apparently, he started with a Mew card. Just then, Siri tells him that Articuno is changing course, so he leaves to go after it. And now, we get to see the lovely Articuno screwing around, before the movie cuts to another news report.
This time, the news crew is flying in a helicopter, and they brought Oak, Ivy, and, for some reason, Delia, with them. Pokémon everywhere are trying to get to the Orange Islands, to try to stop whatever's going on. Oak explains that disturbances in the islands of fire, ice, and lightning are responsible for the crazy weather. Then, Ivy explains that the Pokémon are flocking to the islands because they want to correct the disturbances. Delia just wants to see Ash again. Then, we see Slowking, sad because he doesn't have pants. Um,... Alright?
Well, the blizzard ends as soon as it began, but we get to see more Articuno action, so that's cool. Back in the fortress, Melody rereads the same part of the prophecy she read before. James worries that he'll die, but Meowth assures him that he'll be fine, since only intelligent life will be destroyed. First thing's first, though; Moltres and Zapdos have to be freed.
Meanwhile, Lawrence III has his eyes on Articuno, and shows his desire for it by firing missiles at it! If he's a collector, shouldn't he be trying to capture the Pokémon he's collecting without hurting them, so they're more valuable? I still have my Fluttershy figure, and my posters(1 of which is an authentic Japanese movie poster for this movie.) from Comic-Con, in their box/bag. The less you handle them, the more they're worth. Anyway, it doesn't really matter, since Articuno dodges the missiles. We're treated with another quick Pokémon Silver-esque scene.
*Power Of One count: 11(background music. You have to listen carefully to hear it.).*
Back in the fortress, our heroes, and Team Rocket, try to free the birds by attacking the cages they're in. It doesn't work at first, but, when 4 Pokemon attack together, they break Moltres' cage. Moltres single-handedly breaks Zapdos' with Flamethrower, allowing them both to escape. Not exactly grateful, they both fly around, attacking each other, and they nearly destroy the fortress in the process. The damage they cause forces the fortress to crash land on Lightning Island. Everyone seems to be alright, but the shrine nearby is destroyed, causing the Lightning sphere to roll right up to Ash.
While our heroes, and Team Rocket, manage to get in Melody's boat, the birds keep on fighting, punctuated by a brief scene of an underwater tornado. Their fighting actually breaks part of the island, causing the boat, and everyone on it, to get swept away by a strong current. They prepare for a nasty fall, only to be saved by a waterspout.
*Power Of One count: 12(Lugia vocalizes it.).*
Team Rocket takes what I assume is the only life raft, but it doesn't really matter; soon, the boat ends up at another island. This one appears to be populated by the Slowking, who tells Ash to put the treasures in the 3 slots up ahead. Ash obeys, but soon finds that he's missing a sphere; the Ice sphere.
The birds are still fighting, so Ash runs up and tells them to stop. It, of course, doesn't work, but their fighting is interrupted anyway by the waterspout from before, which dissipates to reveal Lugia. Everyone gawks at it, and rightfully so, considering it's a Generation II Legendary Pokémon.
*Power Of One count: 13(Lugia vocalizes it.).*
Lugia's singing is familiar to Melody; she pulls out her ocarina-looking thing from the banquet, and realizes that the song she played on it was actually Lugia's song. Meanwhile, Lawrence III, surprisingly unharmed, now has Lugia in his sights!
The fighting continues, but Lugia is participating now, too, which makes for an epic battle. After a while, Melody recites the "water's great guardian" part of the prophecy, and Slowking points out the obvious("This looks bad!"). More fighting! Lugia puts up a good fight, but he can't keep up with 3 enemies at once, and gets shot out of the sky.
*Power Of One count: 14(background music.).*
With Lugia out of the way, the other 3 birds keep fighting, while Ash and the others look on in horror. The news crew helicopter flies in, and we see that Delia needs to rethink her priorities; she's more worried about Ash than she is about the fate of the world. Suddenly, the Pokémon that were trying to reach the islands finally arrive.
Everyone realizes that Ash is the actual Chosen One, but Ash isn't too keen on the idea of saving the world, even wishing his name was "Bob," so the prophecy wouldn't mention him. Melody remembers the similarity between her song and Lugia's song, so...
*Power Of One count: 15(Melody plays it.).*
Somehow, the song heals Lugia, so he chooses to talk directly to our heroes, and Team Rocket, in one of the creepiest, and most surprising, voices I've ever heard. He explains that, in order to stop the fighting, the 3 spheres have to be put in the slots, but that only Ash can do it, because he's the only one who can make the spheres glow. He says that Ash doesn't have to do it if he doesn't want to, and Ash is, understandably, hesitant. But, then, a miracle happens. Pikachu smiles! He gives him an unintelligible pep talk, along with Ash's other Pokémon, who emerge from their Pokéballs. Moved by the pep talk, Ash decides to finish the quest. This admittedly powerful moment is cut short in the very next scene, in which Ash makes a joke while trudging through the snow("Right now, I feel more like The Frozen One!").
After face-planting, Ash wonders if the prophecy was wrong. When Pikachu points out a wrecked boat nearby, though, Ash gets an idea. We cut to his Pokémon towing the wreckage, with Ash on it, at breakneck speed, while Lugia follows closely. Back with the others, Team Rocket laments that they're unimportant. Meowth says that they could be heroes if they were given a chance. Well, they get their chance; the news helicopter crashes(luckily not hurting anyone.) right next to them, which gives them an idea.
Back to Ash, his Pokémon, and Lugia again, they get attack by the other birds, but do a good job of fighting them off, at least until the birds destroy the "boat." Just as all hope seems lost, Ash is rescued by Team Rocket, of all people, who appear to have used some of the helicopter parts, along with the life raft from before, to make a motorboat. They soon reveal that their motives aren't exactly pure, though; there wouldn't be anyone left to rob if the world were to be destroyed. They get attacked again, but Lugia fights the attackers off. After going through a long tunnel(on a makeshift motorboat, no less.), they arrive at the shrine, where Ash takes the Ice sphere.
They try to escape, but get stopped by the birds; Lugia can't save them this time. In fact, their boat is destroyed. Then, Articuno is felled when the other 2 birds gang up on it. Ash and Team Rocket manage to escape, and Ash shows Lugia the Ice sphere.
*Power Of One count: 16(background music.).*
Lugia allows Ash(and, accidentally, Team Rocket, who grab his tail.) to ride on him back to the island where Ash has to take the spheres. Unfortunately, Lugia gets attacked by the other birds(sans Articuno.), and, with Team Rocket holding onto his tail, he can't dodge as well as he could before. After a totally random Weight Watchers reference("We should try Weight Watchers!" "It's too late for that!" "I heard it's never too late if you really stick to the program!"), Team Rocket lets go, sacrificing themselves for the greater good. However, they survive the fall, plunging underwater and surfacing near a huge group of Pokémon.
Lugia explains to Ash that the Pokémon have gathered because they want to help, but that Ash is the only one who can fix what's happening.
*Power Of One count: 17(background music.).*
Melody and Misty start worrying, but it's not needed, because Ash waves at them. Suddenly, though, Lawrence III's capture rings(that's what I'm calling them.) shoot from the fortress, straight towards Lugia.
*Power Of One count: 18(background music; you have to listen carefully.).*
The capture rings surround Ash, Pikachu, and Lugia. Lugia won't go down without a fight, though. He fires 2 Hyper Beams, the first of which destroys the fortress. Unfortunately, Lugia has used the last of his energy; he plunges into the icy sea, defeated, taking Ash and Pikachu down with him. Ash and Pikachu surface, but Ash is unconscious. Lugia admits his failure. Even the Pokémon that traveled all that way know things are grim.
Melody tries to give her ocarina thing to Misty, but she won't take it. Instead, she sets out to find Ash, which doesn't take her very long at all. Once she finds him, she brings him back to the island where, rather than give him CPR, she shakes him! Somehow, it works, but - and this is coming from someone with quite a bit of medical knowledge - I wouldn't recommend it. Not just because it's stupid, but because, if the victim has a head, neck, or back injury, you're likely to make it worse.
Anyway, Ash shambles over and puts the Ice sphere in the last slot. This makes pretty lights come out of all 3 spheres. It also causes shining green water(ew.) to pour out into markings on the ground, and it causes the stone pillars around everyone to crystallize. Melody wastes no time in playing her song. By the way, we have just reached the climax of the movie.
*Power Of One count: 21(Melody plays it, then background music takes over, then Melody finishes it.).*
Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, tamed by the song, fly around happily. That finally brings an end to the crazy weather that plagued the world. Grateful, Lugia emerges, his power restored by the song, and offers Ash and Pikachu a ride.
With the song finished, Melody drops to her knees. Some islanders look outside, stunned, and a news report tells us what we already know; the bad weather is over.
Back with the main characters, Lugia congratulates Ash, saying that the fate of the world couldn't have been in better hands. With that, he returns to the sea, and, unfortunately for Ash, his mother and Professor Oak catch up to them. Delia's first instinct is to bitch Ash out, but, then, she admits that she worries about him all the time. Ash placates her by saying that he'll try to stay close to home(LIAR!!). Oak runs off, excited to tell other researchers about the recent events. Then, we cut to Lawrence III, picking up his Mew card out of the wreckage of his fortress. He hasn't given up his hobby, and he's going to start over with the card that started it all.
The final pre-credits scene is of Team Rocket, happy that they did they did the right thing, but sad that nobody saw them do it. Slowking breaks the fourth wall by telling them that lots of people saw it, and that they're still watching. With that knowledge, Team Rocket ends the movie by talking about starting their own team.
*Power Of One count: 22(it plays during the credits, complete with vocals.).*
And, with that, we've reached the credits! Like they are in a lot of the Pokémon movies, the credits in this one aren't too special, serving mostly as a way to get extra songs in at the last minute. Donna Summer is good, but, by the time you've reached the credits, you're probably sick of the song she contributed, and the addition of vocals probably won't do too much to change that. The fact that they got Weird Al Yankovic to do a song is cool, but it seems out of place, considering the song that precedes it, and the song that comes after it, are both ballads. Not exactly what Weird Al Yankovic is known for. As for the final song, Flying Without Wings, it's amazing, and I wish they had played more of it.
And that's it for The Power Of One! A good movie that could've used song variety. In case you lost count, they used the same song 22 times! I'll talk more about it later, but, for now, let's move on to Pikachu's Rescue Adventure, the mini-movie that comes with it.
It starts with Ash, Misty, and Tracey deciding to take a break, so they let their Pokémon do the same. Unfortunately, Togepi apparently has ADHD, because it goes running after a swarm of Ledyba while the other Pokémon are asleep. Togepi loses its balance and tumbles down a hill, waking up the other Pokémon in the process. Further down the the hill, Togepi smacks into Meowth, who was just walking around. This sends them both tumbling until they fall down a hole. The other Pokémon reach the hole, and seem to be wondering what to do. Well, Psyduck, bringing up the rear, answers that for them, running into them and sending them all down the hole.
While they fall, and for a little while afterwards, the viewers are treated to a song. Coming To The Rescue by O-Town. It's a generic boy band sort of song, but it's still pretty good. A swarm of Ledyba, presumably the same one from before, drops our heroes(using that term loosely.) off at a big tree. An Elekid shows up, and Squirtle dons his Squirtle Squad sunglasses, trying to intimidate it. Pikachu steps in and stops him, though, instead opting to do what I assume is an Electric type equivalent of a secret handshake. Luckily, It works. Suddenly, a whole bunch of Pokémon pop up to greet the newcomers. After a short scene in which we see that Meowth is hanging from a branch overlooking a river, Pikachu explains to Elekid that they're looking for Togepi. It just so happens that Elekid knows where Togepi is, and he's willing to take the main characters there. We see more Pokémon, and, when the journey involves crossing a large vine, we see that, despite acting tough earlier, Squirtle is a pussy. Can't say I'd be too different.
Anyway, Elekid takes them to an Exeggcute nest. Lo and behold, there's Togepi! Unfortunately, the Exeggcute won't let Togepi go, because they think it's one of them. Exeggcute live in groups of 6, but this one only has 5; one of them is missing.
We see some more Pokémon as the main characters end up in a beautiful meadow. I assume that Elekid led them there. As it turns out, they're just in time for a show! 3 Bellossom pop out of the ground and start dancing. They're soon joined by more and more Pokémon, until it's like a dance crew(or troupe, if you prefer.)! Suddenly, Pikachu hears something, so he runs off to see what it is. He leads the other main characters into a cave, where they find a bunch of Clefairy. Pikachu realizes too late that they're using Metronome(picks a random attack and uses it.), which ends up turning into Explosion, sending the main characters flying into a tree with VERY springy leaves. In fact, it looks like there are actual springs attaching the leaves to the tree!
Everyone has fun bouncing around, but, unfortunately, Pikachu and Elekid bounce too high, and land on Meowth, still hanging from the branch. They get flung off of the branch, and land on a Snorlax, who launches them into the river. They surface riding up the waterfall on a Gyarados. Meowth tries to kick Pikachu off of it, which doesn't end well. Pikachu uses Thundershock, causing the Gyarados to buck all 3 of them off. Pikachu and Elekid land back in the tree, but Meowth blasts off in classic Team Rocket style. As soon as Meowth disappears, the weather turns bad. Everyone hides at first, but, when they realize that the Exeggcute nests are in danger, it becomes a mad dash to protect them. The wind is ridiculously strong, but Snorlax seems to be able to take it, so he stands over the others to protect them. After a little while, though, Pikachu realizes that everyone is in serious danger, so he runs up to the top of the tree for one of the most badass scenes in all of Pokémon. Pikachu, later joined by Elekid, Thundershocks the lightning to keep it away from the tree! I shit you not! It actually works, for a little while. Eventually, a bolt of lightning slips past them, starting a fire. Marill and Squirtle quickly use Water Gun to put it out, though.
With the fire out, the problem once again becomes protecting the Exeggcute. The same strategy as before(using Snorlax.) works for a while, until he lets go of the chain of Pokémon to try to grab some fruit that's blowing by, sending them flying and forcing Pikachu to grab onto a bump on the branch WITH HIS TEETH!! Coming from someone who has 2 broken teeth, I can't watch that without cringing. Just as Pikachu loses his grip, it's Snorlax to the rescue again! Snorlax pulls the Pokémon, and the Exeggcute nest with Togepi in it, back down to safety. With that done, the weather miraculously goes back to normal, and we see a beautiful Dragonair flying around.
There's just one last problem. The missing Exeggcute still hasn't been found. However, a random Chansey comes dancing in to solve that problem; the Exeggcute was in her pouch the whole time! The Exeggcute bounce around happily, now that they're all together. It turns out, though, that they're bouncing around near a Leaf Stone, which causes it to evolve into an Exeggutor, and start dancing.
We cut to a cliff near a cave, where the main characters say their goodbyes to their new friends. Then, we see that Meowth is, more or less, alright. He landed in a river, which dumped him into a lake. He says he doesn't wanna go to camp anymore(he does, anyway, but not for 3 more mini-movies.). Finally, we rejoin the trainers, just as they wake up. They wonder where their Pokémon are, but they soon find out that their Pokémon are safe and sound, playing in a lake(likely a different one than Meowth ended up in.). Tracey remarks that they must have been playing the whole time. The Pokémon end the mini-movie by jumping out of the water, which is shown as a still frame that fades into what looks like a drawing of the same scene.
And that's Pikachu's Rescue Adventure! In contrast to the movie it's shown alongside, it's much more light-hearted and cute, which are important qualities for those things. Now, I suppose you'd like to know my thoughts on this movie. Well, I'm not one to disappoint! Here we go!
Well, like I said at the beginning, I hope you like Donna Summer, or, at least, like hearing the same song over and over. This movie likes to beat that song into your head.It also likes to do the same thing with the prophecy. Not to mention that Pikachu is a total sourpuss; he only smiles twice throughout the entire movie! With that said, though, do I think that this is a good movie? Yes, I do.
The Power Of One boasts a fairly deep story, epic fights, and a star-studded soundtrack. In fact, to my knowledge, it was the last Pokémon movie to have a soundtrack that didn't consist completely, or mostly, of songs from the actual movie. That being said, though, 22 times is a bit much to play one song. Maybe, they were trying to brag about the fact that they got Donna Summer for the soundtrack. The first movie had songs by Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, The Spice Girls, Aaron Carter, and a few others, though, so that probably isn't the reason. Oh, well.
Like the first movie, this one is hard to find. I got my copy from my cousin for my 20th birthday. If you can find it for a good price, I'd recommend picking it up. It's a bit of a slog at almost 2 hours long, but there's enough to keep the viewer occupied. All in all, a fitting send-off for Generation 1.5. That's right; I said "send-off."
Generation 1.5 didn't end with this movie; it ended after Ash competed in the Orange League. This was, however, the final movie before Generation II. Before I leave you, I should mention that this movie is popular with Pokéshippers. Pokéshippers are people who depict Ash and Misty in a relationship in fanart and fanfiction. However much Misty tries to hide it, it's clear she has feelings for Ash. I'm not saying they should be a couple, but there's clearly something there.
Well, that's it for my synopsis and review of The Power Of One and Pikachu's Rescue Adventure! Join me next time when I enter familiar, and beloved, territory by reviewing my favorite Pokémon movie; Spell Of The Unown, the first movie from my favorite Generation of Pokémon: Generation II! Will the movie starring Pokémon that look like letters spell victory over the last 2 movies? Find out next time! ArdillaVerde93, signing off! Gotta Catch 'Em All!
Game: Heavy Rain.
Platform: PS3 exclusive.
This... is... JAAAAAAAASOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!
"I love using motion controls for these Quick Time Events!" Before the game I'm gonna be talking about came out, saying that would've probably earned you a sound ass-kicking. Quick Time Events are cutscenes that require the player to perform certain button presses and/or movements in order to progress. Failure usually results in damage, or even death, to the player's character. Because of the usual suddenness of their appearance, which catches players, who put the controller down to watch what they think is a normal cutscene, off guard, they're commonly hated. So, what did developer Quantic Dream do? They made a game out of the parts of other games that people hate! That ballsy move is what brought us what turned out to be one of my favorite games. I speak, of course, of Heavy Rain.
Heavy Rain is certainly an odd breed of game. As I said before, the gameplay is composed almost entirely of Quick Time Events, which can take some time to get used to. Once you've got the hang of it, though, it's quite innovative. At times, it can be a bit confusing, though, mainly during "The Bear," if you're looking for the "Kamikaze" Trophy. Not to mention, it'll twist your fingers into pretzels, mainly during "The Butterfly." If it becomes problematic, though, you can change the difficulty, so it's a non-issue. So, that's the controls out of the way.
Heavy Rain stars 4 otherwise unconnected people, on the hunt for a killer, who, save for their alias, is unknown. The killer is simply known as "the Origami Killer," due to their victims being found with an origami figure. Each of the 4 characters has a storyline, and their own reasons for wanting to find this killer. Ethan Mars is an architect whose son was taken by the Origami Killer. Madison Paige is a journalist in search of the truth. Norman Jayden is an FBI agent who was assigned to the case. Finally, Scott Shelby is a private investigator who works with the families of the killer's victims. 4 characters doesn't mean 4 separate playthroughs, though; you play as all 4 at different points throughout the game. That doesn't mean that every playthrough is the same, though; not by a long shot. Throughout the game, you are faced with options. Your decisions actually have an impact on the game. Examples include...
*Do you kill that man, or pistol whip him into unconsciousness and pretend you did?
*Do you try reasoning with a religious maniac who thinks your friend is the son of Satan, or shoot him?
Even the way you talk to people can make a difference in this game. It's that kind of innovation that immerses you in the game. Rather than feeling like you're playing a game, you feel like you're actually a part of it! Every choice you make could be the difference between life and death, sometimes literally. I can't explain too much of the storyline without spoilers, so I'll talk about the other aspects of the game.
You probably know this already, but PS3 games are on Blu-Ray discs(which justified the PS3's ridiculously high price of around $500 at release, as Blu-Ray was, at the time, a new, and expensive, technology. For anyone who wants to know, mine, which I got a couple of years ago for Christmas, cost $120, but that was a Black Friday deal.), so they can hold inordinate amounts of data. Later games, such as Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and even some early games, like LittleBigPlanet, show that off quite well. Lush, striking graphics, immersive sound, and a wealth of content are all fairly commonplace on the polished black powerhouse. As for Heavy Rain? Well, you can certainly tell it's a next-gen game. The graphics are nice for an early PS3 game, and the soundtrack is absolutely breathtaking, and chilling at times. As far as content goes, there are several different endings to reward players for choosing different options, but, other than that, you pretty much just get the equivalent of DVD bonus features(concept art, making of, and trailers.). There's no postgame, unfortunately, but there's not really a need for one, since, no matter what ending you get, everything is wrapped up pretty nicely, story-wise. That's also why there's no sequel. A movie was in the works, but, as far as I know, it was scrapped. Basically, despite its innovations, Heavy Rain isn't flawless. You have to admit, though, making "Quick Time Event: The Game" was a risky move that, ironically, paid off pretty well. Even riskier was allowing the PlayStation Move controller(a set of 2 specialized motion controllers, used alongside a USB camera.) to be used, which, by the way, is a perfectly viable option. There were only a couple of times(such as the flashback level with young Scott, for example.) when I thought "this isn't working; if I wanna do this right, I'll have to switch to my DualShock 3(the standard controller that came with my system.)." Taking risks isn't something you see too often in this age of Call Of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, but Heavy Rain pulled it off with aplomb. By the way, I realize I'm a hypocrite for calling out COD and GTA for being repetitive, considering I'm obsessed with Pokémon, and I just spent a good portion of last night immersed in Saints Row: The Third. It's still a valid argument, though.
Anyway, I'm quickly running out things to say here, so let's get to my rating. I give Heavy Rain 4 out of 5. It's full of thrills and suspense to keep you going until you get all of the endings, but, unless you're going for Trophies, the thrills don't last long. Oh, and, by the way, my tagline for this review is based on a meme involving one of the first levels of the game. Look up "Heavy Rain Jason," or "Press X To Jason," and you'll see what I mean. Memes aside, Heavy Rain is proof that you don't have to join the crowd to make a good game. I apologize for throwing around the word "innovative," but, other than "awesome," that's one of the best words to use to describe Heavy Rain. If you have a PS3, give serious consideration to this game. Get the Director's Cut version, if you can find it; it's not too expensive, to my knowledge, and it comes with a voucher for the soundtrack, and another one for DLC.
Dungeon Fighter Online is an Action/Beam 'Em Up MMORPG for the PC which is currently in Alpha release by the South Korean based Developers NeoPle. A member here, @MegaZero64 (whom I've known personally for many years) suggested Dungeon Fighter Online (DFO) and gave me a link to download the Anti-Cheat shield and downloaded so I could play it. @MegaZero64 is none other than DatLoli. @MegaZero64 may release a review based on his perspective as a seasoned player, even before NeoPle took the project on.
Review may contain bad language.
I have to admit at first I wasn't sure what I was looking at, honestly. I even said to myself "Fuck that doesn't look like something I want to play, ever." I tried MapleStory, made by the people originally behind this game Nexon, I will talk about that later. But even as I was typing my initial impressions I was thinking about events that happened earlier this year; short version of the story behind this is in the quote below.
Basically events earlier this February gave me a chance to learn about my fiancee's family more. I *TRULY* kept an open mind and for once; and I got to learn about them; they got to learn about me but most importantly I got a chance to speak to her dad about stuff and life. He reinforced what I learnt, unknowingly in loads of different ways. Like making me try something new (Like adding red wine to beef while I was frying it!) I honestly did a lot of stuff that I never did before. Sure I didn't like all of it but I did like the trying new experiences and ultimately I decided that I'd keep more of an open mind.
So as I was saying; I remembered to try something new. Hell "You never know. You might fucking like it." So I said "Fuck it. Bro; I'll at least try it." To cut a long story short; Good decision. I went to the website, and connected my Facebook account to it (I'm not sure if that's mandatory; it could be optional). It wanted to download a "Plugin" as well as HackShield by AhnLab Inc, as an administrator I wasn't overly happy about it but I took the plunge still. So downloading even on my own connection was a bit slow at first. In total the game used 3.21GB on my hard drive; but I don't know if it grows the more areas I visit (and thus cached). There was a small issue originally - I had no idea what I was doing. Ultimately if you don't have a fast connection downloading it may take a while.
System Requirements (Curtsy of System Requirements Lab):
CPU: Pentium 3 800 MHz or Higher (Athlon) CPU Speed: 800 MHz RAM: 128 MB OS: Windows 2000 Video Card: nVidia GeForce 4 MX 440 Sound Card: Yes Free Disk Space: 5 GB Recommended:
CPU: Pentium 4: 3.0 GHz or Higher CPU Speed: 3.0 GHz RAM: 512 MB OS: Windows XP or Better [in fact you shouldn't be using XP - Friends don't let friends use Windows XP.] Video Card: GeForce FX Series with Support for Pixel Shader 1.4 Sound Card: Yes Free Disk Space: 10 GB Once I was actually in game I found myself going through to select a server; however I selected the wrong on (A more advanced server) it's best to go for the Beginner Servers and advance up. I didn't know this but I do now. I should point out that I have played MapleStory before, years and years ago for all of an hour. It didn't hold my interest (And still doesn't). I had started with a Male Fighter Class - I usually find the best way for me to start as I've said before, is if I have the choice my first character of any game will be male (like me) and will be a Gunner (Or someone who uses heavy weaponry a lot, the exception to the rule for this was PayDay2, a review for another time.) I called my character Tripp (surprised it let me, to be honest) and off I went.
As soon as you select your character and name it you're shown some backstory associated with your character. It gives you a feel for the game and I'm told that it's different per character type. I think this is a good touch and it's very well done.
I found myself going through a Tutorial of sorts. Mashing keys on my keyboard I'd normally never use in this way. Before I knew it I completed the tutorial but still had many, many questions about how to do the simplest stuff, luckily I had MegaZero64 over on Steam Voice Chat answering every annoying question I possibly could; like a good 'newb'. But I took attention and really the learning curve wasn't all that bad actually. I truly feel the game was completely unbalanced, in the gamer's favour. but really "it gets more challenging; and a hell of a lot more fun" (and it's already pretty fun) or so I am told.
Two hours went by in a flash, and by then I was already picking up the game at a fantastic learning curve. I figured out that I didn't need to mash keys and that really I could do some impressive combo-stuff. And BOY did I take that chance. I like to think my little Digital Tripp was learning as I was learning.
Now apparently that they do a lot of resets; or have done resets in the past but as you all know if I had a gripe about this I'd be; 1) Hypocritical and 2) Stupid or ignorant. As I said it is in alpha phase at the moment (Not even in Beta) so I expect shit like this to crop up from time to time, and honestly it doesn't feel like an Alpha. Sure some it looks very Beta (coming soon stuff), for a free Alpha it functioned, operated and preformed beautifully, I explain this later. I should point out it is something you can play on your own; but it is much better with a friend or four.
Unfortunately Neppy then informed me that it was 2AM and she was going to bed. She said she didn't mind me staying up and continue playing but I decided to call it a night and off to bed I went.
... Moving on to the next day (Sorry everyone! xP)
After I played an unrelated game (already mentioned, tut tut) to do some much needed "Anger Venting" (Things during the day piss me off sometimes. Non-Neppy related things.) I got into a Voice Conversation again and hopped back on to DFO. My second day kicked ass.
We went off to do some quests and kill hordes of ... By this point Fodder, and bagged ourselves a tonne of loot and gold. We even met Gabriel a few times (Trader after the boss fight) which I've learnt is a very good and uncommon thing. Eventually I upgraded my skills and leveled them up and got new weapons (ditching the cannon), armour and even a hat!
My Armour loadout towards the end was a Ring Shoulder (Heavy Armour), Red Tiger Leather Coat, Red Tiger Trousers, Leather Strap, Sya Overshoes, Cross bowgun (Weapon) Used Cotton Arm Guard, Durable Plantain Ring and an Avatar Item Navy Duty Cap. In this play time I figured out how to use my classes better, and started working on putting them closer together so I could string better combos and ultimately do horrible, horrible things to the even more Fodder. My skills? Rising Shot Lv5, M-137 Gatling Gun Lv3, M-3 Flamethrower Lv1, RX-78 Land Runner Lv4 and two more slots that I paid absolutely no attention to what so ever because by this point as I said; the game was unbalanced in our favour.
The game was no longer about mindlessly mashing keys, sure I wasn't immersed in the storyline (Might have something to do with the Spam "Buy Gold" bots that seem to be plaguing it) but I was having so much fun. This time I spent a good 3-4 hours if not more, and even went through the 02:00 - 03:00GMT invasion of the town, which as the title says the town becomes invaded with creatures which you have to kill and drive back. I learnt a lot about the mobs or enemies that were to come; as well as ways of dealing with them. MechaTau however = Screwed. All fantasy of it being lopsidedly unbalanced in my favour was smacked in my face as it came crashing back into reality, this game is going to get tough later on and I need more and better party tricks.
MegaZero64 and I contributed 26-27 wins or so for the nearly 50,000 wins that the server had. That gives you some idea how many people play this game, and that was one server. I enjoyed it a hell of a lot and I would definitely rush to do it again, it's very rewarding especially after questing and looting for hours and it was a great way to end the second night.
You hold down CTRL and click the enemy you want to fight (Depending on level, so watch out for what works and what doesn't. It's a great way of earning experience.
After the battle the next thing I noticed was how nice a lot of people were. And I noticed that the community snubs and dubs the enemy as Nexon, (I am largly unaware of what's going on but from what I was told; I can see why) but really they were thanking and congratulating everyone for taking part and winning (We reached our target, collectively).
Perhaps this game has something big in store. I don't know. But I could play it over and over again and that's good. Also as far as I am aware there is nothing officially in game that you can buy to advance yourself quicker, and whilst this is because it's an Alpha I actually LOVE this model. I hate Pay2Play, I hate Pay2Advance and Pay2BeAhead. The best things in life really are free, so; NeoPle - I give you free advertising. This is the first review I've written for something that I actually genuinely liked. I know NeoPle will likely introduce something to pay for the service; but right now it's awesome, it's free and stable (at least for me).
Lastly though, the negative stuff; beware of scammers. As with all MMORPG's I'm sure, don't accept trades until you know what you're doing. People will try ripping you off, it's inevitable. Spambots are fucking annoying and make the chat practically useless, as they pretty much flood the chat across all servers and can even bypass mute/blocking, which makes the Blocking quite pointless to, seeing as the person you block can just buy Megaphones and keep talking to you. Not good. The Tutorial is lacking, a lot. It didn't cover or convey a reasonable message to me about the UI (User Interface) and such. Or it did and I lost focus or attention on it, the UI isn't clear on a lot of things but once you know it's there, you pretty much know where it is. The option to full-screen should be put on the settings menu in my opinion so it is switch-able. All minor and relatively petty things that I am sure will be patched or sorted in one way or another and NeoPle should be forgiven for that considering.
It's learning curve is actually quite excellent. For an Alpha it's feature rich, virtually bug free (As far as I could tell, although I know there's no such thing, really.) Its got a nice neutral sound track and awesome battle/boss music tracks. The community is friendly, from what I've seen although very random sometimes. No disconnects. Their servers are pretty solid. It's free. It's fun. Character Backstory is clear and concise. Yet optional. You can skip it. Good for players new and old to the series. Cons:
The Spambots. Oh fucking hell the Spambots. Abusing Megaphoning. No option (at least I could find) of hiding the chat. I believe it should be an option. Tutorial is lacking. Some of the most basic features are not in there. Option to fullscreen isn't made clear, to be honest it should be. There was one NPC who would literally die if someone didn't love him or whatever. That kid needs to see a psychiatrist, immediately. Like I would literally die if I didn't type that. All in all the game wins it for me by being virtually bug free, feature rich, well thought out and makes you the player think about what to add to your character with varying bonuses. All in all it's the best damn Alpha I've ever seen (Well it's in the top 10. Kerbal Space Program, Take on Mars and Minecraft were/are also awesome in Alpha). This is no an official endorsement from EcchiDreams. But the personal endorsement of a member of staff who happened to like the game. I will say under good faith; I was not asked to write a review nor was I paid. I genuinely think it's good, ultimately I think the game might be just the sort of thing people who come to EcchiDreams would play, and I highly (and personally) encourage you to "Give it a go." I haven't found Ecchi or Hentai in it, but I'm a newb so take that as you will.
Please note that this article was originally posted up on May 23rd 2014; we have since redone our articles system and moved the review - which has given it a new "Published Date". Apologies for the inconvenience.
To start; I’d like to make it clear that I have no personal, or professional relationship with the developers. I have not received money, or any rewards (Digital, Material, Sexual or otherwise) to give this review. However I do have a personal bias for Frontier Developments, as I have stated in my teaser. Being a massive fan of Frontier: Elite II, I have been waiting for at least a decade for a new game in the series and here it finally is. Yes; I realise this isn’t a Game Reviews site, and it’s just a section within a Hentai community of all places but what can I say, EcchiDreams is pretty diverse, but not at the expense of ethical practices.
Minimum System Requirements are as follows:
Windows 7 Quad Core CPU (4 x 2Ghz) 4 GB System RAM (more is always better) DX 10 hardware GPU with 1GB video ram Nvidia GTX 260 ATI 4870HD Continuous Internet Connection (Internet = Always On) With four hundred billion stars, some people will say “But even if I play online, and even if everyone on Earth played and didn’t stick to one system it’d feel empty” but I’d say “Elite Dangerous makes you appreciate the unfathomable vastness of space, where you can explore and may never see human’s ever again, if you so wished and I think to be able to explore gallivant around the Galaxy is a very generous trade off… In my case I’m probably getting a very sweet deal”. There is a sense of pride and wonder when you are exploring a system that potentially no one has ever been in before, and perhaps no one will ever go to. Elite: Dangerous is set in 3301 (34th Century).
Graphically speaking Elite: Dangerous is inspiring, each point of light is an actual star within the universe, unlike the X-Series in which it seems like a fixed image wrapped around your view. Nebulae and even the galactic core gets bigger the closer you travel to them too, which really adds to the all immersion of the game.
As for resolutions, even though there aren’t monitors capable of displaying it the game can be played on 4k, 8k and even 16k resolutions. I personally use 2715x1527 (DSR by Nvidia) on a 1920x1080 screen, ultra settings (of course) and sometimes I get lost in the stunning visuals from time to time. Stars look almost fluid like, and speaking of which - every planet follows a real time orbit which means if you are in orbit of a planet and wait long enough you’ll see Day and Night cycles, and this is true with stations, some of which the planet eclipse’s the systems star which causes night to fall on them. The level of detail and design is absolutely breathtaking when you stop to look at it. I am concerned by the lack of lighting on the dark side of a planet, from cities that you’d expect to see on Earth. But from what I read this morning this will be added into the next update.
Music and sounds is by far where Elite: Dangerous knocks most games I’ve played out of the ballpark. The satisfying “Pop” when a ship explodes, the sounds of the engines (which is different in every ship I have tried so far) to the weapons systems - absolutely amazing. I have included a video of actual game play (my game play) which shows what I am talking about. Although the one thing I do have complaints about here is the quality of VoIP, which leaves a lot to be desired.
Elite: Dangerous features a fully dynamic economy and galaxy. Meaning what we (as players) do, does affect the system or galaxy (if the “thing” is big enough to) in a number of ways. As of yet I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not, as it’s a computer game I suspect an exploit in something is going to unfairly balance something and cause the carefully stacked deck of cards to come crashing down. But this as far as I am aware hasn’t happened yet, so fingers crossed?
Something a lot of people have complained about is the Docking Mechanics, now call me a fanboy but I say “Learn how to fucking dock then” and word of advice; don’t completely trust the Auto Docking Computer either - the one time I took my eyes off of it, was the one time it did something really fucked up and got stuck inside the station’s textures… How the hell it managed that - I have no idea (I wasn’t looking), certainly don’t take your eyes off it when using it with a Lakon Type 6, because that bitch will skid across the docking pad like butter in a frying pan. The Classical music (Blue Danube) is a nice touch and feel like a economically privileged bastard when I’m using it, perhaps the only time I will feel that way.
Controls took a little while to get used to, but once I got used to them they’re almost second nature, although I did change the mouse behaviour and tweaked the A and D keys for rolling to more fit my style of playing, the keys are fully customisable and whilst I haven’t had chance to try it out yet- the 360 controller does work quite well with it although a specialised Joystick and Throttle is supposedly the best way to (and the way in which your character) operate(s) the ship, but I can’t justify paying for one of those when my current set up works just nicely. Unfortunately one complain I have here with the GUI is when Hardpoints are deployed, let’s say I have a beam laser on my primary and missiles on my secondary. Primary is triggered by the left button and secondary is triggered by the right button. So why in Gaben’s name is Primary put on the right of the screen and secondary put on the left? That doesn’t seem very intuitive at all.
Then we get to Gameplay Mechanics… Currently you start off in a small Sidewinder (or Eagle if you got the Beta, like I did - I still don’t condone Pre-Ordering especially after Egosoft’s debacle) and 1,000 credits. You’re in a space station (LHS 3447 for most people, for some reason I stated at LHS 1914) and what you do from there is your business. Start a trading job, do missions, be a courier, pirate, bounty hunter, explorer, asteroid miner, whatever! The World(STRIKE) Galaxy is your oyster. It’s “Level” progression is split into three camps “Combat” “Trade” and “Exploration” of which you can “Progress” the ranks independently. There are also a number of “Super Power” groups such as the Federation, the Empire and the Alliance and countless of smaller groups, organisations, corporations and so on, each with their own missions and such.
The only loading screen I see for the whole game is the one when you go into a game, other than that there aren’t any visible loading screens. We are in the 21st 34th Century - It’s about damn time.
There is currently a serious problem that needs addressing with the Private Group feature in that if the group is split on different servers you can absolutely forget about trying to talk with them, massage them and even see/meet up with them in game. Both/All sides must restart the game just to have a chance of connecting to the same server. This is majorly off putting and at times frustrating, especially when the game decides to move you to a different instance to your friend(s) in mid-game.
What I personally would like to see is spatial anomalies and “Weirdness” that could be backed by science, like newly formed systems, T Tauri type stars in which cloud matter surrounds them, alien races or particle fountains! I understand we’re going for realism here but then… When I checked HDE 226868 it didn’t even have a black hole in the system, let alone a star having it’s mass being “consumed” by one. As for HR 7012 I see no planetary collision, in a game that prides itself on realism with stuff we (As humans) know, this was majorly disappointing and sorely underwhelming, at this point I’m hazarding a guess that Fomalhaut doesn’t have the dust cloud, but I haven’t been there, yet. There are more bones to pick with Blackholes in the game such as time dilation and/or spaghettification, but seeing as I haven’t seen one since Beta/Gamma I have no idea if they’ve improved or not (I haven’t been to HDE 226868 since Gamma either). 'Don’t fuck me around on this, Elite' I'd protest. Other than actually going to them and seeing them myself - I know my stars and shit but basically what I am saying here is this mechanic (Exploring) could do with some work.
Some have asked “Why aren’t there Quasars?” Because there isn’t actually any in our Galaxy (that we know of), so this is accurate. Although fun fact; some scientists believe that we might have one that "comes back to life" when Andromeda and the Milkyway merge in several billion years time.
You can make a fair bit of money off Exploring, but I really didn’t bother until I got an Advanced Scanner. You can sell the exploration data to any (as far as I know) starport for some cash, as long as the explored system is 20LY or more away- fair enough… However I found there was little to no point in it unless you got yourself an Advanced Discovery Scanner, not that I am complaining about this. I think it’s great that there are extra tiers to the Discovery Scanner. Trust me you’ll want one, if your aim is to explore.
Combat is amazing, for me I find that the blue bar on the speedometer is the “Sweet Spot” that allows me to turn faster, and I highly recommend investing in a Kill Warrant Scanner if you’re a bounty hunter, you will not be disappointed. Unfortunately… As you can see in the video this is far from perfect. For example if a Federal Security Service ship nicks you (hits you accidently in combat) there’s no apologies, they’re not wanted, nor do they face repercussions. You hit anything but a target that isn’t “WANTED” and you’re in for it. 200cr fine, which seems reasonable-ish, but the problem is every fucking “Cop” will be after your blood. Yes I suspect my aim might not be good, but come on - when a ship comes up from under you quickly OBVIOUSLY seeing you’re firing then they should expect to get hit… Seems a bit “Entrapment(y)” and "Overkill" to me.
Protip: Resource Extraction Sites are the best place to “Farm” easy kills. If you’re into Piracy you might want to consider this too. I know I am. I highly recommend doing the “Combat Training Demo” before doing any combat. It should also be noted that Resource Extraction Sites are significantly more demanding on the GPU for obvious reasons.
Trade back in Beta used to be pretty awesome, especially with Slopey’s Trade Calculator tool which Frontier Developments seem to not like the use of (as it scraped market data from their servers) as a result we have to use manually updated data. This is fine with me as far as I am concerned - to a degree. You see in Elite: Dangerous there is a number of systems that I’m going to call “Open” about their trade information and such (Systems you don’t have to spend in game Credits in order to obtain the information), these systems should be allowed to be scraped for these calculators… At the very least I’d expect useful information when I buy trade data, as it currently stands it’s useless. Trade as far as I am concerned right now is pretty broken, although I did make 8/9 million off of buying Palladium at Worlidge Terminal at LHS 3447 then selling it at Cleve Hub in Eravate. Its several trips mind, and the way back to Worlidge is pretty time consuming but worth it if you have a Cobra MkIII, with lots of cargo space or a Lakon Type 6, or bigger ship with lots of cargo space. (Free tip there)
There was some controversy a month before release when Frontier Developments announced that there wasn’t going to be an offline mode, this is probably due to the fact that the game is dynamic, and action affect the Galaxy (or portions of) now the gameplay itself is endless server costs and maintenance isn’t and there is a bit of uncertainty as to what will happen. What compacts this problem is the features that will be implemented over time in Expansion Packs which is even more concerning - because I’m sensing “£40 for Expansion Pack”. Some of these features I was under the impression would be included, but eh it is what it is. What it does have going for it is that the Developers are also players of the game, and it’s something they very clearly have a lot of pride in as it can be seen in the next video, it’d definitely seem that there is much for them to do as there is for us (the players to do) and to see this kind of enthusiasm from a dev team on a game… Is heart warming.
Features we can expect to be included in these “Expansion Packs” are apparently:
Landing / driving / prospecting on airless rocky planets, moons & asteroids Walking around interiors and combative boarding of other ships Combat and other interactions with other players and AIs in the internal areas of star ports Accessing richly detailed planetary surfaces (and even cities) Availability of giant ‘executive control’ ships to players In Conclusion
Now I’m already sensing that there is going to be at least one comment saying “Star Citizen is better!” And quite frankly I don’t care, lets set something clear. We haven’t had a decent space simulator to this magnitude and quality in a very long time, certainly not with this generation of computers. But really they have a lot of differences and it’s like comparing Golden Apples, to Golden Oranges; they’re both Golden and Fruit, as well as not very edible (I’d imagine) but that’s it - they’re different. That said if the rumours of StarCitzen’s Pay2Win are overblown or false I might pick up that game too, and review it… Unfortunately; despite its flaws, Elite: Dangerous has me, well and truly hooked. Elite: Dangerous feels like and is pretty much a Work in Progress, but it’s a damn fine Work in Progress and I look forward to the new features and future updates.
I do fear for some aspects of this game’s future, I was a late backer due to money constraints (I couldn’t afford 2x Alpha copies, otherwise I’d of gotten ten) and there is a lot of work that needs to be done in some areas. However this game is fucking awesome, graphically, sounds, immersion, music, it’s hit after hit and in these areas it does feel very well polished. I do like the fact that this game is dynamic, none of those scripted cheap ass endings we saw in Mass Effect 3 and I think I will be playing it for years to come.
The problems with this game are small or are outweighed by positives if I was being biased I’d stretch it to 4.99 out of 5, but that’s not very fair. I feel most of the things wrong with this game can be fixed, and probably will be fixed at some point. It certainly did better on launch than X-Refail even if comparing those to games is like comparing a Golden Apple to a Kick in the Bollocks.
Ability to play Solo or Private Group instead of jumping into public. Music and Sounds. Graphics, obviously. Somewhat future proofed with 4k, 8k and 16k graphics and textures. Truly Dynamic Economy. A truly dynamic galaxy, shaped by the Players actions. Immersive. VR/Oculus Compatible. Exceptional attention to detail. 400-billion fucking star systems! Extremely promising future. Absolutely free-ranged. Dedicated and passionate staff behind it. Cons:
Bugs with the Private Groups is infuriating. Systems that we know of, aren’t accurately portrayed. VoIP is dodgy, at best. VR/Oculus Compatible (I don’t have one ~envy~) Authorities over-react to NPC’s Pilot error. Trade Data is useless. It’s online only (this is a deal breaker for some). Well worth your money? If you like this genre of games then hell yes it is.
Please note that this article was originally posted up on January 23rd 2015; we have since redone our articles system and moved the review - which has given it a new "Published Date". Apologies for the inconvenience.
If you don't want to read any back story - please skip to the big text saying "My Review".
[I'm not a professional reviewer just decided to make a post in here. Might make it a regular occurrence... Who knows.]
As many of you already know, I’m the Site Administrator for EcchiDreams, but in my spare time (what little of it) I play a lot of video games. I’m a PC gamer myself (Preferably with a 360 Controller. The best controller, in my opinion, in existence – Today anyway), I used to play on the Xbox 360, and I grew up playing games on the Basic Amstrad CPC464 (First ever PC, 1994), Amiga A600 (1995) and eventually a Windows PC (1996+).
One of the first space games I ever played was in 1998, (Just 8 years old) and I had to code a DOS program to be ran at the startup of my PC (because I had Windows 98, not good for running old DOS games). So basically I edited the autoexec.bat file in my C: drive (I believe) and injected my own script to run making the machine a multi-boot with MS-DOS with HighMem, and Windows 98 for my other games. It was a lot of fuss but it was what I went through to start playing Frontier Elite 2 (David Braben), and boy once I got it. I didn’t stop playing it. Then in 1999, I had to severely upgrade my computer just to run X-Beyond the Frontier (Egosoft), as even the though my machine matched the recommended requirements it still wasn’t enough, but it was so worth it when I finally got the components and was able to start playing it (And believe me I played for a long time).
(Thanks Dad! Whenever he upgraded his PC, I got the hand-me-downs. Useful because I ended up building lots of computers and start experimenting!)
I truly believe at the time that it was the most realistic thing I had ever experienced in a game! To some degree I believe to this day that it was ahead of its time and it is! It still looks somewhat good even today especially when compared to Frontier Elite 2, my only point of reference.
Frontier Elite 2: 1993 – David Braben
X-Beyond the Frontier: 1999 – Egosoft
I really felt my nine year old mind being fully immersed in what was going on, a part of the story line and Ban Dana of the Argon One was my brother and leader into the battle against the Xenon. I had to spend hours and hours of my childhood gaining the trust of the Peaceful Kingdom of Boron’s assistance in the fight, The Paranoid Forces of the Paranid, the Warrior Clans of the Split, Even the Greedy Scales of the Teladi to unite all species to work together to achieve a common goal. To stop the Xenon. (Only it hasn’t really stopped them at all.) But it’s uniting the known universe for the greater good that was the main focus point and I believe that was well achieved. Of course then there was the building of the Factories to get a constant stream of Credits for weapons. It made it challenging, worth it. I replayed that again when X-Tension came out unfortunately there was no sight of it in UK shops, I couldn’t get a copy. Even when getting it off eBay it turned out to be a copy boy was I ever pissed. Nowerdays I have it on Steam, cost me fuck all (Humble Bundle) and yet when I see how easy it is to get a copy now compared to back then (two years I spent trying to get it!)… Oh the memories.
I know at the time back then there was a massive hoo-har about it being “Unremarkable” as it had no plot. No story line. But I see and understand what Egosoft were trying to get at with this “Extension”. It was just a no-bullshit addon for X-Beyond the Frontier that added a TON of new things. I’ve never actually played it at length though… Never got round to it because in 2003 Egosoft released another game. X-Tension is slightly more improved in graphics to X-Beyond the Frontier.
X-Tension: 2000 – Egosoft
X2: The Threat 2003 - Egosoft
X2: The Threat, I pre-ordered without question. Damn it I wasn’t going to miss another game, by this point I never played X-Tension at all so I was pretty psyched to get it a day before it was actually due to be released (Thank you Amazon for Premature Ejaculations of Games.) I got an upgrade and remembered what I learnt from X-BtF (X-Beyond the Frontier), go above the recommended specs! Despite all this the game just never ran I didn’t get it to run until after I moved home, and was in school (So about May 2003). After getting a hold of updates (Which I had to download at school due to not being in a broadband area) and patches from Egosoft (which I had to download at a friend’s house because Egosoft.com was blocked at school, well until I hacked the shit out of that… But we will leave out how a secondary school student in the UK was able to access porn at school shall we?) I was able to update my machine and play it. In my naïve mind I didn’t see that this was a sign of things to come, now Egosoft are renown for releasing shit, fixing and ending spectacularly which is hardly ever disastrous. </sarcasm>
Needless to say there was a fuckton more to explore, and I had great fun. Sticking into it pretty good and spending more time on my PC than out there “Socialising” to be honest I still prefer it today honestly. The fact that I can do both now is something I’m still… Getting used to.
I spent a lot of time starting up my space empire, I found unknown sectors, (Boldy gone where no one’s gone before!) and decided to set up shop there, (Until I discovered some drained shields or ate hull) so once reloading a save I set up shop again in a good Unknown Sector and started my empire eventually having enough credits to expand until I had a space station in nearly every sector, and fleets in nearly every sector. I was quite proud of myself, honestly.
Then 2005 I decided to give Egosoft another chance, X3: The Reunion which I preordered. This time I got it a day late, by this point I had already started reading the reviews coming in for the game. I remember the negative ones still and the fans who were defending it. This is why I stear clear from that whole area and think upon what I THINK of the game not what a group says I should think. That said it installed properly and I could play it… For a little while. It was bugged to fuck.
I had to wait for a few months for Egosoft to make patches which I downloaded and tried out. Luckily; those patches were effective and I got used to a whole new interface, and I didn’t like the no cockpit thing at all at first, but I don’t know it’s grown on me. The fucking graphics though! ~low whistle~ DAMN. Then 2008 the BEST game ever to come out from Egosoft with Graphics that’d make anyone just want to pick up a spliff and relax at.
X3: The Reunion: 2005 – Egosoft
X3: Terran Conflict: 2008 – Egosoft
I don’t recall getting any problems with X3: Terran Conflict; it installed perfectly, ran perfectly and I had a pretty beefy PC that was capable of running it perfectly, and I got into it hard. Even when I moved to my Acer Aspire 8930G in 2010/2011 I was using it play this game. This was meant to so much to me that I literally included it as a major part of my EPSI Federation piece in the Andromeda RP. It was the “Framework” I used to build and shape their history and included actual game play in with the RP. Just keep that in mind, because the in a bit there is a head turner. I mean the Graphics... Wow.
I’ve spent a good few hours in Albion Prelude (Although have not really being taking part in story line) but that’s just an addon in my opinion to X3: Terran Conflict. This was all before I used Steam (Started 2012).
TRADE. FIGHT. BUILD. THINK.
They actually meaned something to me. The whole point of these X Games, all in space. Now that’s a game.
Imagine my surprise when I saw this trailer for X-Rebirth:
Please watch with sound/subtitles. At the time of writing this there were no annotations or links throughout the video.
I was so excited that it went straight to number 1 on my wish list and a friend of mine was very generous in getting it for me as a pre-order. I was (and still am despite the nasty experience with the game) very grateful to them, but this person is a private person and wishes to remain anonymous so I can’t thank them publicly but I have thanked them several times personally). There’s only two things I looked forward to this year; X-Rebirth and Doctor Who.
WOW! THEY TOPPED X3: TERRAN CONFLICT?!
No. They didn't even top Frontier Elite 2 in my opinion.
Now for my review...
I think X-Refail is an appropriate title to this review. There have been some on Meta Critic that have called it X-Stillbirth, I’d never be so offensive in publicly calling it that, but it’s fairly accurate as well as offensive, unfortunately. So well played in my opinion. Oh and yes I truly feel awful for thinking that.
Yes! X-Rebirth was an unmitigated disaster, despite Egosoft calling it a success. Yes it reached number 1 in sales on Steam, but I wonder how many of them will be calling for a refund? Oh wait…
I know I shouldn’t have expected X4 and I wasn’t but for fuck sakes… What the fuck is this?! THIS TOOK SEVEN YEARS?! Holy shit, sounds like you need The Doctor more than I do! There are so many bugs in the game that people haven’t even been able to play it yet. I have but only to a point; you see there are several large game breaking bugs in it. They’re so bad I think all of current progress is useless (I’ve been compensating by running around picking up loot and selling it oh then I cheated. I decided to start editing my save game to try and undo some of the damage that’s been done. Then I came to realisation as I came away from the story line. This game has worse problems than the fucking awful bugs and these can’t be fixed with a quick and simple patch. Something went fundamentally wrong in the creation of this game, and how no one spotted the bugs is beyond my current understanding at the moment. I blame either subjective blindness or stupidity to be perfectly honest. It doesn’t even feel complete and a lot of core features (ones that made the game so good were stripped!) It feels like a dumbed down version of an X-Game but like before X-Beyond the Frontier or something. Then logical explanations found by fans shed some light on it. The theory goes; The Game was designed for Consoles then for some reason Egosoft decided to scrap that and port it to PC. Which doesn’t make sense seeing as all their games have been PC based (then Linux/Mac I believe) not console basically. You can’t replicate that kind of complex system on a console and to be honest I’d never play a console version of an X game. PC vs XBOX vs PS bullshit aside, I PREFER to being able to upgrade parts in my PC than to buy a new console which (No offence) doesn’t even compare to my PC.
The trailer made some pretty start demands. I felt betrayed when I realised about this (Thank you Steam User: Mr $team [http://steamcommunity.com/id/cerealkilla007/images/?appid=2870] for helping me remember this). Egosoft outright lied (some say) worse than Electronic Arts and even more so blatantly.
"…your actions truly matter when every ship and every space station is a part of a fully simulated universe…" Be honest, really most of these ships are just cannon fodder and it doesn't make a blind bit of difference (Perhaps only in reputation with factions) if I start fly swatting, really. It’s even more noticeable when these ships are coming out of these ridiculous highways.
Also... "manage your empire with help from people you hire aboard gigantic space cities" What Gigantic Space Cities? Where were these? I recall some docks on a space station, but not actual cities. I wasn't expecting the Citadel from Mass Effect (Another EA reference) but geez. Frontier Elite 2 had a more functional (and variant) space dock, at least it had a BBS. This FELT like a joke.
In every X-Game since X-Tension you’ve been able to pilot more than one ship, let’s face in even Frontier Elite 2 got that dynamic right. It makes a game feel more customisable if you can pick your own ship and what parts go into it. If I want an Argon Titan (Lord knows why) all loaded with shockwave generators then fuck. Then that’s what I’m going to make and pilot! We got to customise the ship based on our abilities and what we were good and not good at it’s what made it fun and exciting.
This… FEELS like a console game. There’s no denying it. This guy sums up much of my review and quite honestly I share in his frustration.
If I ever meet this man, I’d buy him a pint.
The campaign (Story mode) is fucked to buggery to be blunt, and the lack of space stations (Nothing stopping from having small stations too was there?!) was insulting. I never completed the game, I got snagged on a Gamebreaker, that’s the bad type of bug that usually comes with a shit storm of angry computer smashin’ fun. [No didn’t allow it to get me that far. Close though </joke>] SETA has been ditched (Yay!) and replaced with some weird Freelancer feeling type shit. Ugh. It felt like a rewind back to the last decade or so; and that’s bad because a decade or so ago they were beyond their time and each time they did this over and over again, and this game has only set the bar backwards. Hell a re-release of X3: Terran Conflict with elements of this game would have been a much better implementation of all this.
Egosoft have been rather good at recovering from disastrous releases, they’re able to patch bugs quickly and show some of that fine German Efficiency at doing it. But this is different, I feel if all the bugs were fixed the game would still be extremely incomplete, from start to finish I have been very disappointed and disgusted about being lied to and offended that they see this as a success. I made this point on their Facebook, Steam and Site and I’ve ran into Fan’s that question my Fandom of the series as a hole. I’d say I was an Egosoft Fan but I’m not a part of the Fandom if that makes sense at all. I probably sound like a rambling hipster now. >_<
Bringing up what I said earlier, I incorporated their games into a creation of mine to help build it up. I don’t expect anything from it, of course; but I’d say that makes me qualified to be a fan, personally. Being a fan doesn’t mean I will take part in the silly debate going on, on Steam. It also doesn’t mean I will push my beliefs in other faces. Instead I decided to make a thread on my own site, and if people want to read it then fair play to them. Likewise if not; then whatever. No hard feelings.
This is why I hate fan groups. I don’t see myself as better than them by all means but I just don’t see the point in arguing about it. It’s all perspective. This is my perspective.
Summary: X Rebirth is just a pile of wank, except that at least leaves a nasty mess for someone to clean up this game is sadly a bit Beyond that Frontier. Egosoft admitted [http://www.incgamers.com/2013/11/egosoft-apologise-for-the-state-of-x-rebirth] that there were nasty bugs in the game and are already working hard in patching it. But as people have stated quite clearly already patches can only do so much; nothing can quite fix the mess that was released on the 15th November 2013. Egosoft in my opinion have to answer for a lot of questions from their loyal (and crazy*) fans. What went wrong? What happened? Why were we lied to? Why did we get rid of what fucking worked and expanded on in X3: Terran Conflict? Who passed off this game? The list goes on… Then I found out that there’s only a very limited amount of sectors overall. Wow… Fuck-this-game.
I suppose the DLC for X Rebirth will be 2 more sectors for £14.99, or 4 more sectors for £24.99. <- At the time of this post, it was intended as a joke.
Some people have said that this will probably be the end of Egosoft, and there’s no doubting they’ve lost a lot loyal fans trust over this, myself included. Some are fine with it, and in my opinion, that’s good for you. But I’m not fine with it. Nothing’s stopping you from putting up a positive review.
Oh and I discovered I have a twitchy finger with this game. I use the keyboard and mouse, because in other games the X-Box controller doesn’t work with it and honestly… I accept that. This game does work with the controller found out today. Apparently easier to use too. Fuck. Anyway every so often I’d just left click to make small adjustments to movement when all of a sudden, twitch, I’ve opened fire on a space station.
The storyline likes substance too. PMC and Albion whatevers are supposed to be hatin’ each other? Why aren’t they fighting? Why are they living side by side each other and shit? Why am I the one singled out and attacked by PMC? Come to think of it when a PMC dickwad starts shooting at me, none of my Albion friends come to my aid? In the previous X-Games I could at least hail a station and ask for assistance, in this game I fucking get told off and punished by Albion when I return fire on a PMC ship? But if these sides hate each other wh-? You see, that’s console logic. That’s why I play PC games. This game has poor graphics considering the standards Egosoft keep raising, even worse voice acting than ever, shittier music and no value in terms of game play. I can't write this review and remain unbaised as best I can with how cynical I am. There's nothing nice to say and the only things that there are is force feeded my cynicism. So I guess I failed here just like Egosoft failed with this piece of garbage.
And Update: Unconfirmed reports of 360 code has been screenshotted from a shaders folder installed with X Rebirth; this is significant because it shows why the chose to stick with DirectX 9. Some have said it was like they made it for the 360 found it wouldn't work and booted it out the door for the PC instead, which is really shameful behaviour in my opinion and if this is true I think we're rightfully owed an explanation. If this was the case the best moral thing Egosoft could do is stand up and admit they screwed us, answer our questions and learn from their feedback. Sales have also fallen sharply on Steam but then again there is apparently an AAA title up there at -40% off. Perhaps someone somewhere is burying this game back into a blackhole where it belongs, in my opinion. Can Egosoft fix it? Well they think they can fix the bugs at least. I still think it's a little beyond that personally. If it does get better and my opinion changes and perhaps I can put something nice in, then I'll come back to this with an addition review (This will remain here) until then lets see if David Braben's Elite IV: Dangerous can make a stunning return as well as RSI's Star Citizen (I should bloody well say so with over $27 Million funding it. Can't wait to review that. But I don't think I'll preorder anymore, and I'll hope my outstanding pre-orders pay off.
*Crazy and its meaning are meant as a perception orientated observation. >_>
Please note that this article was originally posted up on November 17th 2013; we have since redone our articles system and moved the review - which has given it a new "Published Date". Apologies for the inconvenience.