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03 February 2006 @ 12:55 am
The Outstandingly Delayed Review!  
... I wish I could say that there was a logical reason as for the delays. Certainly, there are a number. The Nano-November thing is evident, and Christmas is a hectic time for anyone, and I found myself in Illinois for a week during December. So yeah. That covers me till just about New Years, right?

Then the excuses become a LOT less excusable. See, it's all ifritah's fault. Now I play World of Warcraft (WoW, for short). I'm pretty good about my game addictions, usually I find a good balance. But then... see, I managed to do the unthinkable. I got ifritah addicted to it.

Now that's not to say she's behind. It's all me. She's like... four reviews ahead. She's outstanding.

But see, now when I'm not playing my Level 56 Priest on Dark Iron with the Penny Arcade Alliance, I'm playing my Level 29 Warrior on Malfurion with ifritah and her fiance. (Sorry boys, she's taken.) So I've lost my balance, so to speak, in the 'doing other things' category. But duty calls, and Ultra won't review/finish itself (if it was going to, I think it would've done so by now) so the Ultra Project continues!!

And now to the meat and potatoes of this post, the review!

This episode was mercifully shorter than the previous, but also to its own demerit as well. Some of this, I think was due to real life hazardry, if one is to pay attention to the author's notes at the end of the chapter. That's understandable, it does happen. But some of the things in this chapter really didn't work too well.

Now the continuity hound in me loved the fact that we're building toward Ultrarage Alpha. Now I think our mysterious visitor is bordering on being overplayed, but I'm hoping the big reveal will be worth it.

As far as the stylings for this chapter... it was, as any collaborative effort will be, a tough cookie to describe. At some points it was consistent, if a bit dry in its descriptive, where at other times it was jumping, talking at you, and making you read that last sentence twice. Besides a bit of the scarcity of the descriptive, I didn't have anything punch me in the gut as far as the writing styles go, which is really the best you can hope for as an amateur author, so far as I aim anyway.

Dan vs. Shingo
Now the Shingo match versus Dan was a nice twist as I liked the fact that it was an actual fight, but both fighters were given the short stick on the 'establishing skill' portion of the event. Now Shin Dan isn't a favorite of mine, but it was treated tolerably here, and I like the carryover instead of an immediate retcon. Shingo's angst not being touched again this episode was a bit iffy, though.

Washu vs. Toguro
Washu versus Toguro was an interesting fight, though it illuminates an interesting point for Ultra that is struggled with for a while. What makes a good Ultra character? Someone who would be 'cool' to have in a fight against Sephiroth? Or is he someone that offers something to the overall plot of Ultra? Is it fair to expect a new character to 'tie in' somehow?

Personally, I had never heard of Yu Yu Hakusho when I first read this chapter, and now years later, I've seen an episode or two (It looks like DBZ, but with less cool factor packed into its moments of actual cool, but with a tad more plot), and I'd seen the Younger Toguro, but not the Elder. So I still have a hard time visualizing him, though Google helps. And this fight... I ... just didn't get anything from him except he's batshit insane. And murderous. It raises the question: What next? Joker for Gamma?

I don't like the Toguro character as a registered fighter. There just wasn't anything for me to latch on to here, and the way he was defeated seemed to... deus ex machina for me. The person was so all powerful he couldn't be defeated until Washuu pulled a plot monkey out of her satchel. The fight was handled alright, though I thought there was a few too many breaks away from the action, but I just didn't feel the character.

Ranma vs Iori
Definitely the best fight of the episode. Both fighters have their strengths shown, and Ranma is given a massive face push, though with a bit of an anger twinge. I can already see the 'The Game' parallels (oh noes, WWF reference!). I didn't quite get the Ranma attack at the end, as I've not actually seen much Ranma, but I just cut and pasted Inuyasha's backlash wave (same creator, even) into the event and it worked for me. I liked the fight, but the commentator interference wasn't a ploy I'm personally fond of. But hey, if it's not overused... *shrug*

Lonely Wolves vs Team Xenogears
Aside from Tifa showing up, there was no point to this. And that very well may be the point, but honestly I would've preferred to see her worked into a between match 'bit' than have her commentate on a match that didn't happen. Very big flop, story wise, and while I can sympathize for whatever may have neccessitated this, it would've been better to cut the fluff bits and just reallocate Tifa's intro to another part of the story.

Sephiroth vs Shinji
Oye. While I like the idea of a new Omega champion, and they set it up pretty well with the Tarou smackdown interview before hand, I didn't like the excecution here at all. It was very guilty of telling us what happened instead of showing us, a common flaw in the realm of fan fiction, and I didn't like this at all as an Omega title fight OR the anchor fight of the evening. Also the DBarrier thing was just a bit "IWIN" for me.

I don't want to give the impression that this was a bad chapter, because it wasn't. It simply wasn't a good chapter. There was a lot of good bits spread out, the interview bit with Ranma constantly getting interrupted was hilarious. But the chapter REALLY blew its proverbial wad with the Ranma title match, which was unfortunate. Decent mechanics, decent matches, but a bit quick on the overall pacing and a bit of a stumble with the whole of Act III being an action sinkhole make for this an overall mediocre chapter.

But, special kudos for putting the japanese translations in the author's notes!
 
 
Mood: creativecreative
Fight Background Music: Zanac Neo - PlayStation - Snowfield Story (Gaming FM - Modern Console)
 
 
 
sniktchtherat on February 3rd, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC)
RE: Ranma's blowout attack
It's an attack he used in the manga; the last "special move" he learned in it, in fact. It's a modification of the Heaven's Dragon Rise where he pulls all the excess chi/temperature in the area into the tornado's funnel; this basically turns the tornado into the barrel of a really big gun and all the chi is the bullet.
Jolicense_points on February 23rd, 2006 10:58 pm (UTC)
So the next one can be "outstandingly outstandingly delayed"?

(rudely demanding more reviews [because there's no polite way, really, or no polite fun way], so the series can end)
sniktchtherat on March 9th, 2006 08:10 pm (UTC)
Is it finally officially dead? Or just delayed again?

Another month, another echoing silence.