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Teambuilding Archetypes in MvC2

[Note: This is actually something I wrote a long time ago. It was on a forum I went to a lot at the time in response to a previous poster talking about how MvC2 teams were generally constructed (and making gross generalizations). I wrote this in response, which won’t hold up under a microscope but gives a general overview of teambuilding with a few specific examples. I’m reposting it here so I can find it more easliy in the future. Enjoy!]

 

I remember when MvC3 was announced, an old MvC2 pro, Fanatiq, did a writeup on the four main kinds of teams in MvC2: Rushdown, Zoning, DHC, and Trap. These four teams played very differently and because of that they had to be structured very differently. And because I don’t want to do any real work for the next 3 hours, I’m going to go over their general structures in detail.

Rushdown – Exactly what it says on the tin. These teams are about opening up the opponent and getting them into extremely damaging combos. Characters with high mobility, strong combos or infinites, and assists that can help start or extend combos are all strongly reccommended for these types of teams. Meter building is not an issue because landing combos will do more damage than just a simple DHC usually.

General team structure: Rushdown character/Rushdown character you can DHC into/Combo starting or extending assist.

Example: MSP (Magneto-A/Storm-A or B/Psylocke-A) – Magneto is so pringles the embodiment of everything rushdown in MvC2. He has incredible mobility, great combos, unparalleled resets, big range on his fast snapback, and is a good meter builder and starter for DHCs. Magneto’s assist, though rarely used on this team, is also very good for punishing since it goes full screen very quickly and leaves Magneto at a very safe distance away. If Magneto’s resets and ROM infinite don’t kill characters or if Magneto is low on health then he can combo into Magnetic Tempest and DHC into Hailstorm to bring Storm in to do what she does best – build meter and punish opponent’s mistakes. After Storm puts in some work and Magnus has gotten some health back, she can punish with safe Hailstorms, DHC into Psylocke’s Butterfly super, and DHC again to get back to Magneto. Storm’s Typhoon assist is used because it handily goes through other projectiles and does decent damage, but Lightning Attack can also be used to set up unblockables. Psylocke’s Psyblade assist is phenomenal both as an anti-air and a combo starter because of its high amount of invincibility and because it leaves the opponent in the perfect position for Magneto to launch into a ROM infinite. Psylocke is also a decent character on her own, with good mobility, solid DHCs, and a soft corner trap.

Other Example: Team Combofiend (Magneto-A/Iron Man-B/Sentinel-Y) – A team that was originally used by Combofiend and is still used by Josh360, this team is a good example of a modern Iron Man team. I already talked about Magneto so I won’t say much about him other than that combos into Tempest with this team lead well into Iron Man’s Proton Cannon. Iron Man is like a slightly slower Magneto with only one very inflexible super. Tony Stark has similar mobility, mixups, combos, and resets as well as some fun stuff like guard breaks, but isn’t seen as much because Magneto is just a better character overall. One area where Iron Man excels more than Magneto is in his Repulsor Blast assist, which is a great combo extender for both Magneto and Sentinel. Speaking of Sentinel, Proton Cannon can combo well into Hyper Sentinel Force which Sentinel can then loop with the meter built up over time by Magneto and Iron Man. Sentinel can also do fly/unfly combos with both Magneto’s Disruptor assist and Iron Man’s Repulsor Blast assist. This allows Sentinel’s already high damage output to become even greater. Overall, this team is less an example of having one really strong assist and more of an example of having three characters that have assists that work well with each other.

Zoning – Another straightforward archetype. Zoning teams want to control space as much as they can and basically play the whole game like it’s Super Turbo with flying robots. Assists are extremely important to defensive teams, specifically assists that can control a lot of space. Characters with fast projectiles, projectiles that cover a lot of the screen both horizontally and vertically, and powerful beam supers are important to zoning teams.

General team structure: Zoning character/Projectile assist/Anti-air assist

Example: Team Scrub (Cable-B/Sentinel-Y/Captain Commando-B) – Just as Magneto is the quintessential rushdown character, Cable is the quintessential zoning character. Cable has a quick gunshot projectile, a slower beam projectile that covers more space, a grenade projectile that can put the opponent in lots of hitstun or blockstun, guard breaks, good enough mobility to not get locked down, a solid DP that is also a projectile, and, most famously, a full screen hyper that he can do up to 5 times in a row. Cable’s assist is a great anti-air and very good for Sentinel when he’s playing footsies in the air with other Sentinels or Storms. Sentinel himself is a great zoner in addition to having massively damaging combos. With drones, a nearly full-screen Rocket Punch, the ability to punish with Hyper Sentinel Force loops, and massive range on every move he has (except standing LK, but who uses that?), Sentinel can play the bait and punish game just as well as Cable, if not better. Sentinel’s drones assist works well with Cable as they stay on screen for a long time and can control the bottom half of the screen while Cable controls the top half with gunshots, grenades, and Viper Beams. Speaking of controlling the top half of the screen, Captain Commando’s Captain Corridor assist will make air footsies skew heavily in your favor. Both Cable and Sentinel benefit from having a Corridor cover a huge vertical column on their screen for them, but Sentinel benefits even more as Commando’s assist can extend his fly combos and potentially turn them into one-touch kills. However, on his own Commando can’t do much besides build meter to try and DHC back into one of the other characters.

Other Examples: Team Watts (Blackheart-B/Sentinel-Y/Captain Commando-B) and Watts 2.0 (Blackheart-B/Cable-B/Sentinel-Y) – In general, Blackheart is valued as a zoning character for his ability to spit gargoyles at his opponent which slowly drain their health. Blackheart also has a solid projectile game and can control air space very well with Inferno, although its comparatively slow speed makes it slightly less useful than Captain Corridor. He even has a soft trap with Sentinel’s Drones assist. Both of these teams offer different benefits, with the original Watts placing more emphasis on Sentinel’s abilities and fly combos and Watts 2.0 allowing the opportunity for Cable to enter the fray. The original has the advantage of being able to control the air better but the sequel has the advantage of allowing two characters to be able to take advantage of Sentinel’s drones assist.

DHC – One of the core mechanics of MvC2 is the ability to combo one character’s hyper combo into one of their partner’s hyper combos instantly. This process is known as the delayed hyper combo, or DHC. In MvC2, not all DHCs are created equal and there are specific teams built around the best DHCs in the game. In a DHC team, meter management is crucial, so the best DHC teams have a character who can build meter well. Ideally, this character starts the DHC, but this is not always the case. If the meter builder is one of the two characters who starts the DHC, the third character will likely be a character who can either benefit one of the two DHC characters with a strong assist, or a character who benefits from the assists of one or both of the existing characters.

General team structure: DHC starter/DHC ender/Character who can build meter or benefit the other two in some way

Example: Santhrax (Storm-A/Sentinel-Y/Captain Commando-B) – Remember that part in “Mahvel Baybee 2” where Yipes says “That’s 90%, welcome to USA *****“? He was talking about the Storm/Sentinel DHC that Santhrax and a laundry list of other teams are built around. Storms basic launcher combo ending in two Lightning Attacks and a Lightning Storm super put her in the perfect position to DHC into Sentinel’s Hyper Sentinel force, which then leads to loops, launches, mixups, and other really fun stuff. Storm is also one of the best characters in the game at running away and building meter as well as being a fast character who can punish well, making her a great lead in the combo. The third character in this specific team is Captain Commando, whose assist is used to help Sentinel and Storm control air space, but there are a ton of variants of the basic Storm/Sentinel combo – MSS uses Magneto to lead and Storm and Sentinel to follow up, Cody uses Cable as an anti-air assist and sometimes as a lead, Matrix uses Cyclops’ assist to put opponents in massive blockstun and punish other assists, one of Justin Wong’s early teams used Cammy as an anti-air, hell you could use Storm/Sentinel/Roll and do decently (although you’re really screwed if one of your good characters dies). Storm/Sentinel is one of if not the best DHCs in the game and because of that Santhrax and its many variations are some of the most common teams at tournament level play.

Other Example: Team Z (Juggernaut-Y/Tron-Y/Dr. Doom-B) – Bet you didn’t expect me to talk about this, did you? Team Z is a team that is generally pretty balanced in that it can employ solid offensive pressure with Juggernaut backed by assists, zone solidly with Doom, and trap opponent’s with Tron’s drill backed by Doom’s rocks. What makes this team notable, though, is its DHCs, or more notably, its DHCs into Juggernaut. Juggernaut’s Head Crush super doesn’t damage scale much, if at all, which makes a lot of this team’s combos with Tron and Doom one-touch kills or close to it. Juggernaut’s massive damaging ability, Tron’s extremely helpful assist and Lunch Rush super, and Doom’s rocks, powerful combos, and zoning skill all build upon the strength of the DHCs to make this an incredibly solid and fun low-tier team.

Trap – Do you like blocking? You better if your opponent is playing a trap team. Trap teams utilize blockstrings or fast projectiles to get the opponent to block a lot so that they can build meter, mix them up, or just chip them out. Like with DHCs, good traps are very specific and depend on the specific characters, which means that there isn’t any general rule for making them. However, having a character who can compensate for the other characters’ weaknesses, a character who can create pseudo-traps or slightly weaker versions of the main trap, or a character who can build or use meter depending on what your team needs, are generally very helpful. Some could argue that trap teams are subgenres of rushdown or zoning teams, and while I do see merit in that argument I feel that they are distinct enough that they deserve their own separate discussion.

General structure: Trap point character/Trap assist/Character who benefits the other two in some way

Example: Team Clockw0rk (Strider-B/Sentinel-Y/Dr. Doom-B) – This is a team that utilizes a trap to lock the opponent down and mix them up. Strider’s Ouroboros super creates a ton of projectiles on the screen with every button press the Strider player makes. Combined with Strider’s incredible mobility, having teleports and being able to fly across the screen and into our hearts, this allows for the opponent to constantly be in a guessing game over which way to block. If they guess wrong, they eat a damaging combo followed by a nasty reset or a second Ouroboros activation. Ouroboros combined with Dr. Doom’s rocks assist also provides a frame-perfect lockdown, meaning that Strider can chip his opponents to death if he so desires and has enough meter. This brings us to the first issue of the team, meter. Since Ouroboros is a super, Strider needs to eat a lot of meter in order for his traps to be most effective. This is not that much of a problem since whiffing normals builds meter in MvC2, but eventually Strider will run out of meter and be relatively defenseless until he gets it back, which is dangerous due to Strider’s low health. This is where Sentinel comes in. Sentinel is a very solid character for building meter and does not need any assists to be good (although he is much better with assists as I’ve said before) and he can do a lot of damage and buy a lot of time while building meter and recovering Strider’s health. Sentinel’s Drones assist can also be used as a soft trap with Ouroboros in case Doom dies for whatever reason. Ultimately though, Sentinel/Doom is not as threatening as most other combinations in the modern MvC2 metagame, which is why if Strider dies the team is usually in big trouble.

Other Example: Team Duc (Spiral-A or B/Cable-B/Sentinel-Y) or Banshee (Spiral-A or B/Sentinel-Y/Captain Commando-B) – Spiral teams are in many ways the opposite of Strider teams – Where Strider’s trap consumes meter, Spiral’s trap build’s meter; Where Strider teams are aggressive, Spiral teams are defensive; Where there’s really only one Strider team that works consistently (as far as I know), Spiral teams are a lot looser in their configurations. Spiral’s Dancing Sword move summons six swords around her that she can fling at her opponent to use as either a hit confirm, to chip them out in a trap, or to just control space. Her standing HP also puts the opponent in blockstun for a long time as she hits with all six of her arms, and Sentinel’s Drones assist (or Doom’s rocks) can keep the opponent blocking while Spiral reactivates Dancing Sword, creating a frame-perfect trap. Spiral’s Sword Ring followups to Dancing Sword can also be very effective zoning tools, especially her expanding Sword Ring, which is good for covering space in all directions. Like Strider, Spiral also has solid mobility, with a teleport (though the location you teleport to is fixed) and a quick drop, allowing her to evade heavy pressure (but only to an extent as MSP is still her kryptonite). The third character typically used on a Spiral team is usually one who can provide air cover or use the meter built from Spiral’s traps effectively. Cable fits both of these categories and benefits from Sentinel’s assist, which is why he is typically used on Spiral teams. However, recently (by recently I mean in the past 4 years or so) a Spiral player named Banshee has been playing Captain Commando over Cable to better control air space and allow Sentinel to use meter to perform damaging combos instead. This configuration has the advantage of making Sentinel stronger, which provides a slight advantage against Magneto teams. As mentioned before, Dr. Doom can also be used on Spiral teams, but the other two options are generally considered better.

So yeah, MvC2 is awesome.

Impressions – MLP: Fighting is Magic, Feb. 2012 Build

MLP:Fighting is Magic livestream archive – 1 hr 40 min total


So I wrote up a long post on the game as I was watching the archive of the livestream (I couldn’t watch the stream live because I completely forgot it was happening) and I figured I’d put it here so I wouldn’t have to search for it anywhere else. So, here it is.

 

Pinkie – They only showed off two special moves which I guess means that the finger is a normal move? I kind of expect her to have more moves than that. I mean who does she think she is, Guile? Actually she apparently thinks she’s Saki from AH3 with her reverse charge moves. As for the special moves themselves, they’re useful I suppose. The ground bounce Cartwheel Kick seems pretty good and the rest seem alright. The knockdown Cartwheel Kick can lead into her next special move, Be Right Back, a reverse charge move that’s basically designed to mixup your opponent by teleporting. BRB is less effective as a teleport though since the game screen will move over to tell you where she’s coming from. This probably needs to be fixed so that Pinkie can have some mixups that are actually ambiguous and not ones that the opponent can block on reaction. Pinkie could certainly be a very interesting oki character, but her damage needs to be toned down because right now she’s pretty easy mode, doing 30% combos for little effort. Her super seems a bit like a super-charged version of Ibuki’s Kasumi Suzaku and it does ridiculous damage.

What needs to change – Damage, obviously. As is, she’s doing way too much damage for little effort. Almost every match I saw with Pinkie against someone like Rarity or Twilight had the unicorn zoning her out only for Pinkie to get some quick, easy damage in with only a few combos to either catch up or get ahead. That’s pretty ridiculous and obviously needs to get fixed. But aside from that, I think she could actually use some buffs. She’s obviously the least complete of all the characters, and it shows through the fact that she only has two specials. She has no way to deal with attacks from the air, so maybe something like a Flash Kick would help her in this regard. And if you do give her a Flash Kick effect, you might as well give her an up charge move, probably more like a Moonsault kick or some other kind of air combo ender, maybe even a slide like Belial Edge. Also, as I said before, it’s really easy to telegraph where BRB is going because of the way the screen changes. Please fix this, as it makes her mixups easy to read. Like Sesame Street easy.

What needs to stay the same – Pretty much everything else. I really like how Pinkie is a sort of amalgam of lots of other charge based rushdown characters and if BRB is fixed to be more ambiguous then it’ll be great for ambiguous Claw-esque mixups.

 

Rarity – Rarity reminds me of Shang Tsung more than anyone else. She can definitely create a fireball forest and use her delayed fireballs to pressure or mix up her zoning. Her light fireball seems a bit slow though even though it’s supposed to be the fast one. Calling gems from behind the opponent is useful if cornered though. Her Seismo Gems seem kind of situationally useful, but it looks like they may be her fastest zoning tool. Most importantly are her anti-air gems though. If the pegasi in this game do have flight mode, there will be some players who try to run away with them, and Rarity now has tools to deal with that. However, the fact that they don’t hit grounded opponents at all makes them much less useful outside of anti-airing and ending combos. Her air normals also look really nice and her air combos are fun to watch. She doesn’t seem to have a lot of air-to-ground attack vectors though. I’m loving her super, it’s like an upwards Hail Storm, which is pretty much what I expected, but she can also do it off a throw, which is great. I’m wondering if she can follow up after it with her upwards gems.

What needs to change – Rarity has so many special moves that I’m kind of concerned about overlapping commands. This isn’t too much of a problem for people who actually know how to play fighting games, but most bronies don’t. The other major problem I have is that her purple gem projectile is way too slow. Even the non-delayed version takes a long time to come out, and as I’ll talk about below, this makes Twilight, the well rounded character, better at zoning than Rarity, who is supposed to be a dedicated zoner. I think both of these problems could be solved by consolidating the forwards and backwards purple gems into one move – for example, one version shoots a gem in front of the opponent, one version shoots a gem from behind the opponent, and the other one is a fake or shoots gems from both directions or something (or maybe the EX version shoots gems from both directions…hmm, wouldn’t that be fun?) – having the startup be about the same as Twilight’s projectile, and have the delays done by holding down the button after inputting the command, like with Sakura’s Hadoken or Megaman’s buster. This would also free up a command in her movelist to give an easier input for her AA gems. This is a relatively minor issue though since she can still zone with Seismo and AA gem forest. A bigger concern is her relative inability to escape pressure. Give her an Alpha Counter like Applejack at least.

What needs to stay the same – Her zoning patterns. I play zoners in pretty much every 2D fighting game I play, and I can pretty much say that Rarity’s zoning covers all the angles I’d want it to, which is perfect. I also like how big her hitboxes are on her air moves. These two things combined really remind me of one of my favorite zoners, Nu-13, but unlike Nu, Rarity doesn’t have EZ-Modo combos that do 2K for 0 effort.

 

Applejack – If Rarity is Shang Tsung, then Applejack is an amalgamation of other Mortal Kombat characters. Her everything about her Applebuck reminds me of Johnny Cage’s Shadow Kick, aside from the wallbounce on the hard version which Cage obviously doesn’t have. Ground Stomps are a bit like Sheeva only with less range but more usefulness. I have to admit, I genuinely laughed when Applejack said “GET OVER HERE!” when she used her lasso. Applejack’s lasso also gives her EX moves, Alpha Counters, and a special 2 bar teleport to get her out of trouble or help her pressure game, which places an importance on it that could be very interesting. And, as the developers pointed out, lassos can also be used as tech traps. She also has followups after super, which really opens up a lot of potential for her combos.

What needs to change – I do think that Applejack needs to be nerfed, but I’m not sure what the best way to go about it is. I think the root of her balance issues comes from her lasso though. The best nerf I can think to give her without completely fucking up her gameplan is to give it more recovery frames on whiff. Obviously this won’t be enough though, as her lasso is currently the best (and also one of the only, now that I think about it) anti-air in the game. Beyond that or reducing the range of a lasso (which would actually really screw her over) or reducing her damage slightly (which might not be so bad), I can’t really think of anything to make her more balanced.

What needs to stay the same – Just about everything else. Applejack is a solid rushdown character, probably the best rushdown you could do without an air dash, and she’s also the closest thing this game has to a grappler thus far. She uses wallbounces and groundbounces very well, can do followups off lassos and supers, and has good tools for pressuring her opponent. The developers running the stream said that the has an invincible command dash that uses 2 pieces of magic and goes through projectiles. I think that this should be her only easy way out of projectiles since it’s a pretty powerful affect against some characters.

 

Twilight Sparkle – The way Rarity is now, Twilight’s projectiles are much better, which might make Twilight a better zoner overall. Her hard fireball is also a diagonal upwards one to use as an anti-air, like Morrigan or Gouken, so pretty much anything Rarity can do Twilight can do better. Of course, Twilight is obviously much more of a complete character, so who knows. Also, an upwards attack vector was really the one thing she needed to be a complete character. I mean how else would she control space in the air? Launcher? The failed teleport makes it pretty obvious which game they were most influenced by when designing it. Why is heavy the failed teleport though? Wouldn’t it make more sense as light? I suppose it doesn’t really matter though. Oh, and I guess the failed teleport is supposed to be her DP, so she’s now a complete shoto. But is it invincible? Her EX trap is interesting if it eats projectiles. I wonder if this makes it like just a normal projectile or if it’s more like Hakumen’s Black Hole? Also, apparently all her pages take up her magic meter now, which kind of limits her. Her throw game is solid though, with throw into fireball and throw into super both being very good options.

What needs to change – If her fake teleport isn’t invincible, make it so. So many characters in the game need air defense (and they’ll need it even more if the pegasi have air dashes or flight as many have speculated) and Twilight is one of them. I’m also unsure exactly how her EX trap negates projectiles, as I said before, but it would be pretty cool if it was like Hakumen’s Black Hole. She and Rarity (and Pinkie’s Super I guess) are the only characters to have projectiles so far though, so I doubt that’ll even have that much relevance. There’s also the danger of teleport mixups, which I’m assuming is why the developers talked about CPU Twilight as if she were an SNK Boss.

What needs to stay the same – Unlike Applejack and Pinkie, who are a bit overpowered, and Rarity, who is a bit underpowered (compared to the rest of the cast at least), Twilight kind of feels like she’s at just the right balance in the current build. She has a lot of options and chances to mix up the opponent, but she doesn’t do so much damage that she needs to be nerfed. I think they got exactly what they were going for with Twilight – a balanced, shoto-esque character with options for rushing down and zoning (although she’s clearly better at zoning but w/e).

 

General – Meter building has been lowered and I guess that’s a good thing. In a SF style game, you don’t want people supering all the time or the game will be overly focused on who has the best super. This was arguably one of the major faults of 3rd Strike. However, supers appear to build meter, which they should probably fix because no other game is like that (and for good reason). But, pieces of magic (idk what else to call them) don’t carry over in between rounds, which is pretty interesting. I’m glad to hear that they lowered the framerate for the first video because frankly the game looked incredibly choppy. It’s good that they have techs in the game, but I’m not completely sure it’ll prevent infinites all by itself. One thing that I guess I’ll just have to get used to in this game is the lack of a super flash. Sometimes the combo counter glitches so that only the first digit of the combo displays, which is pretty weird and they should fix it just as a presentational issue. And OH SHIT THERE IS AIR BLOCKING. Wow, I never saw that in any previous video. Maybe there is hope for a Rainbow Air Dash, especially since they confirmed that pegasi will have air mobility options.

What needs to change – For the most part it’s not about “What needs to change” but more like “What I want to see” – Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash in combat, Pinkie’s remaining special moves, and all the missing level 3 supers. The game right now is fine for the most part, but there are still a few things I’d like to see. The combo counter is glitchy as hell. Don’t fix it until the final build though, I always get a good laugh out of it being derpy. In general, I think that more characters need upward attack vectors, as I said time and time again. Right now Applejack is the only one who has one and she seems to be pretty dominant in part because of it. Ways to escape pressure are also not very visible in this build. Alpha Counters should be universal if they’re not already, but if there are still ponies whose pressure games are way too good then bursts may need to be implemented. Also, PUT SPIKE IN THIS GAME HE’S THE BEST CHARACTER IN THE ENTIRE SHOW AND HE’S A TOTAL FIGHTING MACHINE, JUST LOOK AT HIM!

What needs to stay the same – The absence of any sort of bullshit comeback mechanic and the presence of adorable ponies. And in general, the sheer attention to detail on the backgrounds and the ponies’ sprites is just phenomenal. Most fan games tend to be half-assed, but Mane6Dev are really going all out with Fighting is Magic. I’m really looking forward to the next time the game is shown. Maybe I’ll actually get to watch the stream as it airs for once.

 

Final Thoughts – I can’t believe this game doesn’t support DDR pads as controllers. What a load of shit. Oh well, at least there aren’t any major potential balance issues in the game.

I can’t do this anymore

I just don’t have the time.

Play-By-Play: The Cutie Pox

In these little play-by-plays I watch an episode and as it goes on I make commentary on it. It’s kind of like a Riff Track only there’s no time limit on jokes based on the progression of what you’re watching. And of course be aware that this commentary will contain MAJOR SPOILERS.

In this episode, the Cutie Mark Crusaders contract a terminal disease and die.

…did I mention that his commentary will contain spoilers? Also be warned that this episode has a goldmine of jokes within the first ten minutes alone, so I’ll tell you the same thing I told your mom – it’s a long one.

EDIT: Embed is here!

0:00 – Wow, Apple Bloom can feel the cancer taking hold. Go towards the light kid!

0:10 – How do you bowl with hooves? And why was Applejack farming corn? And who the fuck is Pip? I should make a list of these unanswered questions. By the end of the season it’ll be the size of a small novel.

0:11 – Sweetie Belle, use your telekinesis. You could use the practice.

0:21 – The three strikes? That just makes it sound like you guys struck out.

0:24 – These damn kids are always stealing my jokes!

0:37 – I don’t get it.

0:45 – This episode has been brought to you by Mr. Freeze’s Encyclopedia of Puns, the coolest pun book there is! The hilarity of these punderful jokes will be sure to break the ice! You’ll turn frigid gatherings into chill parties! Order Mr. Freeze’s Encyclopedia of Puns today so that you too can kick some ice!

What killed the dinosaurs?

The Ice Age!

Alright, I’m done. Incidentally though, Mr. Freeze is probably the coolest (pun partially intended, but I really am done I swear) boss fight in Batman: Arkham City. If you haven’t played that game yet, you should. Review forthcoming? I did originally intend for this to be a gaming blog after all.

0:52 – Steve Buscemi is the best pony.

Also notable is that this is actually the second cartoon Lauren Faust has been involved with to have a Big Lebowski reference, the first one being Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends (and I apologize for not being able to find an English version of that video).

EDIT: I’ve been informed by Youtube commenters that it’s actually the third, with Foster’s being the second and the the first being none other than The Powerpuff Girls. I guess Faust is just a big fan. I can’t blame her, it really brings her shows together.

0:58 – Don’t worry, Sweetie Belle, maybe you’ll get a cutie mark of a gutter and become a carpenter! Oh wait, that’s Apple Bloom.

1:09 – OVER THE LINE!

1:13 – I wonder if bowling alleys have blacklists. I guess there’s only one way to find out!

…By calling them and asking! You should also ask if they have ten pound balls, they never get tired of that joke.

1:20 – Oh god, I just thought of all the rule 34 that’s going to be based off of Apple Bloom sucking large things. Excuse me while I vomit.

1:26 – Wow, I didn’t think that would actually work. Maybe I should try a spitball the next time I go bowling. I’d better call ahead and make sure they’re okay with me putting their ten pound balls in my mouth though.

No homo.

1:32 – Kid, getting one strike doesn’t mean you can be a bowler for the rest of your life. Try bowling a 300 and then you can talk about it with your sister.

1:38 – Oh, they were talking about…not Colgate. Well okay then.

1:50 – You know, that’s probably what would have happened if I had used my mouth on some balls too.

No homo.

1:56 – Well, you still have 10 more frames to go kids, might as well play it out. Unless Scootaloo gets you guys thrown out for kicking testes balls around.

2:39 – “At least you were able to keep your balls in your pants mouth anus lane.” It’s really difficult to write this without making a ton of immature jokes about male anatomy so far.

2:43 – Oh shit, The Kingpin exists in this universe!? Quick, call Spider-Pony and Maredevil! They’ll take care of this!

2:49 – Well Rainbow Dash was able to make a tactical friendship nuke a few episodes ago, so I figure you’ll probably have about the same firepower as a MOAB when you’re her age.

3:03 – Do I even have to say it?

3:11 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2U_1ASaZOc

3:19 – What the hell is a chapeau? Is it french for “dead peacock on your head”? Because that’s what it looks like!

3:35 – Oh geez, Apple Bloom walking into the Everfree Forest alone. It’s just like Story of the Blank Flanks…and every other fan-made flash game made since Story of the Blank Flanks. What is the fixation this fandom has with that game?

3:43 – Yeah, don’t, like GO AFTER HER or anything. Not like any DANGEROUS MONSTERS live in the Everfree Forest of anything. These kids are so stupid I can’t even fully put it into words.

3:54 – And now Zecora shows up. Oh geez, the writers HAVE played Story of the Blank Flanks.

4:03 – Pretty convenient that Apple Bloom’s injury happened to rhyme with what Zecora said. It would have been embarassing if it didn’t.

“What has happened to you, youth? Ah, I see, you have…broken your leg…oof.”

“Zecora, that was lame.”

“Now look here, you little snot, do you want medical help or not?”

4:17 – Wow, I didn’t think it was possible but Apple Bloom’s voice CAN be made more annoying.

4:44 – Oh shit, Apple Bloom, what have you done!

4:47 – …apparently, nothing. How lame.

5:00 – A regeneration potion? I think I know where this is going. (Spoilers: No it’s not, Zecora wouldn’t be that careless)

5:12 – God damn those are big-ass teeth! Can you imagine how dangerous this potion could be if it backfired? I mean, aside from the way it’s obviously going to backfire. (Spoiler: It doesn’t backfire at all)

5:28 – A potion for bad breath? Don’t they have Tic-Tacs in Equestria?

5:43 – “Hmm, if I try to play god on Zecora’s property I can pin it on her and make it look like she poisoned me…”

But really, didn’t Apple Bloom learn that magic can’t grant a cutie mark way back in season one when she tried to get Twilight to do the exact same thing? This kid is dumb as a rock. And not even sentient rocks like Rocky or Tom, but dumb ones like the ones Pinkie Pie’s family farms.

Wait, I just realized something! Livestock are sentient in this universe and rocks are livestock since they’re farmed. Then it only makes sense that rocks can talk! Which means…

…No, that still doesn’t explain why Applejack was farming corn.

6:26 – “It is called a plot device, it makes the story progress nice…-ly”

“Zecora, your rhymes are off today.”

“You may think I’m off my game, but at least I’m still better than Little Wayne.”

“No you’re not.”

“Drake?”

“No.”

“Nicki Minaj?”

“Nope.”

“Rick Ross?”

“Rick Ross now or Rick Ross 2006?”

“Rick Ross now.”

“Nah.”

“Kanye?”

“You wish.”

“Jay-Z”

“Oh please.”

“Busta Rhymes.”

“You’re just digging yourself deeper.”

“The Wu-Tang Clan?”

“WHAT!? Don’t you EVER compare yourself to the Wu-Tang! You’re not even REMOTELY close to their level!”

“*sigh* Your words are making me lose my joy. Am I at least better than Soulja Boy?”

“Well of course, Zecora, nopony is as bad as Soulja Boy!”

6:40 – lol Apple Bloom really does think Zecora’s rhymes are lame. Sometimes my jokes are accurate as well as funny Oh who am I kidding, my jokes are never funny T.T

Oh, and it just occurred to me that I could make a joke about Mind’s Desire, but nobody plays it in Vintage since it’s restricted (yet somehow Gush isn’t, go figure).

6:52 – “I must get an ingredient to synthesize, so I’ll leave you here unsupervised.”

“Come back with some better rhymes too!”

“I put a lot of bleach in that cup, so if you do drink it, drink it all up…*whispers*you ungrateful little cracka.”

6:59 – Cue “One-Winged Angel”.

7:04 – That’s not scripted banter, the director didn’t let the little kid voice actors eat until they finished their lines that day and they caught some of the complaining on record.

7:15 – So Apple Bloom’s cutie mark is…a blue ring? Seriously, this thing is so nondescript I can’t even think of a joke for it.

7:34 – Hey, it’s Twist, the hipster pony who we haven’t seen since Season 1! Still wearing those Ray-bans with no lenses and that cutie mark ironically, I see. Now go get a real fucking job you lazy piece of shit! Fucking hipsters…

7:42 – I don’t even have to make a joke about this. The reactions of her classmates do it for me.

7:50 – lol ghetto toys. Did you also use to play with a ball on a string attached to a cup, Apple Bloom?

8:00 – Oh look, it’s these cunts. Unfortunately though, I have to agree with Diamond Tiara – hula hooping is a pretty lame special talent. Then again, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon’s talents are being stupid spoiled whores (complete with video playset), so who are they to judge?

8:07 – Hers is the hoop that will pierce the heavens! Don’t believe in yourself! Believe in the Applejack who believes in you! WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM!?

8:24 – ROW ROW FIGHT THE POWAH. FIGHT THE POWAH!

8:34 – Cheerilee and Princess Celestia have the same voice actor. Now that I’ve mentioned that, you’re thinking about students being banished to the moon for detention. You’re welcome.

8:42 – And it looks like it’s going to happen right about now.

8:54 – The tip of the tail? Wow, I don’t think there are any actual bones there. That’s pretty damn impressive.

9:02 – You just know that someday Snips and Snails are going to get Darwin awards.

9:09 – You just know that someday Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara are going to be taken hostage and then killed when their parents refuse to pay the terrorists the ransom money.

9:54 – Balancing it on the hairs at the end of her tail? Either the animators don’t know anything about horse anatomy or Apple Bloom is really fucking awesome! And given what we’ve seen previously, it’s probably both!

10:01 – OHHH GET YO ASS WHOOPED BITCH!

10:16 – The aeronautical engineer in me is crying.

10:24 – The plot thickens.

10:30 – I know that I promised earlier that I said too many puns and that I would lay up on it, but I’m afraid my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy.

10:37 – “They’re not fake! This is real silicone!” Yeah, I’m bringing up the old jokes about cutie marks being a mixed metaphor for both puberty and vocational guidance because it never stopped being funny.

(I originally watched the episode split up into 2 parts because I couldn’t find a good quality upload that lasted the full 22 minutes, so you can just hold dat shit)

0:27 – “The fun has been doubled”, Doublemint gum, Inception, Xzibit, blah blah blah, you know what jokes I’m going to make.

1:04 – Wow, I thought I was the only one being put to sleep by this episode. I’m glad Rainbow Dash agrees with me.

1:09 – “Hey Twilight, what’s looking like Rarity and clueless?”

1:14 – “YOUR FACE!

1:15 – lol Spike finally showed up, now the real episode can begin.

1:33 – How much crazy bullshit are they going to put in this episode?

1:44 – I sincerely hope that Applejack knew about Apple Bloom’s cutie mark before she saw her display in the middle of town. If not, then it opens up some horrible implications about the truancy regulations of Ponyville Public Schools.

1:54 – I wonder if Big Macintosh is happy for his youngest sister.

1:55 – I was expecting him to say “I really like her mane.”

1:58 – I wonder if Big Macintosh has ever seen anything like this.

2:00 – I was expecting him to say “Dumb fabric.”

2:09 – Granny Smith isn’t saying that she has a Charlie Horse, that was the name of her late husband and since she’s having a near-death experience she’s having hallucinations of him.

2:12 – Big Macintosh is a proud graduate of the Arthur Fonzarelli school of Universal Repair. Eyyyy!

2:34 – I wonder if Big Macintosh is getting tired of these jokes.

2:36 – I was expecting him to say “You’re not sending me to the cooler.”

2:57 – A human tap shoe? Bowling? Applejack farming corn? There’s so much wrong with this world I don’t even know where to begin.

3:16 – So it’s involuntary? That should be the first sign that something is seriously wrong with you, kid. This is why you shouldn’t mess around with drugs.

3:20 – After visiting Pinkie Pie offscreen to no avail, Applejack and Apple Bloom go to see Twilight.

3:32 – “I was just reading something about heavy-handed exposition. What was it?”

“The book about the films of Paul W.S. Anderson, perhaps?”

3:41 – Yeah, Spike is pretty amazing. I’m glad he’s the main character and not the gaggle of idiots that make up the majority of the population of Equestria.

3:44 – “Yes, well, I do have some talents #swag”

3:51 – “Hayfever, the trots, pubic parasprites, syphillies, chlamydia…”

4:00 – Say that ten times fast!

4:06 – Great minds think alike.

4:08 – Great minds are never appreciated in their own time.

4:22 – Oh shit, Apple Bloom really is going to die. Oh well, at least there’s still Spike.

4:36 – Une fleur de lis? Qu’est que ce??

4:37 – Est AppleBloom vais parler en français pour le reste de l’épisode? Devrais-je trop alors…nah, that would be annoying even for me. I’ll have to remember to watch the French dub of this episode when it comes out though to see what language they speak in that.

4:45 – “Mah sister’s speaking in Un-American!”

5:19 – What a lovely sculpture of Fluttershy!

5:21 – Wow, her cutie mark is Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins! Nex thing you know she’ll be hitting on Julie Andrews! Speaking of Julie Andrews, what was that one movie where she got her tits out? I need to watch that sometime.

5:25 – And now it’s the Weird Al Yankovic cutie mark! I can’t wait for her to make a parody of At The Gala!

5:29 – No, Sweetie Belle wanted to tame some other kind of wild cat. I think it was leopards.

5:33 – Bobby Fisher, Gary Kasparov, Deep Blue, etc. who really play chess that much anyway? Looking at their board though, I don’t see how that would be checkmate. Also, shouldn’t she be playing chess the way French people do – by knocking their king over at the beginning and waiting four years for an American player to take over and win the game for you?

5:37 – Shouldn’t she be fencing the way French people do – by attaching a white flag to the end of your rapier?

5:42 – Spike don’t give a fuck.

5:43 – Lily, Roseluck, and Daisy are like the collective Chicken Littles of Ponyville.

5:47 – Hey, she finally got hang gliding down!

5:50 – You tell ’em Spike. Always the voice of reason.

5:57 – But then with ponies like these three you can never keep them calm for long.

6:00 – What an over-exaggerated reaction. Geez, with all the ridiculous running in fear, you’d think this is some kind of cartoon or something.

Wait.

6:11 – “I was hoping to see all their faces, but I guess they’re all still racists.”

“Now you just sound like Immortal Technique.”

“RHYMING IS HARD OKAY? FUCK! It’s not just about skill, but luck”

“That still doesn’t make sense.”

“I WILL FUCKING CUT YOU, TWILIGHT.”

6:23 – A math cutie mark? I approve. And it looks like she’s deriving the relationship between integration and summation on her own! I’m just so proud of her. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry.

6:28 – “But magically you’re here! Was your black person sense tingling?”

“I am disappointed in you guys, believing in these stereotypes.”

“Still sound like Immortal Technique.”

“My rhymes are my own, through and through, so I am just going to ignore you.”

“lol way to take criticism.”

“Your sister suffers from a disease. Can we just go and help her? PLEASE!?”

“Now you’re getting better!”

6:54 – On, NOW she speaks American again.

6:59 – Why does Berry Punch have a hazmat suit? More importantly, why does she only have the head part?

7:12 – “Have no fear, the cure is here! I just need to plant it…it’ll take about a year.”

“A whole year! But what will happen to Apple Bloom and your failing record label?”

“Do not worry about my music, honey. I’m going to get signed by Young Money.”

“You’ve been saying that for years and it still hasn’t happened!”

“Your fears, I think, they hold no sway – they signed Tyga, didn’t they?”

“Yeah, there’s really nobody decent in young money besides Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake, and T-Pain.”

7:44 – Do I even want to know?

7:45 – TRAAAAAAANSFORM!

7:53 – Oh, I guess she does have the whole suit.

7:57 – Pinkie Pie was evicted from Sugarcube Corner after the events of this episode for embezzling product.

8:39 – Berry Punch took the suit off? And left her house? What?

9:04 – What Apple Bloom meant to say was “I’ve never been happy to be a blank flank.”

9:36 – Cue Batman music.

9:39 – “I sure would love to, Twilight, but I don’t know how to read and write.”

9:46 – “Let’s get this over with so I can go back to flaming Zecora’s album on Equestria Star Hip Hop.”

9:48 – “Dear Princess Celestia. Today I learned that breast implants are not appropriate for ten year olds. I also learned that Zecora hasn’t made any good albums since The Zecora Show and that she let all the fame, money, and critical reception from 8-Forest go to her head, started smoking a lot of pot, and just generally got really lazy with her songwriting. ‘Crack a Potion’ wasn’t that good of a song, and Z12 is just a farce. Maybe if she stops doing drugs and gets back to the kind of intelligence, flow, and lyrical savvy that she had on her first 3 albums she can make a good album again, but that seems unlikely. Dis yo homefilly Apple Bloom peacin out, protect ya neck.”

10:36 – CUTIE MARK CRUSADER CRACK FIENDS! This episode is hella gangsta.

10:55+ – Wow, 3D Strawberry Shortcake. Reminds me of a certain webcomic…

Let me start off this review by telling you a little story about another character in this series and my opinions of her. For almost all of season one, I couldn’t stand Pinkie Pie. I thought she was stupid, hyperactive, annoying, and just a real pain in the ass overall. Her popularity with the rest of the fanbase didn’t sit well with me since I was in the minority on this (and I was already in the minority for being one of a small group of people who realize that Spike is the true main character of the show, but that’s besides the point). I dreaded episodes with Pinkie Pie and hoped she’d be given minor roles for the rest of the seasons. Then I saw Party of One. Party of One, to me, turned Pinkie Pie from a one-dimensional comic relief character to a sympathetic, emotionally delicate character. Despite having a seemingly carefree attitude, Pinkie Pie’s ego is very heavily weighted on what others think of her, especially her friends, to the point where if she feels like the people she cares about are abandoning her she has a complete mental breakdown. And even though this scene is supposed to be played for comedy, I still find it to be one of the saddest and most emotionally engaging in the series. Party of One did the impossible, completely turned-around my opinion of my least favorite character at the time in just one episode.

This episode…didn’t really change my opinion of Apple Bloom that much.

I feel like this episode was planned out to be like Apple Bloom’s Party of One but really it ended up re-treading what we already saw in Call of the Cutie. We can see the parallels between the two episodes as well – both start out with our protagonist and her friends, both have their self-esteem tied to something that they either lose or never had to begin with, both have the protagonist get separated from her friends and rethink their lives, both have the protagonist encounter a minority character and during the encounter experience a change that affects them for the rest of the episode, both go through a lot of physical comedy gags (though Apple Bloom definitely has more), and both end up having learned a lesson even though in the long run we know they didn’t since those lessons conflict with the core of their characters. But the problem with this episode is that we already knew everything that was displayed about Apple Bloom’s character. Party of One showed us a side of Pinkie Pie that we had never seen before – a sensitive, fearful, bitter, and even angry Pinkie Pie. This episode just shows us the same Apple Bloom we’ve seen before. We know that Apple Bloom is desperate to earn her Cutie Mark, we know that she’s an opportunist, we know that she doesn’t think things through because she’s so headstrong, and we know that this can get her into dangerous situations. We’ve seen all of this before time after time and seeing it again adds nothing to her character. I didn’t exactly write a glowing review of Sisterhooves Social, but I feel like I should give it more credit now since it explores a side of Rarity and Sweetie Belle that we’ve never seen before. I know I say that character studies are the show’s strength just about every week, but if you’re not going to use that as an opportunity to explore new parts of your characters then it’s just kinda…meh.

I know it seems like I’m harping on this point, but that’s just because Apple Bloom had the lion’s share (MOAR LIKE THE LION TAMER’S SHARE AMIRITE?) of screen time in this episode. Almost none of the Mane 6 are present except for Applejack, who is obviously going to appear in episodes about her sister, and Twilight, who is obviously going to appear in episodes about supernatural occurrences. Rarity has like one line in the whole episode, Pinkie Pie only shows up for a bit joke, Rainbow Dash essentially doesn’t have a speaking role, and Fluttershy doesn’t appear at all (in fact, Fluttershy hasn’t made any memorable appearances in Season 2 aside from that one time). The supporting cast isn’t very well utilized either – Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Zecora are pretty much their same old selves and they don’t really get much in the way of character development (although apparently Zecora likes to pull a Batman and disappear on people). And as far as minor characters go, it was kinda funny to see Lily, Daisy, and Roseluck freaking out again, but the fact that we had to put up with Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara again really drags it down.

Now I know I cited this as a point against last week’s episode too so I know what you’re going to say – “Gates, not every episode has to have the entire main cast in it to be a good episode and stop making those rude jokes about my mother.” And my response to that is:

1) Who’s joking? The fellatio your mother gives is unparalleled in quality and her flexibility allows for sexual positions I never thought humanly possible (I really like the one where she bends her leg all the way back behind her shoulder and then bends her knee backwards like a chicken to wrap her foot all the way back down by her pussy so she can give my balls a foot job while I’m fucking her)

2) I’m aware that not every episode needs to have equal screen time for each of the main characters, but if you only have one or two of them doing anything significant, it really does feel like kind of a waste.

On a technical level, this episode is pretty standard. The animation is solid and quite remarkable at some points, but there are still some goofs. The Big Lebowski reference was a nice touch and I really liked it, even though it still makes no sense for ponies to be bowling. I guess you could say that if anything I think the animation is the high point of this episode.

Overall, this episode is, as I said earlier, meh. It doesn’t really do anything incredibly exciting or engaging and it just kind of treads ground we’ve covered before. It’s definitely not the worst episode (that belongs to the Spike character assassination episode) but it’s not a particularly good one either. In the end, this episode just isn’t as good as tonguing another man’s balls.

I mean as the rest.

I’m not gay.

And I’m not stealing jokes from Yahtzee either.

Still, it could have been a lot worse and at least it gave us some fun physical comedy along with a reference to one of the greatest comedies of the 90s. I’m looking forward to next week a lot more since it explores Rainbow Dash’s character. And also, less than a month from now Spike gets another episode. mfw.

By the way, if you’re wondering why Apple Bloom likes the Wu-Tang Clan so much, it’s because one day the Cutie Mark Crusaders tried to get their cutie marks in gangsta rap and did a cover of Enter the 36 Chambers entitled Enter the 36 Stables. The recordings were destroyed later that day when they tried to get their cutie marks in arson, but a transcript of one of their songs was found, which I will post below.

Cutie Mark Crusaders Ain’t Nuthin’ Ta Buck Wit

[Intro: The BZA aka Apple Digital aka Tha Ever So Weary Assistant]

Tiger taming

Tiger taming

Yo, huh, huh

Cutie Mark Crusaders Ain’t Nuthin Ta Buck Wit

Cutie Mark Crusaders Ain’t Nuthin Ta Buck Wit

Cutie Mark Crusaders Ain’t Nuthin Ta Buck Wit

There’s no place to hide once I step inside the room

Apple Bloom, prepare for the boom

BAM!

Aw, MAN!

I SLAM, JAM, now scream like Tarzan

[Verse One: BZA]

I be broodin, intrudin, my style is crude

I’m causin more fanbase feuds than Derpy Hooves

And the muffin said — ya dead

Fatal flying bowling ball blows off your buckin head

BZA who was that? Ayo, the Cute is back

Makin filliez go “WHOA WHOA!”, like Rarity’s cat

We fear no-one, oh no, here come

The cutie mark shogun, killer to the eardrum!

[Verse Two: Inspectah Scoot aka The Rebel Pegasus aka My Cousin the Wife-Beatah]

I puts the scooter to the road, I gets gold

And I’m forced to buck em up

I run em over like a pickup truck

Across the clear blue yonder

Seek the Pony Sea, I slam tracks like buffalo sacks from A.P.

Now why try and test, the Rebel Pegasus?

Blessed since the birth, I earth-slam your best

Cause Pinkie bake the cake, then we take the cake

And eat it, too, with my crew while we run out the state!

[Chorus: BZA]

And if you want apples, bring the ruckus

Cutie Mark Crusaders ain’t nuthin ta buck with

Straight from the motherbucking farms that’s busted

Cutie Mark Crusaders ain’t nuthin ta buck with

[Interlude: BZA]

Hyah!

Step up, pony!

Represent!

Chop his head off, Belle!

[Verse Three: Method Belle aka The Victorian Cow]

The Belle will come out tomorrow,

Styles, is wild, berserk, bizarro

Flow, with more afro than Rollo

Comin to a fork in the road which way to go just follow

Sweetie, the Legend, filliez is Sleepy Hollow

In fact I’m a hard act to follow

I dealt for dodos, cutie marks comin on through

Filliez is like “Oh, my God, not you!”

Yes, I, come to get a slice of the pink and the pie

Rather cute than cry, check my

Flava, comin from the BZA

Which is short for the grazer

Who make me reminisce true like Deja, Vu!

I’m rubber, filliez is like glue

Whatever you say rubs off me sticks to you

[Chorus: BZA]

And if you want apples, bring the ruckus

Cutie Mark Crusaders ain’t nuthin ta buck with

Straight from the motherbucking farms that’s busted

Cutie Mark Crusaders ain’t nuthin ta buck with

[BZA]

Ahh-hah! Yeah

Representin Ponyville

Carousel Boutique, Sweet Apple Acres

The Rugged Lands of Shaolin

Filliez from Appaloosa, Manehattan

Our boys in Cloudsdale

Comin through with the crazy apple-sized hail

[unintelligible outro continues and is largely incoherent]

Cutie Mark slang, choppin heads pony

It ain’t safe no more!

Peace.

It’s a wonder why their rap careers didn’t take off.

(ODB is rolling in his grave right now)

Play-By-Play: Sisterhooves Social

In these little play-by-plays I watch an episode and as it goes on I make commentary on it. It’s kind of like a Riff Track only there’s no time limit on jokes based on the progression of what you’re watching. And of course be aware that this commentary will contain MAJOR SPOILERS.

So after Rarity being conspicuously absent from Luna Eclipsed and Sweetie Belle not having any speaking lines in that same episode (no seriously who the hell is this Pip kid and why is he stealing the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ screen time?), they finally get their own episode exploring the relationship between the two of them. Will Rarity stop neglecting her little sister? Will Sweetie Belle stop being so annoying? Will either of them have a song? The answers to these questions will be revealed…

…right now. No, no, and probably.

Here’s the embed.

0:21 – Wow, Rarity is too lazy to a) wake up before her sister and make breakfast for her and b) at least teach Sweetie Belle how to make breakfast for herself without burning the house down.

0:30 – “You ruined the surprise! I was gonna burn the house down and make it look like an accident so we could collect the insurance money and become rich!”

0:37 – We’re going to the intro already? Well that was quick. No seriously, I think this is come kind of record for this show.

1:15 – Who are the Guido tourists sitting at that table?

1:20 – You’re kidding. Rarity’s parents are white trash? This is too funny to put into words.

1:31 – That’s not very surprising. I’ve burnt soup before. Long story.

1:50 – Melted toast. I am actually applauding Sweetie Belle right now because that’s just too amazing to be shocked or surprised at.

2:21 – How did she carry all that? Did her unicorn telekinesis finally manifest itself?

2:50 – Ah, cereal. The breakfast of lazy people since 1863.

3:08 – Who puts eggs in cereal? I guess you shouldn’t eat anything that people in this family cook.

3:24 – And of course perfectionist Rarity thinks putting parsley on eggs is a huge deal.

3:33 – For god’s sake, just use your magic.

3:58 – Hey Sweetie Belle, hold dat.

4:34 – More great faces. I hope everyone’s reaction image folder is happy about season 2.

4:55 – And your gif folder too.

5:10 – “I never got in trouble for drawing! Except for that one time Rarity found out about my Rule 34…”

5:18 – “I never got in trouble for stealing!”

5:35 – If they’re so important and you need them for a client, why didn’t you put them somewhere secure? Like in the aforementioned workroom? And if this client is so important, why aren’t you working on that dress right now?

6:20 – Well, if episode 18 is any indication, no, you can’t do anything right.

6:55 – “Organized chaos”? Artists…

7:25 – Between this and Lesson Zero, there seems to be a lot of teeth grinding going on in MLP.

7:38 – Hey, it’s Apple Bloom with a flyer for the…”Sihovi Ivcioccrlo”? Sounds like some kind of cult.

7:56 – Well when you describe it like that, it sounds like it’s totally something Sweetie Belle could fuck up.

8:04 – 3, 2, 1…

8:07 – Bingo.

8:40 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy0YN5qFsd4

10:31 – Ouch. That’s probably the unicorn equivalent of being punched in the groin.

If you’re wondering why I’m not commenting on this part much, it’s because there’s really not much to say. Applejack and Apple Bloom have a pretty healthy relationship and it’s pretty much how siblings who are on good terms with each other act. And since this is a kids show we can expect Rarity and Sweetie Belle to pretty much act like this at the end of the episode. I guess if I had to comment on anything it would be that I’m a bit surprised that there hasn’t been a song yet. Usually the songs are in the first half of the episode, and the fact that there hasn’t been one yet is kind of surprising.

10:45 – Rarity, who are you talking to? Opal?

11:15 – Is Applejack making wine? Oh god, she is an alcoholic. And since when does she grow grapes as well as apples? And why was she farming corn in S2E1?

11:42 – “How do you like them grapes?” Well at least she’s not making apple puns.

12:18 – Is this going to continue for everything Sweetie Belle fucked up? Like with the melted toast and stuff?

12:19 – And she also farms livestock? Does the Apple family have some sort of monopoly on agriculture in Ponyville?

12:29 – “Wow, it’s as if they have a healthy relationship with each other instead of one that’s borderline abusive.”

12:35 – And sheep are sentient too. Should I even go into the ethics of farming another sentient being?

12:56 – I have to admit, that is pretty sweet.

13:21 – Wow, Celestia really is worshiped as a god by ponies in Equestria. I guess she is over a thousand years old and controls the sun though.

14:04 – Kid, that’s not how adoption works.

14:45 – Yeah, Sweetie Belle needs to be taught how to beautify her mane because she has horrible taste. I mean she really liked Smarty Pants’ mane.

15:15 – A little early for the moral, don’t you think?

15:35 – Applejack went to the Forrest Gump school of similes. As well as the Forrest Gump school of everything else.

16:07 – So I guess Berry Punch’s sister is that blue filly from last episode.

16:18 – And Carrot Top’s sister is the green one. It’s also impressive how those two unicorns were able to go from winning the pie eating contest to winning the pig contest in 10 seconds flat. I guess Twilight isn’t the only pony who can teleport in Ponyville.

16:20 – Good god, Sweetie Belle, stop obsessing over Rarity, you’re being a killjoy. That was a good impression of Rarity though.

16:48 – I do like how they cut to a background of apples instead of just a generic primary colors action lines background.

16:49 – If you think about going over one day, your cutie mark won’t be the only thing you’ll have to find.

16:55 – It’s funny because old people don’t understand technology! Even though most pioneering computer scientists and engineers are now in their 50s and 60s.

17:21 – Before you ask, that’s not Derpy. Derpy has a lighter colored mane and a different cutie mark.

17:31 – Starting to get creepy, Apple Bloom.

17:51 – I thought Applejack’s eyes were green. FORESHADOWING.

18:07 – I didn’t realize horses could bend their hooves like that.

19:14 – Well that was unexpected. Hooray Berry Punch! That was a great comeback after totally screwing up on the chicken coop part!

19:28 – WHAT A TWIST!

19:58 – Actually, Apple Bloom, technically they still haven’t finished. They completed all the obstacles but they didn’t cross the finish line.

20:33 – I really like her mane! Sweetie Belle’s that is, Rarity’s looks like something a 5 year old would do to torture a Barbie doll. Oh, and Spike finally showed up so now the REAL episode can begin!

20:44 – Hey, Rarity learned the montage spell from Twilight!

20:49 – How do the ponies have an electric smoke alarm?

21:14 – “Alright look, I’m running out of ink, Twilight has more checklists to do, the main oven at Sugarcube Corner is broken and Mrs. Cake asked me to fill in so I’ll have to deal with Pinkie Pie for the rest of the day, I’m tired, my scales itch, I’m getting a claw cramp, and Rarity said she’d blow me. So can we PLEASE hurry this up?”

21:25 – Aww, and the birds learned about sibling love too. Even though they’re probably a different species. It’s also interesting to note that these birds got more screen time than 4 of the main characters combined.

So it seems that now we’re finally getting back into the routine of doing slice-of-life character studies and focusing on the interaction between characters as the main topics for episodes. This is what worked well in season 1 and in season 2 it seems to be going swimmingly. This episode in particular is a good showcasing of some of the show’s best attributes – characters personalities really shine through, they behave the way you’d expect real people to, and the moral is integral to the plot instead of just tacked on at the end.

That said, this episode is definitely not perfect. It’s a solid episode overall, but there are few things that could have been improved. The animation is solid but there are a few hangups that keep it from reaching its full potential, most notably the continuity errors near the end. The music was good, but not having Rarity and Sweetie Belle do a song seems like squandered potential. And finally, there’s the small issue that this episode had 4 of the main characters absent. This is odd to say the least, but there wouldn’t be any way for them to fit in the episode without being shoehorned in. Pinkie Pie is the only one of the 4 absent ponies who had siblings, and they were only seen in one flashback, and Pinkie Pie is insane meaning that her stories are unreliable, so their status in canon is dubious. Twilight, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy are all the only children in their families (for all we know) so it just wouldn’t make any sense for them to appear here. Rarity and Sweetie Belle’s parents also seem like a red herring since they’re only in one scene and don’t leave much of an impact. We really don’t get to know anything about them other than the fact that they look like white trash.

But despite these flaws, it’s still a solid episode. I just wonder if these will be lasting changes or if Rarity will end up going back to being a neglectful sister like before.

 

Play-By-Play: Luna Eclipsed

In these little play-by-plays I watch an episode and as it goes on I make commentary on it. It’s kind of like a Riff Track only there’s no time limit on jokes based on the progression of what you’re watching. And of course be aware that this commentary will contain MAJOR SPOILERS.

All the way back in Season 1 Episode 2 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, there came a character who was somewhat minor but beloved by fans everywhere. This character was instantly charismatic and loved by everyone. But despite popularity with the fanbase, this character was never seen again for the rest of the season and has yet to make an appearance in Season 2. However, with Season 2 Episode 4, it has finally been confirmed that this character is returning in their own episode.

That character is Steven Magnet.

Steven Magnet was instantly popular for his fabulous style, his dramatic depth as a character, and the fact that he’s a dragon (well, technically a Sea Serpent but let’s not split hairs here). I cannot tell you how glad I am that…

…wait, what?

…Luna?

…You mean Princess Luna? That’s who this episode is about?

Well, that’s kind of disappointing. Whatever, I guess we’ll just watch the episode now. Here’s the embed.

0:00 – Spike, why would you dress up like a dragon? You’re already a dragon. This is as lame as someone dressing up like their dad for Halloween.

0:11 – Are you a wizard?

0:15 – Ponyville has a retirement village now? I always assumed the only geriatric in the town was Granny Smith.

0:20 – Well, if you ever wondered if Twilight is a trivia geek, here’s your answer. She’s probably the reigning Canterlot champion of Trivial Pursuit. But seriously, this is just starting to remind me of the episode of Big Bang Theory where Sheldon dresses up as the Doppler Effect, and it’ll probably have the same punchlines as that too, like with 4 ponies dressed up as The Flash.

0:32 – Nice save.

0:36 – Oh boy, kids. This won’t be annoying at all. I do like how they were able to change the Trick or Treat rhyme though.

0:46 – Speaking of old ponies.

0:57 – Who the hell is this kid? I have no memory of him whatsoever, but they’re just assuming we know his history and backstory (and he does have a backstory apparently)? Up until now the only young male ponies we’ve seen are Snips and Snails (who are the reason why unicorns are extinct in real life btw). Maybe the episode with his backstory was made so that the production order introduced him earlier but this episode had to be aired first since it’s the Halloween episode? Either way, it’s really confusing.

1:11 – You know, the first step is admitting you have a problem, Pinkie.

1:16 – Remember kids, Pinkie Pie says don’t act like a reasonable adult when you grow up.

1:24 – If Spike doesn’t know who you’re dressed as and he lives with you in a library, why would Miss Manchild know?

1:27 – SICK BURN

Also, we can see the obvious foreshadowing that Luna will recognize who Twilight is because she was alive 1000 years ago to remember whoever she was dressed as was and they’ll become instant friends because of it.

2:31 – BAT BALLOONS.

2:32 – Yeah, nobody cares Twilight.

2:37 – It’s interesting to note how adult human women dress up as sluts and go on hayrides with hot guys on Halloween and now so do adult female ponies.

2:48 – Yeah, I’m sure a ton of people would join that. Maybe you should just vote for school reform instead?

3:10 – So Rainbow Dash is dressed as a Dark Wonderbolt? And I thought Twilight’s costume was obscure.

3:29 – OH MY GOD, SHE KILLED SPIKE! RAINBOW DASH IS THE WORST PONY!

3:46 – Oh hey, it’s…uhh…that tennis playing pony from episode 12. What was his name again? And why doesn’t he have a costume?

3:55 – I can see that, but what are you dressed as, Spike?

3:59 – Hah, that was kinda funny. Willie Nelson’s beard isn’t that long though. Expect a wave of “Twilight as a country music singer” memes though.

4:07 – Oh Derpy, you so crazy. Also, I like how there’s applause after Derpy’s scene, like they knew how fans would react.

4:20 – Oh hey, Zecora is in this episode too. And she gets to retell the story of Nightmare Moon. It’ll be interesting to hear the story told as a sonnet.

4:27 – Her spooky voice might work better if she wasn’t dressed like that.

4:32 – Yeah, exactly.

5:15 – I don’t remember Nightmare Moon being a cannibal.

6:05 – And of course Pinkie would actually be dumb enough to believe this.

6:21 – Why are Luna’s guards dressed like that? Is that how they normally dress or is it just for Nightmare Night? And why doesn’t she just have the same kind of guards as Celestia?

6:31 – Pinkie, you helped DEFEAT Nightmare Moon. Stop being such a…whatever animal is associated with being afraid.

6:39 – Okay, that did look pretty sinister.

6:52 – She also darkens the sky when she appears apparently.

7:08 – BOW DOWN, STUPID!

7:19 – And she talks with that voice effect.

7:46 – And she uses lightning bolts as punctuation.

7:48 – Oh Pinkie Pie, you’re so…incredibly stupid and annoying. But I gotta admit, with the way Nightmare moon is talking and acting right now, I’d be scared of her idf she was reading the phone book.

8:34 – “A dangerous all-powerful being appears who everyone in the town is afraid of. I’m gonna go talk to her.” Remember when we all thought Twilight was the smart one?

8:57 – Called it.

9:13 – “I know who you are. You and your friends defeated me in Season 1.” Wouldn’t it be kind of awkward meeting up with a reformed villain you defeated previously? I mean when it happens to Catwoman and Batman they usually just fuck the awkwardness away according to the DCnU.

9:24 – Not clear? Where do I even begin?

10:09 – Oh god. Yes, Twilight, take her to Fluttershy. It’s not like she would shit bricks or anything.

10:12 – “She’s delicate and demure with the sweetest little voice. You’re going to love her.”

10:32 – “Hold on Princess, let me just go beat the shit out of my friend real quick.”

10:56 – Heh, that was pretty funny.

11:38 – I gotta admit, it does kind of look like Luna is holding Fluttershy’s corpse in her arms.

12:06 – Uh oh, I see some actual Nightmare Moon mentality slipping through.

12:30 – “We don’t take kindly to your types around here!” “Now Skeeter, he ain’t hurtin nobody.”

13:40 – Calling someone by their own name? What a revolutionary idea.

13:54 – Well, she could have used her unicorn magic to save Pip, so I guess this whole thing could have been averted that way.

14:25 – Villagers not receptive to my antics. Attack them.

15:23 – Well if there was an entire holiday about making me look like a horrible monster, I’d want to cancel it too.

15:56 – A zombie? That’s so played-out though.

16:06 – What you do best? How is reading going to help us now?

16:09 – Lecture her, lmao, it’s so true.

17:01 – She baits her with candy and then tells her not to scream. Rape jokes really are the low hanging fruit for me when I write these. I mean the writers practically give them to me.

17:38 – God dammit Rainbow Dash there’s a time and a place.

17:44 – Holy shit, she actually laid an egg, I don’t even know…

17:58 – So let me get this straight: Pinkie Pie is trying to ruin the reputation of someone who reformed just because she enjoys being scared? What a little bitch.

18:17 – Well she’s definitely not a genius.

19:03 – Oh yeah, Spike was in this episode. I almost forgot.

19:36 – Whaaaaaaat? So she can still transform into her Nightmare Moon form?

19:54 – Oh, so the minor character who should have been introduced in a much earlier episode saves the day. Hooray?

20:26 – Pip is part of the Lunar Republic.

20:51 – Heh, a guy getting eaten by a shark. Classic costume.

21:28 – Yeah that’s right, get owned Rainbow Dash.

This episode was…well, honestly it was kind of confusing. I don’t really want to call it a disappointment, but, well, it’s definitely not what I expected. The animation is about average for this show, with no particularly outstanding effects or great moments but no major goofs either. It’s also not very clear how Luna’s public appearance changes at the end of the episode. On one hand we have her appearing as Nightmare Moon which implies that ponies are still afraid of her, but then not even a minute later we see her playing their reindeer games (so to speak). Thewhole motive doesn’t make much sense to me, but then again I also don’t like horror films so maybe it’s just me. The character of Pipsqueak is someone who should have been introduced in an earlier episode, because frankly nobody knows who he is right now. His purpose in the episode is significant, but it could have been easily been replaced by the Cutie Mark Crusaders, who along with Rarity are oddly absent from this episode. He also just doesn’t have any personality overall, so really, who the fuck is Pip? And why was Applejack farming corn?

EDIT: Readers have informed me that the Cutie Mark Crusaders are part of Pinkie’s group, and although I didn’t notice it at first, this is correct – Apple Bloom is Mrs. Frankenstein, Sweetie Belle is Dracula, and Scootaloo is The Wolfman –  so they are in the episode in non-speaking roles. But that still raises the question of why Pip was in the episode at all when they could have effectively rewritten his part to be done by the Cutie Mark Crusaders in speaking roles. Who the fuck is this guy?

This is not a bad episode, but it’s definitely the weakest of Season 2 so far. I guess it would be hard to live up to the precedent set by Return of Harmony and Lesson Zero, so I’ll give it a little leeway there. I’m still looking forward to the next few episodes, and I do hope we see Luna again sometime.

Play-By-Play: Lesson Zero

In these little play-by-plays I watch an episode and as it goes on I make commentary on it. It’s kind of like a Riff Track only there’s no time limit on jokes based on the progression of what you’re watching. And of course be aware that this commentary will contain MAJOR SPOILERS.

The premise for this episode is that the writers Twilight Sparkle is unable to think of a lesson about friendship that she learned to send to Princess Celestia and she has a nervous breakdown because of it. We all know how great Twilight is when she goes crazy (as well as everypony else for that matter – this whole town needs to be on Prozac or something), so let’s jump right into the episode.

Earlier, someone asked me to embed the video so that they can have an easier time following along with the episode, so I’m going to do that from now on.

 

0:12 – Scalpel. Forceps. Bubblegum.

0:16 – I just realized that Spike is just holding up that scroll without a flat surface to write on. Shouldn’t he just use a clipboard? I know he has one from Winter Wrap Up.

0:18 – You made a checklist of things you need to make a checklist? We need to go deeper.

0:32 – Hey look, it’s Twilight’s trollface! Not bad, Twilight, but you need to keep your eyes open a little bit.

0:35 – Really? You’re gonna go to the intro off of that joke? …okay, if you say so. I guess it could be worse. It could be a red herring scene featuring the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

0:36 – This intro sounds a bit different.

0:44 – Whoa! It IS different! I completely forgot that this episode was going to be the debut of the new Season 2 opening. Well, let’s watch it and see how many characters are included for fanservice reasons. Right off the bat we have Big Mac, Granny Smith, and Cheerilee.

0:45 – And a split second later we have DERPY! HOORAY!

0:47 – CUTIE MARK CRUSADER CABOOSE! And Berry Punch on the edge of the screen.

0:50 – Who are these guys?

1:08 – Okay, so they didn’t change all that much. Still, it’s nice to see a new intro that acknowledges the fanbase somewhat. I don’t remember a big train running through Ponyville, but then again if it wasn’t then they wouldn’t have been able to go to Appleloosa.

1:19 – Jesus Christ, Twilight, maybe you should just get a smart phone and a Google calendar so that Spike doesn’t get your checklist all dirty when he drags it on the ground.

1:25 – OH GEE, I WONDER WHY YOU RAN OUT SO FAST. Seriously, I’d expect this from Pinkie Pie wondering about why she’s out of party supplies because she’s dumb as rocks, but I thought you were more perceptive than that Twilight. For a pony who is supposedly well learned and very scientific, you’re a fucking dumbass.

1:30 – Thank you, Spike, for capturing my emotional reaction to this perfectly. Why isn’t this show about you instead of Robin Williams from Flubber over here?

1:37 – I don’t even need to bring it up and you’re already thinking it. You know what I mean.

1:46 – Huh, I thought it would be Pinkie Pie trying to explain it instead of Mrs. Cake.

1:52 – What an abusive mother. I’m calling Dragon Protective Services on Twilight.

1:55 – Are you fucking serious, Twilight?

2:03 – Well, that’s a bit of a justification, but you’re still worrying way to much about it. Also, this could totally be the setup for a brick joke. (Spoiler: No it’s not)

2:12 – That spatula looks a lot like a knife.

2:13 – OH SHIT, IT IS A KNIFE! LOOK OUT MRS. CAKE!

2:15 – Okay, we all know where this is going – There’s going to be none left on any of them by the time Twilight gets through.

2:30 – Oh god, I already know what’s going to be photoshopped there.

2:39 – Oh my god, what’s wrong with your faaaace?

2:53 – That was fucking awesome.

3:06 – A check within a check within a check? We need to go deeper.

3:13 – Oh shit, Spike has wanker’s cramp. Looks like he’ll need to go to the Southpaw Saloon for his nightly ritual with a picture of Rarity tonight.

3:28 – “BAD!? The last pony who didn’t keep up on their friendship reports got banished to the moon for a thousand years! SO YES, SPIKE, IT’S PRETTY FUCKING BAD!”

3:36 – “Not every other week, not every ten days, not with a three week break in between episodes or a four month break between seasons! EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK.” Twilight should be in charge of scheduling at The Hub.

3:55 – For me, it was Tuesday.

4:01 – Why is the windmill ticking like a clock?

4:03 – …Banished?

4:04 – Oh, god forbid. Twilight, you are such a dork.

4:06 – Pinkie Pie’s not the only one who can break the fourth wall. You show ’em, Spike.

4:24 – “But Spike, do you have any idea how cold it is on the moon? There’s no way I’m taking that chance.”

4:41 – Twilight, aren’t your test dates on your syllabus?

4:50 – Actually, I’m studying to become a teacher and I can tell you that all she would do is make you take the course again, maybe suggest you complete an IEP, your graduation date might be pushed back a little but you can make it up in summer school. Seriously, Twilight, chill the fuck out.

4:55 – Oh right, I forgot that this show is supposed to be for little children. I mean why wouldn’t it be?

5:00 – Magic Kindergarten? Is that like a feeder school to Hogwarts?

5:06 – Look at that one unicorn in the back row looking contemplative. What’s her deal?

5:08 – 4th wall? Fuck that shit, I’m a dragon, son.

5:36 – “Well, there is this one white unicorn I like, but I don’t really think she’s into me. Can you hook a brotha up here? Either that or you could magically make me a giant again so I can live like a dragon should. Do it or I’ll torch your Harry Potter books.”

5:43 – “I got nothin’. ‘Twilight Sparkle’, I mean seriously. I can’t even work with that.”

5:59 – Hey, it’s Berry Punch! Maybe you could help her with her problem of people creeping on her on Tumblr.

6:09 – Rarity just saw a compilation of Lady Gaga’s outfits.

6:21 – Oh shit, Sweetie Belle learned magic and found out how to clone herself?

6:30 – Well at least you still have Tom. OH WAIT.

6:54 – Oh Rarity, you’re such a drama queen.

No seriously, she’s a total drama queen and it’s very annoying. I honestly don’t know what you see in her, Spike.

7:31 – Twilight, it’s rude to teleport away when you’re talking to people.

Also, it’s probably worth noting that Rarity’s telekinesis seems fairly advanced since she can levitate multiple objects without needing much concentration. I never really noticed it until now, but it’s pretty impressive. I think it’ll be interesting to see if Sweetie Belle share this affinity for psychic/magical prowess, not that she’ll need it when she finally earns her cutie mark as a set designer.

7:42 – Rainbow Dash has been learning the Horse-Style Kung Fu as well as Rarity. Actually, it’s been established that she’s a black belt, so maybe she’s the instructor. Anyway, why is she wearing those safety goggles?

7:53 – Okay, what the hell is going on here?

8:02 – No, we did the Rainbow Dash vs Applejack episode already.

8:08 – “My friends hate eachother! I’m so happy!”

8:35 – lol Twilight as a shrink. I think Lucy from Peanuts would be a better psychologist.

8:39 – “Well, Twilight, when I was growing up in Cloudsdale, I’d go into the fillies locker room and I’d see the other girls, and sometimes I’d get these…feelings…”

9:00 – Fire the orbital friendship cannon!

9:07 – Holy shit, there really was a Sonic Rainboom at the end.

9:28 – “Fluttershy always needs help whenever she goes off her anxiety medication, which is always. I’m sure I can help her out of her stew of psychoses.”

9:37 – I got $200 on Fluttershy.

9:40 – HOLY SHIT. Are you watching this, Mane6Dev?

9:53 – FINISH HIM!

10:07  – FRIENDSHIP!

10:31 – We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little ponies. Wicked, tricksy, false!

>No. Not master!

>Yes, precious, false! They will cheat you, hurt you, lie!

>Master’s my friend!

>You don’t have any friends! Nobody likes you.

>I’m not listening… I’m not listening…

>You’re a liar, and a thief.

>No!

>Murderer!

10:36 – Hey, Spike’s back! The episode is awesome again.

10:45 – Yeah, this is what a lot of people think of the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

10:49 – Oh Spike, do your reality altering powers know no end?

11:20 – Wow Pinkie. Just, wow. Also, nice shades, Dash.

11:26 – Just eat off of some napkins. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since I moved into my apartment.

Oh my god, I’m disgusting.

11:34 – Oh, so you forgot to bring the plates but you remembered to bring your drama couch?

11:50 – You’re going to see that face in your nightmares now.

12:35 – Wow, way to be supportive of your friend in her time of crisis, guys.

13:07 – Fluttershy, weren’t you there when she got so mad flames came out of her mane? You know, when she was possessed by the Phoenix Force?

13:10 – Dear Kettle, You’re black, Love, Pot.

13:20 – I gotta admit, this episode has some of the best facial expressions I’ve ever seen.

13:29 – Oh god, she’s gone off the deep end. This is going to be like that one comic book where that one superhero went mad with power and turned the world into a totalitarian regime. I think it was called Squadron Supreme, Irredeemable, Superman: Red Son…

13:39 – Oh hey Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo! Where were you after the beginning of the Discord story arc? CUTIE MARK CRUSADER PLOT HOLE!

13:50 – OH SHIT SHE’S GOING TO RAPE THEM.

14:05 – Twilight would name her doll Smarty Pants.

14:25 – Is that what girls do with dolls? Make them do homework? idk, I only really played with Legos.

14:30 – It just occured to me that Kefka’s theme would probably go well with the rest of the episode.

14:37 – Wow, Sweetie Belle, you must really like her mane.

14:50 – She sure is, Scootaloo.

14:55 – Hah! Good one, Apple Bloom.

15:20 – Wow, so now she has a love spell?

15:28 – THIS IS HOW HASBRO ACTUALLY THINKS LITTLE GIRLS WILL REACT TO NEW MY LITTLE PONY TOYS.

15:33 – Okay, we’ve heard the opinions of the other two, but what do you think of the doll now, Scootaloo?

15:35 – I was expecting her to say “Dumb fabric” actually.

15:38 – “The Want-It-Need-It spell”? Isn’t that how Larfleeze forged the Orange Power Ring?

15:47 – OH I’M SORRY, DID I BREAK YOUR CONCENTRATION!? I didn’t mean to do that. Please, continue. You were saying something about lessons to be learned?

15:56 – Twilight gets into a fight with three kids half her age and GETS HER ASS KICKED. That’s just sad.

15:59 – “Big Macintosh! You licked me last episode. And it was, uh, gross. But, if you ever get the urge to do it again, I live in the library and I can send Spike out on an errand to count all the blades of grass in Ponyville or some tedious shit. What do you say?”

I’m not even joking about this. Twilight is waaay too wound up about her friendship letter. She really needs to get laid.

16:15 – OMG A FEMALE CHARACTER NEEDS A MAN TO SOLVE HER PROBLEMS FOR HER FEMINIST THEORY FEMINIST THEORY FEMINIST THEORY.

16:20 – Bic Macintosh is a brony? Why am I not surprised. Oh, and even when men try to solve problems, they fuck everything up FEMINIST THEORY FEMINIST THEORY FEMINIST THEORY.

16:35 – All the female ponies are all over Big Mac? Yup, I’ve read that fanfiction.

17:16 – “Don’t look at the Ark!”

17:44 – Oh shit, it’s about to go down. I hope you packed your oxygen tanks, Twilight.

17:56 – DERPY!

18:10 – Wow, he really is a brony.

18:20 – “Meet me in the library. There’s a better path to the moon on the second floor.”

18:25 – “If you care to visit, contact NASA. I’m sure they could hook you up with something.”

18:38 – Sure you will…in a thousand years.

18:45 – What is it with Rarity and Sweetie Belle repeating jokes 3 times in this episode? Maybe it’s a genetic defect.

19:41 – “You’re right Fluttershy, I shouldn’t banish Twilight. I SHOULD BANISH ALL OF YOU, BWAHAHAHAHAHA!”

20:13 – Once again, Spike saves the day.

20:35 – Aww, that’s sweet. Almost makes me forget the abuse Spike had to go through under the hooves of these ponies back in season one.

20:48 – Fluttershy, why are you looking straight at the camera?

21:05 – You took the words right out of my mouth, Spike.

21:20 – Well shit, Spike, you don’t have to cross out the whole thing.

21:23 – “No respect at all. I got Rarity’s cat watchin’ me when I’m over at her house, she wants to learn how to beg. Back at Canterlot, I was in a game show and I won, so Celestia gave me a 20 day vacation…to the moon. And Twilight keeps takin’ me to the Everfree Forest, she says she’s hopin’ my real parents will claim me. I get no respect, I tell ya, no respect at all.”

So that was the third episode of season two, and I thought it was pretty good. The animation is solid with some wacky faces being used all over, the acting and writing are very good in that nobody is doing anything out of character, with the only possible exception being Twilight’s nervous breakdown, but that sort of thing is not unprecedented. In contrast to the season premiere, this episode is extremely character driven, and character driven episodes are what this show excels at. I also think that it’s a decent episode to serve as a jumping-on-point, although most of the ponies besides Twilight kind of get ignored. This is the first episode of the entire series where Lauren Faust is credited as a Consulting Producer instead of an Executive Producer, but it doesn’t seem to have affected the quality of the show at all. I said in my Return of Harmony Play-By-Play that this was nothing to worry about, and I’m glad that this episode largely proved me right. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season, especially after reading some of the episode summaries.

Play-By-Play: The Return of Harmony Part 2

In these little play-by-plays I watch an episode and as it goes on I make commentary on it. It’s kind of like a Riff Track only there’s no time limit on jokes based on the progression of what you’re watching. And of course be aware that this commentary will contain MAJOR SPOILERS.

This is part 2 of a two-part episode. If you haven’t seen my play-by-play of part 1 yet, click here.

Let’s get started!

0:00 – LAST TIME ON DRAGONBALL Z! Goku and the gang encountered the stange and powerful Majin Buu! With his reality-warping magic powers and his great strength, he quickly defeated the Z warriors and went on a rampage around the rest of the Earth. Will Goku and the gang be able to stop the rampage of this monster? Find out on this episode of DRAGONBALL Z! Cha la, head cha la…

1:15 – rofl

1:23 – Oh, NOW Pinkie doesn’t like Discord.

1:55 – Rarity uses her horse-style kung fu. Is there a horse-style of kung fu? Well whatever, point is that all the ponies are being bitches to eachother.

2:04 – Where’d he get that couch and that popcorn? And why was Applejack farming corn?

2:23 – I had the same reaction as Discord. For someone who spends all her free time reading books, Twilight isn’t very perceptive.

2:31 – Whoa, astral projection!

3:00 – I made a Chocolate Rain joke last time, not gonna do it again.

3:01 – Pinkie Pie hating chocolate milk rain? THE END IS NEIGH!

3:26 – What the hell happened to Ponyville while they were away!?

3:40 – You know something’s wrong with Fluttershy when she praises her asshole pet rabbit for being an asshole.

3:46 – Hey, Applejack isn’t lying, she’s just being sarcastic! I call bullshit.

3:57 – Twilight, you can teleport. Why don’t you just do that to get to solid ground?

4:00 – Soap? Is that what it is? And it’s funny how he’s just skating along next to them like a pimp.

4:39 – “Not if I have anything to say about it!” Man, I wish I could come up with a joke for that.

4:41 – “Don’t worry, you won’t.” Nah, that’s lame. Thanks for trying though, Fluttershy.

4:46 – So if they all hate each other, why are they still walking around together?

4:55 – They seem to be getting worse. Interesting way of showing it.

5:19 – “Tom”? Well, Rarity, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

5:36 – I bet you thought Spike was sleeping because he was being lazy. This is not the case. Clearly, Discord put a sleeping spell on him. Spike would never sleep when there are gems to eat, bitches to fuck, and blunts to smoke cause he’s a bad motherfucker like that.

6:11 – OH SNAP!

6:32 – Hey, they used the same book here that they did in season 1 episode 1! I guess these writers do know what continuity is after all! Now if only they would explain why Applejack was farming corn…

6:50 – Twilight, just use your magic to telekinetically catch the book in midair. Jean Grey is probably rolling in her grave right now. Or being a balance issue in MvC3. There’s very little difference.

6:52 – OH SHIT! TACKLE THAT BITCH SPIKE! That’s what you get for interrupting his sleep, bitch!

6:56 – Stealing random shit that she sees? Wow, Rarity really is an Orange Lantern.

7:17 – And here we’ll take a brief break from our regular program to show you a preview of fan-developed fighting game My Little Pony: Fighting Is Magic.

7:23 – Wait, Applejack and Pinkie didn’t have the book, so how did Twilight come out of that fight with them holding the book? I mean I know that Discord punched the Source Wall and altered reality, but there’s only so many plot holes that can cover.

7:28 – LOOK OUT, HE’S GOT A SCROLL!

7:29 – “AND I’M GONNA READ IT!” Really? That’s it? How anticlimactic.

7:37 – Whoa! They were in the book! How convenient!

7:56 – “You don’t even care, do you?” No, Twilight, nobody cares about your gaming blog. Especially after you said that Tokido would top8 at Evo.

7:59 – “I never thought it would happen. My friends…have turned into complete jerks!” My friends have always been jerks, so I can’t sympathize.

8:09 – It’s called a tiara, Twilight. You should know, your doll comes with one. (NOTE: If it doesn’t, don’t tell me about it, I don’t care).

8:23 – Now, I have a number of jokes written here and I would like to read them now:

  • Spike just got 20% cooler!
  • But Spike’s male, how can he be a lesbian?
  • Spike is gonna be so awesome! /)^ɛ^(\
  • Oh no, that means…Spike, don’t eat any of Pinkie’s cupcakes!
  • According to shippers, Applebloom had a crush on Spike, and I guess now that he’s Rainbow Dash, Scootaloo has a crush on him too!
  • Now they’ll stop Discord in ten seconds flat!

These go on for several pages, but I’ll stop here.

8:34 – “…so we don’t ever have to talk to eachother again!” Whoa, kinda extreme don’t you think? I mean you all still live in the same town.

8:39 – And they cheer that? Damn, girls are catty as hell.

8:47 – Heeeeeeeeeere’s Tommy!

9:09 – So he wants to die with sunglasses on? What?

9:49 – Poor Twilight, she couldn’t get it up. Good thing I never have that problem.

9:57 – Yup, saw that one coming. Hell, I figured Larfleeze Rarity would have stolen the elements as soon as she saw them in the book.

10:06 – Nice, she set up a joke about Spike being Rainbow Dash on her own! I kinda like this new Fluttershy.

10:17 – “Discord rules, Celestia drools!” Man, the 90s sure were radical, dude.

10:44 – “I don’t need you guys either! I’ll make my own Elements of Harmony! With blackjack! And hookers! In fact, forget the Elements of Harmony!”

10:48 – “Ah, screw the whole thing.”

10:50 – Wow, and now Twilight has lost her color. Wait, since her element is magic, does that mean she’s lost her magic power too? And why was Applejack farming corn?

10:55 – Subtle.

11:00 – OH MAN, BALLERINA BISON! Good thing there wasn’t a really depressing moment before that or else this would seem to conflict with the tone!

11:07 – I’m sure there will be a name for the beanie hat pony soon enough. Hell, this episode’s been out for a few hours already, so there may even be porn of her.

11:20 – Pepper on berry punch? That would taste terrible.

11:26 – Good, Twilight, ignore the troll.

11:53 – Whoa, is she going back to Canterlot?

11:57 – Oh, no she has no idea. How uncharacteristic of Twilight to not have a plan. But I suppose that’s the point of being grayed-out. Oh, and she didn’t lose her magic.

12:03 – Holy shit, Spike vomited up his own weight in scrolls! And then some!

12:17 – If those are all the letters you’ve written to her, shouldn’t there only be about 24? I mean, I guess there was that one prank Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash pulled on Spike, but there shouldn’t be more than 30 scrolls.

12:52 – “Twilight, could you please put me down? I think I’m gonna be sick.”

13:11 – Wow, Spike looks like he’s about to die. Maybe you should get him some medical attention before you go off on a fruitless quest to help your friends, Twilight.

13:37 – Hey, pigs are flying. I guess this means the Detroit Lions are going to win the Superbowl this year!

13:39 – Okay, Big Mac and Granny Smith have gone insane.

14:00 – Big Mac licks Twilight? Yeah, I’ve read that slashfic too.

14:13 – Wow, Twilight learned the Season 1 montage spell!

14:49 – Speaking of montages…

15:09 – “Let us never speak of this again.” And the DCnU made it so that Rarity was never an Orange Lantern!

15:32 – So nopony found Rainbow Dash in her house, but Pinkie Pie saw her lounging around on a nearby cloud? Man these ponies are dense.

15:47 – “I’m staying here in Cloudsdale where everything is SO AWESOME!” /)^ɛ^(\

15:56 – And Applejack has knowledge of the pre-Flashpoint DCU. Would that make her Superboy Prime? God I hope not.

16:00 – “I thought we agreed that the retcon was permanent and we weren’t going to renege on it this time.”

16:04 – I was wondering if they were going to bust out the blimp to save Rainbow Dash.

16:11 – So this plan involves Fluttershy physically overpowering something larger than a bunny? WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

16:25 – Oh boy, dirty comments incoming.

16:45 – So this is where that promotional image came from.

17:05 – Hahahaha, they might die because of Pinkie’s carelessness.

17:17 – “If you can’t catch her, Celestia’s animals won’t hang out with you!”

18:00 – So how come it’s not explained why she thought Cloudsdale was in trouble but when they met her everything was “awesome”?

18:09 – I will never get tired of seeing the Ballet Buffalo.

18:38 – Heh, he drank the glass. That’s kinda funny.

18:40 – lol random explosion, shoutouts to Michael Bay.

18:57 – Whoa, Twilight actually using her powers to be useful! That’s a first for these episodes.

19:08 – “I’ll tell you what we’ve learned, Discord.” So that’s how they’re going to fit the friendship report into this episode.

19:17 – “Ugh, gag.” My thoughts exactly.

19:31 – Oh Pinkie Pie, you’re always trying to cockblock the action.

19:39 – Okay, the way they defeat Discord was pretty badass. Moments like this are the reason I got into this series in the first place.

20:40 – DERPY!

21:16 – I wasn’t aware that stained glass windows could be made so quickly.

21:26 – Oh cool, custom credits music because this is the first big story of the new season!

21:31 – And a commercial for another show on The Hub cuts it off!? What a load of shit. And WHY WAS APPLEJACK FARMING CORN!?

Now like the last episode, this episode is not without its faults. There were a lot of things introduced to the plot in part 1 that were ignored here. Rainbow Dash thought Cloudsdale was under attack in part 1, but in part 2 she acts like everything’s fine. What happened there? Where was Princess Celestia (and Princess Luna for that matter) during all this? What happened to the Cutie Mark Crusaders? Why was Applejack farming corn? None of these questions are answered and it kind of bugs me that they were just forgotten about like this. The episode also isn’t very character driven, as we only get a tiny glimpse of what the ponies are like before they get turned into their evil forms. This makes it a poor episode to start with for people who are just jumping onto the series, which I’m sure many might be because of all the hype around the new season. Maybe this could have been solved by making it a three-part episode, but that would seem a bit excessive.

Despite these flaws, the first two episodes of season two set a good tone for the direction of the show. The animation is good and the writing is solid. Everyone is in character and their grayed-out forms are like mirror universe versions of themselves. The villain is interesting and well-written and the way they defeat him is cool. It was also great how they referenced the events of season 1, but at the same time they should have paid more attention to those events to avoid creating any plot holes. Still, this is a solid episode. Not the best and not a good jumping-on point, but still very solid. When Lauren Faust demoted herself (or whatever) from being executive producer to creative consultant, many were worried that the quality of the show would decrease. If this episode is any indication of the quality we can expect in the future, then I’m not worried about the show getting worse at all. These were good episodes and I’m looking forward to more.

No, seriously though, why was Applejack farming corn? I still haven’t gotten an answer for that.

Play-By-Play: The Return of Harmony Part 1

It’s no secret (or at least it won’t be after this) that I am a huge fan of the recent hit animated show, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The writing, the characters, the animation, the sound, all combine to create one of the best shows I’ve seen in years, and something that you can enjoy if you’re a young girl or a 16-25 year old male. I could go on and on about it but the short version of it is that I just really enjoy the show. Needless to say, I’ve been really looking forward to season 2, the first of which I’ll be talking about today.

Now let me explain how this is going to work. In these little play-by-plays I watch an episode and as it goes on I make commentary on it. It’s kind of like a Riff Track only there’s no time limit on jokes based on the progression of what you’re watching. Once we get into it more, you’ll probably start to get it.

And of course be aware that this commentary will contain MAJOR SPOILERS.

Now let’s begin!

0:06 – The episode starts with Cheerilee taking the Cutie Mark Crusaders on a field trip. Great, the most annoying characters get screen time first.

0:25 – “Victory-ful”? That’s not a word!

0:26 – “That’s not a word!” Hey I just said that you little bitch!

0:28 – “What are you a dictionary?” Oh boy, another memetic mutation to put on the pile. Expect to see photoshops and drawing of “Sweetie Belle’s Dictionary of the English Language” on ponychan, Equestria Daily, ponibooru, etc. by the end of the day.

0:48 – “What do you suppose that represents?” Well obviously it was made in protest of the war in the Middle East. But seriously, what kind of elementary school teacher asks their students questions about artistic meaning? I mean I know about Bloom’s Taxonomy and stuff, but this is going a bit too far.

0:53 – “It’s not chaos you dodo.” So now Scootaloo is a dodo instead of a chicken. Remember back when she was just a pegasus?

1:03 – Cheerilee, your students are fighting around a bunch of priceless sculptures that are probably part of Princess Celestia’s private collection. Shouldn’t you like, and this idea may be pretty far out there but just bear with me on this one, FUCKING STOP THEM!? Where did Cheerilee get her teaching degree anyway? Through a correspondence course?

1:07 – And now the statue’s heart is beating. It’s as if that isn’t a statue at all! **gasp** I would be so shocked if I hadn’t already watched all the previews for this episode!

1:12 – Oh sure, tell them their answers are all correct AFTER they’ve been kicking the shit out of eachother for ten seconds.

1:24 – Heh, making them write an essay as punishment. Nice, but again, these ponies are in elementary school. They probably can’t write complete sentences yet.

1:34 – How are they still arguing about it when their teacher JUST TOLD THEM WHAT IT WAS? Kids these days are so dumb.

1:36 – Okay, that laughter was pretty fucking evil. But we can’t hear more of it because we have to watch the intro.

2:12 – Developed for Television by Lauren Faust…who is no longer a regular part of the production of this show.

2:29 – Rainbow Dash covered in something sticky? I think we all know what’s going to be photoshopped in this image.

2:47 – So why exactly is APPLEjack growing corn? Is anyone going to answer that?

2:56 – Chocolate Milk Rain, Some stay while others feel the pain, Chocolate Milk Rain…

3:09 – And of course Pinkie Pie enjoys all the crazy shit happening. She represents the element of schizophrenia.

3:20 – Oh Rarity, you’re such a useless bitch.

3:33 – WHAT THE FUCK ANGEL IS A GIRAFFE. Someone’s going to photoshop a real life version of this and it’s going to give me nightmares for years.

3:43 – “Don’t worry everyone, I’ve learned a new spell that’ll fix everything!” Is it the spell to bring back Lauren Faust as Executive Producer?

3:54 – Don’t be sad Twilight, at least it looked cool.

5:00 – Okay, that was a pretty good plan on Twilight’s part. Spike totally wasn’t listening to her though because apparently his indegestion got worse over the 4 months between seasons.

5:23 – “We came as fast as we could.” kyrospawn is going to post that as a reaction vid and people are going to make dirty comments on it.

6:57 – Wow, that was a pretty epic speech that explained a lot about the continuity of the show and set up a lot for the episode!

7:00 – …And of course, Pinkie Pie has to fuck everything up.

7:04 – Already did a Chocolate Rain  joke, moving on.

7:10 – “Don’t listen to Pinkie Pie, princess, she just needs to take her meds.”

7:12 – Whoa, spicy insertion.

7:28 – Hahahaha, the world is ending and Rarity is greedy. Isn’t that hilarious? (Protip: No it isn’t)

7:36 – “I have total confidence that you will be able to defeat Discord with DEEZ NUTS!”

7:46 – I’m still waiting for someone to punch Pinkie Pie in the face and remind her what the stakes are.

7:49 – Hey wait, Pinkie Pie just left, how’d she get back so fast? CONTINUITY!

9:05 – Okay, Discord is making a pretty cool first appearance as a villain, but him naming the ponies and the elements they represent is a tiny bit hamfisted. Still, it’s pretty awesome.

Another fun fact is that Discord is voiced by John de Lancie, an actor who is most famous for playing Q from several Star Trek series starting in TNG. I find it amusing that someone who previously played an all-powerful trickster is once again playing an all-powerful trickster. I just hope he’s not getting typecast.

9:31 – Okay, I gotta hand it to Pinkie, Discord Moonwalking on Twilight’s head is pretty funny.

10:14 – “My little ponies!” Hey, just like that one show that I can’t remember the name of! I think it was called…Sex and the City.

11:14 – So Discord is banning magic, but one of the Elements of Harmony is magic. Isn’t that a little unfair?

11:46 – Okay, that was pretty clever timing about how to get them separated. I’m sure it’s mostly a plot device though.

12:03 – And of course, Fluttershy has a panic attack. Cause you know, it’s not like she FACED DOWN A FUCKING DRAGON IN SEASON ONE or anything.

12:16 – No Applejack, don’t go towards the light! Oh, and why were you growing corn earlier? I still haven’t heard an answer for that.

12:37 – Okay, if I was a little girl, talking piles of apples would probably freak me the fuck out.

13:22 – OH MY GOD! EVERYPONY GOT THEIR HORNS BACK! THIS IS GREAT NEWS!

(I should note now that I was watching this episode originally on someone’s channel who split it into two parts. This is where the second video begins, so I’ll record the timer that way. I’ll try to edit this post later to make it more accurate for people watching the episode in one piece.)

0:14 – Applejack already knows a lot about lying. Hasn’t Discord seen S1E25 Party of One? Well, I guess he was trapped in stone at the time.

0:42 – “Come on Twilight, Applejack wouldn’t lie!” …has anypony seen Party of One?

0:43 – Speaking of Pinkie Pie…

1:22 – “Your friends laugh at you all the time.” Can’t argue with that.

1:55 – I thought she was going to turn into Pinkamena. I’m disappointed.

2:16 – So Applejack is lying compulsively? Isn’t that a bit excessive? And why was she farming corn?

3:11 – I suppose ravenous greed is the opposite of selfless generosity, but isn’t this a bit of an obtuse way to show it?

3:28 – How is the going to carry that huge diamond without her unicorn telekinesis?

3:30 – MY GREED GIVES ME SUPER-STRENGTH!

3:39 – OH MY GOD A GIANT ROCK! Why does Rarity make me want to quote Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged so much?

4:42 – Nice self-confidence there Fluttershy.

4:55 – Wow, Fluttershy is totally shutting down Discord. Typical Fluttershy, talking the villain to death. LIKE A BOSS.

5:01 – If he could hypnotize them by touching them, why didn’t he just do that with everypony?

5:27 – Wow, Bitchyshy is pretty intense.

5:44 – “I know where you live.” Twilight’s home is the Ponyville library, everypony knows where she lives.

6:34 – Is that Derpy Hooves?

6:46 – So now we see Discord’s real motivation for confiscating everypony’s wings and horns – so that he could bribe them!

6:57 – How did Twilight get stuck carrying the rock by herself? I thought greedy Rarity wouldn’t let anyone but her carry the giant rock gem? Of course, if Spike had more than 3 lines in this episode, we know that Rarity would exploit his infatuation with her to get him to carry it.

7:12 – If he knew Rainbow Dash was going to leave the game to go to Cloudsdale, why didn’t he go to her first?

7:50 – Wow, Discord’s in the position to rule all of Equestria! He’s left the ponies completely trapped and they’re in no position to fight back! What is he going to do now? How will the ponies fight back? Why was Applejack farming corn? I wonder what’s going to happen next!

7:52 – “To be continued…” MOTHERFUCKER!

8:00 on – Wow, Hasbro is making game shows out of board games now? There really isn’t anything else worth watching on The Hub.

So that was the first episode of Season 2, The Return of Harmony. My final thoughts are that it was a good episode but not a great one. The episode does a good job of setting up the next one as well as giving the viewer the history of the characters in the show, but fails to neglect some previously established plot inconsistencies and sometimes over-exaggerates character traits, both while the ponies are hypnotized and when they aren’t. This is most noticeable in Applejack, who lied several times in season one and apparently became a compulsive liar (and a very poor one at that) in this episode. There are also several plot points that are introduced and dropped – What happened to the Cutie Mark Crusaders and their classmates? And what was Spike doing the whole time?

One of the real strengths of this episode is the villain though. Discord is a lot better done as a villain that I expected, even though he doesn’t seem to have any real motivation other than that he’s had blue balls for thousands of years and just wants to get out of his stone prison and fuck shit up, which I guess could be a lot worse. Discord also isn’t that good at planning out his villainous exploits, as he could have just hypnotized everypony with a touch and then made Rainbow Dash disqualify herself within the first ten seconds with his godlike powers. I guess it could be interpreted that Discord’s character has a degree of sadism and that he likes to toy with his victims and completely demoralize them before he can feel like he’s really achieved something, but in the 14 minutes of screen time he’s had (not counting when he was a statue) there hasn’t been much to suggest that. Discord really reminds me of Jack Nicholson’s Joker, not dark and edgy like Heath Ledger, not lighthearted and campy like Cesar Romero (thankfully), but not even a balance of the two like Mark Hamill. His character seems to be largely driven by the actor playing him having a lot of fun with the role instead of his character being deep and nuanced. At least it’s not as bad as John DiMaggio’s Joker where he totally phones it in and just plays Bender in a more high-pitched voice.

But despite all this, the episode is still quite good and I’m very interested to see how everything turns out next week.

But why was Applejack farming corn?

A Few Things

So if anyone’s been keeping tabs on this blog (and I can see the site stats, so I know someone is) you’re probably wondering why I haven’t updated in about 5 weeks. I’d like to give you a good excuse, like my mother dying or my computer being eaten by wasps, but unfortunately I can’t give such a colorful story.

The truth of the matter is that I’m just lazy and unmotivated. When I started this blog I was working in a high-stress job where all my coworkers had their heads up their asses and I needed something to vent myself and relieve stress. Since I’m not allowed near heavy machinery due to court order, this blog was supposed to be the thing I use to vent my stress in word form. However, the job was only for 6 weeks (and no I didn’t get fired after 6 weeks, the whole program was just temporary) and when it ended at the end of July I found a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I became more relaxed and aloof and this blog seemed like a distant memory that I really didn’t need anymore. And I’m not sure I will again.

So basically what I’m saying is that you shouldn’t expect consistent updates from this blog anymore. Updates will be once in a blue moon and will only happen if I have the time and drive to do them. I’m sorry to disappoint both people who read this blog, but I’m sure that you’ll live without your weekly dose of me in your life.

Some quick notes about articles I said I was going to do:

– I’m not going to do an EVO recap like I said because I was pretty much wrong about everything. I posted my fantasy brackets and EVO predictions on SRK and some asshole pointed out that my SSFIV:AE bracket was a joke and that I didn’t know shit about the game and hadn’t been paying any attention etc. I was about to write a long post to talk about all the lewd sex acts I performed with his mother until I realized that he was absolutely right. I don’t think I’ve watched a single match of SSFIV or AE since MvC3 came out and I know I stopped watching it after MK9 came out. So I’ll own up to being completely wrong about AE. That said, I don’t think anyone would have predicted Latif eliminating Daigo in one of the most hype things I’ve ever seen. Novril made a video that sums it up better than I ever could. As for MvC3, EVO made me confident in my decision to quit that game forever and go back to the far superior MvC2. I was going to smash the disc with a hammer, but I decided to sell it instead because I be mad greedy son. I did like seeing Justin Won’g comeback in the top 16 though. Tekken I only tangentially watched because, like I said before, I don’t play it, but 4 Bobs in the top 8? Really? BBCSII I was surprised with – I mean who would have thought that a Hakumen would have taken Evo? The power of turtling. And I was wrong about Makotos, it seems Noel is the easy win character du jour in CSII. And finally, I was really happy that MK9 displayed not only a lot of hype but a lot of character diversity in the top 8 and high level play of all those characters too. I admit I was wrong about Tom Brady doing well, but at the time I was writing my predictions I forgot that he loses to Reptile badly. I’m not surprised that PerfectLegend won though, he’s an excellent player who plays arguably the best character in the game (even after 6 patches to nerf him). I also didn’t get to check out a ton of the panels, but I did see the SkullgirlS panel and it was quite informative about the game and the new character, Parasoul. So overall, EVO was decent this year.

– I doubt I’ll get too in-depth about “The Problem With Game Reviews” because that topic is pretty preachy. I will make a post discussing how my reviews will work though. I mean, I kind of have to, and you’ll see why when I actually get around to doing a review.

– I might do reviews for InFamous and Wolverine, but the fact is that it’s been a while since I played them, so they’re not fresh in my mind anymore. I do think InFamous is full of problems though and I do love Wolverine and think it’s criminally underrated, so I’ll likely do reviews of both of them eventually.

 

So that’s all I really have to say. Updates from now on will be infrequent and unscheduled.

“But Gates, how will I know when you update? I mean, I have no life so I could just sit by my computer pressing F5 all day every day, but if a power outage happens I won’t be able to do that and I might miss an update!”

Fear not, little bitch boy, for I have one of them new-fangled Twee-tors that you can follow me at. You can follow me on that and I’ll be sure to tweet everything this happens on this blog because I am SUCH a whore for attention.

That’s all for now.

– Gates

@OpinionatedJ3rk on Twitter

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