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Fainaru fantajî IV (1991)
Doesn't hold up.
Ok --- Take into consideration that this game is 30 years old.
I remember as a young kid playing this game all the time and a wave of insanity compelled me to go back and give it a shot ---
Nostalgia is a powerful force but this game simply does not hold up to modern standards.
At times the story feels like it could be the plot for a Saturday morning cartoon. I DESPISE the Japanese RPG cliché of having a mysterious reveal towards the end of the game ---- In this particular case Cecil is an alien from the moon and his brother is Golbez.
The motivations and character arcs are so mundane and paper thin that only my force of will and stubbornness propelled me forward through the story.
I will say the music is excellent ---- plenty of great tracks in this game.
This game doesn't hold up. Masterpieces stand the test of time but this one is average to below average when played in 2020. I'd skipped it and save yourself the boring grind hassle.
Fainaru fantajî X-2 (2003)
Tried to push my boundaries but just gave up out of Apathy.
Well, after surviving the mid/end game of FFX I decided to give this game a shot.
I enjoyed the chance of pace with the battle system and low stakes battle system but ultimately the story of hunting spheres and Yuna seeking out her insufferable dork boyfriend named Tidus is simply not enough of a hook to push me forward past 5-6 hours of gameplay.
I have been following the story and participating in battles as they appear but after Killika the difficulty meter has been ramped up to frustrating levels ---- I am now left with the option of going somewhere else to 'grind' for a few hours to allow me to play the rest of the game .....
I just don't care. I didn't like Tidus and I am definitely not invested in Yuna's journey to resurrect him from magic space land ethereal plane.
What the hell happened after 1999 squaresoft?
You have been getting your ass kicked by FAR superior western RPG offerings ----- Hell, Persona is a far more rewarding and engaging experience.
In the words of the FFX2 wordsmiths ---- This is seriously poopie.
Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
A sign of things to come for Trek.
I remember this movie being unbearably horrible but I was actually surprised in my most recent watch through ----- there were actual good moments at the wedding reception and a fitting 'data sacrifice' ending. The problem is everything else.
Schinzo is a comic book villain brought to form within a star trek movie. After watching the movie I understand that his intent is to destroy earth but I have no clue as to his motivation ----- he's a bad guy?! Earth didn't do anything to this guy as the movie clearly states the Romulans beat and mistreated him.
The visual effects and ship battles look amazing but it has no meaning because of the laughable motivations of Schinzo being a psychotic version of Picard. Added to the fact that at it's core star trek is about clever writing not action set pieces. There is nothing special or unique about this movie at all ---- It is clearly attempting to recapture the spirit of Wrath Of Khan but completely forgets about tangible motivation and nuanced characters.
This movie is essentially visual effects pornography and it goes against the very spirit of the best star trek out there.
Special effects mean very little to star trek. It's the story that is treks core and that message needs to be set on a plaque in front of any future star trek creator.
An hour long masterclass in acting my Tony Todd.
I have always maintained that TOS is the best trek series because you have masterful acting paired with carefully and skillfully crafted scripts.
Well, DS9 hits one of the park with an hour long character study of Jake Sisko living with the knowledge his dad is 'lost' not dead. Todd does an excellent job of capturing the horror of what such an experience would be and true to life --- he doesn't succeed in overcoming his grief.
I found it interesting that Ben Sisko remembers what he and Jake went through but Jake does not? Could this somehow be related to the prophets?
It's an emotionally moving episode that throws in a bit of science magic and shows the viewer the flawed human condition.
This cat has teeth.
An engaging action/adventure episode of star trek. A payoff for all the slow boil build up of the past 3 seasons. (I like slow boil episodes --- hell, I'm happy with 3 people standing around talking to each other for 45 minutes...)
It did not take long for paranoia about The Dominion to cause fracturing within the Alpha Quadrant.
Any episode we get Sisko fighting scenes is a good time. Easily the best fighter of all the Starfleet captains. Worf is no longer an alien punching bag --- he now moves around like a Yodi/Bruce Lee hybrid laying a path of his victims before his feet.
The idea of Worf joining the DS9 crew actually worked well for in this episode. It was well structured and thought out instead of just providing us with one throw-a-way line like the movies.
Where's Suder's funeral?
Come on!? He saved the entire ship and Voyager mission to get home --- this man at least deserves an inspiring Janeway speech on the honor of self sacrifice and overcoming obstacles.
I am pretty sure those Kazon jerks would have used the Voyager crew as slave labor but we did get to have some space dinosaur adventures on the planet and the primitive alien society did save Wildman's baby ---- so, that's something.
This is the end of a plot arc that just didn't end up working well. I have a feeling the baby was changed to be Kazon/Cardassan instead of being Chakotay's to end this plot arc and move forward from here.
Even with the Kazon not working out there is a genuine earned crew comradery that is evident within the Voyager crew even at this early stage of the show.
Janeway even sacrifices part of her glorious mane for the cause of making fire. Picard couldn't pull that off!
Star Trek: Voyager: Resolutions (1996)
Welcome to the jungle.
The sexual tension is off the charts in this episode. Janeway is in a bit of a spot here ---- she's married (?) to a guy on Earth and is captain of the ship and being in a relationship is a vulnerability she feels she cannot afford to have. It was interesting watcher her wrestle with what way to go via her physical acting.
Kes is wise for a 2 year old. She advises Tuvok on the subtleties of command decisions. Do you risk the crew for the captain and commander by hailing the organ snatchers or do you follow the orders as instructed? What would Janeway do? Well, Janeway would find a way to save her crew member on the planet. Tuvok submits to the crews decision and because he's a good guy he even accepts all the blame for a decision he was strong armed into making.
Star Trek: Voyager: Tuvix (1996)
Whether you love the ending or you can't stand it you have to admit that this trek episode proves the viewer with a lot to consider.
That's what trek's about. Making you think and hopefully challenging your beliefs and opinions and possibly even changing your mind.
For Janeway the solution to this issue is a matter of Arithmetic. It's a very Vulcan way to go about this messy decision and likely provides Janeway with a means to shield her conscious from the act of killing a sentient being.
When star trek is failing I feel apathy towards the episode. If a star trek episode can make me feel emotion and engage me intellectually then it is a success. It took a lot of audacity to write an episode with an ending like this.
Star Trek: Voyager: The Thaw (1996)
Even fear is scared of Janeway.
The performance of the clown playing the emotion of fear is the foundation to this strongly build house of an episode. In true Janeway fashion --- she defeats fear itself.
The fascinating aspect to this episode is the idea of actually living with a physical manifestation of fear that you can touch and interact with and it is has the survival instinct of survival at any cost and that means controlling you.
The idea of being stuck in this carnival horror show for 20 years like the planet survivors is almost too painful to imagine.
There's a nice little meta-message about not summiting to fear and having the courage to confront and accept and master it.
Well executed in terms of acting, physical sets, make up, pacing, resolution.
Star Trek: Voyager: Deadlock (1996)
Harry Kim, i presume?
Just the idea that Harry and Baby Wildman are actually from another dimension blew my mind when I first watched this episode. Do you have a funeral for Harry and baby Wildman at this point? How does Ensign Wildman deal with this development after starting the grieving process?
I believe that Janeway is the all time Star Trek leader for self sacrificing moments for the crew. We get a double dose of Janeway sacrifice moments in this episode and I just loved the understated 'welcome to the bridge' moment at the end with the Vidiians.
This episode does not have a morality message to it --- it's just a fun action/sci fi idea episode and it's well executed.
Star Trek: Voyager: Death Wish (1996)
God wants to die.
For a philosopher a life without a creation outlet and way for society to progress/grow could very well be an intolerable existence and that certainly is the case for Q. This is a good episode that explores the question of individual rights verses the collective opinion/good.
- I found it interesting that Q mentioned that the Borg would have assimilated the federation had he not interfered and prepared them for the borg earlier.
- Q has a crush on Janeway ---- Must be that sweet satin nightgown.
- Q's back to being a distruptive influence in the continuum. Janeway/Starfleet have an effect on the Q's progression just like the Q had an effect on the federation.
Star Trek: Voyager: Meld (1996)
Be careful who you mind meld with kids.
My mind wonders if Tuvok is actually addicted to the idea of violent emotions. What sparked my contemplation was the scene between Suder and Tuvok that revolves around the explanation of the power of violent emotions and the perceived beauty of a singular vision. When a show can make me consider such hidden character traits it is doing something right. This idea is reinforced by the holodeck program of Tuvok murdering the space cat Neelix.
Star Trek is generally at it's best when it tells a personal story. The heart in battle with itself is a term I hear thrown about quite a bit and that fits in this particular case. I have at times had difficulty in controlling my emotions and in almost every case the result was a negative one ---- as I get older I find I have better control of it and the wisdom of knowing there are consequences to actions and words spoken in the heat of emotion.
The performance of Suter was fascinating. The way he is written is excellent ---- they could have made him a psychopath but he is ultimately just a naturally violent man who harbors no hatred for his victim he just enjoys releasing his rage. Oddly enough the character of Suder is sympathetic in his own way as he caringly tries to talk sense into Tuvok when he enters the brig with the intention of murdering him.
A wonderful look into the human condition of being in battle with ones own emotions.
Star Trek: Voyager: Threshold (1996)
You don't watch it perse --- you experience it.
A few of my random thoughts while watching Threshold:
- So, of all the ships in the galaxy that have had warp drive it is the USS Voyager out in the Delta quadrant without a team of high IQ professionals working on warp drive theory manage (over lunch) to crack this case?
- If we are not sure what will actually happen after warp 10 is achieved how about putting the shuttle on auto pilot and recording the results instead of putting Tom Paris is an unknown situation?
- Why was the reasoning behind Tom Paris kidnapping Janeway?
- Wait a sec, didn't Tom Paris get jail time for pulling a crazy shuttle maneuver in the academy?
- So, when Janeway broke the warp 10 barrier she instantly turned into a Lizard and didn't go through the 24 hour evolutionary cycle that Tom Paris did?
- What type of space magic did the doctor use to change Tom and Katheryn from electric Lizards into flesh and blood human beings? Give that man a medal of freedom for this achievement.
As a star trek fan I can suspend my disbelief in service of the plot but the writers of this episode expect me to murder my disbelief. After all the crazy things that happen in this episode we get an ABC after school special moment of Tom realizing that it is his own opinion of himself that truly matters.
Star Trek: Voyager: Alliances (1996)
A peace treaty --- a piece of you over here a piece over there.
There is quite a bit going on in this episode. The major takeaway for me is an hour long study in the circle of war/death. The Trabes repressed and isolated the Kaizon resulting in a rebellion where they ended up as outcasts and the Kaizon turned into a society of clans that drifts through the quadrant like space pirates --- bullying people for resources. The trabe representative while appearing to be civil ends up thirsting for revenge and attempts to continue the cycle of destruction during a peace conference attempt.
Captain Janeway's resolve to strictly adhere to the prime direction is strengthened in this episode after being tested by Chakotay and Tuvok's well intentioned counsel.
To Chakotay's credit his idea of a mutual protection pact makes sense and as a first officer his duty is to the provide the captain with options and recommendations.
I found it interesting to see parallels between the Kaizon and the Maquis --- both having been in conflict with a strong opponent and formed clans to attack the conquers.
Star Trek: Voyager: Prototype (1996)
War without meaning
I found it to be a fascinating episode with a clever and depressing twist at the end. The development of a robot as a wartime beast of burden that ultimately betrays/eradicates the civilization that created it is poetic in a dark way. Now the war of the builders continues on long after the reasons for the war have turned to dust. You could look at our own history to see continual conflicts between societies without any tangible reasons ---- the mindset of war/conflict eventually devours reason.
- Useful neelix advice on the benefit of sleep. This was a clever moment and this is what I enjoy about Neelix when he is used effectively --- Useful/Practical advice.
- Janeway's instinct to follow the prime directive proves to be the way to go in this episode. Janeway in early Voyager is definitely wrapping herself in the Starfleet flag.
- I enjoyed the journey of B'Elanna fighting for the chance to help 3947. Overcoming a mechanical problem is what should fire up a good engineer.
Star Trek: Voyager: Resistance (1995)
You'll need a drink
It's worth the hour for Janeway's luscious flowing hair style and rockin' that bod for being over 40.
This is one of those episodes that I watch and I feel depressed. This poor Cullah character is a broken man due to the tragedies that have occurred in his life. While he is technically alive he certainly is not living and he imprints his daughters image on Janeway in an attempt to ignite some semblance of life within himself.
I am not quite sure what the message of this episode is but I took it as a study of PTSD on the brain. We get a bitter sweet ending ---- Cullah dies lunging to save Janeway and Janeway/His daughter reassures him that his wife and daughter are safe and forgive him.
I do like the premise of the episode ---- Voyager running low on supplies and being forced into difficult situations ----- this situation being a clear violation of the prime directive.
I think they could have added some spice to this episode with Tuvok/Lt Torres getting into discussions with Augris about how they run the society. Maybe give a Kirkesque speech about the dystopian black hole of a society they have created.
Solid acting by Janeway and Caylem.
Star Trek: Voyager: Maneuvers (1995)
Give me back my stuff
You can the Chakotay out of the maquis but you cannot take the maquis out of the Chakotay.
I enjoyed the story of Chakotay feeling a sense of personal ownership over the loss of the federations technology due to not being able to spot Seska being a spy previously. It can be easy to forget that this man is not actually a Starfleet officer when he's in the uniform taking orders.
There's a subtle performance by Seska in the scene with Cullah where you actually pinpoint the second the wheels start to turn about betraying him and Chakotay rightly points this character trait out to Cullah during his interrogation.
I nearly had to take a cold shower during the open scene when Lt Torres comes out dressed to kill in a crimson shirt. We also get further character development between torres and Chakotay (does he have a first name or is he like Prince?) where she gives him advice on controlling his emotions and how he has poor judgement in women. It was cute and it added to the impact of her passionate plea to Captain Janeway to save Chakotay.
It's a good episode but (forced at gunpoint?) the writers decided to introduce the plot device of Seska impregnating herself with Chakotay's DNA that feels like it was ripped straight out of days of our lives.
Star Trek: Voyager: Cold Fire (1995)
Kes gets intimate with flowers.
There was a ton of sexual overtones during the back and forth dialogue between Kes and Tanis and I felt a bit weird for a minute or two.
This episode establishes that there is far more to Kes then meets the eyes. We are reaching Q levels of space magic powers but I bought into the arc of this episode thanks to the strong acting by Jennifer Lien.
It's a bit confusing that suspira has such a confrontational view of the Voyager crew and for a while I thought the writers were intending to write the caretaker character as being a child who did not possess the maturation to truly understand the situation. I was wrong. She was the wife of the original caretaker and is an explorer from another galaxy ... ... ... who is controlled by emotions of revenge just like your regular carbon based lifeform is. Odd.
An act of mercy on Janeway's part ends up saving the Voyager crew but I was ultimately left feeling unsatisfied with this conclusion. She believes Janeway's story now because she took down the force field? What's going on here? Why are the Ocampa's on this space station such jerks?
Neelix gains some points with me in this episode with his supportive moments.
Tuvok doesn't hold grudges against Kes despite having his blood boiled and nearly dying. It is a very Vulcan attitude of pure logic. "Well, i'll help you master your powers so you won't try and kill me..."
I might sound down on the episode but I was actually entertained and engaged throughout the entire runtime.
Star Trek: Voyager: Tattoo (1995)
And the cats in the cradle and the silverspoon.
I enjoy a good dad episode and I feel I have a better understanding of the understated personality of Chakotay after watching this episode.
I had a strained relationship with my dad when I was a young man that overtime softened to a true respect and admiration for the man that he was and is and I feel the character of Chakotay portrays that emotional journey well in this episode.
I think it's righteous that Chakotay has the face tattoo to honor his father and his traditions. The episodes hints strongly that his father was killed by the Cardassians 'trying to protect his home' and provides legitimate reasons for why Chakotay fought with the Maquis.
I'm not a spiritual man but I am intrigued by an exploration of the subject. One of my crazy friends often tells me about his theory that we evolve into a corporeal type of being upon death --- like that one episode of voyager from last season. The spiritual idea to think of everything in nature as sacred is a righteous belief system that I have plenty of respect for.
It's a bit of a stretch for this alien society to travel 70,000 light years to interfere with the evolution of early humankind ---- but i'll let it go.
- The doctor embarrasses the entire medical profession in this episode by telling a pregnant woman to 'suck it up sweetheart --- don't be a whimp'. YIKES!
- Janeway's hair gets a 7 out of 10 for high school superintendent style.
- We see our first buttcrack in trek history?
No one eats cucumber sandwitches.
The real questions posed by this episode is the idea that people actually have cucumber sandwiches? This is a thing? I could potentially see some alpha fitness instructor doing this ---- but kids? This sounds like some form of punitive punishment to me.
On my mothers side of the family they have a history of schizophrenia and the horrific hallucinations that result from that. Certain people affected with this know the hallucinations are not real while others cannot tell the difference. In an early seen I felt that Janeway's performance showed what terror it must be to have to go through these experiences and it landed hard for me as people who had been close to me had to endure such events on a daily basis.
The overall point of the episode to me revolves around the exploitation of personal weakness. With most of the crew members this involves seeing visions of loved ones but for Lt Torres her weakness is a lust for that stoic commander Chakotay. That came out of nowhere and I can't recall if they go anywhere with that storyline.
We get some character development for Kes being the savior of the ship and overcoming her hallucinations to ultimately save the ship with the doctors encouragement.
It's an interesting plot but the motivations of the alien creature causing this to happen remain an unknown so the impact if not what it could have been.
Star Trek: Voyager: Parturition (1995)
Neelix and Paris have a baby.
After the last episode when Tom Paris gave Kes a necklace with a locket I am firmly on Neelix's side. Even before there is a unspoken rule about social distancing yourself from another persons love interest and Tom crossed the line.
Even Tom's bromance partner Harry Kim agrees with me as he performs like a trained seal on his clarinet for Tom's amusement.
I love the trekesque 'fight' between Neelix and Paris that is played as half series half ham. Janeway's disappointment mom scene in the ready room also featured some classic Kate Mulgrew face acting and despite knowing that there was more to this story she essentially washed her hands of discipline and told them to deal with it like adults.
I enjoyed the scene between the Doctor and Kes and his earnest sensitive loving advice to her. The doc is generally hilariously blunt with his advice/opinions but his love(?) for kes really shines through here.
On the planet we run into a situation where Tom and Neelix have accidently disturbed the nesting place for an alien dinosaur and they have a debate on whether to become surrogate parents for the baby. I found it interesting that is was Neelix who represented the Starfleet ideals of taking care of this baby and Tom presented the cut and run idea.
We get a nice scene between Tom and Neelix talking through some of there personal faults and laying the foundation for a personal peace treaty between the two. That rascal Tom Paris actually has an excellent quote, "If you have any doubts look into her eyes...."
Jealously is a nasty human emotion and it has many layers of destruction to it. Not only to the person who feels jealously it also effects Kes as she is placed in the position of being consider a love object without feelings and personal ownership. There is a fine line between being protective and being jealous and Neelix definitely fell on the jealous side of the line.
In the end they space dinosaur parents comes down to the planet and the bonding experience of saving a life overshadows the personal problems between tom and neelix.
Star Trek: Voyager: Twisted (1995)
Don't give a taken women a necklace for her birthday.
Neelix is indeed a very overprotective Spacecat ---- but for the love of Sisko --- what man gives a 'taken' woman a necklace with a locket for a birthday present? Neelix --- I reach brother. I would have shut that down myself if I was stationed on the Voyager.
There's a nice scene of Tuvok being a real softy and he lets ensign kim off his duty 30 minutes early to go to the birthday party. There's no way Spock would be down with that nonsense.
I have never been to France but I am intrigued by the idea of going into a bar and immediately being accosted by a sultry French girl like the Doctor in this episode.
I work in construction and I feel safety standards are a bit lax on Voyager. No knee pads for the crawl space? It's a steel floor for crying out loud --- my knee's are screaming out in anguish.
Tuvok has a crush on Janeway and seems legitimately bummed out about not being number 1 ---- I liked the slight movement of the hand closer to Janeway as the anomaly was about to hit him.
The episode ends with the crew throwing out hypothesis that this could have potentially been an alien life form communication with Voyager ---- well, that certainly would have been interesting to watch. There is not much to chew on in this episode just a few interesting/memorable moments.
Star Trek: Voyager: Non Sequitur (1995)
Honey i'm home.
After viewing this episode I now have a deeper understanding of Harry's strong desire to return to earth. Look at this stunning fiancé (Luscious Libby) with an absolutely astounding mane of hair who wears a red dress that should be reserved for opening night for a movie release in Hollywood. On top of that --- This ensign has a SWEET "apartment" with a spectacular view.
You have to do a bit of stretching but I did find enjoyment in this episode. The idea that Harry Kim feels he can depend upon Tom Paris is an excellent bromance moment that ultimately pays off with Tom living up to Harry's alternate reality version/opinion of him and he ends up saving the day.
I also enjoyed Harry discussing the consequences of staying in this reality. Putting the well being of other people above his own is a very star trek thing to do and turning down a lifetime with his stunning fiancé is a act of sacrifice we shall not forget.
Star Trek: Voyager: Elogium (1995)
Voyager has lost it's sex appeal.
We can mark off "Spaceship viewed as sexual competition" off the galactic to-do list. I am a trek fan and I always maintain that star trek at it's most weird/bland/soap opera is a much better time then most shows at their pinnacle of quality. I enjoyed the ridiculous elements of this episode for the fact that they are so damn ridiculous.
- I initially thought that this episode was going to be about there being a correlation between the space sperm whales and the fact that Neelix had level 10 jealously attack in the mess hall. Nope, that's just Neelix being a threated 17 year old male.
- I like the outfit that Kes wears in this episode. Classy.
- I enjoyed the scene of Kes in heat in the medbay yet still trusting Janeway enough to let her through the forcefield and hug it out.
- I love watching Tuvok endure Neelix at the table. It's a real skill to present emotion in a species that represses emotions and Tuvok is one of the best at it. His understated use of 'unfortunate' as the word he uses to describe being separated from his children was perfect to his character. His assessment of Neelix's ability to be a parent is on point too --- I love Neelix but he's hardly capable of raising a houseplant at this point in season 2.
- I belly laughed for a solid 10 seconds during the scene of the doctor massaging her feet. That's just hilarious that you have to massage ocampa women's feet for exactly 1 hour as a precursor to insemination. It would be like getting your dad to brush your wife's hair for 1 hour on earth.
- I enjoyed the scene of Kes frantically working through the positives and negatives of having a baby and asking the Doctor for his opinion. His answer --- A comforting hand on her shoulder. This is a decision she has to work through and make.
Star Trek: Voyager: Projections (1995)
A trek inception before inception.
I find that I enjoy pondering the questions raised by the story presented in this episode more so then I enjoyed the capably crafted episode.
The Doctor at this point in Voyager has not truly found his identity and appears to be stuck between being a holographic lightbulb and a valued member of the crew. I would argue that he certainly leans towards wanting to be more and perceived as being more than a simply hologram and this episode is an exploration of him trying to hang on to what sense of identity he has built up over the past two seasons of the show.
I wonder if the writers could have found a way to have this story arc with the introduction of a nefarious 'alien of the week' that perhaps had some synthetic quality to them and they resented the manner in which the doctor had been treated? That would have upped the stakes and provided plenty of tension.
It's always good to see Barclay. He's maybe the best or second best reoccurring guest star on Next Gen.
The neelix food fight was played for camp? That was the moment when I knew something was off. That was the intention, right?
I agree with the doctor --- Kes is beautiful.
I would describe Janeway's hair during the bridge steel beam scene as being messy yet dignified and I give it a 8 out of 10.