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Jyger’s Rant – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows Review

Well, yesterday was my birthday (Happy 31st to me), so I decided that, for my birthday, in lieu of a gift card or the like, which we normally do for each other, I asked N. Harmonik to get me a ticket to go see a movie. And what movie was it? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. And you know what? I had a great time. Yes, the movie is only good if you kinda shut your brain off and don’t think about it too much, but you know what? I know that going in. I knew, from the moment I saw Megan Fox in the initial trailer dressed like a schoolgirl-type whatever that this was gonna be dumb, but I went anyway. Why? Because it’s the Ninja Turtles. I was a HUGE Turtles fan as a kid. When my First Grade teacher couldn’t teach me to read and was just gonna try the same failing method over and over, my parents got me TMNT books and taught me to read with them. The first movie I ever remember seeing in theaters (though I’ve been told I’ve seen others beforehand) was the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie in 1990. My favourite colour is green. My favourite number is 4. So even if this was the suckiest suck that ever sucked, I was still gonna go and enjoy myself, because what were the odds that TMNT’s opening day was my birthday? And it actually WASN’T the suckiest, either. It was actually a lot better than the first one. Of course, that’s not saying much, and we’ll get to what was bad in a sec, but first, let’s talk about the stuff I really enjoyed.

First off, the stuff with the Turtles is actually good. In fact, I actually thought the emotional conflict between them was a lot better done and isn’t just Leonardo and Raphael not getting along Part Who-Knows-What-Anymore. Granted, we DO get more than a couple of arguments between the two, but…well, how do I put this?…You know how when there’s a personal issue with the team, Raph is usually Problem Turtle? Well, Raph is not Problem Turtle in this movie. He DOES do something that kinda screws things up bad, but in retrospect, if anyone is Problem Turtle in this movie, it’s Leo, and it’s not just a problem between those two, but the whole team. Donnie finds out that they can become human, and Leo, knowing that Raph and Mikey are the more sensitive of the team and how much they hate having to stick to the shadows, as well as how becoming human would kinda mess with the team’s overall effectiveness a bit, tells him to keep this between themselves. Of course, Michelangelo overhears anyway and tells Raph. What happens as a result is that we get it painted clear as day, and in fact, Splinter calls Leo out on this; Leo is a born leader when it comes to strategy and whatnot, but when it comes to balancing out the unique perspectives and character pros and cons of his brothers, he’s terrible, and he needs to figure out how to correct this problem. I thought analyzing that was a good idea. The resolution was a bit lacking, but it was still an aspect of the characters worth exploring.

I also really liked Bebop and Rocksteady. I don’t really understand why, in hindsight, it was necessary for Sheamus to completely change his hairstyle for this movie when he loses it upon becoming a mutant, and doing so instead has resulted in chants of “You look stupid!” for the past year, but whatever. There is one thing I have to nitpick, though: The way the mutagen works to turn Rocksteady and Bebop. Now, in the cartoon, they were mutated into a rhino and a warthog as they were the last creatures they came in contact with, and likely had residue of the creatures on their persons. It made sense. Here, the mutagen latches onto genetic markers that lead back to animals that the movie is pretending exists in us. It’s not even the animal spirit thing that the MMPR movie did, either. They specifically said it was in their genetic makeup. And without even missing a beat, with no regard for any of the looks I got, I just went “Of course! Don’t you know anything about science?!

As far as some of the other characters go, I thought Kraang was silly, but in a way that works for him and harkens back great to the old cartoon. I thought it was a smart move that the Foot Clan are actually NINJAS in this movie, as opposed to whatever the hell they were supposed to be in the last one. I think they were just generic terrorists, but whatever. Shredder is played by someone else, but I don’t really mind that at all. What was funny was that I was about to comment how much I preferred the new, black, heavily-streamlined costume he wore in this one as opposed to when he was Shredder-tron in the last one…right before he was completely under-minded as a legit villain in this movie by Kraang. Casey was kinda on the bland side, but he was still okay. Of all the human characters in this movie, I probably felt for his situation most, although it was a weird direction when you’re more used to the more mainstream interpretations of the character. But again, he’s still alright…which is actually something that makes him better than pretty much every single human character on the good guys’ side in the entire movie. Really, the biggest problem this movie has is whenever we leave the Turtles and focus on the humans, because the good guys of the human cast are just not that interesting or engaging.

Which, of course, brings us to Megan Fox. I’m just gonna be blunt here, and I want everyone to understand where I’m coming from with this…It’s 2016, right? It’s 2016, and I’m still having it crammed down my throat that Megan Fox is sexy. You know? Like, it’s 20-fucking-16, and that’s STILL her only real contributor. Like, we can’t just have her ACT and get her roles over by acting, because that would require effort, so instead, we just gotta push Megan Fox out there, WITH TOP BILLING, FYI, and have her be sexy. I’m sorry, but she’s just not a good actress. I can’t pretend she is. And as far as the character of April as presented in this movie goes, I don’t even know where you go with her after this. She’s the Turtles’ connection to the human world. Fine. Guess what? We now have Casey and THE ENTIRE NYPD that can fill that role. And what is so perplexing about this is that this is all the same shit that happened with the Transformers movies, and Megan Fox quit those! Now she’s doing the same shit again, working under the same person she had problems with before! And she said she wanted to play the role because she really loved the character, and you know what, maybe she DOES love the character of April O’Neil. I’m not calling her a liar. That could very well be true. But even if it is, we have to accept one very important, minor issue: SHE’S NOT A GOOD ACTRESS! I do not spend money to go see a movie just because the actors are pretty. But, so long as we’re on the subject, not only is Stephen Amell’s performance in this movie better than Megan Fox’s, not only do I care a lot more for him and his back-story (admittedly, probably not as much as they want me to, but whatever), and not only does he play off the Turtles a bit better, but guess what? He’s also a lot prettier.

Anyway, overall, I still enjoyed this movie. When the story focuses on the personality traits and faults of the Turtles, as well as seeing them in action, it’s a good movie. Maybe not one you wanna think too hard about, but still is at least fun and worth checking out. And to be perfectly honest, I kinda knew, going in, what it was that REALLY was gonna make this movie much better than the previous one: They took the more absurd, insane, and just impossible-to-take-seriously aspects of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which, as an old-school fan, I can tell you, there are MANY of), and just had fun with them. It’s not ashamed to be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It doesn’t try to hide any of these aspects. It just goes full-blown with them. And I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that. They iron out the other issues with the movies thus far, and the third one should be GREAT. So, lemme know what YOU thought of this movie (if you saw it, that is), and we’ll see if they learn anything more when it finally comes time for the third movie. Take us out, CD9.

…Oh yeah, and Baxter Stockman was annoying as shit, and the product placement was STILL really irritatingly blatant. lol Ja né!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 – Big Game Spot

… … … … …

… … … … …Holy shit, they’re really doing Dimension X for this movie. o.O I mean, I kinda gathered they might be from the last trailer, but it never really hit me, and that’s because none of the other Ninja Turtles movies have EVER done Dimension X. It always seemed like it was just too outside the realm of possibility to do, and they’re doing it. And, I’ll be honest, I’m actually a little more hyped for this movie than the first one, mainly because they seem to be openly embracing the insanity of it all and are doing something none of the other movies have done up until now. So…yeah, if I have the money, I might just go check this out.

…Also, Krang totally needs to try and steal the Statue of Liberty. XD

Jyger’s Favourite 10??? – Favourite 10 SNES Games

Y’know, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System is one of two video game systems that just feels like it lasted far beyond anyone’s expectations and had a library of games that to this day still rank among some of the best of all time and are great nostalgic favourites, the other system being the Sony PlayStation 2. Even the systems that came out next to replace them could hardly compete with them, and while I don’t have the exact figures, I don’t believe that the N64 or the PS3 outlasted their predecessors. And yeah, I’m here mostly to talk about the SNES as it’s quite possibly my favourite system of all time, but I felt it only fair to bring up the PS2 as well, since it runs an interesting parallel to the SNES.

But yeah, the SNES. SO many great games, there was just no way to limit this to 5. So, I’ve opted instead to talk about my 10 favourite SNES games, and I’m gonna TRY to keep this list varied, but ultimately, my favourites are my favourites. Also, if you wanna know more about each game, click on the image posted to go to their Wikipedia page. And, as always, this list is not ordered, this isn’t a Top 10, just my 10 favourite SNES games in no particular order. So, let’s start off with a game I’ve been thinking of a lot of lately, what with a certain movie coming out…

#1- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time

Before anyone asks, I was a Mikey guy. lol But yeah, me and my brother Aaron would play Turtles In Time a lot as kids, and it was a ton of fun. Heck, in almost every conceivable way, it’s an improvement to the version in the arcade. My one complaint about this game is that it’s not 4-Player co-op, like in the arcade, and considering it has more levels and bosses, that woulda been very much appreciated, especially since whenever I can see all four Turtles kicking shell at once, it’s all good. And yeah, I know about Re-Shelled, and if it ever gets released on the Wii U, I’ll probably get it, but for now, this is Turtles In Time for me.

#2 – Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals

Yes, I know the story is kind of dated and clichéd. I don’t care. I still love this game. And honestly, somedays, it’s nice to just look back on a simpler time in video game stories, when we didn’t NEED overly complicated stories. Just a simple battle of good vs evil with very little in the way of plot holes. And again, I know that there’s an Action RPG remake on the Nintendo DS. I never did find it, though, and honestly, I’m not sure that I’d like it. Not because I dislike Action RPGs, mind you, I like plenty of Action RPGs, like Kingdom Hearts and Seiken Densetsu 3. I just don’t like some of the things they did with the characters, like making Maxim a teenager or giving Dekar pink hair.

#3 – Super Mario All-Stars

Besides the obvious reason to love this game, that being a 4-in-1 remake of the classic NES Super Mario Bros. game, including the Japanese only released Super Mario Bros. 2 (the REAL one, now referred to as The Lost Levels), why do I love this game? Two words: Saved games. Anyone that didn’t play the original batch of Super Mario Bros. games on the NES might not know what I’m talking about, so I shall explain: You know how in today’s day and age, while playing New Super Mario Bros. or the like, when you beat a world or reach a halfway point, the game saves so you can turn it off to do whatever (eat, sleep, rest your fingers/eyes, go to school/work, let your family know you’re alive, all that fun stuff) and then pick up right where you last left off, or if you died and had no lives left, you could go back to where you last saved? You couldn’t do that in the old Super Mario Bros. games, until All-Stars remakes. Thank GOD for that! Seriously, gamers of this generation, I implore you: NEVER take saved games for granted, because you have no idea how easy you have it.

#4 – Donkey Kong Country

I don’t even need to talk about why this game rocks. If you played it, you already know. Instead, I wanna tell a story about this one. Donkey Kong Country is the game that earned me the nickname ‘The Flukemaster’ from my family. Why? Okay, there’s a stage where, as you’re going through it, the lights go out at random. And there’s tons of pits and enemies, so you have no idea where yer going. And I seem to recall Aaron, who of course played as DK most of the time as I recall, was having a bit of trouble navigating us through that stage. So what did I do? I just charged right in. And somehow, through sheer luck, fortune, whatever you wanna call it, I managed to get us to the end. In fact, I seem to recall doing it more than once. And I will be the first to admit, that should not have happened, and if you asked me to replicate this feat today, I’d probably fail to do so. But yeah, just a funny little story about a great game.

#5 – NHL Stanley Cup

…Okay, another story. lol There was one time me and Aaron were playing against each other, which was rare because I usually insisted we play on the same team (because he usually whipped my ass, and we both usually wanted to be the Montreal Canadiens), and I don’t know HOW I did this, and again, I probably could never do this again, I actually checked him from the players box all the way to the penalty box. Afterward, I seem to recall the person I was playing as spending a fairly decent amount of time at the penalty box himself. XD So yeah, was a lot of fun to play, it may not stack well against NHL games nowadays, if at all, but it was tons of fun, and the Mode 7 worked really well here.

#6 – The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past

As I recall, this was one of the first games I played on the SNES, having rented it from a shop (I miss video game rental shops, btw), and I was almost immediately in awe of it. Most people nowadays talk about the best Zelda game of all time being Ocarina of Time. While I won’t necessarily dispute that point, I will say that it’s not my personal favourite. This and Twilight Princess are probably my favourite of the Zelda games. Also, if you ever watch me playing a Zelda game and you wonder why I name Link ‘Foomy’, it’s because the save file where me and Aaron FINALLY managed to beat this game was one named Foomy, after one of the capsule monsters from Lufia II…and yes, I’m aware of how much later after this game Lufia II came out, please don’t rub it in my face how long it took me. It’s mostly because I didn’t actually BUY this game until a few years later. Otherwise, we just rented it, and there was kind of a stretch of time where we moved a lot, so the already unlikely odds of renting the same copy of the game and finding our save file on it were made impossible. lol

#7 – Earthbound

What the fuck took Nintendo so long to finally re-release this game?! 18 years it took to finally get this game re-released! But whatever, I don’t wanna complain anymore, because it’s out, we got what we wanted, it’s all good. Yeah, it’d be sweet if Mother and Mother 3 got their official releases in English, but honestly, this one was my favourite anyway, so I’d be satisfied if this is the only one. I owe so much of who I am nowadays to this game. Heck, my name, Jyger, was first used in a playthrough of this game. I forget how I came up with it, and it wasn’t until YEARS later that I finally decided to look up what it meant (the closest I could get was that it’s supposed to be some kind of jaguar/tiger hybrid), but it just kinda stuck with me over the years. So yeah, for historical purposes, the birth of Jyger all began HERE, with Earthbound.

#8 – Street Fighter II (Turbo pictured)

How could I not bring this up, honestly? And for those wonder, I have the cover for Turbo shown because it’s the one I remember playing the most. But really, I played just about every version of Street Fighter II on the SNES, and I don’t think I had any ill will toward any of them. I should totally get it for Wii U Virtual Console, just to relive the old days of Street Fighter excellence. Not really much in the way of stories to tell with this game, but I will say that probably the fighter I used most was Ryu, because I tend to like characters in fighting games that are easy to get the hang of but can still kick plenty of ass.

#9 – Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

As I’ve said before, this was my introduction to turn-based RPGs, and I still maintain my opinion that, for North Americans, this is the way to get into it, because the familiar setting of the Mushroom Kingdom and a likable guy like Mario as the protagonist make it easy to get into what’s going on. And again, I still wish they would do a follow-up game someday, where we see what Mallow and Geno and Booster are up to. Would be so awesome to see these guys in a game again.

#10 – Super Mario Kart

Ahh, the introduction to the Mario Kart series, where it all began. I don’t think it’s the greatest of the series, and I’m sure more people nowadays, while trying to recapture the old days, go to Mario Kart 64, but this is still a great game on its own. As I recall, my favourite characters to play as were Mario and…I wanna say Koopa Troopa? I think? But yeah, was a great game, and a lot of times, me and Aaron would actually say to heck with the racing and just explore the stages, just for the hell of it. It’s actually something we did for Mario Kart 64 too, especially when it came to being able to explore the area around Peach’s Castle. So yeah, maybe it isn’t the best Mario Kart game, but it’s still good, and if nothing else deserves credit for being the start of something AWESOME.

…And I suppose I should go ahead and name a few honourable mentions. Kirby Super Star was awesome, although I personally think the remake for the DS is a little better. Seiken Densetsu 3 is a great Action RPG, but I’m more or less going by nostalgic favourites, and this was never released in North America during the SNES’ run. Aladdin is really good, and also fun to play if your mom is watching, is afraid of heights, and will freak out whenever you bounce off the sheets in the game. XD Super Mario World is awesome, of course, I don’t even need to give explanation why. And finally, Tetris Attack and Kirby’s Dream Course are both really great and unique (at the time, anyway, in terms of Tetris Attack) games that require some sharp instincts and thinking.

So, agree with my list? Have some favourite SNES games of your own? Leave your own lists in the comment section below, and hey, when yer done, if you’ve got a Virtual Console or an SNES that you haven’t dusted off in a while, go and replay these awesome games that helped pave the way for the gaming scene that we know and love today. Ja né!