After finding the source of the information leak to the Separatist, Anakin, Captain Rex, and The Bad Batch have to escape The Techno Union Army’s base. This escape has them going back to the Poletecan village where Anakin’s group along with the Poletecans have to fight the Techno Union’s forces and protect the village.
This episode was short, sweet, and to the point. Because of this it has no real story meat just a lot of action. This isn’t in any way a bad thing at all it just a story the bridges the gap between the previous episode and the next one. Just like the ones before episode 3 has fantastic animation and with amazingly staged action scenes, making this story anything but boring. I felt that this episode’s biggest strength is that it got me excited for the next episode, which will mark the end of our first of three-story arcs this season.
And I thought- what better place to start is with the game that’s shown in the title card- Mappy! I could go on FOREVER about this game (a future Coin Up episode is happening!) as this game is in my top five of all time. But, for now, let’s talk about the AMAZING homebrew that released last year for the Atari 2600. And this system will come up a lot in this series- the is probably more home brews made for this system than any other. And for good reason- with sites like the amazing Atariage keeping the Atari flame glowing, more people are drawn to the system everyday- whether for childhood nostalgia, or for the first time enjoying the retro goodness. Also- because of guys like John W. Champeau, Nathan Strum, Mike Haas and Ross Keenum. Champeau’s name will come up so many times in this series. He’s the founder of Champ Games, one of the largest homebrew publishers on the site. His work goes back decades- I remember playing his version of Donkey Kong for the PC- Champ Kong back in the early 2000’s. And his love of classic arcade games knows no bounds. If there is a classic arcade game you love- he has more than likely created a home brew of it (EXCEPT Make Trax- PLEASE DO MAKE TRAX!) But, we’re here to talk about Mappy!
As with any homebrew, we gotta start with it’s inspiration- the arcade game. and what an original and fun game it is! Mappy hit arcades in the U.S. in 1983, where it found it’s audience quickly, but wasn’t as big of a hit as it should have been here- possibly due to the arcade industry seeing it’s first stumble, due to the game crash occurring at the same time. Many games released that year would suffer greatly because of this. Also hurting distribution was Bally (having severed ties with Midway that year- due to it’s buyout and absorption by Sega) wanting MORE Pac-Man titles- gave this a modest release. But- what stood out was the amazing cabinet- and it’s awesome marquee!
And the game play- Typical Namco magic! You’re a police mouse named Mappy. He has followed the Nyamco gang to the hideout after a huge heist- they got computers, safes, TVs, even the Mona Lisa! The house is anything but fun- there are trampolines to bounce to any floor in the place! And watch out- Boss Goro and his pose’ of Meowkys are ready to pounce you flat! With great level design, amazing music and a fun bonus round, this game is classic gaming at it’s finest!
Ok- now that we have got you into thew game, how does the Atari 2600 port fair? Awesome is the word I would use! Champeau and his team have done it again! In fact- this is my favorite arcade conversion for the 2600 so far!- just look at this!
The thing I like most about Champ Games, is their attention to detail. Everything is faithfully reproduced- the demo screen, authentic game sounds, all the items, characters and their movements, even the high scores are there! This homebrew is a Atari cartridge tour de force- on a system primarily designed to play PONG!
If you have ever bought anything from Atariage- you know that they are sticklers when it comes to authenticity. All box art, Instruction manuals, even the cartridge labels have to meet very strict standards. and the Mappy cartridge doesn’t disappoint- check this out!
So- if you have been looking for a great classic arcade game to put in your Atari VCS collection- Or wanting to start one from scratch, and are looking for a great game to begin with- you can’t go wrong with MAPPY!
Just go to the Atariage website HERE to get your own copy!
What do you think of Mappy? How about the Homebrew? Were you like me, and wished the was a version for your Atari back in ’83? Let me know in the comments!
NOW-stalgia on Disney+ is all about reviewing modern animated shows that you can find on the Disney+ streaming service.
Big City Greens Season One (2018)
The Green Family are simple farm folk who are having a hard time. So much so that Bill Green decides to sell the farm and move in with his grandmother. Along for the ride is Bill’s two kids Cricket and Tilly. Cricket is a high energy, super confident, and at times a bit too selfish but lovable kid and living in the city is what he’s really excited about. In contrast is his younger sister Tilly, while Tilly shares a mischievous side with Cricket she is much calmer and is more inclined to follow the rules. Together The Green Family has some fun and wacky adventure as they learn to adapt to their new surroundings.
In my opinion The Big City Greens is like an updated version of the classic television series, The Beverly Hillbillies mixed with character designs straight out of The Muppets. Not only is the character designs influenced by The Muppets but It’s humor is too, very smart, quirky, and imaginative. Another great thing but Big City Greens is the fact there is no season long narrative. Unlike shows like Gravity Falls or Big Hero 6 you can just kind of leave for a bit then come back to once you’re finished bingeing something else. It’s just a fun time as you watch and enjoy this family’s misadventures.
The only criticism I have is that of Cricket, while I don’t mind his character Cricket is very selfish which comes off as being a little of a jerk and almost being unlikable. Whether or not this is intentional by the writers or it’s just me but since he is the main character of the show and it can hurt my enjoyment of Cricket and be a little too much. These times however are few but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it. Altogether The Big City Greens is very fun and can laugh out loud funny and a great show to jump in and out of between other shows you can watch on Disney+.
Review grade for season one: B+
Amphibia Season One (2019)
After Anne is peer pressured into stealing and opening a weird music box, she is transported to a new world filled with intelligent Frogs, Toads, Newts,etc along with dangerous giant insects and birds. It’s here that Anne meets Sprig, a young and super energetic frog whom she befriends. Together with Sprig’s Grandpa Hop Pop and his younger tadpole sister Polly, Anne tried to live in this beautiful yet dangerous world while trying to find a way back home.
Since Amphibia’s announcement I’ve been very interested in seeing what kind of show this would be. It turns out it has similar humor and mystery as Gravity Falls with an interesting and unique world like Adventure Time. The main cast is also very interesting and I like that the writers are taking their time to get the audience to care for them even if this slows the story down a bit near the middle of the season. Other than that I feel this series has really great potential and has a very satisfying end to season one.
Review grade for season one: B+
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Click here for my review of Milo Murphy’s Law and season one of Big Hero Six The Series.
Click here to start reading the episode by episode review of Star Wars The Clone Wars as they air on Disney+
After the events at the end of episode one Anakin, Captain Rex, and The Bad Batch go to Skako Minor to see the source of where they believe The Separatist are getting their information from.
Episode two, titled “A Distant Echo” is a great continuation from episode one and builds on what was set up last week. Having a personal touch to the episode is what I really liked the most about it. Its hard to think of the Clones as nothing more than cannon fodder but the best thing about The Clone Wars is that by the end you really care for the Clones. Since The end game of the series is to hook up to Revenge of The Sith I liked that it took a moment to focus on Captain Rex and Anakin’s relationship as friends. Which may or may not play into the last arc of the series. Another pleasant surprise in this episode is that it took time to give us some more humor, which was a nice breather between the more action and dramatic scenes.
Lastly, I want to also compliment the animation again this time focusing on the facial expressions. They have come a long way since The Clones Wars Movie back in 2008 where they seemed kind of stiff. This episode showcases some of the subtlest of gestures from Anakin trying to tell Captain Rex something with is eyes to Obi-Wan not looking surprised at who Anakin is talking to in secret. All of this together makes a much more fluid and almost realistic way to connect to the characters. This story arc is really turning out to be a good one but the question is how does this tie in to the end? I guess we’ll just have to watch to find out.
Clone Wars is back with an impressive first episode of the last season. The title of the episode is The Bad Batch and introduces the viewers to Clone Force 99 aka The Bad Batch. They’re a group of mutated clones with abilities beyond that of normal clones. Their mission is to join Captain Rex and Commander Cody to find out why The Separatists keep countering all of Captain Rex’s Strategies. Can Rex and Cody work with a bunch of over the top mutated clones? And how are the Separatists getting their information?
The Bad Batch is a great start to the last season and I can’t wait to see how this arc ends and how it’s tied to the end of the series. In my opinion the two things that stood out were the animation and the voice work. First, the all-around presentation was gorgeous, especially the animation for the actions scenes. This is truly the best Clones Wars has ever looked. I loved a lot of the camera angles that they used which they would have never been able to do easily when the show first premiered. Second, the voice work on this episode is great since most of the characters are clones they are all voiced by the amazing Dee Bradley Baker. It consistently amazes me how he can voice each clone and give them the same voice while also making them sound distinct.
This season of The Clone Wars seems to have a strong beginning with The Bad Batch and I can’t wait to see what else this arc has in store as well as the rest of the season.