Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures Series Review: A Pac-Man Month Special

Reviewed by Joshua Jordan

Pacopolis is under constant attack by an army of ghost from the Netherworld and there’s only on yellow hero who can stop them, Pac-Man! Along with his friends Spiral and Cylindria and a slew of other allies Pac will have to face off against Lord Betrayus and his underlings to save the city and quite possibly all of PacWorld from certain doom.

Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures is a very interesting example in how to have a good foundation of a story but not use that foundation to an advantage. On the positive side this animated series looked pretty good. It had imaginative world that looked both colorful and bright but also used iconography from the real Pac-Man games as intricate designs for everything from the streets to the buildings. Another thing I enjoyed about the show is Pac-Man’s powers. I like how he eats different berries to gain different abilities and I also liked that his friends could eat them too but the berries effected them differently than Pac-Man. All of Pac-Man’s transformations look pretty cool even if they kind of looked like another round video game character named Kirby. One of the more unique aspects of show was a really good set up for the characters with compelling backstories that took a lot of great liberties that could have led to attention grabbing storytelling.

The negative side of Ghostly adventures is a lot of wasted potential. Something that could have been great but turned out not so much. The biggest problem I have with the show is that it never reaches its full potential story wise. Instead of building on the wonderful foundation that the creators of the show made with compelling backstories that could had led to potentially fascinating episodes. They almost completely ignore it and only refer to it occasionally. Another example is the humor. There is a lot of good jokes in this show that made me laugh. My problem is when they start focusing heavily on burp and fart jokes that over stay their welcome. Another good example of wasted potential is the animation. While the animation looks good at times the lip sync isn’t right and most of the time breaks the illusion. Finally, and I know this might seem like a minor gripe but the theme song isn’t good. A lot of shows have great theme songs that either set up the premise of the show or are such a great ear worm that you can consistently hum it to yourself. However Ghostly Adventures doesn’t have one, in fact, it seems like the theme was either thrown together quickly or edited so poorly that it just doesn’t work. So much so that I just tried to skip the theme song every time so I didn’t have to hear it. The Pac-Man games all have a wealth of amazing music and it would have been so much better if they’d just used one iconic tracks and just gave it a remix. As you can see Ghostly Adventures has a ton of wasted potential that stops it from being great.

Is Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures worth watching? If you’re a very young kid like five or six years old, the answer is yes. The colorful world and characters are enough to grab any young kid’s attention. For older kids and adults however I can’t really recommend it. Which is sad because of the potential you can see in the show. A potential that could have reached a wider audience with its story and characters. If you want to check it for yourself out the easiest way is to stream it on Netflix or watch it the reruns on Discovery Kids. There are better shows out there that masterfully bridge that gap between kids and adults but Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures isn’t one of them.

Series Review Score: C+

Clone Wars Season 7 – The Siege of Mandalore Part Three – Shattered: A NOW-stalgia on Disney+ Review

Review by Joshua Jordan

(Warning: slight spoilers for the episode as well as the series if you haven’t finish it)

Now that Ahsoka has captured Maul it’s time to bring him to the Jedi Council or at least that was the plan until Order 66. Now Ahsoka has to fight to survive as the clones that once served her are now trying to kill her. What will Ahsoka do?

The second the episode started you could feel that something was different. The music was different, there wasn’t much dialogue, and you could just feel it like a soda about to pop. Usually an audience already knowing what’s going to happen could potentially be a detriment to the story. Yet the biggest strength of this episode for the audience is the anticipation, it helps amp up the tension and drama. Once the chaos starts I thought it was going to transition into a race to survive and nothing but wall to wall action. Instead the episode actually takes some time to focus on our main characters and even uses very important things set up in earlier episodes to finally pay off in this one. My only complaint about the episode like previous reviews is that it ended with no resolution but luckily I won’t have to wait long to know the ending.

Episode Review Score: A+

Clone Wars Season 7 – The Siege of Mandalore Part One: Old Friends not Forgotten: A NOW-stalgia on Disney+ Review

Review by Joshua Jordan

(Warning: slight spoilers for the episode as well as the series if you haven’t finish it)

Obi-Wan and Anakin have just finished up an intense battle when an old friend calls for their help. That old friend being Ahsoka along with former Deathwatch member Bo-Katan who asks the Jedi if they can get help to stop Maul who has taken over Mandalore again. Just when the two Jedi consider to help they get another call saying that General Gervious has attacked Coruscant and intends to kidnap Palpatine. Anakin compromises and gives Rex a promotion and sends a large group to Mandalore while he and Obi-Wan go help the Chancellor. Will Ahsoka and her forces along with the small Mandalorian Force be able to stop Maul?

When art is given the full attention of the Artist it shows and this first episode of the last arc is a great example. That’s not to say that the other episodes of this season didn’t get any attention but I can definitely tell the full focus was on this last arc. The creators undeniably wanted this last arc to feel like a cinematic experience. Even from the first second of the episode where they played Ahsoka’s theme and had the classic Lucas Film logo to playing the original Star Wars Main theme as opposed to using the traditional Clone Wars version.

Another way you can tell is through nodes to other Star Wars Movies. Like at the end of the battle at the beginning as Anakin’s plan started to unfurl they used the same music as they did in Return of the Jedi when Luke save everyone from the sarlacc pit. Another good example is when Ahsoka first arrives on the Republic’s ship and it’s framed exactly like her very first appearance in the Clone Wars Movie.

Star Wars is known for its great action scenes and the creators made sure that this episode continued that tradition. From the very first battle at the top of the episode to the first battle over Mandalore. Incredible detail and care was given to each action scene. My favorite being any scene with Ahsoka fighting as you can see how far she has come since the beginning of the series.

All of this just shows how much the creators really wanted to make this something special. And their work was not in vain this episode by far is my favorite of this season and the only thing that I didn’t like was how abruptly it ended and how I have to wait another week before I can see the end

Episode Review Score: A+

Clone Wars Season 7 Episode 8 Review: NOW-stalgia on Disney+

Review by Joshua Jordan

(Warning: slight spoilers for the episode as well as the series if you haven’t finish it)

“You can change who you are, but you cannot run from yourself. “

When we last left Ahsoka and Martez Sisters their failed escape attempt landed them right back into the Pike Syndicate’s prison. However this time Ahsoka’s plan for escape is different and she urges the sisters to trust her. Ahsoka then makes a deal with the Pikes who send the Martez Sisters off to go get the promised spice. Will the Martez sisters get the spice or will they leave Ahsoka to the Pikes? And what is Ahsoka’s full plan?

Building a story arc is very tricky and the writers on Clone Wars have shown over and over that they are up to the task. This last piece of this arc is really well written and brings it to a very satisfying close.

And there are three reasons why I liked this episode. First this episode focused more on Ahsoka. I feel that the expectation for this whole arc was it would be focused on her but the first three episode were mainly focused on the new characters with very little time for Ahsoka herself. While I don’t consider it a bad thing or a strike against the last three episodes this one was different, it was all about Ahsoka. Her growth as a character with the realization that while not being part of the Jedi anymore the better parts of the Jedi’s teaching are still a part of her was a great next step in her characters evolution. My second reason is connections the larger galaxy. While I don’t believe that you always have to make connections to have a good Star Wars story it’s always nice when it can happen without taking away from the story the writers are trying to tell. A good example of this is when a certain character mentions Crimson Dawn introduced in Solo. Thirdly, this episode again like the last sets up for the next arc. Which is the arc that all fans of The Clone Wars, including myself, have been waiting for. I feel the writers knew this which is why they added these connections which I feel pay off explicitly in this episode. Whether or not those connections in this arc were originally intended I am not certain but I feel it works very well regardless.

As stated last week I don’t think the wider audience will like this story arc as a whole, but speaking for myself though I enjoyed it. Also I am both excited and sad that we are a week away from starting the last arc of The Clone Wars. Excited because I know of a few things that are going to happen but I am uncertain how we get there. Yet I am also sad because that means saying goodbye (for reals this time) to a series that I have loved for a long time. As they say though all good things must come to an end and I hope that this end will be one to remember.

Episode Review Score: A

Story Arc Review Score: B+

DuckTales Season 2 and Star vs The Forces of Evil Reviews: NOW-stalgia on Disney+

Review by Joshua Jordan
NOW-stalgia on Disney+ is all about reviewing modern animated shows that you can find on the Disney+ streaming service.

DuckTales: Season 2 (2018)

Scrooge McDuck is the richest Duck in the world and a world famous treasure hunter. Along with some of his family Donald, Huey, Dewey, Louie, his maid Mrs. Beakley and her niece Webby, there is no treasure too hard to find or an ancient city too hidden to find.

I grew up with the original DuckTales and I was amazed how great season one of the reboot was. Season two continues this trend with great episodes and a great season story arc that comes to a satisfying end. I love both the legacy characters brought back with a slight twist and the new characters they introduce. Everything about this show is so much better than it should be. You can tell the writers have a love for the original while putting a new spin and update to the rebooted cannon. I can’t wait till next season where according to reports is going to add a plethora of characters from the original Disney Afternoon characters like Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers and Goofy from Goof Troop. Let’s hope that the great story telling continues with all of these new characters.

Review grade for season two: A+

Star vs The Forces of Evil: Entire Series (2015)

Star Butterfly is a Princess from another dimension known as the Kingdom of Mewni. After turning 14 she is given the royal magic wand which she immediately shows She is not entirely ready to use responsibility. So her parents do the only sensible thing and dump her on Earth to learn how to use her powers. There she meets Marco, a guy who likes to keep his life clear of any danger, orderly, and without too much excitement. Once Star comes into his life though everything is turned upside down. Through their adventures they encounter different dimensions, different foes to fight, and uncover the dark past of the Butterfly royal line.

At first glance this show is weird and trippy similar to Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time. It even has a similar progression as the show goes on the world gets bigger as you uncover more secrets. More than anything however Star is a love letter to what is known as the Magical Girl sub-genre of anime that include shows like Sailor Moon or Cardcaptor Sakura. You can definitely see the influence all over the show’s design and even story structure. I feel that Star’s biggest strength is in its main cast. They really make you feel for every character and give a lot of them interesting character arcs. My only problem with the show is near the end where it seemed to have stretched the story out too far and I lost some of my interest till the very end. Finally, I am aware that a lot of fans were not pleased with the series’ end but in my opinion (without spoiling it) I feel it was both wacky and heartfelt. To summarize Star vs The Forces of Evil is a wacky and interesting series with interesting characters and story arcs that can delight a lot of people but not please everyone and is perfect for binging.

Review grade for the entire series: B

Liked these reviews? Then check out our others
Click here for my review of Milo Murphy’s Law and season one of Big Hero Six The Series.
Click here for my review of Big City Greens Season One and Amphibia Season One.
Click here to start reading the episode by episode review of Star Wars The Clone Wars as they air on Disney+

Clone Wars Season 7 Episode 7 review: NOW-stalgia on Disney+

Review by Joshua Jordan

(Warning: slight spoilers for the episode as well as the series if you haven’t finish it)

“Who you were does not have to define who you are. “

Ahsoka and Martez Sisters are in the Pike Syndicate’s prison. While in the cell Ahsoka and Rafa are blaming each other for their current situation. After Rafa accuses Ahsoka of sounding like a Jedi it prompts Ahsoka to ask why they hate the Jedi so much and Rafa tells her about their past. Not long after Rafa’s story ends The Pikes start torturing the girls to tell them were the spice is. When Trace is lead to the torture chamber she is able to trick the guards and escape. Meanwhile Ahsoka decides to use The Force and escape. Once reunited they try to find a way off the planet. Will our Ahsoka and friends find their way off planet or will the Pikes capture them again?

The last episode didn’t have any action but this episode very much made up for it while still giving a bit more background on the Martez Sisters and why they don’t trust anyone especially the Jedi. I liked how their back story, which I won’t spoil here, connects to events that happened earlier in The Clone Wars series and showed that there are consequences for every decision. I also liked how this episode started setting up for what I believe will be the next and last arc of the series. My only let down for this episode was the ending which almost makes the adventure fruitless if not for the great action and character growth. I feel that a lot of people had very different expectations for this arc and because of those expectations a lot of people are not liking it. However I feel that I can’t fully judge it until all the pieces are in place. So we’ll see how this arc ends next week.

Episode Review Score: A

Clone Wars Season 7 Episode 6 Review: NOW-stalgia on Disney+

Review by Joshua Jordan

“Mistakes are valuable lessons often learned too late.”

(Warning: minor spoilers for the episode)

Last week introduced the Martez Sisters Trace and Rafa whom Ahsoka helped them out of a jam. Now Rafa decides to hire Trace for a big transporting job with her ship The Silver Angel. Ahsoka wants to keep an eye on her new friends so she also decides to tag along. It turns out that the big job is transporting spice from the planet of Kessel. This worries Ahsoka because nothing good can come from transporting spice and more importantly it seems her friend Trace is really ignorant to the wider Galaxy. Will they end up transporting the spice safely? Or are the Martez Sisters in over their heads?

This episode was a pretty interesting as it was one of the very few that didn’t have any action or fighting in it because it was more of a character driven story. While I would have liked it to focus more on Ahsoka herself it mainly focuses on the Martez Sisters and who they are. I feel that the sisters are interesting characters and show us the viewer a little of the part of the Star Wars Galaxy that we very rarely see, the everyday people. This has given these last two episodes a kind of unique feel to it. I also want to mention Anakin’s cameo that he has in this episode as it is definitely one of my favorite scenes. This scene is kind of call back to a scene from Return of The Jedi which I won’t spoil here if your reading this before you watch the episode but if you’re a Star Wars fan you’ll know what I am talking about. Third thing I liked about the episode, I really liked seeing the planet Kessel again which was last seen in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Since Solo is one of my favorite Star Wars movies any shout out to it makes me happy plus we get to see a whole different side of the planet too.

While I thought the pacing of the episode was kind of slow and there wasn’t any action or fighting. I understand that these are only because this episode is character driven and not every episode has to have fighting in it. Regardless this episode did keep me engaged and interested.  

Episode Review Score: A