Showing posts with label Martial arts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Martial arts. Show all posts

Sclash: Don't underestimate this 2D Samurai fighting game + the First 30!


Slice Into Sclash - The Tense 2D Samurai Fighter Available Now

PC Version Also Gets New Sakura DLC Today in This Unique Hand-Drawn Fighter

Console players can now experience the exhilarating tension of samurai duels, as the critically acclaimed 2D fighting game Sclash slashes its way onto Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S! Developed by Bevel Bakery and published by Maximum Entertainment and Abiding Bridge, Sclash brings the art of sword combat to life with gorgeous hand-drawn characters battling across stunningly painted environments.

In Sclash, a single well-timed strike can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Players must carefully manage their stamina and breathing while sizing up opponents, looking for the perfect opening to unleash a deadly blow. With an intuitive yet supremely skill-testing combat system, Sclash captures the patient lethality and solemn drama of traditional samurai duels.

"We wanted to recreate the intense psychological warfare and surgical precision of real sword fighting in a way that was both accessible and endlessly rewarding to master," said Yuki Morimoto, lead developer at Bevel Bakery. "Sclash's deceptively simple controls belie an incredibly deep combat system that forces you to be hyper aware of everything from your spacing to your breath control."

Fun fact: Our dojo was split between karateka like myself... who were learning Uechi Ryu, and the other half were Kendo & Iaido. So while we were empty handed, they had (wooden) swords outside of certain occassions where non-battle ready blades came out for demonstration. Good times. -  Blu 

While the game may seem minimalist on the surface, players can take their skills online and duke it out against other samurai masters from around the world. There's also an immersive story mode that fleshes out the conflict between the warring Aki and Natsu clans through the lens of Japanese culture and history.

Perhaps Sclash's most stunning feature, though, is the breathtaking hand-drawn visual style that brings the characters and environments to life. Each of the 5 playable samurai characters and their 50+ unlockable skins has been painstakingly animated frame-by-frame, while the 16 battleground stages look like living Japanese ink-brush paintings. It's a real feast for the eyes.

The storymode is badass. Really look at the environment when you're in the heat of battle (especially the boss battles) and remind yourself that it's... hand drawn. I have to share this one with my Renshi, and i'm sure our Kyoshi would've been impressed. HAJIME! -  Blu 

To celebrate the console launch, Maximum Entertainment is also releasing the "Sakura" DLC for the existing PC version of Sclash today. This new add-on content includes two new customization items inspired by the iconic Japanese cherry blossom imagery.

Since first releasing on PC back in August 2023, Sclash has cultivated a passionate following among fighting game enthusiasts who appreciated its unique spin on the genre's fundamentals. With its easy-to-learn but insanely difficult-to-master mechanics and stunning visual style, it quickly established itself as an under-the-radar gem.

Now, with Sclash finally making the leap to consoles, an even wider audience can discover the unparalleled tension and exquisite artistry of this new take on samurai sword-fighting games. Grab your controller of choice, steady your breath, and prepare to put your focus and reflexes to the ultimate test against worthy foes. Just don't blink, or it may be Sclashed!

If it were me, I'd hold game tournaments at dojos, but... that's just me. HAJIME! -  Blu 

 + Blu 

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First 30: Trek To Yomi

As a vow to his dying Master, the young swordsman Hiroki is sworn to protect his town and the people he loves against all threats. Faced with tragedy and bound to duty, the lone samurai must voyage beyond life and death to confront himself and decide his path forward.

Who is Chun Li?

Chun‐Li's actual name is Mandarin; Chun means "spring", Li means "beautiful", so she can actually be considered... the beauty of spring or a beautiful spring. She's the very first female character in Capcom's Street Fighter franchise. Chun-Li was introduced in 1991's Street Fighter II and... remained the only female character in Street Fighter until 1997's Street Fighter III: New Generation. 

Now... before you get ready to try and argue that down, remember... this is the main Street Fighter franchise. Of course, you have Street Fighter Alpha, but we aren't talking spin-offs (even though I love it and still own it on the PS1).

Chun-Li came into the game on a mission to avenge her father after the notorious psycho-powered M. Bison and his Shadaloo soldiers took him out. The other players were cool, but what also got my attention was that she was also an undercover Interpol agent. Her father was also in law enforcement and taught her martial artists, which she continued the trend by teaching young children after she temporarily retired. She put the badge back on when one of her students was abducted.

I still think that Capcom should do a fully animated film around Chun-Li's come up because her story is just that interesting, they could do it for them all but... I just think it would be solid. I'm not hating on Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, but... I want a full-fledged animation that gives the beauty of spring... justice!

After Street Fighter II rose to fame, Chun‐Li became one of gaming's most well-known characters and is depicted in some of the series' side projects, including films, comic books, and merchandise.

How many of you tried to do her kicks in real life? Come on... be honest. Oh, by the way, her qipao is worn to pay tribute to her late more who passed away when she was a child.

While not as actually amazing as different characters, Chun‐Li was by a wide margin the speediest. - Chika

I disagree with this comment from Chika. Chun-Li has an awesome skillset and in the right hands, she can dominate in tournaments. I'm not even saying that to diss any of your favorite Street Fighter characters, but... she has a solid skillset too, and she's easy on the eyes for plenty of gamers.

When it comes to her looks, her physique is actually based on the other characters (in the beginning). Initially, she was designed to look strong so that it would make sense to have her in Street Fighter taking on the male competition.

She got thicker in the thighs in later installments because the character designer is into thick women and is attracted to the thighs like Chun-Li has. Nothing wrong with that, a variety in character body types goes a long way and gives motivation to women and girls who may have a similar body type.

Overall, Chun-Li is a kickass character able to hold her own in a fight and definitely represents one of the good gals when it comes to fighting against the baddies. Hopefully the first lady of Street Fighter can get her own anime film showing her back story from the ups and downs in childhood, leaning Kempo, becoming an Interpol agent, growing up with her dad taking on Shadaloo, avenging her dad and training children in martial arts. Maybe we'll get something like that one of these days but in the mean time... game on.

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Never Back Down: Revolt... Reviewed + Director Interview!

Shout out to Sony Pictures for providing access to this film for our recent interview with the Director! My opinions of this film are my own.

Never Back Down: Revolt... didn't follow the storyline of Case Walker (played by Michael Jai White) seen in parts 2 & 3, it's a completely new direction in the franchise. It's actually the first female-focused film in the franchise, and it was cool that they reached out to Kellie Madison to direct it. Before the arm bars, clinches, and snap kicks start flying... let's jump in.

Story: Never Back Down: Revolt... doesn't take the traditional route of ambitious MMA fighters looking to be part of the action, it takes a super-serious turn. I won't say it started off like that, but... one thing led to another, and... a human trafficking situation took place with Anya (played by Olivia Popica). So then she went from being the sister of a dedicated MMA fighter to an MMA herself (by force). Anya was actually a medical student by day... and worked her way through school as a cleaning woman. So to go from that to MMA as a prisoner... was certainly hell.

Things got a tad sad in this one fight, which I won't spill the beans on, but... I think that was the final straw before all hell broke loose to kick off the... revolt. Things got a little gruesome during that time, but... when you watch the film... you'll understand why. As far as being stuck only seeing the inside of some makeshift prison and fights... no need to worry, there are a few moving parts that keep things interesting. Anya's brother didn't just disappear from the story, he's hellbent on getting his sister back... so you see them working together in a sense as he gets on his detective grind to recover his sister.

Overall, I think the story is well-rounded with a cool symbolic closer at the end (it wasn't cheesy), and... I can't forget about the fact that they didn't spoon-feed the audience which was greatly appreciated.

Visuals: The visuals were okay in this film. Most of the shots were medium, medium close-up shots, and full shots. I don't recall seeing many other angle types outside of the birds-eye view of stairs and a few long shots, but... there may have been pedestal down shots in there somewhere.

Audio: The audio was... okay. It wasn't bad, but I don't recall anything that really stood out, to be honest... but I do have some audio for you in the form of an interview with the director. She has some motivational words for you too! Press play (this is Dolo17's first official interview)!

Price: Never Back Down: Revolt is available on DVD for $12.96 and Blu-Ray + Digital for $14.95... which is the best deal IMO.

Overall, does Never Back Down: Revolt hold true to the NBD Franchise? I think so, because if you look at previous installments (although not as gruesome)... they have their own storylines... and this delivers yet another storyline starring a female protagonist. I think there's room for another installment as long as it makes sense. It was easier with Case Walker because you knew where the transition could go... as far as the trainer getting back into the octagon, so I'd be curious where Anya would go from here.

Story 4

Visuals 4

Audio 4

Price 5

4.25 out of 5 Cool Points

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Batwoman: The Complete Second Season... Reviewed!

I would like to start off by thanking Warner Bros for a copy of this product. The opinions in this review are my own.

Before I dive in, I just want to start off by saying... (hmmm) after the initial Batwoman/Kate Kane (played by Ruby Rose) walked away from the show, I was wondering if they'd be able to bring the show back. This is a review for the second season so... they were able to deliver a second time around, but is it any good or any better? Let's find out.

Season 2 Story: Batwoman: The Complete Second Season started out a little cheesy (not going to lie), but there were parts I appreciated in the season opener. Ryan Wilder (played by Javicia Leslie) didn't just pop up knowing how to be a superhero, she tried to take on some baddies and... fumbled.

I didn't applaud the fumble just to... applaud the fumble, I applauded the fact that they kept it a bit more realistic (in that regard). Honestly, no one is just going to grab a Batsuit and just become a certified superhero knowing all there is to know as soon as they suit up (or sign me up). In the opening fight, the new Batwoman did manage to get the best of the baddies, and... I appreciated the win even more because she was still guessing her way through it. She told a baddie that she didn't know what would happen if she shot something out of one of her gloves, and I just think it's cool to see that starting point on the path of Super Hero badassness.

So, we're in the second season with an all-new Batwoman, and we're already one fight in... but I was wondering how the new Batwoman would be tied in with the existing cast. I have to say that outside of the slight layer of cheese (as mentioned above), the transition to the new actress was well played.

I don't want to spill the beans when it comes to everything that occurred for Ryan to find the Batsuit, but to find the suit laid out all nice and neat, was funny to me. You'll have to see what happened to see what I mean, but I was like... seriously?!

It didn't ruin the show for me though (or even the episode), it was just a slice of cheese thrown in there. I will say that her obtaining the suit could've been a bit more creative though, but they tied part of her story in there... so I let it go.

The part of the show that made it more interesting for me was how Ryan and Alice were connected to make it make even more sense. She had no choice but to encounter... The Bat Team, but I was curious as to how Alice would actually matter to Ryan since they aren't related (unlike Kate), but the writers pulled it off.

Their initial interaction occurred when Ryan Wilder got a new apartment. Ryan's adopted mom was helping her move into her place and something occurred that changed the hero and her mom's life forever (which was kinda sorta Alice's fault). So Ryan already had that situation change the course of her family's life, and then she gets her hands on the Batsuit which gave her this newfound confidence in her ability to... get revenge.

So she basically found the suit and it was on from there, but little did she know, there was someone also looking for Batwoman (or ummm more so the Batsuit). The second season started off with a... bang... Boom... POW and it didn't lose steam... because there were multiple villains featured throughout! 

Spoiler alert, that includes the CROWS! Dun Dun Duuuunnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!

Before I move on, I want to talk about Ryan Wilder. Ryan reminds me of a young woman unsure of herself. She did her best in the Batsuit while making noticeable progress through her first season's journey, and was relatable to a degree. Life dealt her a bad hand (along with discrimination), and then she ended up down on her luck looking for jobs to get by. Most of the heroes I know... were usually wealthy or at least had a really nice paying job. 

That's not the life for the majority of people, so I feel that a good amount of viewers will be able to relate in some form or fashion. Javicia gets a solid thumbs up because it felt believable, though I was annoyed that I wasn't seeing more variations in martial artist action based on Ryan's background. Writers, come on! There is a lot of fighting, but full-blown fight scenes that showcased martial arts styles, not so much.

I have to point out one thing that I didn't like about Batwoman, which was the whole voice thing. Her voice was being disguised in a different way starting out the season, and then they switched it up and gave her a deeper voice. I would love for them to switch it back because it's just, weird and it fluctuated at times in my opinion.

Anyway, she still gives off that scared young woman vibe during certain times, but she stands strong in other instances. I would say that it's interesting to see her switch up like that, but no one is one way all the time, and you get adjusted to her personality for the most part as she comes into her own. They need to make sure that's steady though, you can't just fight off a bunch of enemies and then you catch L's from others. If you're able to dodge a similar punch from a henchman, then why is a villain able to connect with the same punch? I know it's just a show, but... the little things go a long way. This is just a little something I would like for the writers to consider, if it requires the choreography to be taken up a notch... then so be it.

Let's get back to that part of whether the second season was better than the first or not. Hmmm, I'd have to say that I like the second season better (Kate was stiff in my opinion, and I'm not saying that because of popular opinion... she just was... to me). One thing that I do miss about season one is I really enjoyed those scenes with Alice... a lot better than the ones I see her in now. She had her own visually appealing world.

I don't know why, but even if she's still tough, they've watered her down a tad. I don't want my Gotham Villains changed into tamed badasses. I won't say that it was completely a bad thing, but she wasn't as cold-hearted and cutthroat as she was in season one and lost a bit of her luster. Certain things would happen on a show that requires character development for reoccurring roles, so I try to understand... but it gave me a newfound respect for some of the villains in shorter roles. I won't completely dump on Alice as more of her backstory unlocks to connect the dots (which is still interesting), but I really liked how they delivered the character in season one.

This is Alice being... Alice in season 2.

Victor Zsasz made his way into this season of Batwoman, and I'm positive that the majority of you will enjoy the crap out of just how well Alex Morf played the part of Zsasz. Zsasz is badass in a deadly... yet... sarcastic way that works well, and I really wish that he was one of those regulars that popped up from time to time (so he wouldn't get stale) because the actor knocked it out of the park.

I'm glad he was featured in season two instead of season one because I really don't think the dynamic between Kate and Victor would've been as good. The part where he was making drinks was hilarious because he went threat level red out of nowhere forcing Ryan to get the hell out of dodge... and that had villain written all over it. You see other villains featured in this season (like the Black Mask, Cluemaster, and others), but Victor Zsasz took the cake.

If you need a good reason to check out season 2, Zsasz would be it. I do have to give the The Bat Team vs Crows episodes their credit because those were good too and they touched on some serious issues.

Overall, there was a lot going on in season 2, and it kept things feeling... fresh for the most part. I won't get into how they worked things out with Kate Kane, but you can expect a new hero outside of Batwoman and new villains to emerge in season 2. They ended on a note that felt complete... but those new villains definitely gear you up for what season 3 has in store.

Visuals: Visuals consisted of a lot of the eye & hip level shots + ground level and low angle shots used when the time was right. I saw an aerial shot here or there also... like the one where snakebite zombies were snacking on someone they pulled out of a van. Yeah, there was a lot going on in season too, and the shots remained nice and crisp throughout. Last but not least, you had the expected overhead shots which included Batwoman shooting her grappling hook in the air (to grab on to I don't know what at that angle) to scale buildings.

Visuals are served up in 1080p HD

Audio: Audio was clean, and sounds damn good with the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. There were plenty of explosions, gunfire, thumps, and other enjoyable sounds to enhance your viewing experience... which I won't even say are getting the justice they should on standard TV speakers. Sorry (not sorry) to a certain associate in the IT field, but... that doesn't compare to surround sound... ever.

DTS-HD Master Audio:
 This is the top dog of DTS audio formats, and can be thought of as DTS’s equivalent to Dolby’s TrueHD. Master Audio provides up to 7.1 channels of uncompressed surround-sound audio. - Home Theater For Dummies, 3rd Edition

Price: Batwoman: The Complete Second Season smashes its way in at $44.98 on Blu-ray & $39.99 on DVDAs always, we provide links so that you can save on new releases (when possible).

Season 2 features:

18 Episodes

9 Deleted Scenes

Specials Features:

  • Villains Analyzed - Take a deeper look at the Season 2 villains - from Safiyah to ruthless crime boss Black Mask and the False Face Society to sadistic Victor Zsasz - who intend to shake Gotham to it's core.
  • Never Alone: Heroes and Allies - Every Super Heroes has help in the flight for truth and justice. Explore the evolution of their greatest allies, all heroes in their own right.
  • Gag Reel

Story 5

Visuals 5

Audio 5

Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points

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