Recent Movie Reviews

Yu-Gi-OH! Heart of my Cards Yu-Gi-OH! Heart of my Cards

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Jesus christ. It's magnificent.

Also, holy shit, that sphere kuriboh and tragedy combo. Someone's been playing duel links.

WHOOKOS - Episode: 2 WHOOKOS - Episode: 2

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

I think this is torn in consistency of quality, but absolutely, 100% keep making these. I wanna get into what I liked, what I feel could use work, and generally what kind of impression I got from this. I hope it can be constructive, but there's a lot of good going for this.

I kinda feel like the length of the production has severely damaged a lot of "getting everything just right" and perfectionism involved, in the spirit of just getting the damn thing made. To be honest, it's a tough call, but it's the right call to be made, if this is indeed what kinda went on. I subbed after the first episode 3 years ago, so when I saw WHOOKOS episide 2 I exclaimed "holy shit, took long enough" out loud... I feel bad that was my reaction in retrospect, because this is god damned 10 minutes of content. That's one hell of a lot of length for what we usually see in NG, and I love that on its own.

Things that I enjoyed about this:
-The way characters have unique color schemes, facial shapes, often voice actors, and so forth. I think it's very easy to get stuck to one style and struggle to add variety to how characters appear on canvas. As a character's role should stand out, so should this be reflected visually, literally adding visible difference between characters. In this regard, I admire the diversity greatly.
-I found myself entertained consistently, and curious as to what occurred within the frame, although not super deeply at one point in time. The story is a bit freeflow, which has its own tradeoffs just kinda being less cookie cutter and more a casual series of events.
-The diversity of angles and the work with backgrounds/environment. I know this falls under art once again, but there's a difference between being able to draw or present something in the first place, and being able to draw or present something in an immersive 3d space, and have it all work, despite changes in angles and perspective. I fucking suck ass at drawing at multiple angles, so you sir are already leagues above what my artistic ability may ever be. Personal props for that one.
-Solid voice acting delivery, and unique writing. The writing was nothing so exceptional as to make me demand you win awards for it, but the voice acting within the writing helped sell it greatly. I feel the chemistry was more vivid than most VA jobs, and the ways characters expressed their role in sound as well as the previously listed function and art really does complete the trinity of selling the protagonists, and even the she-antagonist later.

Stuff I'd consider working with:
-Fight Choreography. I found myself kinda in disbelief at some of this, to be honest. Choreography for action is no easy task. I've spoken with other animators about this, and I've seen many excellent products lack this bulletin point almost exclusively, being the only noticeable tarnish on a product. What is presented here has a distinct style and its own artistic "showmanship" with how the struggles play out. There's a soul in this, and that's undeniable, however, when I see a guy get punched in the back of the head (IRL, that's the kind of shit that could kill you or put you in a wheelchair) and just shrug it off, then elbow a dude and pwn him several times harder, I'm kinda bewildered. The only explanation is the guy who got hit is just that hard headed, and the protagonists are blatantly stronger than their enemies. That often is what they should be, but in a less overt way, for a truly satisfying back and forth. Equally, the back and forth between the pros and the chick was there much more so, she clearly not being such a throw away. However, I found the fight to be more about knockback and repetition, and less about actually producing an effect and feeling powerful. If the knockback is truly off the charts, it kind of desensitizes itself to "people just weigh nothing" in my mind, so for me this was a bit of a downside. And I KNOW that asking for a back and forth and more power in succession is evil, since it demands both more quantity and more time, care, and quality, respectively. I distinctly feel you learned a lot on this project and were pushing your skills greatly to produce the best rendition of what you imagined. That's how you do it. Challenge yourself, make what you did before look easy, and keep growing your skills, win or lose.
-Speaking of which, some strike angles during the action seemed too short or too awkward, mostly due to camera space and start pose vs end pose for the characters. Not much to say about this one, but while some weren't the best, most were plenty acceptable, so this is a relatively small issue, proportionally.
-This one's REALLY getting nitpicky, but having an all guy squad, followed by an evil she lady just feels weird. Concept of sexism irrelevant, it's odd to see the lady posed as A. the first non-sausage, B. a thing of beauty, and C. a thing of inexplicably high power all within a very short frame. If more women had existed, A would be off my list. If one of the guys hadn't hit on her first thing, B would be off my list, but TBH that made sense based on his character and deepened it, so this is far from a sin. And if the combat wasn't so numerically disproportionate, and as I got the vibe, "floaty", C would've been greatly mitigated. Any one or even two of these I could live with, but I feel it was a lot out of left field in how it painted several aspects all in one place. By comparison, the thug guys seemed even more mundane, although some mediocrity is obviously embedded into their character, for scaling with the fight with the lady. Tough calls all around.

I am not exceptionally entertained by this piece, but its role as art is undeniable, and its ability to grow more entertaining as your craft and experience both grow is thrilling. Whatever you do, don't stop doing what you love, and don't stop trying to push into new frontiers. I'm already seeing some great growth in the frame, and you have my interest locked in, without a doubt.

A good, fairly original product. Want to see more in the future.
7/10, 4/5, ~WCCC

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Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Shit. I just realized that 10 years later, I still stay "Let's make like a tree and get the fuck out of here." Some things stick with you forever, and tankmen is definitely one of them.

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Recent Game Reviews

Leap Jet Bear Leap Jet Bear

Rated 4 / 5 stars

You know, I feel the experience is 50/50. Overall very good, don't be deceived, but I feel like there's some drawbacks to be had.

Let me just open with praise. Great music, great sounds, great visuals, original concepts, EXCELLENT level design, and a good breadth of content. It's masterpieces like this that make me dig around in the platformer section of NG to begin with. I could not rate this piece anything less than 8/10 on a clean conscious as proof of how damn good this piece is at its core.

The problem for me is style and philosophy. It gets hard as all hell. Borderline impossible in some feets. I'm straight up resigning on level 17 due to my dry eyes and cramped as hell wrists.

My single biggest gripe: Memorization and stealth spikes.

The timed spikes are one thing, but the proximity spikes have fast deploy times (needing to reaction in over 1/4 of a second or so is simply fatal, if even that), completely invisible nature, and eventual spam-tacular overuse simply grows absurd. I'm fine with a few levels using it, or maybe once or twice per level, but it just grows to a point where every other place you could set foot suddenly decides to murder you completely and utterly without warning.

That's fine, but they start appearing in places that are central to any kind of reprieve, or places where danger is not a theme. Adding a need to remember one trap laid out near blue switch X just makes you die and restart.

Does it add to the game's lifetime? Sure. But does it add any fun or true challenge outside of memory? Not really, in my honest opinion. And that's what gets me. I'm being kicked to curb out of almost pure sadism, and I get nothing in return out of the trade. Maybe it's just my tastes expecting something else, but for me this is a constant nuisance.

Secondarily: Long, long stretches of actions with no reprieve. I have never seen a platformer with as long of rapid fire hazards as this. It gets to be very exhausting, and you want a moment to catch your breath and recenter yourself, but that ends up not being given for considerable expanses of space. Moreover, even if it just comes down to memorizing it all, doing a few dozen chain actions to clear an area over 20 seconds requires immense focus and quite frankly leaves me wanting to blink one hell of a lot. It just ends up drying out my eyes more than I feel overtly challenged. It's really a cramp in how much I get into things before just feeling that the insanity is growing oversaturated. And after you clear one of these giant reflex piles? Well, you can bet there's another one waiting for you of comparable length.

Truth be told I'd love to keep digging into this game, but it's very taxing on the wrists and comfort to keep pursuing, and everything that goads me on to keep pressing myself just gets met with a lot of small annoyances that drive me further away.

I imagine I am the exception, but either way it's a good piece at it's core.

8/10, 4/5 ~WCCC

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Traps Tower Traps Tower

Rated 2 / 5 stars

Dear god, man.

I hate to be rude, and I'll try to stay constructive. Seems like there's a good game to be had under the cover, but the INSTANT this game begins I am somehow getting a frame every second. Takes most of a minute just for the elevator to bring the guy up to level 1. Once playing, oddly, it runs at a less impaired rate, then takes most a minute to leave the elevator and so on.

I WANT to stay constructive, just like I'd WANT to actually play this game, but quite frankly this piece is so overtly dysfunctional that I cannot reinforce its negatives with positives or more detailed critique.

All I can tell you is that you need to pray to jesus for optimization, because it would take a miracle to turn this piece around. Whatever you're doing in a platformer, I guarantee you it should NOT run this slowly or anywhere close.

My advice, look at things as in depth as you can for cleaner, more optimized alternate solutions, or maybe start reading some books on code. I am amazed at how unplayable this is for such a minimalist concept it seems to be.

Right now this game somehow manages to use more of my processor than Zombidle running sloth's form, keeping in mind that game is actively calculating god knows how many digits of math operations 10-20 times a second.

Sorry man. 2/5 for effort, but that's all I can give this.

Big Tower Tiny Square Big Tower Tiny Square

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Good game. Outright sadistic in many senses, but a fun concept done in a way that accelerates at a reasonable pace.

That being said, my main gripe seems to be that FPS tanks sometimes and it makes controls less than responsive. It's a really subtle tanking, no more than 10-20 frames less per second, but it's definitely there. Thought it was me being tired last night, so I logged back on this morning, lo and behold I'm seeing it crop up a lot, especially near turrets in particular. Maybe an iterator that's too hefty? I can gauge it pretty well by jumping up and down a few times, and seeing how smooth the transition is.

That being said it's otherwise solid. The control hangups are pissing me off more than anything, but slowly progressing due to sheer luck and persistence.

Recent Audio Reviews

St. Death St. Death

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

A very madness combat esque feel to this one. You've striken both my nostalgia and musical tastes in one blow, good sir.

A bit short, perhaps, but excellent material for sure.

RealFaction responds:

Thank you! I've actually made songs about Madness before many times and participated in contests but funny enough this wasn't one of them. But does have that vibe haha. Thank you! Yeah it's short because it's just a 1 minute commission but I'd love to expand on it someday with vocals. :)

Talking Real - Questions (S1E5) Talking Real - Questions (S1E5)

Rated 5 / 5 stars

The secret to the modern existence is nobody is truly self-sufficient. Everyone needs a shoulder to lean on, a backboard to drop words to, and someone to ease their burdens when they aren't able to handle them themselves.

I'm one of those disorder guys, too, so I know how it goes.

I'm also a guy who really enjoys partaking in hobbies. I have for 9 years now, aged 22. I do some rocking code work, some okay writing, some really shit tier art. I found such hobbies amidst coming to terms with my disorders at about age 12 to 13 roughly.

Before then, I hated who I was. Partially, because I was a real diamond in the rough when I was young, but partially because I felt I lacked character and purpose. I had no accomplishments to call my own, and exchange I felt I inconvenienced people to keep me chugging along in my daily, mundane life.

But that's not true. After finding a hobby, I had work I loved doing and small, tangible products (including many unfinished ones I still enjoyed doing and people enjoyed the concept of) I enjoyed releasing. Having even just that one thing I can pat myself on the back on (which to be honest, is really, truly only coding) made a huge difference to my mood, because it's infinitely more than zero.

I'm still not self sufficient and things still aren't easy for me. But by now I take pride in myself as a person, and not by accomplishments, but because I'm still in the game. I've been handed shit cards in life for a game that's been very unrewarding, but on the whole I've kept my poker face and hung in as long as I could.

That's the funny thing, the thing that I thing is most iconic about a true fighter isn't their face or their scars, it's their spirit. The one thing you can't imitate. The one thing you can't fake. As strange as it is, just being in the game for this long is an accomplishment on its own, I have to acknowledge. If you had told me 9 years ago I've been through all the challenges I have, and come out in one piece on the other end? I'd have called bullshit. I'd have said that's just not something I was capable of... but here I am anyways.

Happiness is the greatest con of all time. Cake is delicious, but eating it doesn't truly fulfill happiness. It's that one moment where you chew what's in your mouth and enjoy it for what it is, but not have to say you'll enjoy it because it's cake and you went out of your way to reach the objective of eating it.

Likewise, if you have fun making music, listening to music, engaging with people on and off the subjects of your hobby(s), you are more fulfilled than most people in life, even if you don't see it like that. Chasing success or money isn't bad. It's a remotely tangible promise that things get better and good times are ahead... but they aren't a necessity. They're cake. You want that cake so bad, but maybe the cake's not truly as fun as it first seems, dare I say.

There are lots of people who don't know that there are hobbies they can have, crafts they can pour themselves into like molds of a person's soul, or that there are other things to fulfill one in life other than the capitalistic American dream. I pity the man who goes through life trying to achieve that moment of happiness in someone else's game plan, when he could have been taking holidays off to polish some replica ducks in his garage, if he did so choose.

If he loves collecting ducks, who's to say that that momentary happiness isn't as good as any other achieved kind of happiness? As long as you stopped and did something you enjoyed along the way, I'd say the trip of life was well worth it.

If it's a matter of security, the SS thing sounds like it's suiting. If you've tried to play the game to your ability, but you can't get places everyone else seems to go, don't sweat it. I've put myself through several laps of trying to do college classes, but the classes themselves are enough to break me clean in two on occasion. Maybe you just have limits. I know I do. Doing what is objectively best for yourself and matching to the situation at hand is never shameful. There's never shame in the truth.

Maybe even your Mom could feel more at ease not having to worried what would happen if she wasn't there to support you one day. I know I get thoughts like that in my life's setup, and it's an uneasy thought indeed I admit. I don't want to pry into that too much if it's a touchy subject or I'm overstepping my bounds, but that's my 2 cents on that bulletin point.

On the topic of feelings, I hate to be a pessimist by saying hesitancy is natural and maybe it's not good to chase it. Not to say one way or the other about "worthiness", but to give a piece of yourself away, to try and complete and be completed by someone else? That's something you can only truly be comfortable with when you've outgrown your wounds in life to be comfortable doing. Trying to input yourself into an equation when even you, your biggest backer ideally, doesn't support your odds of success may not end well, realistically.

Hell, a while back I WAS confident in myself and tried to hand my heart to one of the nicest people I knew in about the most balanced and kind way I could, and STILL had it stomped on violently by that person. Dare I say, I feel I would've been happier off doubting myself reasonably, than believing in myself baselessly.

Read the signals as best you can (I'm autistic, and I sniffed it out alright) with the person of interest. If you feel like they closely value time spent with you like you do with them, and they have gone above and beyond to be there for you, even when you weren't, I would say there's something there. If you keep some form of regular contact and have had fun with the person in the past few months, they would feel what they feel about you actively, whatever it may be.

Past that, if you really have the feelings? Fuck it. Go for it. Just put it out there reasonably and with a good perspective, not afraid to hang onto "only" being friends if it falls short. My problem was I took so long to sniff out my good lead that it was dead when I finally decided to show up. The person was too nice to tell me no, and I believed that legitimately meant "maybe", meaning I had a chance. I hung on so hard to the idea of being with someone it broke everything I was and believed in, broke my foundation of wanting something good for myself, and damn near left me for my dead in its wake.

If you tried, there's no regrets. Nothing to truly blame yourself long term. After all, wanting something better is the most fundamental aspect of every relationship. If it goes bad or it doesn't work out, just don't be afraid to walk away while you're still somewhat ahead.

The strongest blades are forged in the hardest fires, as I say. You can't be strong without challenges, and you can't achieve a good quality of self without discipline. I know what I'm hearing in this video, and it's the aspect of being your own critic put through the megaphone of anxiety and depression. I've been there, and I've known others who have been there. I have one last thing to say...

"I am amazing."

Did it work? I hope so. You took time to put your mind and soul out there for all to see today. It doesn't matter what you do or don't do or finish, because taking that step is already a leap of trust and honesty many people in this world aren't capable of. And THAT is amazing, coming from you.

RealFaction responds:

Thanks man. That was a lot to process, but the fact you took the time to type all that means a lot. That helps. I'm writing a couple songs about the subject in two different ways, two different ways to look at it. I think what it mostly is, is I care a lot about who I am and what I do, I can't do things carelessly like a lot of people do. I like to know what I get myself into and what could possibly happen, but then I realize life is about taking risks.

I went to lunch at a Chinese restaurant with my parents today and got a fortune cookie that said, "Absence sharpens love, but presence strengthens it". It really spoke to me. Some people could see it as love is stronger with people who support you surrounding you, thats one way, but the way I saw it was learning to see my identity, my presence, which would strengthen my love for myself.

So it spoke to me in a different way. Thanks for everything, wise words you said here. I feel I'm getting to a better place, starting to at least. I've just wondered why I have these expectations, and I think its because i feel guilty for my parents having to support me with their old age and I don't want them to anymore, they've told me they can't much longer, and I've tried to find a job. Mom says disability would keep me poor but i disagree with that. I know plenty of people who do well with it.

As long as I can keep making music, and make a steady income, and have money to actually get to see my friends more, and keep doing what I do for Newgrounds, I think I'll be happy. I want to feel more relaxed so I'm trying to get in that mindset, instead of pushing myself, I feel like I haven't had a break. I've been constantly pushing myself, I gotta stop and slow down, and enjoy what I have. I gotta find that inner peace, inner happiness. I gotta look at myself in the perspective everyone else has. I think I'm starting to :) thanks.

Riding Through w/Clean guitar and some vox Riding Through w/Clean guitar and some vox

Rated 4 / 5 stars

The description is a bit blunt, but there's nothing wrong with a bit of blunt now and again, amiright?

In any case, not really your usual cup of tea, but not bad by any means either, though the 1:30 mark got a tad trippy.

4/5, 8/10 ~WCCC

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Xenogenocide responds:

Yea, that last bit sent me into a nightmare when I fell asleep to it.

Recent Art Reviews

torture.jpg torture.jpg

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Dissenter be damned.

Two White Doors Two White Doors

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Screw previous poster. I'm a guy that's delved in pixel art before, have played many retro games, and I can say for a fact this is pretty fitting stuff.

Depending on the situation, doing some diagonal or vertical shading (maybe on a case by case basis) would go great with the current levels of small shading, but past that it's good to go and then some.

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RealFaction responds:

Yeah he's given me bad reviews before, so I don't take him seriously. Still pisses me off a little. Thanks. I've only been doing pixel art for 2 months too. :)

Sad One Punch Man Sad One Punch Man

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Damn straight. I'm a long-ish term fan of the manga, including OPM-O. I don't really do anime, but the anime did a hell of a lot of right by the source material. Saitama (AKA caped baldy) never gets old, somehow.