Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Metroid Dread Discussion/Review (Spoiler Free)

In June 2005, I remember reading on an article from Game Informer magazine of the reveals from Nintendo's E3 presentation of the games that were going to be coming out on the Wii and DS. There was one game that wasn't showcased, but caught my eye once I saw it: a new 2D Metroid game called Metroid Dread. The 2000's was the best decade for Metroid since the most amount of games were released that were critically acclaimed like the two Game Boy Advanced games Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid Fusion and the 3D 3rd person action adventure game Metroid Prime and its sequel Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. I was more than excited for more Metroid. Over the years, news of Metroid Dread became silent with little to no information on its release date. 


But that was fine since there were other games that came out such as Metroid Prime Hunters, Metroid Prime Pinball, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. But then the 2010s appeared and Metroid: Other M was such a polarizing game that it almost killed the franchise for over 6 years. Then, Yoshio Sakamoto, the director and producer of the Metroid games said that Dread was probably not going to be coming out anytime soon. We assumed that Metroid Dread was cancelled and people started calling it Metroid Dead. The first half of the 2010s decade was difficult for Metroid fans. 

The later half of the 2010s decade was slightly better. A fan named Milton Guasti aka DoctorM64 released his long passion project AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake) a fan remake of Metroid 2: Return of Samus and Nintendo released Metroid Prime Federation Force and its own remake of Metroid 2 called Metroid: Samus Returns on the 3DS. There was even an announcement on E3 2018 that Metroid Prime 4 was coming out. Knowing that Metroid Prime 4 was going to be the next big game, the idea of Metroid Dread ever coming out had left my mind. But then E3 2021 appeared and what I saw was something I never would have thought in a million years: a trailer for Metroid 5 which was Metroid Dread. When I first saw it, I was so excited! It was the first time in many years that I was hyped for a video game to come out. Click here to learn more about my initial thoughts. I had to wait an additional year to play it because I didn't have a Switch at the time. But thanks to Arun Mehta from The Arun Mehta Show, I now have a Nintendo Switch and the first game I bought was Metroid Dread. 


Taking place after the events of Metroid Fusion, Samus had received a message from an unknown source that there was an X parasite located at Planet ZDR. The Galactic Federation sent 7 robots called E.M.M.I to capture the X, but it lost communication. Samus lands on ZDR to learn more about the whereabouts of the X and the E.M.M.I., but then sees an adversary she didn't expect: a Chozo soldier named Raven Beak who almost defeated Samus, but an unknown power source from herself activated and she was spared. Things get worse when the E.M.M.I. have been hacked to now attack Samus. Samus, being underpowered to take down both Raven Beak and the E.M.M.I., is told by Adam to escape the planet and head to her ship on the surface of ZDR. So the game is a reverse where Samus is traveling upwards instead of downwards. Without getting into major spoilers because I don't want to ruin it for anyone who want to play this game, what are my thoughts of Metroid Dread as both a fan and someone who has been waiting for this game for over 15 years? The wait was worth it! 


The gameplay is classic 2D action/adventure with some exploration just like the other Metroid games, but there are several new additions that make it standout. The introduction of Aeion abilities from Metroid: Samus Returns have returned here in Metroid Dread, but there are some new techniques such as the Phantom Cloak that makes Samus invisible for a short period of time. It's very useful, especially when you're trying to run away and hide from the E.M.M.I. It feels like the proper elevation from Metroid Fusion after Samus is trying to run away from the SA-X. Admittedly, the gameplay of the SA-X is starting to show its age a bit since the segments are planned. If you know what to do, you can easily avoid the SA-X with no issues. There are little to no changes or alterations on its movements or its reactions to when it approaches Samus. But the E.M.M.I. goes on a whole new level. When you enter an E.M.M.I room, you hear the eerie music, you hear the beeps and boops of the E.M.M.I. trying to find you with sensing your movements and hearing your footsteps, and you're trying to find a way out before it finds you before it catches you. There are 7 in total and each one is harder than the last making it a challenge even though you're collecting the items needed to become stronger. 


There are different sections of the planet to go around to make it towards the surface and each location is unique with a set of monsters and atmosphere to set it apart. The bosses are also great with its own set of challenges, fighting style, and strategic ways of taking them down. Some of them are the best in the whole series, with the final boss being my favorite of the bunch. The story is fairly simple just like the other Metroid games, but there are a lot of twists and turns that will make you shocked, surprised, yet satisfied if you've been following both the games' and manga's story and lore. But the story doesn't detract from people who have never played a Metroid game. The prologue and several cutscenes gets the plot of the series up to speed, but the gameplay is the most important part of the game and that makes up for it. Samus has never controlled this smooth before: she's fast, agile, and spry. The slide makes moving so much easier, the melee defense move takes down enemies in a pinch, and the wall jump feels so natural. As you get more moves, weapons, and Aeion abilities, Samus slowly becomes an unstoppable beast. I hope that future Metroid games keep this same gameplay style. 


If I had to bring up a minor complaint of Metroid Dread, the music left a lot to be desired. Sure, it captures the atmosphere of the locations and moments, but none of it was memorable. Other than the opening prologue which is a remix of the opening theme of Super Metroid and a cutscene featuring a minor side character with a remix of the lower Brinstar theme of Super Metroid, I couldn't recall a song that left an impact on me when playing it. As you know, I love Metroid music. Whenever I'm working on a script for a video and editing it, I listen to songs from Metroid, Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, the Metroid Prime games, and AM2R. Sadly, I won't be adding Dread's soundtrack from my playlist. Another minor complaint I have is that the last chapter of the game felt very short and underdeveloped. I had made it to the surface and picked up the last power up and before I knew it, I was given the option to fight the last boss. I would've liked it if I was there longer or if there was another section of the planet to go to to explore. If you see the map of ZDR, there's an empty space over by the upper right corner. I thought that I was going to be exploring over there, but nothing ever popped up. If Metroid Dread ever has an update such as New Game+ or a patch, I would love either another section or make the last chapter a bit longer. But I doubt it'll happen. 


Overall, I love Metroid Dread. It's now in my top 3 favorites in the series. It may have surpassed Metroid Prime as my 2nd favorite. As for topping Super Metroid, that's too early to tell. Super Metroid is not only my favorite in the series, but my favorite game of all time. If you want to learn why, click here. If I was to recommend a Metroid game for a newcomer, Dread would be one of my first choices as a great introduction next to Metroid: Zero Mission. It's fun, fast, and challenging. Currently, Metroid Dread is the best selling Metroid game of the series with almost 3 million copies sold. Hopefully this will show Nintendo that we want more Metroid games. Let's hope and see if Metroid Prime 4 continues this momentum. 


That's it for now. Thank you so much for reading, everyone! Let me know in the comments about your experiences in playing Metroid Dread. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. 

-Patricia






Sunday, October 30, 2022

Hey, Fuggetaboutit! Episode 1: Interview with Kent Burris

 In the premiere episode of the podcast Hey, Fuggetaboutit!, Kevin interviews Kent Burris from the YouTube channel Ghosts of Carmel Lane where they cover paranormal investigations, historical hauntings, and the study of the paranormal.



The Day The World Got Really Screwed Up! Discussion/Review

 What do you get when you add two cups of bizarre beaver brothers, a cup of B-horror/sci-fi tropes and clich├ęs, a tablespoon of 4th wall breaking jokes, and a teaspoon of self aware humor? You get The Angry Beavers' Halloween episode The Day The World Got Really Screwed Up! It's a unique episode as being not only a Halloween episode, but the only 24 minute episode of the entire series. Is it a grand ol' spooky time or an insane, convoluted, wacky rollercoaster ride? Yes to both!



Thursday, August 25, 2022

Old School Lane Update: August 2022

Patricia discusses about some upcoming content for Old School Lane include two surveys for her followers, ideas for upcoming episodes of Casual Chats, ideas for video projects, and why there aren't a lot of videos on the channel lately.



Thursday, January 27, 2022

Old School Lane Update: January 2022

 Hey everyone, Patricia here. 

Old School Lane has been quiet over the past few weeks. Well, for those who haven't followed me on social media, I am currently busy at school in my final semester studying for my exit exam, doing a lot of projects and homework assignments, and getting ready for graduation. However, next month, we'll be posting 4 new podcast episodes and 1 video.


On January 31, the first episode of Casual Chats of 2022 will be released and Arun Mehta from The Arun Mehta Show and I be discussing about the newest film of Walt Disney Animation, Encanto. 


On February 7, in honor of celebrating the 5th anniversary of the As Told by Ginger podcast, We're in Between, I'm going to highlight other podcasts that discussed about As Told by Ginger. For those who have missed Casey, Ashli, and I have talking about As Told by Ginger, I'm hoping you check out these other podcasts that you may or may not be familiar with talking about a show we love to highlight.


On February 14, Arun and I will be discussing about The Croods: A New Age.


That's right, DreamMachine is back after almost two years. So, here's the deal on why it took so long. The Croods: A New Age, Spirit Untamed, and Boss Baby: Family Business took much longer to be released on streaming services in the U.K. Because Arun still doesn't have a VPN account yet, we had to wait until the movies were officially released. So, we sincerely apologize for the long wait, everyone. 

On February 21, a group of special guests and myself will be talking about Season 2A of the 2020 Disney Channel animated series The Owl House.


On February 28, Arun and I will talk about Spirit Untamed. 


Hope you guys will enjoy the content. See you around Old School Lane soon.

-Patricia








Friday, December 31, 2021

Old School Lane's Favorite Videos

 Happy New Year, everyone! 2021 was a year where Old School Lane had its ups and downs, but the ups it had were some of my favorite moments. All throughout the month of December, we've been looking back on the 10 years of Old School Lane. But now, we conclude it with looking back on my favorite videos. Technically, I didn't start making full time videos until 2015, but the ones I've written, edited, and starred in have been some of my proudest accomplishments as a content creator. I had replaced blogging for video work and I didn't look back. So, with that said, here are my favorite videos from Old School Lane.

Top 10 Nicktoons That Need Comic Book Adaptations ft. Comic Uno

Originally posted on the Old School Lane website on April 22, 2015 and uploaded on YouTube on June 18, 2015.


The videos that Kevin and I did were simple, unscripted, and required no additional clips or editing. But this was my first attempt of doing a full blown video. Plus it was a countdown and a collaboration which, again, my first time doing it. In honor of the Invader ZIM comics being announced, I had thought of another Nicktoons that deserved to have comic book adaptations and I decided to call in an expert of comics, my friend Kat "Comic Uno" Calamia, to help me out. Since then, some of our predictions came true. There would later on be Rugrats and The Legend of Korra comics coming out a few years later. I have become a lot better in my videos since I posted this, but I still look back on this one fondly as my starting point. To learn more about how Kat and I did it, we did a commentary video together.

Why Nickelodeon's Thanksgiving Fest Was Historically Significant to the Channel?
Originally uploaded on November 26, 2015 on YouTube.


This would be my first analytical video on YouTube looking back on an obscure Nickelodeon Thanksgiving special from the 80's. While I did do a blog review on it a few years prior, I had since rewatched it and found it to be a bit charming despite its rough animation spots (except for the Thanksgiving segments by Joey Ahlbum), spotty voice acting, and simplistic storylines. I did research on it and found out it was more important to Nickelodeon than I realized. I then contacted Joey for further details on his experience working on it years before I invited him for an interview on Casual Chats. I don't watch this special compared to the other Thanksgiving specials on Nickelodeon, but I appreciate its place in the channel's history.

The Weinerville Chanukah Special Discussion/Review
Originally uploaded on December 20, 2015 on YouTube.


It was the 20th anniversary of Nickelodeon's first Hanukkah special and no one was doing a video on it because whenever people think of "Nickelodeon" and "Hanukkah", they immediately think of the Rugrats Hanukkah special. I wanted to change that and focus on one of my favorite underrated Nickelodeon shows Weinerville. Out of the 3 Weinerville specials, this was my favorite for how wacky it was telling a "modern" version of the origin tale of Hanukkah using potato latke aliens as the Jewish people and aliens led by their dorky leader as the Maccabees. It was great to highlight this overlooked gem during the Hanukkah season.

What Makes As Told by Ginger a Groundbreaking, Yet Overlooked Nicktoon?
Originally uploaded on January 24, 2016 on YouTube.


On October 2015, I had did my first themed month of videos looking back on the 2000 Nicktoon As Told by Ginger in honor of its 15th anniversary. I had wanted to do my final video of that themed month talking about why I felt the show was overlooked and underappreciated despite the groundbreaking things it achieved. When I had completed my first draft, I was unsatisfied with it and set it aside working on other projects until I was ready to complete this script. After months of research and hypothetical statements, I was ready to post my video a few months later. To this day, this is still my favorite video I've ever posted and one I'm still proud of.

From Pilot to Final Product: The Adventures of Pete & Pete
Originally uploaded on February 14, 2016 on YouTube.


Out of all the shows I've covered on From Pilot to Final Product, The Adventures of Pete & Pete is still to this day my favorite one. I looked back on the show's pilot episode on its pilot season in honor of both Valentine's Day and on the episode's 25th anniversary and talked about what stuck around and what changed when the show got greenlit for a show. While it wasn't as drastically different compared to other pilots I've covered such as Nick Arcade or Adventure Time, it was still on its early run when the humor and characters were just getting their footing. However, this is where it all started and it would get better and better. While my coverage of the shows I would be doing later would get better, I still feel the most proud with this one.

Should We Say Goodbye to Halcyon Days?
Originally uploaded on May 23, 2016 on YouTube.


This was a very personal video that I did when I turned 30. It was a reflection on how I was feeling at the time and trying to have the perfect balance of doing videos while at the same time trying to be more like an adult. In reality, it was a very tough time in my life. I was working at a dead end job, I was living at home with my parents, I wasn't dating anyone, and I had hated where my life was going. But I had to remember that what I was doing was what I loved and didn't want to quit. Since then, I'm going to school for broadcast journalism, I'm currently engaged, and I'm the happiest I've ever been. Looking back on that video, I can't believe that was me. I definitely need to an update video. In the meanwhile, I did a commentary video on it if you wish to check it out.

How Did Doug Become Influential with Its Simplicity? 
Originally uploaded on August 23, 2016 on YouTube.


During 3 Original Nicktoons Month, I did an analytical video on the 1991 Nicktoon Doug and talked about how its simple presentation would later be the foundation of the slice of life cartoon genre that was prominent throughout the 90's and 00's. In recent years, the show has generated a lot of hate from the Internet calling it "boring", "bland", and "underwhelming". But I defended Doug talking about how it was one of the most important animated shows ever made.

The History of Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie
Originally uploaded on December 13, 2016 on YouTube.


This was originally suppose to wrap up Hey Arnold! Month to celebrate the show's 20th anniversary, but due to my dad being at the hospital, I had delayed the video until months later. When I heard the news that Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie was going to premiere on Nickelodeon after a 15 year wait, I had decided to do an analysis video talking about how it got cancelled back in 2004 and how the fanbase made it come back to life. I looked back at old archived fan forum posts, newspaper articles, videos, podcasts, and interviews to make sure it was deeply covered. Years after I posted it, this is a video I'm very proud of.

Is Disney's Doug Really That Bad?
Originally uploaded on April 22, 2017 on YouTube


This topic was actually a request from my listeners when I was doing a livestream trying to help the website Manic Expression raise money for a crowdfunding campaign. It took me months to watch the episodes of both the Nickelodeon and Disney version of Doug, go over its pros and cons, and Doug's First Movie. I wanted to do a detailed video talking about Disney's Doug because all I've ever seen when people talking about it was "it wasn't as good as the Nickelodeon version" and that was it. I wanted to showcase Disney's Doug in an elaborate way that I had not seen before and tried to give the show a proper chance. However, only 2/3 of the series was available when I first saw it. But now, the entire series is on Disney+ and I need to go back and give it a proper watch. 

The Definitive Kwanzaa Special: Rugrats vs. The Proud Family
Originally uploaded on December 31, 2017 on YouTube.


This was a topic that I really needed to give the proper research and respect to since I'm not African American. Before I had watched both of these episodes, I had watched the official Kwanzaa documentary The Black Candle to get context on the history, 7 days and their meanings, and significance of the holiday. Then I watched them twice and wrote down how they were as both stand alone episodes and Kwanzaa episodes. Even though I didn't celebrate Kwanzaa, I really wanted to give this video the respect it deserves since it was a holiday that doesn't get a lot of specials. I'm very proud on how it turned out.

A Lookback into Arnold's Christmas
Originally uploaded on January 1, 2019 on YouTube


Out of the holiday analytical videos I've done, this one is my all time favorite. Not too surprising since Arnold's Christmas is my all time favorite Nickelodeon holiday episode. I did a ton of research on the Vietnam War and the aftermath, doing character studies on Helga, Gerald, and Mr. Hyunh, and how the atmosphere and music fits the special perfectly. I had loved doing this video and wanted to give it the proper time and effort to make it as perfect as possible. 

Heroic Gem or Junk: Cybersix
Originally uploaded on October 8, 2019 on YouTube.


This was the first video based on a series of videos where I look at obscure or overlooked superhero movies, shows, comics, video games, etc. and I am super, super proud of it. It took me months of research to learn everything about Cybersix and it was fascinating. I talked about the pros, cons, why I felt the show was overlooked, and my overall thoughts on it. It was great giving attention to a show I felt was underrated and underappreciated. 

The Pros, Cons, and Aftermath of Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie




Years after Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie premiered on Nickelodeon, Arun Mehta from The Arun Mehta Show and I collaborated together to talk about the pros, cons, and aftermath of a film that fans had fought for for 15 years. The pros and cons were easy to cover, but the aftermath took way longer to release because Nickelodeon went through so many changes that I didn't want to miss anything and had to release updates to make it less outdated. It may had taken a long time, but we were really happy with the final product. Another one I'm very proud of doing.

Media Hall of Fame: 4 Stories on How Fans Became Integral to their Favorite Animated Shows
Originally uploaded on March 5, 2021 on YouTube.


The first video on a series where I highlight something that deserves to be praised, I covered 4 stories where the fans were so passionate about their favorite shows that they officially became a part of it. It was partially inspired by the animation community being very hateful that I wanted to highlight the good things that they've done. Then I heard the news of Half Shy, a fan of Adventure Time, writing a song for one of the specials for Adventure Time: Distant Lands and I had to do a video on it. I looked up a few other stories and put it together. Had I done this video a few months later, I would have easily placed Rebecca Rose on the video where she did analytical videos on The Owl House on YouTube and now she's the production associate of the show itself. But I'm still very proud on how it turned out.

That's it for now! Thank you so much for being around celebrating 10 years of Old School Lane. Here's hoping that 2022 would be the start of some great things. Until then, happy new year!

-Patricia



























Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Old School Lane Casual Chats Episode 175: Old School Lane's 10th Anniversary Livestream

In this episode of Casual Chats, Patricia and various special guests reflect on 10 years of Old School Lane, play games, read two rough draft scripts of As Told by Ginger, and look into the future.