Hello Retro Fans!

It’s a wonderful beginning to spring in my part of the world. If there’s one thing that Spring makes me want to do, it’s SPEND MORE TIME INSIDE! Just Kidding (maybe not) but it is hotter during the day and with the high temperature in Spring reaching near all time highs, I shudder to think what the summer might be like. In any case, after spending a few months bouncing around from trying to play SWTOR with my critically low-speed (3 mbps on a good day) internet while my wife streams her Netflix and after spending another few months playing some highly modified Skyrim, I decided to take a break from all of that and return to… you guessed it… RETRO GAMES!

So what did I decide upon? Well, I normally do a yearly play through of Final Fantasy 2 (FF4 Japan) but honestly I have not done that in a few years. I almost did that but ultimately, I realized that I had only done one full play through of Final Fantasy 3 (FF6 in Japan) in recent memory so I decided to do it again. Ah… to walk through the 16-bit fields of snow toward Narshe in my MagiTek armor… what fun! Plus, in reviewing my site, I have never actually made an RGB style review of this game so I will do so when I am done.

At this point, I am only about 4 hours in to the game, I am about to finish all the ‘scenario’ quests after your crew flees Figaro Castle. I already did Locke’s scenario and Sabin’s scenario so now I just need to do the Edgar, Terra and Bannon scenario. I also am trying to develop some more of the characters that I usually don’t do much with (such as Gau and Gogo) to add a new spin. Of course, if any of you have played this epic game, you know it is VERY large and one of the most complex games of its time. Even the brief time I have spent in this world has reminded me of the greatness of this game and the series as a whole. I also am surprised to realize that I actually don’t remember as much of the story as I thought. Of course, I remember the key components: Empire, Returners, Terra, Espers, etc., but some of the finer points are still blurry. That’s a good thing, like having semi-fresh eyes.

On another note, I did something else to feed my retro soul. If you were a kid who grew up in the 90’s like me, you probably watched Mighy Morphin’ Power Rangers. I don’t know if you made it into Zeo, Dino Squad, Space Force, etc., but you probably at least remember: “Mastadon! Pterodactyl! Saber-Toothed Tiger! Triceratops! Tyrannosaurus! and Dragon Power!” You probably are also aware that Haim Saban is at it again and is planning on releasing a ‘darker and more adult-themed’ version of the Power Rangers for the movie coming out in a few days. I want to see this movie, have wanted to ever since I heard it was coming out and only moreso as I have watched trailers and researched it. I first decided to remind myself of the awesomeness of the original series (cheesy dialogue aside) by watching it over. I am almost done with Season 1.

However, I also remembered that a majority of the footage from the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was initially drawn from “Kyuryu Sentai Zyuranger” (Kyuriyu SIN-tie JYU-rain-jer) which came out in Japan about a year prior to the show we saw. To my excitement, Shout Factory picked up the original series some years ago because of its impacts on pop culture. It was not available to watch on any standard streaming service I found, BUT my Amazon Prime account allowed me to pay $2.99 per month extra to access the “Shout Factory” Channel with… YOU GUESSED IT… Zyuranger! So I decided to watch it (subtitles and all).

Wow… the character that Rita Repulsa (the main bad guy in MMPR) is based off of, “Evil Witch Bandora” is FREAKING evil. WAY worse than Rita ever was. In that story, she’s the “most powerful force of darkness this world has ever known” and she makes you believe that. Not to mention, her assistants (that are loosely used in MMPR) are much more capable (though still annoying) than their MMPR counterparts. In almost every episode, Rit…err… Bandora, always has some children (like young kids.. like 10 and even younger) in danger. Not just kidnapping them… no… more like shrinking them into a miniature space shuttle that is locked in place with a time-triggered IRON MACE BALL ready to drop and crush them if the Pow…I mean… Zyurangers don’t save them in time. Oh and that other kid who SHE TURNS TO STONE BECAUSE SHE IS EVIL is also a good example. I can imagine being a Japanese child in that era and literally being scared to death of Bandora.

Also, the rangers themselves are much less one-dimensional than their American counterparts (though only slightly). They represent 5 different tribes of prehistoric dino-worshiping people each with their respective creature of power… you guessed it: a Mammoth, a Pterodactyl, a Saber-Tooth Tiger, a Triceratops and a Tyrannosaurus (I have not yet gotten to the Green Ranger story). Each ranger was frozen for “170 million years” so they could defend the Earth when Bandora rose again. They appear to have no stupid high school drama to deal with (dude… they missed like… a ton of reunions) but also seem very much content to just sort of hang out with “Mysterious Sage Barza” (their version of Zordon but without the stupid “Ay yi yi yi” of Alpha 5) in his magical palace until they need to go fight Bandora’s baddies. I have only seen them do a few ‘non-fighting’ scenes so far but they appear to have at least some inkling of depth.

In any case, I am actually excited to learn how their story diverges from the story I know. I did figure out why Trini always looked ‘flat’ in her ranger suit. That’s because the Yellow Ranger in Zyuranger is actually a boy. He’s so much of a boy that his name is ACTUALLY ‘Boi’. Although the pink ranger is still a girl but her name is Mei and her favorite thing to do appears to be helping other people and saying “okay!” in perfect English when her ranger colleagues tell her to do something in Japanese. Barza is…well… strange. The verdict is still out on him.

See you guys later! I have watching and gaming to do!


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