Sunday, July 6, 2014

Earth To Echo Review

You know, my summer vacation is going along pretty nicely. The past two weeks have been pretty low key for me and I've just been off doing whatever I want. I've been playing a lot of Skies of Arcadia recently, which is an RPG you should definitely play. Yeah it may not be as well known as other RPG's, but it has some great combat and a fun world to explore. Also, you can be a sky pirate in it! Sky! Pirate! And when I haven't been playing that, I've either been at work having a good time, or just going for a nice swim. It's been pretty stress free for me in all honestly.

I would mention Earth To Echo in there somewhere, but I didn't feel that it's worth mentioning at all.

I'm going to be perfectly honest here. I've been rewriting this whole first paragraph several times and I've been struggling on how to introduce this movie. Should I go into a plot summary and then go into my usual breakdown of the movie, or should I try something different? I don't know why this movie is so conflicting for me, mostly because it's a completely unremarkable movie. It's not bad by any means, but strictly alright. It doesn't break the mold at all, but instead it scratches an itch that some people may have had (?) for a long time. Earth To Echo is a live action kids movie that is focused around sci-fi elements alla Flight of the Navigator. It's about three kids who find an alien and try to help him get back home to his planet, but there's a government conspiracy to stop them, and it sounds exactly like E.T, but with robots.

I can probably just stop at that and call it a day. E.T with robots and found footage. But that would be a disservice to my readers and I pride myself at giving my readers a very well informed review that discusses key elements about a movie, whether they be good or bad. That being said, because I'm at such a loss for words here, I'm just going to go back to my story I was telling before the cut. Yes there is that little to talk about for Earth To Echo.

This will have nothing to do with what I'm talking about
So anyway, I forgot just how much I enjoyed playing Skies of Arcadia. I last played it in 2010 I believe, or it may have been 2009 now that I think about it. The world is just so lively and colorful that I want to keep exploring it! As a matter of fact, exploration is one of the key elements of the game. You get to sail around on a pirate ship and you can go to various countries, search for discoveries across the skies, fight pirates, or recruit new members for your crew. There's literally so much to do in the game that it's almost overwhelming, but it never feels like there's too much to do. Everything is paced so evenly throughout the game that it's introducing new elements every couple of hours, but not in a hand holding kind of way.

The more I talk about Skies of Arcadia though the more I realize that not many people have heard of it. Well, it was originally released in 2000 on the Sega Dreamcast, which many people believe is the most under appreciated console ever created. It was only relevent for about two years or so before the Playstation 2 came out, but it was a beast of a console. It had internet, phenomenal graphics, voice acting, and a rather solid line up of games. However, the Dreamcast had no RPGs, so the few that were on the console had to be very good. Unfortunately, there were hardly any RPGs to talk about besides Phantasy Star Online, which is a great game in its own right, and Skies of Arcadia. After the Dreamcast was discontinued in 2001, most games that were released for the poor console were ported over to different consoles, and Skies of Arcadia ended up on the Gamecube with added features and more polished graphics.

The problem with wanting to get a copy of Skies of Arcadia is that it's a hard game to find. The Dreamcast version costs around $30 provided you already have a Dreamcast, while the Gamecube version can cost as low as $40 used. It's not exactly the cheapest game around, but it is completely worth it trust me. I can safely say it's one of my favorite RPGs of all time, it's that good. It's so good that it's almost a crime that it never received any sequels in its lifetime. Yes the main characters did appear in a game called Valkyria Chronicles, which was made by the same developer, but it's not the same as seeing a genuine sequel with sky pirates!

More cute pictures to constitute a review!!!
I can't stress how much I enjoy playing Skies of Arcadia. I've plugged in about 22 hours so far into the game, and I have no complaints whatsoever. It's that enjoyable. Usually I play about two hours of it a day once I'm done with work and dinner and it serves as a perfect way to unwind after a long day. What's a better way to spend a quiet evening than sail the skies on a pirate ship. On that note, why aren't pirates a big thing anymore? Why have me moved to more supernatural elements as being big pop culture fixtures instead of pirates. Pirates are cool! I love me some pirates! That's why I'm such a big One Piece fan! It's basically a bunch of pirates just sailing around and getting into new adventures! It's awesome!

Speaking of, I can't wait for One Piece: Unlimited World R to come out this week. Well technically I'm getting it next week because the Vita version drops next week, but it comes out for 3DS, PS3, and Wii U this week. I loved its predecessor One Piece: Unlimited Adventure on the Wii, and now after six year's we're finally getting the next game in the series. What's so great about Unlimited World R is that in terms of story, it's right up to the current arc in Japan. That means that R is going to be the most up to date One Piece game ever released in the U.S. That's insane! Plus, It'll even have features that the original Japanese release won't have, like a Colosseum mode.

But now as to why I'm getting it on the Vita instead of the other three consoles, because I do own a PS3, a 3DS, and a Wii U. Well simply put, I don't have enough faith in the Vita as a long lasting system. Sony outright stated that they won't be making 1st party games for it, so there won't be any God of Wars, Sly Coopers, or Killzones coming to the Vita anymore. The PS3 already has a stellar library, I don't want to play R on the 3DS, and the Wii U has enough momentum going for it that I can safely hold off on buying games for it out of a desperate need to validate my console purchase. Instead now I'm filling a desperate need to validate my purchase of a Vita instead. Sunrise, sunset.

I hoped that served you to know exactly how much I care about Earth To Echo. I write my reviews with the purpose of letting you all know what I think of a movie, and that's what I did. I talked about Skies of Arcadia, pirates, One Piece, and the Playstation Vita, and even though I didn't mention a single thing about Earth To Echo, you know exactly what kind of movie it is. It's underwhelming. It's average. It's not even worth getting into a legitimate discussion about it, because whenever I write a review, I always have a passion behind what I do. I have a distinct vision of what I want to tell you all and how I'm going to tell it. I free styled this review because A) I wanted to try something new, and B) I would have just bored myself trying to talk about this movie, and I don't want to write a half hearted, forced review. There's no joy in that.

Look at these three pictures above. That's your movie right there. It's a cute little robot who beeps and flies around. Kids go to different places to find the parts for his ship, and he gets more adorable with each part. That's your movie. Again, it's not bad. I didn't roll my eyes when I was watching it, nor did I nit pick every plot development. But I didn't feel the urge to do anything else. It passed through my mind like it was nothing. I probably won't even remember it in a week or two. It's that forgettable. If you want some sci-fi goodness, go see Snowpiercer. Oh my God I want to see Snowpiercer so bad. Hell, go see Transformers: Age of Extinction if you want some sci-fi goodness. I can't guarantee that you'll like it, but at least you'll have an opinion of it. As of now, I have no opinion whatsoever about Earth To Echo besides it's average. Painfully, vanilla, unspectacularly average.


I hope that was insightful. Good day.

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