Main Boards => VGMaps Social Board => Topic started by: JonLeung on June 24, 2009, 07:04:24 AM

Title: Irony - how Revenge Of The Fallen defeated season 2 of Beast Wars (NO SPOILERS)
Post by: JonLeung on June 24, 2009, 07:04:24 AM
So, you all know I'm a Transformers fan, but this early morning my own fandom may have confounded my attempt to acquire Transformer goods.  To skip the context and get right to the silliness of this all, skip the next five paragraphs...


Last year I did that whole "100 Days Of Transformers" thing.  You remember, I bought the Chinese box set of the entire series, and I watched all 98 episodes of the original Transformers (G1) animated series, plus the Scramble City OVA, plus the (animated) 1986 movie (again), which at one episode a day took exactly a hundred days.

While it was a good experience overall, it reminded me that a lot of the appeal came from straight-up nostalgia, as there were a few episodes that weren't that pleasant to endure.  Surprised that Beast Wars (or "Beasties", as it's known on YTV in Canada) is already twelve years old, I decided tracking down the DVDs for this series was in order.  Sure, the computer graphics may have aged, but the stories are much better, at least percentage-wise compared to G1, especially in the second and third seasons.  Along with the sequel series, Beast Machines, I plan to go through a "78 days of Beast Wars/Machines" marathon.

The problem is that Beast Wars (on DVD) is hard to find because it's out of print.  And Beast Wars isn't bundled as a complete series, at least not as far as I know, so acquiring all the episodes means finding each individual season.  The rarity means I may have to buy used copies from more than one seller, so I'm going to be paying a lot for shipping and they're not likely going to be brand new.  As if it wasn't bad enough that I seem to have to pay over a hundred dollars to acquire a new copy of a single season.  I saw some cheap ones on, but those were from sellers - not directly from Amazon themselves - and those particular sellers don't ship to Canada.  Seriously, what's up with that?  And the ones that did sell to Canada were asking for ludicrous prices, about as much as the Canadians on were selling them - or more.  And that's even before factoring in the shipping.

I managed to get the first season from a French Canadian on eBay for much less than the usual going rate, and with low shipping rates, thank goodness.  I asked the seller if he had the other two.  He told me he got the bilingual English/French version of season 1, which is why he was selling the English-only one, but as there were never bilingual versions of seasons 2 and 3, he would rather keep his English-only copies of those than to not have them at all.  Makes sense.  Didn't help me, however.

I received the first season in the mail a couple days ago, and became more determined to pick up the rest of the series.  And this is where the mess happened this morning...  (Sorry about the wordiness above, I thought some context was in order...)


On eBay I found a listing for the complete second season of Beast Wars.  Auctions are annoying; I would rather click "Buy It Now" whenever it's available, and here it wasn't.  Also, it was ending at approximately 2:30 AM this morning, a rather inconvenient time.  (Coincidence: Anyone catching the IMAX version of Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen at the midnight showing would be finishing up at that moment.)  Fearing those "snipers" who always bid in the last few seconds, I decided not to increase my maximum bid too much until then, but that would mean waking up before 2:30.  Last night I left my maximum bid at $55 (US), even though I would have been willing to pay maybe $80 for it.  A bit pricey for two DVDs, but hey, it's still cheaper than elsewhere I've seen.

I didn't want to touch my usual alarm clock that wakes me up at 5:45 AM since I thought I might be too lazy to change the time again.  In retrospect this was my first, and therefore, most major mistake...  Instead of using that, I set the alarm on my DS to wake me up at 2:15 AM, a bit before the end of the auction.  I tested the alarm, made sure the volume was good, and went to sleep.

I woke up to an odd sound.  First instinct was, "oh, that's the alarm I set for the auction."  I reached over to the DS and touched the screen, which is supposed to shut it off.  Nothing happened.  The strange alarm sound continued.  I turned the volume all the way down on the DS.  The alarm was still going, and it certainly wasn't the DS's.  What could it be?  I was still groggy and tried to think of what else it could be.  I looked at the clock and saw it was midnight.  Then it dawned on me that I had earlier (like over 150 days ago) set a countdown on my cellphone to the release date of Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen.  Funny I didn't recognize it earlier, but it was only recently that I had bought the Transformers "transforming sound" as a ringtone for my phone (also, it plays the Transformers animated movie theme when I receive a call) and didn't ever hear it being played repeatedly and muted while sitting in my drawer.  I hardly referred to the countdown on my phone, so it was stupid to have.  I turned off the alarm on my cellphone and turned the alarm back on on the DS.  While the countdown was an annoyance, it didn't directly jeopardize my chances of winning the second season of Beast Wars - but if you've been reading this paragraph carefully you can already see the mistake I made.

I woke up at 3:35 AM.  I blinked and thought "WTF?  Wasn't the alarm supposed to go off over an hour ago?"  I got up and looked at the DS, and it was asking if I wanted to shut the alarm off, and it appeared to be the same screen that appears when you touch the screen.  As I wasn't hearing any alarm I wondered if it was possible for me to have touched it in my sleep but thought it was silly that even if it was touched that (a) it would still prompt you to press a button to actually turn it off, or that (b) when this screen comes up that it wouldn't ring even when the alarm time came around.  A short while later I realized I was most likely wrong in both of these assumptions, regardless of if I touched it.  Did you catch my mistake in the previous paragraph?

The volume was still all the way down!  When I was trying to shut down what was actually my cellphone alarm, I turned down the volume of the DS.  Though I remembered to set the alarm again, I had forgotten to turn the volume back up, so it was totally useless!

Knowing I wouldn't be able to sleep with the suspense of whether I won the auction, I turned on the computer in my room.  And - perhaps unsurprisingly - I had lost.

Now, there's no guarantee that I would've won it, even if I had squeezed in a last-minute $80 bid.  But at least I would've known that I tried my best, and not disqualified myself, as it were, by not setting a trusted and recognizeable alarm.

Ironic that the countdown for Revenge Of The Fallen may have stopped me from acquiring Beast Wars.

Oh, and here's some insult to injury - I couldn't get to sleep (other than a twenty-minute nap including a dream about Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom 3 or something, it was bizarre) - so if I had known I was going to have a couple hours less sleep last night I should've gone to see the midnight showing of Revenge Of The Fallen anyway!  This would have freed up Friday, which is good since other stuff is potentially going on that night - and according to the Facebook event responses I'm thinking I may be seeing it nearly alone on Friday anyway so it could've been just as fun, if not more so, seeing it this morning.  :(


On a semi-related note, why can I not find the original Canadian "Beasties" opening anywhere on the Internet?  All I see on YouTube are the "Beast Wars" openings.  The opening for season 1 is particularly bad.  Sure, "Beasties" is a dumb name (YTV's aversion to "war" in titles, hence another of Mainframe's shows, "War Planets", being renamed "Shadow Raiders"...WTF), but at least in the original opening the music and synchronization isn't mutilated.  At least from what I remember; I sure wish I could compare.

Title: RE: Irony - how Revenge Of The Fallen defeated season 2 of Beast Wars (NO SPOILERS)
Post by: JonLeung on June 24, 2009, 04:43:25 PM
Okay, okay.  I guess I tend to ramble.  Mountains and molehills, etc.

Wouldn't've been the first time.  You didn't read it. I suck, and should have fixed the motorcycle/binocular problem earlier on.  :P

Title: RE: Irony - how Revenge Of The Fallen defeated season 2 of Beast Wars (NO SPOILERS)
Post by: Maxim on June 25, 2009, 01:17:41 AM
This is why people use bittorrent.

Title: RE: Irony - how Revenge Of The Fallen defeated season 2 of Beast Wars (NO SPOILERS)
Post by: JonLeung on June 25, 2009, 07:29:38 AM
Well, I want proper and official copies of the Transformers series that I enjoy, and related to that I want to support those who make them (in principle, even with no practicality, since I have to buy it used and therefore Mainframe/Rainmaker isn't going to see a cent).

But if the prices and difficulty to obtain them get too high, anyone could use my experience in support of BitTorrent.  Believe me, I'm tempted.

Title: RE: Irony - how Revenge Of The Fallen defeated season 2 of Beast Wars (NO SPOILERS)
Post by: FirebrandX on June 25, 2009, 09:01:35 PM
I've already got the complete series in DVD-quality avi files. I went that route when I also found how difficult it was to obtain official copies.

I also have the chinese set of the original series, but there's a new box set coming out by Shout! Factory that will have a load of cool extras like interviews with the voice talant and designers. Can't pass that up!

Title: RE: Irony - how Revenge Of The Fallen defeated season 2 of Beast Wars (NO SPOILERS)
Post by: JonLeung on June 26, 2009, 05:47:31 AM
I guess I was complaining more than necessary; some more of the complete second and third seasons are appearing on eBay, and I've already bought the second season for not too much using "Buy It Now".  Thank goodness.

Title: RE: Irony - how Revenge Of The Fallen defeated season 2 of Beast Wars (NO SPOILERS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 30, 2009, 10:10:33 PM
Funny, I just got around to reading this thread, and from the title alone I kept expecting a huge pointless essay on why the events in Revenge Of The Fallen had messed up the events from Beast Wars taking place in prehistoric times. Which would have been too geeky for even the most extreme of fans.

At least you still found it :)


Current project: Little Samson (NES)

Upcoming project: Not sure yet either

Title: RE: Irony - how Revenge Of The Fallen defeated season 2 of Beast Wars (NO SPOILERS)
Post by: JonLeung on July 31, 2009, 06:18:40 AM
Stupid Internet Explorer losing my long post!

Anyway, I was saying that yes, I do have the entire Beast Wars and Beast Machines sagas on DVD just waiting to be watched.  My copy of Beast Wars: The Complete First Season is pretty close to new.  The Complete Second Season is not - it's beat up, missing the booklet thing, and had some dry stuff on the inside around the discs that looked like it could be snot or puke, gross.  The discs seem to work, though.  The Complete Third Season is better, but the outside is also visibly beat up especially around the corners.  Beast Machines: The Complete Series is new, and is still wrapped and unopened.  From what I remember, it's almost like the better the season is, the worse off my copies are.  :P

I haven't started watching them yet.  Like last year's "100 Days Of Transformers", I'm going to do "80 Days Of More Transformers".  52 episodes of Beast Wars and 26 episodes of Beast Machines adds up to 78; the last two will be for the two live-action Transformers movies.  I have an HD-DVD & Blu-Ray combo player, which my dad gave me after it was clear who won the format war, and since Transformers (2007) was initially only on HD-DVD at first, that's the copy I have.  I'm considering rebuying the first film in Blu-Ray (despite being able to play both) but I don't know that I would notice a difference on my TV - it's big and supports component and HDMI but it's not LCD or plasma...anyway, I shouldn't start my "80 Days" until I know when Revenge Of The Fallen is supposed to come out on Blu-Ray.

Hopefully Beast Wars is as good as I remember.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to say the first season hasn't aged well from a technical standpoint...lack of shadows, too-smooth and angular surfaces, crappy-looking explosions...but that's not stopping me from wishing for the first two seasons of ReBoot to be released on DVD (or Blu-Ray).

I'm still having trouble finding the original Canadian "Beasties" opening on the web.  Even YouTube is useless.  I still say it's better - for the first season, particularly, even though the name is silly.

Title: RE: Irony - how Revenge Of The Fallen defeated season 2 of Beast Wars (NO SPOILERS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 31, 2009, 07:02:30 AM
Seeing all of ReBoot on DVD at last would be a dream come true wouldn't it? As it is, I treasure my Season 3 DVDs since they long ago went out of print.

I have a strange history when it comes to Transformers DVD. To date, I only own the 1986 movie as well as the Michael Bay one; I thought about getting Beast Wars/Machines, but I just couldn't get into them once they were over. I had bought the toys, enjoyed the stories and was simply looking forward to the next show.

To date, Animated has been my favourite series, and even that one I haven't bought on DVD either, but that might be because they had the audacity of releasing the pilot on a separate DVD instead of on the Season 1 set. That kind of practice usually makes me lose any desire for the product in question.


Current project: Little Samson (NES)

Upcoming project: Not sure yet either

Title: RE: Irony - how Revenge Of The Fallen defeated season 2 of Beast Wars (NO SPOILERS)
Post by: JonLeung on July 31, 2009, 10:52:28 AM
I watched the pilot of Transformers Animated and couldn't get seriously into it.  But then I saw clips and snippets of various episodes later and thought maybe I didn't give it a fair shot.  The non-Decepticon villains seemed lame, but I thought some of the reimaginings of classic G1 characters was neat.  (Sort of like how I have trouble getting into the Mega Man Battle Network series but I like some of the reimaginings of the Robot Masters into NetNavis.)

If Transformers Animated came as a complete series on DVD, I might consider checking it out.  With separate seasons, I might feel overly obligated to buy them all even if it turns out I really don't like the series after watching the first season, for instance.  But I would also feel dumb for buying only part of it if I didn't like it.  So it's all or nothing.

As for Robots In Disguise/Armada/Energon/Cybertron, I'll pass on those series, unless I somehow get a lot of money that I don't know what to spend it on, and lots of spare time.  Time mostly; I have enough stuff to catch up on watching and playing, and those Japanese Transformers series simply aren't high enough priority despite being a Transformers fan.  Technically I have watched all of Robots In Disguise, but it's not something I have any need to revisit or own.

Title: RE: Irony - how Revenge Of The Fallen defeated season 2 of Beast Wars (NO SPOILERS)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on August 01, 2009, 07:02:15 PM
My opinion on all four Japanese series is that they're average at best, for various reasons:

-The voice acting is sub-par; also, expect very little interesting characterization aside from single word description (heroic, evil, honorable, whiny, expandable, etc);

-The various kids are typical of such shows (i.e. annoying and stupid beyond belief);

-The animation is usually very poor aside from the occasional episode in Robots In Disguise/Armada, and Energon/Cybertron fail at combining 2D and 3D graphics convincingly or giving the Transformers themselves any semblance of emotion. The only bright spots are the original Japanese intros and endings with their music, and those overused stock transformation sequences;

-The overall plot of each series usually doesn't make a lot of sense, which is made worse when continuity between the shows feels like an afterthought (despite attempts in the localization to straighten a few loose ends). Also, beating the ultimate bad guys often relies on the magical power of kids' belief or some other shit like that (also typical of kids anime); and finally, expect several Decepticon characters in Energon to be made sympathetic for several episodes only to be killed and resurrected as completely different bots the next;

-On-going plots that keep going and going for entire series. Seriously, there are never any episodes that stand by themselves to spend time on establishing characterization, which is probably why it's so lacking;

-And so much more, but it's been too long.

Did I mention I'm not a fan? In fact, the only one I watched all the way through was Robots In Disguise, and only because they didn't seem to take themselves seriously and the dubbers added Transformers references for fans that didn't exist in the original. All the others I watched in subbed Japanese, which is the best way to do it since the dub removed the intros/endings and most of the background music to replace them with... something worse every time.

I know I already did it in another thread, but I cannot recommend Animated enough. If you can get past the stupid human villains (who aren't that important anyway), you'll get to experience the following:

-Great voice acting;

-Fluid animation. I hesitate on calling it great because, well it isn't that complex and a few episodes have great sequences while others, not-so-much with characters being somewhat off-model. But on the whole, it moves a lot and makes the story and the characters more dynamic;

-Interesting characters who make mistakes, and learn and grow over the episodes. We also get new types of protagonists that not typical to TF series like the Autobot Elite Guard (Ultra Magnus the politician and Sentinel Prime the asshole). You'll probably even grow to appreciate that Sari kid, if only because she's been written and played as exactly what she is, a childish and immature kid. And she gets to learn big time that she needs to grow the hell up;

-Intelligent and powerful enemies. Seriously, the Decepticon cast is one of my favourite, with Megatron being smart, powerful and sinister, Starscream being his usual traitorous self (but with actual consequences for once!), and Blitzwing and Lugnut being the comedic duo that still manages to kick the Bots' asses. It's also refreshing that their defeat never feels like a cheat, usually relying either on luck, teamwork or outsmarting them because the Autobots, being simple repair bots, are no match for the Decepticon elite;

-And again, a lot of other stuff.

Anyway, I can't guarantee that you'll like it, but you should give it a try with a least a few episodes. It's also a series that gets better over time, not because it starts weak, but because a lot of little stuff happens over the course of the first season that build up to the season finale.

OK, I'm done preaching :)!


Current project: Little Samson (NES)

Upcoming project: New Ghostbusters II (NES)

Title: RE: Irony - how Revenge Of The Fallen defeated season 2 of Beast Wars (NO SPOILERS)
Post by: magicbay on August 01, 2009, 07:12:11 PM
i can actually remember when the entire Transformers craze started and playing the the Gen-1 toys and watching the tv show way back in the '80s..

ya can call me an old fart if ya want but old age can whip young age to pieces any day..