Listening to: Underrated is better than overrated.
Reading: Too bad I know few underrated stuff.
Watching: Parappa 2 > Guitar hero
Playing: Mario golf advance tour > FIFA
Eating: Bloody roar primal fury > Blazblue
Drinking: [something you hate] > [something you love]
Oh boy, time for the new releases for Nintendo eshop! One of the few annual highlights of my pathetic weeksWHAT THE HELL MEDABOTS FOR GBA VIRTUAL CONSOLE WHY
That above was me friday night. Minus the usual orgasm denial due to a certain underage girl, but that goes without saying.
So yeah, pretty surprised they prioritized a third party game over stuff like pokemon. However, one can say that it worked as a commercial for the series, since I decided to check it out.
So after playing two GBA games and watching a few episodes of the series, I ask this:
Is Medabots bad, and why did it fall off?
I remember it being on Jetix (R.I.P.) for a while and I had all of one friend who watched it because his younger brothers used TV as a drug. He's the one that showed it to me. Needless to say, it didn't leave much of an impression on me. Pokemon and beyblade ruled the world at that point, and digimon was starting to really fall off, so we had plenty of these kind of shows and wallet manipulators. Seeing how pokemon and beyblade is still around, plus bakugan and dumb shit like skylanders or whatever, medabots have next to no chance of making a comeback.
Bad timing is one thing, but why didn't it catch on? Probably because it didn't bring anything new. The best way to describe it is pokemon meets transformers, but that's being generous. We already have stuff with talking robots that fight eachother, the only difference is that medabots are smaller and are operated by medals. Not exactly groundbreaking. Then again, generic stuff with minor twists to it has worked before, like The last of us. Diss of the century amireit
There's nothing wrong with selling a buncha toys based on something, but it helps if the franchise they're based on are marketable. Medabots kind of aren't. Sure, there can be simple action figures and such, but nothing in the series screams "I want that" to me. Beyblade works because it has a good real-life equivalent, as you can buy and customize actual blades, pokemon because of the video games that are very well done and well-received by critics. Medabots didn't get any of the like. The only way it would work is if you could buy tinpets (a medabot's skeleton) and be able to equip it with parts and medals of your own choise. Even that doesn't sound too exciting. Then again, they were able to morph into vehicles and such in later seasons, but we still have transformers for that. Also, those medawatches seem pretty useless. They're supposed to transport your bots, but it's rarely used. Why shout orders to your medabot via that thing when they're two feet away from you? They can hear you without it.
As for the games for GBA, they're all right. Nothing spectacular. The one simply called Medabots is the better one, but it's kinda cryptic so you'd need a walkthrough for it. A good example is that you can get a medal at a part by talking to an NPC but not the one next to him, OR get a different medal by talking first to said NPC next to the first one, then talking to the first NPC, then the NPC next to him again. Any other combination will give you squat. For a game trying to cash in on a TV-series, you sure a making it hard for your target audience.
In Japan, it's called Medarot, and has games up to the 3DS. However, I believe it was cancelled not too long ago. If not, it's alive but barely. You know it's bad if it can't even survive in the country it was meant for. It's cool to see it lasted for so long, though.
Buuut of course all that ain't the main reason I'm doing this. Y'all want me to talk about the show, right?
Let me be perfectly clear: Medabots isn't bad as a franchise (even if it isn't fresh or new), nor is the show awful. I wouldn't call it good, per se, but it is pretty entertaining.
The animation is bad, even if the show was made in the late 90s originally. The acting ranges to bad to passable, but it feels like a 4kids rip-off, and that's saying something. Remember the dub of digimon? Medabots is like that. Rewritten dialog to make it "funnier", even if it clashes with the animation, and added effects. I don't mean stuff like the intro, but stuff like the effect when introducing a medabot. A balant rip-off of the digivice effect. Fans of digimon knows what I'm talking 'bout. They also to the sin of calling rice balls donuts in one episode, but they actually called takoyaki octopus balls in an episode centered around it. Good translation. Maybe it evens it out. Even better is that they acknowledge that the series takes place in Japan and even talk about actual geographical locations there. Despite renaming characters and such. It kind of blows my mind that we can have stuff from Japan that doesn't change the location to the US. THIS IS HOW YOU TEACH KIDS NEW STUFF, THEY WILL RELATE TO THE CHARACTERS REGARDLESS OF NATIONALITY, TRUST ME
Still, I actually like the show. I'm not gonna say it's great, but I enjoy the absurdity of it. There ARE a few legitimately funny lines here and there, and the characters can be good when it wants to. Harmless entertainment, but a bit lengthy.
Honestly, the music for the theme song is really damn neat. The lyrics are uninteresting, but the instrumental version used for the end credits sounds like a big beat song we all missed. Very underrated. Speaking of music, the first GBA game's intro has one of the best bass sounds I've heard from that system. The theme song from the show on both games were of great quality, too.
Also, I can't help but to think of leper gnome when I hear someone say Ikki's name. It suddenly brings new life to that cancer-filled bastard, like he's currently having buttsex with the kid and proudly proclaims "I feel Ikki!". Thus satan reserved a seat for me in hell.
If you want recommendations for episodes, "Love at first bite", "Space medaballerina X" and "For love or robattle". Samantha is one of the few bullies I like, maybe because she reminds me of Helga. Her medabot's pretty cool, though. I actually like her voice, especially when her actress actually tries. It improves in later episodes, no doubt. Easily my favorite character, flawed as heck but funny and entertaining. Also, I live for shipteasing.
Have I mentioned that the terms used in the series ain't exactly interesting? No wonder stuff like robattle didn't catch on.
So I guess you could call Medabots overlooked but not underrated. It suffered greatly from bad timing and didn't quite find its place in society. It's not bad, but its fall is understandable. It simple didn't manage to stand out from the rest of its competitors. It might be interesting for some to see what could have been just a humble beginning for the next pokemon. For me, I dig it.
Check it out if you want.