Reviews: There Will Be Brawl

This is series is genius.

The Alternate Character Interpretations are hilarious and awesome, yet strangely believable. There is an actual, engaging story line. There are humorous Mythology Gags and it managed to be serious and touching at times. A lot of it runs on Narm Charm.(Especially the pokemon.) I wasn't sure if I wanted to burst out laughing or shudder at Kirby's interpretation. Hiiiiiiiiiiii....

The portrayal of the female characters is a bit annoying. (Samus, Zelda...) But hey...I am yet to see a story about a bloody, gangland war without whores and bitches so I can forgive them.

The downside is that you will never be able to play Brawl with a straight face.

Step brother: Meta Knight is better than Kirby.
Me: *snort*

Socii... qui olim viri fortes...

Take the cast of Brawl, turn the setting into a cynical urban wasteland with appropriate makeovers for everyone, put an emphasis on violence and black humor, and let the bad times roll.

Honestly? It sounds like a bad idea — someone's idea of being edgy or "funny" on a 'Net where hope and idealism aren't cool anymore.

Except this one is... good. No, not just good. It tells a compelling story on its own terms, though it requires a certain familiarity with the Nintendo universe (and a stomach to deal with seeing it turned inside out) with intricately clever writing and frequent flashes of ingenuity — and, yes, the aforementioned violence and black humor. Lots of that. One of its greatest strengths is the rampant, (almost) straight-faced use of classic game standbys against a starkly dark and cynical background. (Example: Luigi grabs a key, then rushes into his apartment as Phanto bears down on him.) The results are brilliant, and sometimes hilarious — at least if you can get into its twisted story, starring your Nintendo favorites, to begin with.

And it is dark and twisted. Almost none of the heroes have come through unscathed; it's only a matter of how much — as mentioned on the main page, the baseline is our heroic "jaded drug dealer" Luigi, though that much doesn't last. Many have become outright villains. (I'm looking at you, Kirby. Fox was strangely jarring.) The "Kingdom" has fallen a long way, but there is an emphasis on what it fell from, and a yearning for better days... even as it falls apart at the seams in an increasingly uncontrolled mess of crime, corruption, and violence. The last one, at least, kind of comes with the territory.

This series is hard to seriously criticize, apart from its own pervasive, "HBO"-style darkness. Personally, one thing that bugged me was the sheer amount of girls specifically turned prostitute — which is to say, virtually the entire female cast of Nintendo, with four exceptions, two of whom are worse. (Saria? Seriously? ...Rosalina?) Author Appeal senses tingling.

(While I'm on the subject: Nana is terrifying. Great work, Ms. Tolin.)

For what it is — whatever it is — it's about as well-made as it can be. (Not intended for viewers under the age of 17, though. Seriously.)

Absolutely Superb!

This series is, in a word, phenomenal. The acting is incredible, particularly Matt Mercer as Ganondorf and Paul Duraso as Mario, but they are simply tbe best of an incredible bunch. The writing never loses affection for its two primary influences, Nintendo and Film Noir, and it blends the two in a way I never thought possible. The story itself is a gripping epic about a mysterious serial killer (which has many shout-outs to Silence of the Lambs), and the enthusiansm is there from the first to the last minute.

It can be watched for free at the escapist or its own site, and I highly recommend you do so.