Generation 5

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Caldwin

Making a comback in Scarlet/Violet
Citizen
I wasn't really talking about MLP specifically but the comic book industry in general. In which case, yeah, comparing then to now is pretty fair. While I realize a lot of it is inflation, it still comes down to paying several times more for a lot less.
 

Dvandom

Well-known member
Citizen
Those done in one stories from the 70s could be pretty bad. Comics in general may have overcorrected in the direction of "decompression" (as it was called derogatorily twenty years ago or so), but if you actually read some of those old comics they're often pretty bad. Some of them feel like a summary of an actual story that might be good, others are just clearly cranked out by hacks on the assumption that kids won't care as long as there's pretty colors.

---Dave
 

Caldwin

Making a comback in Scarlet/Violet
Citizen
Some. But then you have the Dark Phoenix Sagas, Death of Gwen Stacy, TMNT #1...
My first comic was Transformers 40. Would it have helped to have some context of what came before? Sure. But I still had a complete story and it was enough to keep me collecting comics to this day.
 

ZakuConvoy

Well-known member
Citizen
It can really go both ways.

Some of the best comics of all time are done-in-ones. "The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man". The Silent Issue of GI Joe. "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?". A single issue lets you really hammer a point home. Sometimes a shorter story can leave a bigger impact and leave people thinking.

But, some of the best comics of all time are also multi-parters or events. The Sinestro Corps War. Annihilation. Scott Pilgrim. A multi-parter can build anticipation and hype in a way that single-issue stories NEVER can. It can lead to fans speculating, talking, and looking forward to what's around the corner. And it builds up a sense of epic proportions that can make the overall story feel more grand.

And some of the best comics of all time split the difference, with one-shot stories that tie into the bigger story or a mix of multi-parters and one shots. All-Star Superman. Simonson's Thor. The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. That way, you get a chapter in the overall narrative, but it all builds towards something bigger that the audience can look forward to. And can give you flexibility.

All of them can be done poorly or well. It really just depends on the skills of the creators and using the right kind of structure for the right kind of story.


....But, this is IDW MLP we're talking about, here. This might be a new generation, but it seems like it's largely the same creators behind the scenes. They managed to screw up a 5 issue crossover by only actually having the characters interact for two of those issues (if we're being generous). I do not have confidence in their skills at this point. I feel like they need training wheels.

I maintain that there are perfectly enjoyable issues in their G4 comics, but there are a LOT of misses in there, too. They never really found a formula that really worked for them, even after almost 200 issues, if you include all the miniseries.

And another, year-long storyarc? I feel like that just gives them a bigger chance to screw things up. This particular villain is probably worthy of being a year-long nemesis. I just think a tighter, more focused 5 part storyline would have been a better bet rather than trying to stretch that out over a year. It might read great in the trade, but in single issues, you risk people forgetting plot points over the course of a year. There's also the risk of the fan's writing better stories in their heads, then what ends up on the page. Over-hype due to too much time passing can be a problem, too.

I'll admit, I'm just whining because it's not what *I* wanted. And I understand WHY they're doing this. If you have a year long storyarc, in theory, you MIGHT have less reader abandonment because they are interested in how the story turns out. Less people MIGHT drop the book, if they're curious how the story ends up in a year. I...doubt it'll work, but...I think this is coming from upper management, not the creators themselves, so what can you do?
 
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Caldwin

Making a comback in Scarlet/Violet
Citizen
That's fair. Expanding things over year long arcs can work. I mean, right now TMNT is my absolute favorite comic book and they do long arcs. The problem I have is that as expensive as comic books have become, there are some issues where absolutely nothing happens. I don't mind using the word 'decompression' as a derogatory term because some comics deserve a bit of derision their way. It's one thing to have long story arcs. But when you have even one issue that costs $4 where absolutely nothing happens, you done goofed. It's even worse when you can't just read one series. If you want to keep up on what's going on with X-Men you also have to read Astonishing, Uncanny, Adverb adverb adverb...

But yes, we're talking about MLP specifically. But aside from the trainwreck of the generations crossover, I haven't read the MLP comics in the longest time. I just couldn't stomach them. To me it felt like the characters were only the characters in the most superficial way and very little ever actually happened, so I just stopped reading.

But yeah, the generations crossover was an absolute train wreck. Not only did the G1 ponies not even show up until the very end (something that should just not happen in any kind of crossover), it's like they never watched the G1 cartoon because the characters were flatter than the paper they were printed on.

I'll be honest, I absolutely love what IDW has done with TMNT. But if what they've done with MLP is more indicative of how they write most of their comics, I can see why a lot of franchises are pulling out.

Now to be fair, I did stop reading MLP early on. Aside from the crossover, I don't know what they've been doing lately. But I just couldn't take reading the FiM comics. So I highly doubt I'll be keeping up with the G5 comics. I did preorder the first issue on Comixology just so I can say "I tried it." But if they don't wow me in the first few issues, I'm not going to hesitate to drop it just as fast as I dropped FiM...if not faster.
 

ZakuConvoy

Well-known member
Citizen
Yeah, IDW MLP was largely slice of life stuff, with the occasional multi-parter event...which usually ended up getting contradicted by the actual cartoon a few seasons later. There's a reason "The Comics aren't canon" became a meme within this fandom. I can't really blame anyone for not sticking around for the okay issues when nothing can REALLY happen in the comic.

And, I kind of sympathize with IDW on MLP. You're trying to write a slice of life comic where you're NOT REALLY allowed to develop or change the characters, because they have to match the cartoon. And you can't really create too many of your own characters, so you can develop THEM, because this is a toy advertisement first and foremost, and Hasbro wants THEIR toys front and center. So, you just end up putting the characters in a bunch of goofy situations in order to give the static characters something to do. Like bringing apples to life in a Attack of the Killer Tomatoes parody. Or having Rarity pet-sit Cerberus while Tartarus gets repaired. It is OFTEN cute, but not often substantial.

That...might be changing with G5. I feel like Hasbro kind of assigned different aspects of this cartoon to different mediums, so each part has something unique to do. The Movies are possibly for the big, franchise changing events, and the eventual new toy gimmicks. The Youtube shorts are all about comedy and slice of life stuff. The CGI cartoon is probably going to be where you go for adventures and action. And, it seems like IDW is getting to do some background lore and connections to G4. It's not a bad split (on paper), and it incentivizes fans to keep track of EVERYTHING. I worry about no one part feeling complete in this theoretical system, but right now this is all just me speculating, so maybe I'm completely off about Hasbro's actual plans.

And, to be fair, I think almost ALL of IDW's other comics are probably better handled, just because the comic industry knows how to run action books. I feel like 90% of the western comic market is action comics in one way or another. If you're not sure what to do, you can just copy something else that's worked before. But, MLP is a different beast entirely. The artists trying to break into comics didn't grow up drawing ponies, they doodled superheroes. The writers who want into comics have probably read hundreds of Spider-Man or Batman comics, but how many slice of life comics have they read outside of maybe Calvin and Hobbs or Peanuts? There are very few people already working in the industry who were ready for MLP's popularity, and they get compared to enthusiastic fan-artists that don't have to worry about deadlines. There's a learning curve here that no one was really prepared for, and I think that's why the comics can be so hit or miss. Most of these creators have never written or drawn anything quite like this.

And, yeah, the lack of content per issue is a problem when comics are nearly universally $4 a pop for maybe 10 minutes of entertainment (a generous estimate, I'll admit). And I feel like the industry is ever so slowly inching towards $5 a issue, with specials and one shots that are $6 or $8 getting us used to the inevitable change. Marvel's brief affair with bringing $1 reprints back was a highlight for me, and I miss that True Believers program. It would take something drastic to lower the price of these books, and I have no idea what. Even a avalanche of new readers probably wouldn't do it.

Personally, I'm definitely going to try and stick with the G5 comic for this first year. The solicitations have me curious enough for that, at least. We'll see how this generation fairs once everything's out and all the gears start meshing with each other. I kind of want to see how this machine of a franchise will run.
 
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CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
I feel like Hasbro kind of assigned different aspects of this cartoon to different mediums, so each part has something unique to do. The Movies are possibly for the big, franchise changing events, and the eventual new toy gimmicks. The Youtube shorts are all about comedy and slice of life stuff. The CGI cartoon is probably going to be where you go for adventures and action. And, it seems like IDW is getting to do some background lore and connections to G4.

I'm convinced this is the case. It's such a Hasbro thing to do. They are forever on the hunt for the ultimate multimedia strategy and this could be the latest experiment.

If this is the case, I can respect IDW for doing whatever it is they get to do here the way I've grown to accept the 2D show for being what it's allowed to be. I'll be reading these unless they truly suck like the G1 crossover. But I think what killed the G1 crossover is they hadn't seen the show, they couldn't find the out of print DVD set, and Hasbro doesn't currently have a production bible for those characters. G5 should not have that problem.
 

Dvandom

Well-known member
Citizen
One of the later seasons of G4 had the comic tightly coordinated with it, every issue was some sort of continuation of an episode. Bit them in the bum once when there was a show hiatus but the comics kept coming out, IIRC. "Who are these ponies and why are we assumed to know who they are?" kind of deal.

---Dave
 

Videomaster21XX

This is how a unicorn comments
Citizen
So the videogame Maretime Bay Adventures is out. Don't have it (and can't get it till next check) But it seems to focus on you doing things, magic failing, except Sprout is behind it.

So for those who did want more Sprout, he's in the game. It's got voice acting as well.
 

Caldwin

Making a comback in Scarlet/Violet
Citizen
I may check it out next paycheck. At least it's not a free to play mobile game like FiM got.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
I don't have anything that can play it, but I'll watch a walkthrough. Everything about the gameplay seems like it was specifically designed to push my buttons.
 

ZakuConvoy

Well-known member
Citizen
Did someone say they wanted to see a walkthrough?

The entire game gets spoiled below.
Here's all the cutscenes:

And here's a walkthrough:

I haven't watched it through completely, myself, but...it seems like this game's pretty short. This guy beat in under two hours.

EDIT: Watched the Walkthrough, here's some random thoughts:

Fun Fact: It seems like you don't SPEND the crystals you collect throughout the game. You just unlock clothes when you get a certain number, like getting a high score.

Second Fun Fact: It seems like if you get the highest score possible on these minigames, you unlock a different pony to play as after you beat the game...I think.


The Rainbow Brighthouse! ...It's already glitching out. Cheap, foreign-made toys...

Shimmerwing! ...They act like we're supposed to know who that is. I know it's just a moving guide to tell you where you're supposed to go, but they could have given us a little more backstory.

Sprout LIVES! I guess his punishment is being a NPC in a video game.

Izzy creating graffitti! Is there a Izzy clone around, is the Brighthouse glitching making her evil, or is someone dressing up as her?

Primrose! She's kind of cute. And she has a little crush on Hitch. Also...what is with this generation and ponies in boxes?

"Smoothie Operator"...ugh.

Oh, those are the mirrors from Pipp's salon, Mane Melody. I guess they ARE "Magic Mirrors", not some sort of tech.

Who knew Hitch was a X-Man?

Huh, another instance of Zipp liking detective stuff. I guess it's not just the comics.

And now a evil Zipp. When she wasn't around. So...clone or imposter, then, not possession. Also note: Zipp WILL flee a crime scene.

"It wasn't easy" Sick burn, Sunny!

Zoom! ...Should we know her? Was she one of Zipp's flight school cadets and I forgot her? *Looks at Tell Your Tale: Zipp's Flight School again* Huh, it looks like she WAS in that class. I don't think she was named there, though.

Ah, man, we got rollerblades! If there's anything I've learned from Pokemon XY, it's that people LOVE rollerblades in video games. (I actually liked the rollerblades in XY, myself). Also, they give you these RIGHT BEFORE a mission requiring precise walking?! I guess if you want to train players NOT to use them...

Sprout riles up the town against Unicorns and Pegasi. Okay...in the Movie, Sprout DID rile up the town, but it came across like HE was just as afraid as anyone. Here, it seems like he's being purposely manipulative and...he just wasn't clever or mean-spirited enough for that in the Movie.

AHHH! BUNNY WITH ANIME HAIR! I never thought this fear would be relevant twice! The abomination's name is Marcel.

...Oh, great, it can fly now.

Continuity gaff: WINGS was NOT Zipp's mom's idea. It was her friend's idea. You could MAYBE say it was Pipp's idea, but her mom wasn't even in that episode.

Pipp's the suspect this time. But her wings fell off...did Sprout seriously paint himself different colors just to frame everyone?

WOW, they literally tell you that you can't really lose this final race with Zipp.

"Saddle up then!" WOAH Zipp, let's keep this PG!

Magic glitching=Zipp falling from the skies...I'm surprised they showed that in this game! And, OUCH! I think I hurt my neck from this tonal whiplash! ...I'm gonna sue...

*Zipp falls to potential death* "Oh, yes!"...Sprout's really EVIL in this game, huh?

Zipp splashed down in the water, so she's fine.

Earth Ponies are REALLY easy to manipulate, huh? Also, it's...a little twisted that they care more about the neat magic than the other ponies but...one step at a time, I guess.

EXTREME SPORTS!!!

Wow, Hitch, you actually made this situation worse...thanks...

Zipp and Pipp literally do nothing...still better than Hitch, so thanks!

And Izzy with the block! MVP! That's for using arts and crafts for evil!

"We're not going to hurt you" You SHOULD!

Wait, so ANYTIME ANYONE has a problem the magic is gone for EVERYONE?! That's...so weird. I guess they better get along...OR ELSE!

Dance ending! Cliche, but, eh.

So, the moral of the story is: If anyone disagrees about ANYTHING the whole world FALLS APART!
 
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Caldwin

Making a comback in Scarlet/Violet
Citizen
I played it for about 20 minutes tonight. It's pretty much what I expected so far, go from point A to point B and play some mini-games aimed at children. I still maintain it's better than the mobil FiM game, but that's a very low bar to hurdle. I'll probably finish it because it looks like an easy Platinum, and it doesn't look like a complete slog. I'm sure I'll get some enjoyment out of it. But it is a rather superficial game over all.
 

Caldwin

Making a comback in Scarlet/Violet
Citizen
Aaaaand, I got my platinum trophy...and I beat the game in one evening. Well, final word on the game. It's fun and all, but. obviously made for kids. It's all mini-games and fetch quests. You'll be able to get all but one of the trophies just by going through the game and even the final trophy is easy enough to do if you just know where to go (which you can google easily).

And I'm sure it wouldn't be a spoiler to say I still don't like Sprout.
 

Caldwin

Making a comback in Scarlet/Violet
Citizen
Oh, I'm definitely glad it exists. And I definitely don't begrudge it being a kids game. After all, it's a kids franchise. I had a bit of fun with it too. I was just saying that as a heads up to adult players, this is what it is.
 

Caldwin

Making a comback in Scarlet/Violet
Citizen
Eh, there's platforming as far as jumping from one platform to get from point A to point B. But there aren't any Mario bottemless pits, death traps or things trying to kill you. It's just map traversal.
 

blueskyscribe

Member
Citizen
Regarding the game
I really felt like they needed another scene with Sprout where he apologizes or something. Instead it was like, "Well, we caught you; therefore we are all friends now." Er, what?

Anyway, yeah, definitely a kids game, which is fine. The controls did feel great, like it was very satisfying making Sunny run around and jump.

Anyone know how to switch between characters after unlocking them?
 

Caldwin

Making a comback in Scarlet/Violet
Citizen
Yeah, that did bug me too. Unfortunately, that is a very MLP way of dealing with it, "we won so we're friends now."

I was wondering about switching characters too. But now I'm thinking that those unlocks were really just saying you unlocked their mini-games and not that you unlocked the character to control.
 
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