Author Topic: Mariobilia: Gotta Watch 'Em All (Over Again)  (Read 1072 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline King Bowser Koopa

  • NWR Staff
  • Score: 7
    • View Profile
Mariobilia: Gotta Watch 'Em All (Over Again)
« on: August 04, 2014, 11:46:00 PM »

Beyond's next Pokédex set is here! Better get Watching!

Two years ago I wrote about a series of incredible Pokémon DVD sets released by Beyond Home Entertainment here in my home country of Australia, that compiled the combined seasons from the TV show representing each of the games' main regions into massive saga collections. Those who remember the feature will also perhaps remember a quote I made back then -

"There needs to be a Unova collection when Black & White ends!" ~by Two Years Ago Andrew.

Australian Pokémon fans need not wait any longer, as this wish has come to pass. The Pokémon: Unova Region Collection has hit store shelves. Another 18 discs worth of Pokémonic fun are brought together for this epic set, totalling 142 episodes and over 52 hours of combined running time.

The Unova Pokédex in all its glory.

Like previous sets, this box is designed to represent the Pokédex from the region it contains. The printing method used on the packaging design seems to have undergone an upgrade, with a glossy sheen over the 'Dex's screen and other parts of the image. The promotional slip cover can be removed like with the earlier seasons as well, and the design wraps around all sides of the box to maintain a consistent look and feel. Extra points for the box being the exact same size as the other collections, the uniformity makes the collection as a whole really stand out.

The discs are housed in little sleeves within the pages.

Inside the box is a large hard-cover book featuring the DVD discs nestled into little slots within the pages. Each disc is in its own protective bag when you first open it to prevent scratches and manufacturing mishaps, and the housing holds the disc surprisingly safely. The pages themselves are adorned with episode lists for each of the discs found within, Pokémon artwork and statistics, human character bios and a complete regional Pokédex across the inside of the front and back covers.

Wait, which town is this? Where's the region map?

Possibly my only nitpick for the design of this collection relates to the introductory information in the book's first few pages. The previous sets each featured a beautiful map to introduce viewers to the region being represented in their corresponding saga of the series. The Unova region still gets its own blurb, but instead of a top-down map of the whole region, the artwork used on this page sadly appears to be a screen capture of a generic town background ripped directly from the show. It's not even that flattering of a picture, as far as this saga's background art goes. One of the region's more iconic locations, such as the breathtaking Castelia City (as seen in most other promotional material for the Black and White games) would have been a better choice.

All the new Pokémon are faithfully listed.

As for the show itself, you can read some of my thoughts in this blog from last year. My opinion on the series is much the same today as it was back then, though perhaps after seeing the show in the proper order I can now understand some fans' complaints that Ash and Pikachu were ‚Äúdumbed down‚ÄĚ much more significantly than usual in the beginning of their Unova journey. Ash reverts to making the same rookie mistakes he started out with more than ten years ago (and yet, he's never aged a day!) and several episode plots early in the Unova series are even directly rehashed from old seasons for a new generation of viewers. Thankfully the more serious tones and continuing story arcs pick up the slack, and being a personal fan of Iris and Cilan's change of pace to the traditional series formula helped keep me focused until Ash's evident maturity boost in Black and White's second season.

Black and White's supporting cast.

The animation is a cut above the Hoenn and Sinnoh seasons, with a new art style that revamps the look of the cast while still retaining the familiar designs. The colors are vibrant and the inserted CGI effects are smoothly worked into the design in a way that meshes well without being overly intrusive. Thankfully, the episodes are all presented in 16:9 wide-screen orientation. It may not be as crisp as Blu-Ray, but the picture looks pretty nice when upscaled on an HDTV. No special features on the discs and still no audio language options, but as with these collections thus far, the proof is in the presentation, so to speak.

Bigger than some suitcases, and containing almost 800 episodes!

Minor flaws aside, if you're the type of collector who would consider buying this series, you're probably going to buy it and love it regardless of a few nitpicks. Chances are you've bought it already anyway! For those of you who haven't, it's still available at JB Hi-Fi and Sanity. These collections have a tendency to find themselves rarer than a shiny Mew after a few months, so get your skates on if you don't want to miss out. Now we just have to wait for a Kalos box when the great new X and Y seasons are finished! Don't let us down, Beyond!

Andrew Brown - NWR Australia Correspondent