Friday, 28 October 2016

UK PonyCon 2016, Friday: Giant horses and onion bhajis

Equus Altus sculputre, Trinity shopping centre, Leeds
Giant Horse activate!
I spent last weekend at UK PonyCon 2016, which was held in Leeds. More precisely, in the Royal Armouries Hall at the Royal Armouries Museum. (It was the Royal Armouries, don't you know.) The tl;dr version is that I had an absolutely fantastic time, and might well rank this as my favourite MLP convention of all five I've attended (BUCK 2013 & '14; UKPC 2014, '15 & '16). Assuming UKPC 2017 happens, and if I can be there, I will be there.

Come past the break with me for the thrilling tale of packed trains, giant horses and muffins that was Friday.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Text Review Roundup: "To Where and Back Again"

Starlight Glimmer and freaking-out Trixie
We could have done with that spell back in "Boast Busters" and "Magic Duel"...

This will vbe the last episode TRR for a while, though there'll be one for Legend of Everfree, which I'll try to get up before too long. The Season Six finale went down very well among people I talked to, although the manner of the changeling reformation wasn't universally adored. Here's what the text-based reviewers made of the episode. We have the biggest range of opinions I've ever seen, though it was pretty easy to predict where the lowest scores would come from.

Sadly, Articles of Destroyer and Batbrony Reviews have not updated to cover the finale – indeed, AoD hasn't posted anything since "Where the Apple Lies" – but I've added Mercury-Ami to the mix.

ArthurCrane – very positive ("this episode kicks all the butts")

Derpy News – extremely positive (graded A; "something different and amazing")

Louder Yay – very positive (four stars; "in the upper echelons of S6")

Mercury-Ami – wildly positive (graded A+; "the show's best episode since Twilight's Kingdom")

MLEEP Reviews – wildly positive (rated 10/10; "knocks it out of the park")

The Railfan Brony Blog – spectacularly negative (rated minus 10/10; "the smoking crater of MLP's drop in quality")

The Super Mario Brony Blog – spectacularly negative (rated minus five stars; "this atrocity of a season finale")

Super Recaps – mixed (great first half but "payoff just didn’t come together")

TheDragonWarlock – fairly positive (graded B; "nowhere near the awesomeness of Twilight’s Kingdom, but it is a step up from the last season finale")

Thrond Media Pony Corner – positive (rated 83%; "solid characterization ... well-written dialogue ... a really enjoyable episode")

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Episode review: S6E25&26: "To Where and Back Again"

Queen Chrysalis makes her entrance
Right in front of the princesses. That has to be deliberate
Well. Well. After quite a ride during Season Six, we've come to the season finale at last. Well, actually some of us in the UK saw it weeks ago, and I saw it again at UK PonyCon on Saturday, but still. The writers were Josh Haber and Michael Vogel, so the big guns were definitely being wheeled out. Was I about to see a story for the ages, or would I end up disappointed and wishing that "Top Bolt" had actually been the last episode of the season? Find out by clicking past the break.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Brief update

I'm back from UK PonyCon. Had a fantastic time. Report coming soonish. And an episode review for the S6 finale. Plus, eventually and if I remember, TRR for the finale and Legend of Everfree. No Ponyfic Roundup this week, though. Probably for the best.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Film review: Legend of Everfree

SciTwi makes everything levitate
"The script! How are we going to sound natural now?"
Sadly, the fourth Equestria Girls movie has not been given a cinema release in the UK, so I can't repeat my big-screen viewings from the first three films. Nevertheless, Pop has now shown it over here, and with that official showing having come about I think it's time for a review. (Screenshots are from the HD Brazilian airing, though.) I don't mind EqG, but so far only one instalment – Rainbow Rocks – has really risen above the "well, that wasn't bad" level to become a personal favourite. Past the break, let's see whether LoE could do it.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Text Review Roundup: "Top Bolt"

Twilight looking thrilled at the prospect of the classroom portion
S6 seems to have given us more of Adorkable Twilight than for some time. I approve
I've written another very silly story. This one is getting a considerably warmer reception than the last one. More on that when I have time next week, but for now it's TRR once again. The last "normal" episode of Season Six (and actually the last episode of all if you were watching on Tiny Pop!) got a very good reception on UK of Equestria, but how will it do with the text-based reviewers? The answer is... very well! Not a single reviewer actually dislikes this episode, and quite a few of them absolutely love it.

ArthurCrane – generally positive ("turns out to be pretty decent")

Articles of Destroyer – N/A (review not up as TRR went to press)

Batbrony Reviews – positive ("a solid penultimate episode")

Derpy News – wildly positive (graded A+; "a top tier episode")

Louder Yay – very positive (four stars; "a fine piece of Friendship is Magic storytelling")

MLEEP Reviews – wildly positive (rated 10/10; "soared its way to the top of the class")

The Railfan Brony Blog – very positive (rated 9/10; "It was actually really great!")

The Super Mario Brony Blog – wildly positive (five stars; "one of the series' finest outings")

Super Recaps – very positive ("refreshing to get an episode that works so damn well")

TheDragonWarlock – fairly positive (graded B+; "While there are some issues ... this is a good episode for both Twilight and Rainbow.")

Thrond Media Pony Corner – extremely positive (rated 95%; "the friendship problem in this episode is one of the best this show has ever had")

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Ponyfic Roundup 129: God Save Donald Duck, Vaudeville and Variety

For the last PR before my mini-hiatus, I have another five stories to look at. Unusually for me, two of them are Mature-rated pieces, though neither is a clopfic in the usual sense of the word. Not a week with any standout fics, but there are several in the "if you like this stuff, this fic's worth a look" category.

The Worst Clopfic Ever by Noir de Plume
One Step Closer by InvaderSplorch
Fluttershy's Nice Fanfic by Jay-The Brony
Story of the Blanks by Aoshi Stark
Toola Roola Paints a Picture by Captain_Hairball

★: 0 | ★★: 3 | ★★★: 2 | ★★★★: 0 | ★★★★★: 0