Before going in, I should warn you that there is quite a bit of cursing, although the “F-Bomb” is strangely replaced with “frak”, the catch-all curse from both versions of Battlestar Galactica. But once you get past that you find one darn awesome little review show. Yes, another reviewer, but Apollo Z. Hack takes his “Reviewaverse Saga” beyond a mere review.
You know how Linkara has been incorporating storylines into his Atop the Fourth Wall reviews? Well, Apollo’s taken it to the next level. With other reviewers guest-starring, amazing costumes for what his budget must be, and an epic story where he is “film’s last hope”, up against an evil organization.
I’m going to drop you the same place I fell in, episode 4. It sets up the plot and impressed me from the start. Besides, as with TJTV previously, making a review of something good entertaining is Saturday Night Showcase worthy. So watch as Apollo doesn’t just review Kamen Rider ZO, but kicks some butt while doing it!
First a quick note about Hack, who doesn’t appear to be his namesake. Hack is one of the reviewers at Xtreme Network Online, (UPDATE 4/18/2011: XNO recently merged with The Geek Fighters to form Reviewtopia; the link has been changed to his new page) a collection of reviewers similar to the more famous That Guy With The Glasses.com. In addition to this series is a sort of prequel called The Hackdown, which is a review show done in the form of v-logs requested by his therapist. (He mentions this episode in the review above.) His review of the marionette movie Strings makes me want to see this movie. It sounds original in a good way. You may also have seen him in a couple of new Channel Awesome contributor Obscurus Lupa‘s videos. The boy gets around.
Lupa returns the favor by cameoing here. Additionally, other reviewers appear here, including two other Channel Awesomers, Sean Fausz in a voice role and Jew Wario with a great “morphing” sequence. (That’s the downside to text reviewers. We don’t get a cool morphing sequence. Although we can draw them. 🙂 ) I’m afraid I don’t recognize any of the other cameos, except for “The Shades“, but I can’t watch every reviewer on the internet like he does.
Now what about the costume? I don’t know the history of the eye patch, but I like the rest of this uniform. Then there’s the “Rever 1” outfit, which just looks totally cool. Remember, this guy’s not rolling in the dough, but his effects and outfits are better than even some of Channel Awesome’s videos. As for the “R-Units”, they maybe Kamen Rider Dragon Knight advent belts with some silver paint, but they still work. The devices may be reminiscent of the the “Guyver Units” from his first review in this series, The Guyver. If you track down that one, there is a scene where a guy snorts Hack’s ashes like cocaine and rather messily turns into him. Not exactly BW-friendly.
A quick note about Kamen Rider ZO. I had seen both Shin Kamen Rider (which is just bad) and Kamen Rider J (which is great), and whatever flaws Saban’s Masked Rider had, it did make me interested in the Japanese series. I also recommend viewing this if you can find it at Veoh.com. It’s a well-done story, although why this guy was chosen really isn’t told to the audience.
As a whole, I marvel at the quality of production Hack brings to both his series. They’re funny and informative, backed by a storyline that has a stronger presentation that even Linkara’s current “Lord Vice” arc. He does a great job weaving the story and the reviews together, and with great production quality and a little help from his friends. It’s made me more interested in some of the shows he’s reviewed, which is the intent of a positive review. I also like his rockin’ theme song. Some of my more conservative readers may not be all that comfortable with the show, but if you give it a chance it’s a frakin’ good ride thus far.
EDIT: The “Internet Hall of Fame” skit in its entirety.