VGHS: S02E01 (2013)

We’re back – well they’re back and this season is bigger, longer, and better than ever before. It’s been great to count down the anticipation of such a high production valued web series and see where things are one year on.

So returning into a newly imagined world, we find our three main characters Brian (played by Josh Blaylock), Ted (played by Jimmy Wong), and Ki (played by Ellary Porterfield) in a new world playing together like we would in normal day to day life. Going on quests, while tlaking about your day and plans. It’s a breath of fresh air into a high school environment where we don’t have to be confined to the walls of the school. We are able to learn about characters in their real life, or in their virtual lives, spicing up the locations and starkness of repetitive locations.

Before I get onto the opeing titles, we see our first visual effect of the music, and bow and arrow tag team death move. Golly gosh I had a weird VFX, gaming, visual erection. My reaction was literally, “if this is the new level of VFX I’m sold. Actually I backed the right project”.

Then we hit the opening titles. It’s different, not graphically orientate, and very television drama show reflective. Do I like them? Not entirely. Did I want them to use the old one? Yes. Am I glad they changed it? Yes. After all, though it isn’t what we were previously shown, it reflects what this season is about. There’s the gaming – that’s a given – but the style and music tell us this is more drama orientated. Hell, it was there with Ted and Ki. The touching, and just general acceptance of relationships is evident.

We are faced with a little hesitant moments (Brian asking Jenny to the date) but I don’t think, at least it’d be stupid to, neglect such emotions. These are feelings that are universal, and without them we might as well watch half an hour of paint drying.

Our characers have grown up, and I’m glad to see such a shift. A mixture of “one year on from the previous story”, physically growing up, and possibly as actors feeling more comfortable with the global exposure that came from VGHS season one.

My concern with this season is the storyline. At this currewnt time, it feels loose. It’s there, but what theyre going to do with it, and if they are going to create something better than last season (which is effectviely their rating system) is going to do it for me.

I’m still unsure about the direction we’re heading so at this time I’m optimistic because this crew hasn’t let me down yet.

This wouldnt be a good review (or a conforming one at the least) if I didnt comment on the high frame rate (HFR).

I’m a fan. After listening to the creators talk about it in a recent Rocket Jump podcast, and their reasoning behind using it, I can see it’s benefits. Am I convinced it’s needed to watch the series (in terms of watch it in HFR vs. not watching in HFR) I don’t think it is a deciding factor. We did only have a short amount of game footage in this episode so it’s hard to say if the use is beneficial. But I commend them for using it, and using it as an addition not marketing.

Ultimately, I’m glad the series is back despite being only a half season (six episodes). The extended duration is nice too, and isn’t affecting my attention span (nor should it you). I just feel at this point, at six episodes long, and in the first episode the sotrylines aren’t exactly as crystal clear as I’d like. Restricted by the amount of episodes though it’s understandable to how quick arcs have to be revealed opposed series with more episodes.

On a side note: loving the advancements made to The Law (played by Brian Firenzi). I know a guy who acts exactly like that in real life and boy oh boy, “put my stuff everywhere” is spot on.