Monday, July 23, 2007

Moonlight Mile: X-68 Lift Off

Moonlight Mile 12: X-68 switches in the scramjetsScramjet, GO!

Conspiracy, engineering eye candy, a brief "good luck ritual" scene that was too dark to see on my monitor? This was a fine conclusion.

Not to put down the previous three episodes, but this one was most refreshing. There was no one in need of saving, we are perhaps one step closer to seeing what the US is up to, and China is brought in with a coy little scene. Like the Moon Walker arc, technology is front and centre, but unlike the Moon Walker arc, nothing goes wrong.

Usually technology is in the background and taken for granted as it should be, like in Planetes, but when it's not and doesn't manage to blow up or otherwise embarrass itself with all eyes upon it, truly it is a glorious day.

Moonlight Mile 12: Take downChest shot! That ought to slow him down!

Yes, I still play a (one) game, and snipers are still a royal nuisance, and being shot in the leg doesn't slow anyone down despite messages stating the contrary.

They didn't have to be so heavy-handed about this shot. Targeting lasers aren't as thick as some dude's finger, and people like infrared sites nowadays because they have this neat property of being outside the visible wavelength range. At most, a tiny red dot would have sufficed, like they did for the first episode.

Moonlight Mile 12: Stealth helicopter pilotI chuckled

At first I was going to say he looks like the guy on the Tiberian Sun box art, but the target finder is on the opposite eye and the finder's support rises from the bottom instead of dropping down from the top. In reality, this one just looks like a guy with a monocle. Cue annoying social laugh.

While Goro's path is interesting in its own right, Lostman's military path is much more in line with what I was expecting, ever since watching the MM preview trailer. While the realistic physics and technology were cool, conspiracy and conflict were the main selling points, and they were almost non-existent for most of the series.

The ISA is also a work in progress, while the US military is already there. Having an established power base is much more in line with expectations of a showdown of epic proportions.

Thrust vectoring owns the starsThis baby can turn on a dime, Macross Zero style!

Another exemplary display of technology. Still darker than black (ops).

At the end of the day, the preview mismanaged expectations, but even taking it as it is, Moonlight Mile's mostly "Problem of the Week" structure did not cover the same amount of moral/philosophical ground as Planetes.