ReBoot: The Guardian Code – the VR Power Rangers
After many years ReBoot finally got a new show in the form of Reboot: The Guardian Code which mixes live action with CG as they go inside the machines with Virtual Reality like devices. Fans were not very happy but since I am a big fan of shows that deal with people going into digital worlds à la Tron, I didn’t mind at all. After watching it I realized that it’s a show with potential and fans should definitely give it a shot.
For die-hard fans of the original show will find a very different show and I don’t really know why exactly they went with the ReBoot brand if they were planning something so different as most of the time it just doesn’t feels anything like it. We do get Megabyte as a villain and he’s great and just as you remember him, but he’s the only constant link to the old show. However I’d say that his style clashes a bit with the rest of the show so it doesn’t help the new show either. We do get a few references to the old show here and there but they’re small Easter eggs for fans more than anything. There is indeed one episode that deals and feels exactly like the old show we watched and it’s a blast. The good news is I feel like we’ll end up getting more and more of this type of episodes down the line, I doubt they’ve forgotten just remember how much the old show changed.
With the old show addressed let’s get into #thenewnew and this show well it’s a bit of a mess but nowhere near as bad as the first season of the original ReBoot. You have some teens who become heroes after being chosen to protect cyberspace. The show is rather episodic for the most part so if you’re not into episode by episode adventures you won’t like it too much at first. I do think the show starts getting better even if things revert back to the status quo on most episodes. The story does start moving along slowly in the episodes and I can already see various story arcs being made.
The original show always mentioned the User lived outside the net which made me accept this new take rather easily for me as it was a big question posed that was never really answered. The Bad guy is a hacker named that goes by the name The Sorcerer and he makes a cool villain. In fact the concept is very similar to Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad in terms of plot but sadly it doesn’t reach that level of cool just yet. The CG is also solid and looks nice though sometimes you get some background scenes that seem rather blocky.
The main characters aren’t all too interesting but they’re not too bland either falling into the normal tropes of the jock, the geek, the leader, the girl and the mentor. In many ways the show feels a lot like Power Rangers with the exception that there is no live-action umm…action scenes and the virtual CG fights aren’t as exciting as fights in suits but it does make me want this idea to be used in a future Power Rangers show.
The live-action scenes can be hit or miss as they deal with day to day teenager problems but most of the time they deal with stuff that’s already been done to death so nothing special but the potential is definitely there. As with other things I’ve mentioned this is a show that I can see improving over time so I hope it finds an audience. It definitely isn’t for everyone but it’s far from horrible as most people were making it out to be just from the trailers.
After watching the first 2 seasons I can say the concept of the show is good but there’s just a few things that are wrong with it and these things are amplified since it’s nothing like the original reboot so comparisons to it only hurt it more when it’s a totally different show. It’s a different genre than the original show so it can’t really be compared, yet the use of not only the name but also some of the characters, in this case mainly the villain Megabyte bring it back to the original show. The fact that the scenes with Megabyte are usually pretty damn good make it even more apparent since he clashes with the style of the show that it’s going for.
The show is better thought of as a Power Rangers like show with the action scenes being in CG. The action is not amazing but I did see improvement from the first few episodes in the first season to the last ones this second season even though they were all likely made during the same time and could improve a lot. The live action actors don’t quite have the personality or chemistry as say the Mighty Morphin’ teenagers with attitude which is a shame but they sometimes show potential. The actual plots go all over the place with some just being boring fillers and others being cheesy yet fun, sadly no real big stand out episodes.
The CG cyber world is awesome and very Tron inspired and I love it, again the only downside is that it clashes with the computer world in the Mainframe Reboot cartoon. The ending of the season with a cliffhanger is ok but the big reveal was a mess and handled even worse. The show has potential and I’d love to see more and improve on the things it’s lacking in but I can understand most of the complains since I do think the Reboot name does more harm than not. The soundtrack is pretty damn good and better than it had any right to
For more VR in media check out WeaR VeaR and also MiscRave where I usually keep my virtual world at.