Friday, 30 September 2016

What I'm writing

As I'd hoped, publishing Sunset's Sales Snag has got the ol' creative juices flowing again at last. SSS is not a particularly good story, though I do like some of its little touches – but I think it's what I needed. As things stand, I have three fics in various stages of preparedness, and they are:

Story 1 – This is the one I'm putting most into, and which may well be my next published story. It includes an idea I've had for a long, long time about Fluttershy – something that others have written similarly, but not quite the way I see it. However, 'Shy will be a secondary character; this is mainly a story about Applejack and an OC. Assuming it works out, this will be my first properly "serious" fic since To Be the Candle from June 2015.

Story 2 – This, on the other hand, is a piece of pure silliness. Rarity has discovered that cricket is played in Canterlot and has fallen in love with the game. She's rather rashly challenged a Canterlot side to a match, which means getting a Ponyville side together. And trying to teach them what cricket actually is. I don't expect this will get much of an audience, but I don't care. Conceived quite a bit before "Buckball Season" appeared, incidentally.

Story 3 – Here I'm in "back to basics" mode again, as I was with The Light that Ignites in the Dark back in December 2014. I want to write a fairly light, fun Mane Six adventure story of the sort that people used to put out years ago. Equestria's increasing fullness, the existence of Starlight, etc mean it's hard to do adventure in the way It's a Serious Business once did, so I'll have to fiddle things. (Not that I'm being that ambitious anyway, but you see the point.)

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Text Review Roundup: "Every Little Thing She Does"

Twilight yells at Starlight Glimmer
"And don't you ever try that wing-removal spell again, you hear me?"
Another week, another episode... though if the UK TV schedules are to be believed, that saying isn't going to hold for Tiny Pop next week! Anyway, last Saturday's ep was very controversial before it arrived. Did it do enough to please the text-based reviewers? Well... in some cases. Some of them hated it, and I mean really hated it. That's Starlight episodes for you, I suppose. Good to see Batbrony back this week, incidentally.

ArthurCrane – positive ("builds on the details we’ve known about Starlight so far")

Articles of Destroyer – slightly positive (rated 7/10; weak middle act but excellent ending)

Batbrony Reviews – very positive ("a really, really solid episode")

Derpy News – very positive (graded A; "great less[on, although] a bit repetitive")

Louder Yay – very positive (four stars; "does both Starlight Glimmer and Twilight a power of good")

MLEEP Reviews – extremely positive (rated 9.5/10; "a magically fun episode")

The Railfan Brony Blog – very negative (rated 2/10; "Starlight once again proves to be a poorly written character")

The Super Mario Brony Blog – really, really negative (minus one star; "I'll just keep hoping that she'll [guess!] be scrapped from MLP for good")

Super Recaps – negative ("[mind control is] just an unpleasant premise")

TheDragonWarlock – mostly positive (graded B+; "a good episode, but not as good as Starlight's previous outing")

Thrond Media Pony Corner – mixed ("Not a misfire, and very admirable for its ambition, but definitely flawed.")

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Tiny Pop to show the end of Season Six before Discovery Family?

As reported on Equestria Daily (though for once I knew about this slightly before EQD posted it), the electronic programme guides for Tiny Pop in the UK are showing something very interesting. Namely, that the last four episodes of Season Six are slated to be shown on 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th October. There's also a marathon of episodes 21-26 (but missing 24?!?) listed for the morning of the 9th.

Will this actually happen? Who knows, really? We've had "The Fault in Our Cutie Marks" airing early in some countries – but that was for production-order reasons. We've had Legend of Everfree airing early in Brazil – but that's a movie. I'm pretty sure we've never had an actual Friendship is Magic season finale shown in other territories before Discovery Family has aired it in the US.

Even though I have access to Tiny Pop and will probably watch the finale this weekend if it does go out then, I have slightly mixed feelings. I'm not generally a fan of squashing up new episodes (I don't like "Steven Bombs" much either) and I was also looking forward to UK PonyCon (22-23 October) coinciding with the finale. Still, all we can do right now is wait and see what happens.

Ponyfic Roundup 126: Our Tongues with Songs of Joy

Just the four stories this week; it's been rather busy around here, for one reason and another. The timetable for UK PonyCon has been published, for one thing, and to my great surprise they have two writing panels. I know (slightly) one of the people doing one, but I have no idea who the people doing the other are. I shall try to get to both, and will report back! Anyway, off we go with today's limited selection of ponyfic.

That Changeling's a Pony! by Raugos
Tower of the West by Lasairfion
Butterscotch by Silvermoons1
Relinquishing by Chris

★: 1 | ★★: 0 | ★★★: 1 | ★★★★: 2 | ★★★★★: 0

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Most and Least Rewatchable: Season Four

Pinkie points at the camera during her opening song
I'm still waiting for it, Pinkie...
Back to a full 26-episode season this time, which makes things both easier and more difficult. I enjoyed S4 on the whole, despite its very variably written Pinkie. Some very good episodes didn't make my top three – although some of the season's low points were pretty darn low. I doubt there'll be a huge amount of controversy over my winning choice this week (I resisted the immense temptation to put "Bats!" at number one), but there may be a little more when it comes to the episodes I rate as my least rewatched, especially from fans of a certain pony...!

Monday, 26 September 2016

Episode review: S6E21: "Every Little Thing She Does"

Starlight, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie, the last two mind-controlled
The show's been on a pretty decent streak in this back end of Season Six, and the announcement that Michael Vogel was to write episode 21 set some minds at rest after a teaser trailer that caused considerable controversy. "Every Little Thing She Does" (clever The Police reference there!) was also storyboarder Sabrina Alberghetti's last episode; in recognition of the fine work she's done since S1, I'm giving her a tag this time. Beyond the break, I'll talk a bit about what I thought of the episode.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Pony Music Library 26: "Unleash the Magic"

Writing continues apace on what I now like to think of as Proper Story, which may not work out perfectly but which is already approximately a billion times better than Sunset's Sales Snag. Today, though, it's music that takes my attention, with a song that's only a year old but which I think is one of the finest canon tracks of them all.

What? "Unleash the Magic"

Who? Daniel Ingram, Caleb Chan and Trevor Hoffman (music); Daniel Ingram and Josh Haber (lyrics)

Which? Equestria Girls song

When? September 2015

Why? After the sustained musical excellence of Rainbow Rocks, the third film in the sub-franchise had a hard job living up to it – and it didn't. Although a couple of songs were very good, others did tend to suffer from Ingram Disease, the tendency to overcomplicate music that would be more effective if kept simple. "Unleash the Magic" just works, though, and (as with "This Day Aria") is a great example of how Disney-style villainy can be incorporated into music and still fit in with the world of MLP. Iris Quinn's fine turn as Cinch is wonderfully backed up by the Shadowbolts, with Rebecca Shiochet's eternally fantastic Twilight voice being the icing on the cake.

Friday, 23 September 2016

New story by me: Sunset's Sales Snag

Red and yellow stylised sun logo
Taken from some public domain picture library or other
Sunset's Sales Snag by Loganberry
Sunset Shimmer and OC
Comedy/Equestria Girls/Slice of Life; 1k words; Sep 2016; Teen (Sex)
Sunset Shimmer works in market research. It's not going too well.
Sunset Shimmer, now 21 but still stuck in a dead-end sales job knocking on doors for a cake company, has put up with plenty in her years on the road. Drenching rain, clueless managers, hyenas... it's probably surprising she hasn't run into this problem before. A bit of silly fluff for Sunset Shimmer Day.

Before you say it: yes, I know yesterday was Sunset Shimmer Day. I did in fact publish this then, but have only just got round to posting about it here. Don't expect much (even by my standards) from this one – that last sentence of the description pretty much says it all. It's a case of writing a few paragraphs for fun, writing a few more, realising I was going to pass 1,000 words... and shrugging and deciding I might as well publish the damn thing anyway. The [Sex] tag is cautious, and is there for thematic reasons; there's nothing explicit in the story.

As I type this, the story isn't doing terribly well with readers: its thumbscore is +12/-4 as I type. It probably deserves that mediocre rating, though I suspect at least some of the downvoters did it just for the ending (which is indeed feeble). But I'm just relieved to have got something out after more than six months since my last full-length fic. Hopefully the next story I put out will be back to somewhere remotely near where I'd expect to be. :)

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Text Review Roundup: "Viva Las Pegasus"

Wide view of Las Pegasus
That head at the back... that's not modelled on Shining Armor, is it...?
It's Thursday, so it's time for this week's TRR. "Viva Las Pegasus" got a rather mixed reaction on UK of Equestria, but a more positive one on Equestria Daily. The text-based reviewers generally side with the EQD commenters this time, with nobody outright disliking the episode. As usual, you can click on a reviewer's name to read their thoughts in full.

ArthurCrane –positive ("really fun")

Articles of Destroyer –very positive (rated 9/10; "a highlight of the Season" though wanted more AJ/FS interaction)

Derpy News – fairly positive (graded B; "Mileage may vary on Flim Flams")

Louder Yay – very positive (four stars; "really entertaining and different")

MLEEP Reviews – wildly positive (rated 10/10; "some truly fabulous performances")

The Railfan Brony Blog – positive (rated 8/10; "wasn't perfect, but ... had potential that didn't feel wasted")

The Super Mario Brony Blog – wildly positive (rated 10/10; "will blow your mind, fascinate you, and entertain you")

Super Recaps – mixed ("okay, but it didn’t do anything special and it had a few jokes that fell really flat")

TheDragonWarlock – mostly positive (graded B+; "[AJ and FS] work well together")

Thrond Media Pony Corner – slightly positive ("fun, if not terribly memorable ... plays it safe")

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Ponyfic Roundup 125: InterCity

I'm writing ponyfic again! I'd like to thank the anonymous person who joked that I should write a [2nd Person] fic. I wrote a couple of paragraphs of one to humour them, and it morphed into an actual story. It's looking like it'll make it to Fimfiction, too, although it's very unlikely to be a second-person fic by that time. As it happens, there's a second-person story in this week's selection, albeit one by a far better writer than I shall ever be. Still, not even the best are sure-fire guarantors of success, so let's see how we do.

Pinkie Pie Is An Eldritch Abomination by PonyAmorous
A Fledgling's Struggle by BillBooks
Uncle Dave's Coffee Shop by SugarPesticide
For Whom We Are Hungry by Cold in Gardez
Forever Faithful by Konseiga

★: 0 | ★★: 1 | ★★★: 2 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 1

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A musical interlude: Matías Peñaloza plays "Shine Like Rainbows"

Because of family commitments, I haven't had time to finish writing "Most and Least Rewatchable: Season Four", so that feature will be held over until next Tuesday. I'll put your minds at rest, though, by saying that I have indeed resisted the immense temptation to put "Bats!" or "Rainbow Falls" at number one just to annoy people. :P

Instead, today I bring you this very fine performance of my favourite Rainbow Rocks song, played on keyboard by the excellent Matías Peñaloza – who, if he hasn't been featured on EQD already, surely must be soon. Clearly Casio keyboards have come a long way from the 1980s, when they were a bit of a joke, but it's the skill of the man playing the song that's the reason I'm posting this here. :)

Monday, 19 September 2016

Episode review: S6E20: "Viva Las Pegasus"

Siegfried, Roy, Fluttershy and prairie dogs
Fluttershy has some absurdly cute faces in this episode. Yes, even more than usual
Could it be true? Were we actually going to visit a city that wasn't Manehattan? I was looking forward to this episode for that reason alone, but it didn't hurt that its writers – Kevin Burke and Chris Wyatt – had shown their colours with "The Times They Are a Changeling". The title was an obvious Elvis reference, but last week's title had no bearing on the plot so I wasn't assuming anything. Past the break for the review itself!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Comic mini-review: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #45

IDW MLP comic issue #45, main cover
I like the little heart shape Tony Fleecs included in this
And so we come to the end of this slightly disappointing three-issue arc. You'd think Thom Zahler, Tony Fleecs and Heather Breckel could have done a little more with the premise, really. This final part is a small step up in entertainment value from last month's issue, enough to push it into the three-star band. In contrast to some reviewers, it seems, I actually quite like how the Nightmare Moon thing turns out, and some of Fleecs's dark-tinged panels are really rather striking. The resolution of several ponies' stories (including Fluttershy's) is disappointingly sudden, though, and Zecora's dialogue still grates on the ear. As a whole, the arc goes into the "mildly diverting" category, no more than that. ★★★

Friday, 16 September 2016

Pony Music Library 25: "Nightmare Night"

I've got nothing much to post about today, so let's go for another addition to the PML.

What? "Nightmare Night"

Who? WoodenToaster and Mic the Microphone

Which? Original song

When? October 2011

Why? It's amazing to think that this is almost five years old now, but its staying power is undoubted. I generally dislike songs that use heavy autotune, but in this case it's done for deliberate effect and works very well. Mic himself performed this live during his set at BUCK 2014's Summer Sun Celebration; I made sure I was there to see it – and it's not as if I usually go out of my way to seek out rappers! Sadly, none of the YouTube videos of it entirely capture the energy of the performance, but from inside the hall it was tremendous. There's a Living Tombstone remix, which I also like, but I do prefer the original.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Text Review Roundup: "The Fault in Our Cutie Marks"

Gabby peeks out at friendship in Griffonstone
"Sorry, I don't buy cutie marks from cold callers"
Note: I've upgraded "The Fault in Our Cutie Marks" from three to four stars on another viewing. It's just too adorable.

I really want to write some ponyfic simply for fun, and to get me past a block. I've actually always wanted to do an old-fashioned adventure – think a less ambitious version of It's a Dangerous Business, Going Out Your Door – and to hay with recent-season canon world-building, but never quite got round to it. Maybe I should just start writing and see where it takes me. Anyway, here we have a summary of the non-video reviews of "The Fault in Our Cutie Marks". This was a really well received episode. No Batbrony Reviews this week, but here are the rest:

ArthurCrane – very positive ("exactly the kind of thing I’ve wanted to see [since the CMC got their marks]")

Articles of Destroyer – very positive (rated 9/10; "starts a little choppy but [ends] up being a great episode")

Derpy News – extremely positive (graded A; "one of the best entries for Season Six")

happylemur – very positive ("a great story with great pacing, great characters and great humor")

Louder Yay – very positive (four stars; "[Gabby is] absolutely adorable")

MLEEP Reviews – extremely positive (rated 9.5/10; "truly feels like a step towards the next stage in the CMC's lives")

The Railfan Brony Blog – very positive (rated 9/10; "wasn't perfect, but ... had potential that didn't feel wasted")

The Super Mario Brony Blog – wildly positive (five stars; "Ed Valentine can be [a] stellar writer")

Super Recaps – positive ("a lot of fun all the way through")

TheDragonWarlock – positive (graded B+; "harmless fun for all" but song "okay at best")

Thrond Media Pony Corner – extremely positive (rated 98%; "[weak song apart, it's] cute, funny, and poignant in equal measure")

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Ponyfic Roundup 124: Flew in from Miami Beach BOAC

As I type this, Ukraine are doing spectacularly well at the Paralympics. They're third in the medal table, within touching distance of Great Britain. I have no idea why this should be; it can't only be down to the absence of Russia. Anyway, on to ponyfic. This week there's the usual mixed bag, though I made sure there was a little Scootalove in there after the most recent episode. I am planning on doing another RNG-generated edition of PR in the reasonably near future, but for now I'll stick to trying to keep my RiL list under 500! (It's at 487 right now.)

Maybe by JohnPerry
I'd Kiss Her by Fire Gazer the Alchemist
Flight by Secret_Shadows
How to Preen Your Chicken by Drakkinth
The Moony Maiden by Dubs Rewatcher

★: 0 | ★★: 1 | ★★★: 3 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 0

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Most and Least Rewatchable: Season Three

Fluttershy and Twilight singing "A True, True Friend"
"Oh no, Twilight, pretty soon you won't be the right height for this any more"
The obvious problem with doing this for S3 is that it has only 13 episodes – and for my purposes, given that I count double episodes as one, it has only 12. I did consider whether to reduce my lists to two of each this time, but eventually I decided to stick to the usual format of three. That does mean that half the episodes in S3 will appear here! Like many fans, I wasn't hugely enamoured with this season, but still...

Monday, 12 September 2016

Episode review: S6E19: "The Fault in Our Cutie Marks"

Gabby the griffon hugging the Cutie Mark Crusaders
Gabby tries to get a cutie mark in creating a neutron star
"The Fault in Our Cutie Marks" was an episode about which there was considerable hype, thanks partly to its being moved to later than its original E09 slot for "legit reasons", which turned out simply to mean ensuring late-season CMC representation. The writer was Ed Valentine, who seems to be something of a go-to for CMC episodes. Sometimes this works well ("Flight to the Finish") and sometimes less well ("The Cart Before the Ponies").

Sadly, the episode fell victim to that curse of My Little Pony,* the dreaded early release. I did manage to resist the temptation to watch a subtitled Polish or Italian version, though, so after the break are my thoughts on the episode as it was meant to be seen.
* And various other shows – but really, who cares about them?

Saturday, 10 September 2016

HoofBitingActionOverload update

At the end of August, HBAO posted to the effect that he'd be unsubmitting all his ponyfic on the grounds that it would hinder his use of some of their ideas for original fiction in the future. (Mainly) good news, however! He's now had a rethink, and it seems that most of his fics (and blogs) are safe, at least for now. There are a few exceptions; they're listed on the page I just linked to, so give that a read. As far as Ponyfic Roundup goes, I guess HBAO's stories are now fair game again – though I'll probably still steer clear of those on his list.

Friday, 9 September 2016

The UK of Equestria August flashfic contest... over, as you may have worked out for yourself. So no entering now. Besides, you had to be a UK of E member, since that was kind of the point. But anyway, should anyone wish to read the seven entries we had* then they can read the relevant UK of E thread, which is publicly viewable. It was won by Metaphor, partly on account of the custard. We were deliberately not going for Fimfiction-style (let alone Writeoff-style) intense reviewing there, and inevitably there were some rough edges, but I meant what I said: that all the entries had something to recommend them. The fandom could always do with more writers. :)

* Well, eight, since one person wrote a Littlest Pet Shop crossover, realised with about an hour to go that the rules disallowed crossovers and rushed out an eligible story to replace it.

Also, it would be nice to see a few more flashfic contests around the place. When I've had time to enter a few, I've always enjoyed them even if I've never actually won one. (I've had about six second places and hon menshes, though...) I mean specifically pony-related ones, too: as I've said before, I'm not one of those high-flown people who are moving increasingly towards proper, original stuff; I just want to write about ponies! If anyone knows of an MLP-themed flashfic contest going on right now, please do point me at it!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Text Review Roundup: "Buckball Season"

Fluttershy and Pinkie hugging
We need more of this sort of thing. Adorable ponies being adorable is the bedrock of MLP
Here we go again with some non-video-based reviews of the most recent My Little Pony episode. "Buckball Season" was well received overall, although this feeling wasn't universal. I've included Chris's One Man's Pony Ramblings blog in the roundup this time, since his thoughts are more detailed than sometimes. No MLP Fanatic review, though, due to their internet problems. As always, click each blog name to read the relevant full review.

ArthurCrane – positive ("the kind of happy and contagious energy that made me a fan of this show")

Articles of Destroyer – mixed (rated 6.5/10; FS/PP/Snails good, but AJ/RD less so)

BatBrony Reviews – generally positive ("Not mindblowing, but very good")

Derpy News – very positive (graded A-; "a very good episode")

Louder Yay – very positive (four stars; "I'm not sure I've enjoyed a 'traditional' episode more since 'Amending Fences'")

MLEEP Reviews – wildly positive (rated 10/10; "scores a home run")

One Man's Pony Ramblings – positive ("a very solid, enjoyable episode")

The Railfan Brony Blog – very positive (rated 9/10; "Jennifer Skelly, you've done wonders for your first script!")

The Super Mario Brony Blog – extremely positive (4.5 stars; "you simply must watch it if you haven't already")

Super Recaps – largely positive ("a pretty solid episode")

TheDragonWarlock – positive (graded B+; "While not perfect ... a solid enough episode")

Thrond Media Pony Corner – slightly negative (rated 55%; "wrapped in too many tiresome elements to properly shine")

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Ponyfic Roundup 123: Nib Ytsud

A thought regarding Zecora's dialogue: to write her truly canon-correct, authors should probably not aim for perfect rhyme and scansion. She really reaches for some of her couplets in the show, after all. I suspect, though, that this is one of those things done officially that wouldn't be the best idea to copy slavishly. Like writing "Unicorn" etc with initial capital letters. Anyroadup, on with the motley.

I'd Do Her by Fire Gazer the Alchemist
It Spills Over by ambion
Pancakes : The Pancakening. by A Rare Sight
Rainbow's Bad Fanfic by Jay-The-Brony
Change in the guard by JediWyrm

★: 1 | ★★: 2 | ★★★: 1 | ★★★★: 1 | ★★★★★: 0

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The #MLPRegularSeason Top 15 is out

No "Most and Least Rewatchable" this week as I simply haven't had time, but I will be writing one up for Season Three in the near future. Instead, I'll cover a different ranking: over on Twitter, The Pony Producer from Alabama news station WTVY has been running a straw poll for some time, asking people to rate each episode of the show out of five. It's a very rough and ready way of gauging fan opinion, of course, but I think the results are interesting nevertheless. Here they are:

1. Amending Fences
2. Party of One
3. Crusaders of the Lost Mark

4. The Saddle Row Review
5. The Cutie Mark Chronicles
6. A Hearth's Warming Tail
7. Lesson Zero
8. The Return of Harmony
9. The Last Roundup
10. Testing Testing 1, 2, 3
11. Twilight's Kingdom
12. Pinkie Pride
13. Sisterhooves Social
14. Hurricane Fluttershy
15. Gauntlet of Fire

I'm very happy to see "Amending Fences" come out on top. While my own favourite episode ("Hurricane Fluttershy") only squeaked into the top 15, "Amending Fences" is a lovely ep that deserves its popularity. It's interesting to see two S1 episodes make the top five even after all this time, and that "Twilight's Kingdom" didn't make the top ten perhaps indicates that it's going to go the way of "A Canterlot Wedding" now that the shock of its fight scenes has worn off.

Much as Applejack fans might like to think otherwise, I really doubt "The Last Roundup" would have been anywhere near this list without Derpy's part in proceedings. The one that did surprise me a bit was "Sisterhooves Social", which I've never found all that interesting myself; I certainly wouldn't place it up with the two episodes that come either side of it in this list. On the other hand, I think "Crusaders of the Lost Mark" probably will maintain its popularity for years to come.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Episode review: S6E18: "Buckball Season"

Fluttershy balancing balls on her tail
I knew those tail extensions would come in handy one day!
Another week, another new writer on My Little Pony. This time around, it's Jennifer Skelly, about whom I knew absolutely nothing before the announcement. And on a sport-themed episode, something I often find a little dull in cartoons. This goes double if they're based on sports I find boring, such as American football; I've been dreading a full-on "hoofball" episode for some time, actually. This was about "buckball", though, a sport never mentioned in Pony before. How did it go? I'll be back after the break.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Pony Music Library 24: "Equestria Girls (Extended Hub Promo Edition)"

It's been over a week now, so let's have another one of these!

What? "Equestria Girls (Extended Hub Promo Edition)"

Who? The Hub (as it then was)

Which? Parody

When? May 2011

Why? It's hard to remember now, but up until early 2013, if you said "Equestria Girls" to someone, it wouldn't conjure up images of oddly-proportioned humans in a dimension beyond a magical mirror. Instead, this is where people's minds would go. The Hub (later Hub Network) was famous for its creativity in promoting Pony, to a degree that makes Discovery Family's "Game of Thrones" Season Six trailer look very basic indeed. And one of their most fondly remembered promos was this fabulous take-off of Katy Perry's "California Gurls", a song that was pretty hard to avoid back in 2011. Yes, it's really a PMV, but I think the song itself is enjoyable enough for it to be featured in the PML.

Friday, 2 September 2016

UK PonyCon is now next month, people

Next. Month.

If you're superbly prepared and you already know exactly what you'll be doing when, then lucky you. Most of us, however, are not in that position. I know I'm not – I've got my ticket (obviously), my hotel is booked and I have enough money to pay for my trains. That's about it, though. If you're in the same boat, welcome to the club. Still, if you're new to the whole convention lark, then I want to stress one thing that you should bear in mind above all others:

Wear comfortable shoes!

This is probably the single most important thing you need to know. It may not bother others around you as much as if you don't keep to the 6-2-1 Rule, but it'll sure as hay bother you. Cons are really, really hard on your feet, and you're likely to spend way more time standing or walking than you're truly prepared for. You will not enjoy UK PonyCon if your feet are aching the whole time, and if you don't enjoy a con there's little point in going!

And don't go wearing brand new shoes, either. I made that mistake for BUCK 2014 and my feet were rubbed horribly because the shoes hadn't moulded themselves to my foot shape. I managed an ugly but effective fix with tissues and plasters, but it's much better not to have to!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Text Review Roundup: "Dungeons and Discords"

Spike as Oubliette Master making notes
"Dis... cord... is... a... hey, no looking at my notes!"
Here is the usual selection of non-video-based reviews of the most recent episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Nobody actually hated this one, but opinions are spread fairly well in the range between "okay" and "amazing".

ArthurCrane – positive ("pretty good")

Articles of Destroyer – mildly positive ("entertaining [but] middle act is sometimes grating")

BatBrony Reviews – extremely positive ("one of the funniest episodes of the show ever")

Derpy News – moderately positive (graded B+; "enjoyable ... filler")

Louder Yay – positive with reservations (three stars; "good fun [but] doesn't really feel all that Pony")

MLEEP Reviews – wildly positive (rated 10/10; "man did this episode deliver!")

MLP Fanatic – positive ("a fun episode and I liked it")

The Railfan Brony Blog – mixed ("wasn't so bad... for a Confalone script, anyway")

The Super Mario Brony Blog – mixed (2.5 stars; "isn't a bad episode - but at the same time isn't a special one either")

Super Recaps – positive with reservations ("probably one of the better episodes of the season ... but it felt like something was missing")

TheDragonWarlock – mixed (rated 7.5/10; doesn't quite live up to its potential)

Thrond Media Pony Corner – extremely positive (rated 93%; "the kind of episode which made the show great")