Tuesday, January 13th, 2009 at 8:27pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
[Source: Darth Vader]
Today we bring you another 2009 Glatorian Set review. Bringing you his third review of the year, Blog Assistant Darth Vader shares his thoughts on Tarix. Does this blue warrior live up to his arena record? Read on to find out!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Belonging to the core group of six Glatorian released this winter, Tarix has been packaged inside a canister. Did anyone else see this coming?
Everyone? Oh. Well then.
Tarix' lid is a brilliant, bright, boisterous blue, of the same sort that graced the form of Gali Olda (Mata is a silly term, however official). Though I love this blue, I wish TLG would tease me less, and let the lid reflect the shade of blue Tarix uses primarily. The CG image adorning the aforementioned canister is a now-familiar one, and that is not, it seems, too bad of a thing.
These new images, I must say, are of the proper sort, involving our new heroes/future-villains posing in Bara Magnan settings, and that's awesome. Images such as this add a lot of character to these new locales and characters, and have been sorely lacking in recent years. The mysterious staircase, the dark environment, all allow Tarix to really shine as a member of a real culture and setting. It's mysterious, and it's neat.
And I like it.
The usual who's who of canister stuff pops up here, of course. The BIONICLE logo (with the 'i' dotted with a Thornax fruit), the age 'guidelines,' etcetera and so forth.
The back of the canister is even more now-familiar, as the same background image has been used on all the canisters. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is boring. The back of the canister has Tarix and Berix (watch those 'a's and 'e's, kids!), and the Bio code that utilizes that archaic form of Internet communication to spell, well, Tarix(r). The 'r' makes it more Internetish, I've been told.
And of course, that big block of lonely and ignored text. Maybe if it acted out we'd pay more attention to it. Maybe.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The instruction booklet looks quite similar to the canister image, and really, who's surprised at this point in the year?
No one? Awesome.
Once more, open the book, follow the instructions, and from these pages leap forth a battle-worn and weary veteran of Bara Magnan conflict!
Like Gresh, Tarix follows the same pattern we have become so used to these past few years. Unlike Gresh, there's nothing new to add even a spark of interest to the build. Honestly, if you've built, say, Gali Mistika, you could even make a successful go at this build sans instruction booklet.
There's even less here to say than there was in the Gresh review.
And that's disappointing.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
New pieces, old pieces, new colours. This seems to be what we can safely assume to find in these new Glatorian canisters.
Luckily the bright blue lid wasn't entirely a tease, the hands and Inika-mold feet are actually cast in the 'old blue'. It's good to have pieces in this colour available still (outside of those frustrating pins), though I'm not too keen on these being the only pieces of this colour in this set (outside of those pins, of course!).
The new hands, I still claim, are oddly shaped, and oddly sized. The wrist is too far back, I have decided, and they end up looking quite goofy (yes, this is my term of choice for these pieces). Like the old sockets we are accustomed to, a rod cannot be pushed all the way through, as the mold stops the piece half-way through the hand. Though for some Glatorian this doesn't end up too oddly, Tarix is less than lucky here. More later.
The Thornax fruit is rubbery and bouncy, bone hunters tell me they taste like tires, and I love that. The Thornax launchers are two pieces, and they are small and out of the way, and I love that too.
Tarix comes with two of the new straightened Hordika neck-esque pieces, cast in black. Guess what? I love that too.
Other new pieces include the life counter, a printed system tank tread piece, and the new Glatorian head. A trans-neon green cross between Iron Man and Koko the Gorilla, these new heads are not back compatible. The rod attachment is on the top of the head (with other holes on both sides of the head as well), as the new Glatorian 'masks' attach from the top, and not the front. I guess Bionicle beings were tired of holding their masks on by gritting their teeth.
Tarix' armour contains Inika shoulder armour and thigh armour in pearl gold (same shade as Brutaka possessed), the sole reason I purchased Tarix. It's always good to get old pieces in rarer colours.
Tarix' uhh, water blade things are beautifully coloured, with beautiful light blue blades, anchored by more pearl gold. Gorgeous colours though they are, as weapons, the end up looking sort of odd...
And of course, Tarix' 'mask'.
I can't help but think that Tarix' 'mask' is Nordic in inspiration, my very first thought involving Vikings and dragons. That was a cool moment, but in person, the 'mask' ends up, well, bland. There's not a lot of dynamic character comng through this 'mask,' unlike the mask of say, Gresh or Tahu Olda.
Tarix is not different from the Inika/Mahri/Phantoka/Mistika style build we've become accustomed to. He uses a backwatds torso piece, with the new Hordika-esque joint as a neck. He is thin, he is oh-so-thin. He uses an Inika shoulderpad as torso armour, and it looks woefully lacking. As a veteran Glatorian, I can only assume that Tarix is good, or employs good medics. Because that torso armour isn't going to do a whole lot of good.
Also, it looks silly.
And while I know this will be a point of contention for many, I really feel the Technic tentacle tip pieces used on his shoulders add not a bit of awesome to him. They are, in fact, lame. It does not help that they are silver, which the set is (thankfully) near free of elsewhere.
Tarix is just sort of underwhelming, I suppose. His breathing tube ('Mahri gills') looks less like it belongs than the Mahri tubes did, and some of those were stretching it. It plugs into the bottom of his 'mask' and then plugs into his life counter. Apparently when Tarix reaches 'skull,' he suffocates. What a dreadful way to go.
His hands end up well below his knees, a tradition I am not, have not been, and never will be fond of.
Add into this that the only bright blue on the set is in his hands and feet, and do I really need to say I dislike this?
Tarix weilds two water blade things. He also holds them at the very bottom of the staff shafts, and that must be very difficult to weild, because it looks ridiculous to me. An easy fix would involve simply sticking another rod into the bottom half of each hand, giving Tarix the illusion that he grasps his weapons in such a way that he can use them effectively.
Poor guy. Where were Veteran Affairs when he needed them?
Tarix also has the distinction of weilding his Thornax launcher in the absolute goofiest place out of all his Glatorian brethren. It just sort of hangs off of his water blade staff thing shaft, and I'm out of ideas for how he aims and fires and doesn't break his wrists, poor guy.
As shown above, his life counter is on his back, and like Gresh, Tarix uses a Metru-era chest guard to keep it in place, and here it also reminds me of the old gears found in our beloved Olda and Nuva. An homage in looks only, of course, as turning this gear does nothing but eventually skull your Glatorian to death.
Whereas Gresh followed the Inika blueprint almost one hundred percent, but looked absolutely stunning while doing it, Tarix follows the blueprint at almost exactly one hundred percent, and looks about as awful as one can look while doing it.
I'm not impressed.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
Tarix doesn't do anything but pose, really. And of course, he poses fantastically, as most modern era Bionicle canister sets do.
And that's always good. No complaints here.
Once more, I don't mind the Thornax launchers, if indeed I must be stuck with the dreaded launcher concept. Though on Tarix it is more obtrusive than other Glatioran, still, this is no Cordak, and for that, I am grateful.
Oh. So. Grateful.
And uh, he can pose next to Berix and stuff. That's cool.
And of course, the new "SUPER ACTION FIGURE GAME". I'm sure you've all heard about it by now, and have decided how well you enjoy it. I talked a housemate into playing it, and we were bored. It was not an enthusiastic game time.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- More pieces in bright blue
- More pieces in pearl gold
- New parts
- New head is neat
- Small, simple launcher
What's not to like?
- Yep, hands are still goofy
- As are his weapons
- Launchers still exist
- As does the Inika build
- Skinny McSkinnyGlatorian
- New heads aren't back compatible
- Long arms are redundantly long
- Why are the hands and feet a different colour than the rest of the set?
- No redeeming awesome factor
So, in the end? Don't do it, kids. Just say no. Even if everyone else is doing it; you wouldn't jump off a cliff if everyone else was doing that, would you? Tarix is boring, unoriginal, looks goofy, lacks in awesome, and is overall terrible. I do not reccommend Tarix, and, instead, re-reccommend Gresh, who is super awesome, and super pretty. Unlike Pekel, I can work up the cynicism to tell you that Tarix sucks, because he does.
Hopefully you found today's review insightful and informative. Be sure to thank Darth Vader for taking the time to provide you with his perspective on this set. Remember, for the latest set reviews and Bionicle news, keep checking out BZPower!
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