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Old 09-02-2018, 04:18 PM
DarkAngel DarkAngel is offline

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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Northwest Ohio
Posts: 566
BattleTag: Samael#1487

Thumbs up Shooting Star Review

As all of you should by now be aware, Blizzard released “Shooting Star,” a D.Va-focused Overwatch short, at GamesCom. I was personally left disappointed and slightly angry—which should come as no surprise. Any time you walk into a story of any medium with preconceived notions about what it should be, you will be left empty. On some level, you could even say my delayed response was caused by my need to progress through the stages of grief before being able to write about it.

“Shooting Star” introduces Tae-Hyun, D.Va’s hapless probably-boyfriend, for use as a sounding board, though she seems largely indifferent to his affection. We also learn a Korean name for the Omnic colossus that keeps attacking Busan (retconned into an army of smaller units?), as well as names and handles for the rest of the MEKA squad. Sadly, aside from the written names of the MEKA pilots, no official romaja spellings have yet been put forward for these additions.

While I very much enjoyed the absurd heights of D.Va’s celebrity—a big part of the character’s appeal—Blizzard chose to take the character in a very different direction than I did. The official D.Va reveals herself to be the unyielding perfectionist one would expect of a pro-gamer. She simply can’t allow herself to have any flaws, though the way she’s been obsessing about her work and intentionally avoiding the outside world suggest she may be developing a touch of PTSD. It seems that, no matter how skilled she may be, Hana Song is just an ordinary teenager cracking under the weight of the world.

I may in fact grow to like this character—even if it feels strange to see her avoiding the glitz and glamour of her fame when I had interpreted her as being unable to let go of her celebrity lifestyle. We agree, for example, that the stereotypical K-pop star was only ever an act. The real D.Va is the one in the booth—and now the cockpit. It would be interesting to see her keeping up the carefree front in public while melting down in private.

Nonetheless, it bears pointing out that “doing the right things for the wrong reasons” remains conspicuously unexplored in Overwatch. Maybe that’s because such an angle would force the character to have a story arc, i.e. to be dynamic instead of the static caricatures the game format demands. Yet, that argument fails to explain why Soldier: 76, Hanzo, Symmetra, and probably Pharah seem set up for dramatic turnabouts at some future point. Blizzard clearly thinks it can be done.

“Shooting Star” isn’t perfect by any means. It lacks a clear musical theme (Is the main one reserved for Tracer?) and raises a few plausibility questions (Are there really just five MEKA pilots?)—but that doesn’t stop it from being a quality product. The animation is, as usual, top-notch, and whoever wrote the script has a wonderfully understated sense of humor. In all, “Shooting Star” is more than worthy of the Blizzard label and represents a thread I’ll be eagerly following in the future. Let’s hope D.Va’s newfound willingness to rely on others keeps her from going the way of Neltharion.
Every ending is but a new beginning.
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