Wednesday, March 2, 2016

redvsblue Season 11

After taking a month off from the primary seasons of redvsblue with my entry last month on the RvBX bonus discs, I am back with today’s post covering season 11 (trailer). With season 10 marking the end of the Project Freelancer arc, season 11 kicks off a brand new story arc where 10 left off. Season 11 also marks the first season with Halo 4 being the primary game engine used to capture machinima.

Wash (Shannon McCormick) kicks off the season with a handy recap. When we left off season 10, the reds and blues teamed up to take down the director at his private base. Church and Connie vanished at the end of the season, and their disappearance is addressed several times throughout this season, but do not get your hopes up for a surprise return from them anytime soon. We thought the reds and blues were on their way back home to Blood Gulch, but their ship mysteriously crashed in a random canyon. There are several mini-flashbacks explaining why the ship crashed, and these little asides had me cracking up and were part of my favorite jokes of the season.

Even though the reds and blues are aligned, like most Halo maps, this canyon is symmetrical so Wash commands blue soldiers Caboose (Joel Heyman) and Tucker (Jason Saldana) on one side. On the other side Sarge (Matt Hullum) takes care of Grif (Geoff Ramsey) and Simmons (Gus Sorola) while also constructing another Spanish speaking robot in the form of Lopez 2.0, and yes version 1.0 returns also to team up for some of the best Lopez moments in the series. Seriously, if you have been craving more Lopez after being limited to mostly cameos in recent seasons, then you are in for a treat because Rooster Teeth made sure to deliver with a ton of Lopez goodness this season. There are a few other cameos and returns of other former RvB stalwarts midway through the season, but I do not want to give too much away.

We come to discover the name of the planet the reds and blues crashed on is called Chorus. Unlike, Blood Gulch, there is a lot happening on Chorus as we come to discover later in the season. Wash has premonitions of this and tries his best to get Caboose and Tucker ready for whatever it may be in some awesome training sessions. Caboose ends up meeting a new friend this season that leads to a big change this season for him, and only more awesome tomfoolery that only Caboose is capable of. Speaking of tomfoolery, Simmons introduces his new social media sensation, Basebook that captures everything I enjoy and detest about social media in a few simple quips throughout the season.

Season 11 wraps up with an impressive big firefight, that leaves big changes for the reds and blues as we learn more of what is going on with Chorus and the new roles the reds and blues have that impact Chorus by the end of the season. I applaud Rooster Teeth for taking a season off with their in-house animations that dominated the three previous seasons. It was much appreciated to have Rooster Teeth have a return to form with the straight-up machinima I have come to know and love from the first seven seasons, with little touches of charmingly awful photoshop flourishes sprinkled throughout. One small quip I do have is I am perplexed that this many seasons into RvB there is no option for subtitles. A couple times in past seasons when watching late I went to turn on the subtitles and was surprised with none available. Not a deal breaker by any means, but I am surprised by their omission.

The usual extra features round off the season 11 BluRay. There are several minutes of outtakes, two deleted scenes and a short five minute behind-the-scenes video detailing the crew’s excitement about the new story arc. There are also three PSA videos with my vote going to Sarge’s dream movie trailer for RvB getting the nod as my favorite. Finally there is a commentary track with Miles Luna, Matt Hullum, Burnie Burns and Kyle Taylor. It gets quite technical in some spots, but their commentary is on point and constant throughout and I got the impression they really loved what Halo 4’s theater mode made possible for improvements to machinima. If going by the interviews in the behind-the-scenes video is true, season 11 is part one of a new three part arc. I really dug the new setting and was definitely on board with what they left off with going into season 12. Most importantly, I liked that they dialed back the in-house animations and brought back a return to form with season 11. Here’s to hoping season 12 keeps up that trend!

Past redvsblue Blogs

Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4 and Grifball Bonus Discs
Season 5
Season 6
Season 7
Season 8
Season 9
Season 10
RvBX Bonus Discs

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