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Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles - Vol 7. The Zephyr Campaign Review




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Rating
Video:   7/10
Audio:   8/10
Extras:   6/10


by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
8/04/2003

Roughnecks: The Starship Trooper Chronicles is based on the book Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. The Roughnecks have crashed on an ice asteroid, and the group sets off to find a powerful toxin they can use to battle the bugs. While they search for the toxin they encounter fire-breathing bugs and asteroid-shaking earthquakes, and one of their members becomes very sick.

Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles "The Zephyr Campaign" is the seventh volume in the series, but the fifth episode arc containing episodes 21-25. It's been so long since I watched the show that I forgot what happened in the fourth campaign; after all that was the second disc released in the series.

Video

As with the previous volumes, there are a few rendering problems. Objects that appear in the distance shimmer due to the increased resolution of the DVD format, and probably due to some settings used in 3D Studio Max, one of the 3D programs used to animate the series. The first episode contains a TON of picture noise and lines that scroll, reminding me of a poor signal you sometimes get on a TV with rabbit ears.

Audio

There's a wonderful English Dolby Digital 5.1 track on this release. The rear speakers are "alive" with ambient effects and other sound effects. Bullets, "bugs" and other ambient sounds come from the rear speakers and the front speakers have some nice panning effects. Columbia TriStar cut back on the audio tracks; this disc contains an English audio track and no subtitles (closed captioning is provided).

Extras - How we rate extras

Commentary
Audu shines once again in this commentary track. Audu Paden (executive producer), story editors and others join him for an informative discussion about the show, the CGI and the stories.

Starship Troopers Animated Series Guide (76 frames)
This kind of information should have been spread over all 7 volumes of the series. In my past reviews I mentioned that they should have information about the bugs in each episode, well, here it is. Information on bugs, characters, weapons, it's all here.

Photo Gallery (61 screens)
Photos of backgrounds (24), blueprints (7), bugs (13) and equipment (23).

Filmographies (18 screens)
There are filmographies for the producers and the major cast members.

Trailer (1:37)
Just a trailer for the show.

Summary

Well, I guess this will be the last Roughnecks release, since Vol 6 was a hodge-podge of various episodes, and the final few episodes were never completed. It's a shame they released the series out of order since it destroyed most of the storylines. Fans of the series will pick this one up, but for others...I think it's a rental.


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