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#41 Offline Axilus Prime

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 05:14 PM

unpopularest opinion: the storyline was boring and the sets were a waste of money.

Bionicle was nothing BUT storyline and sets...remember? Anyway I liked Greg's writing.

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#42 Offline Ryuujin

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 05:15 PM

unpopularest opinion: the storyline was boring and the sets were a waste of money.

Bionicle was nothing BUT storyline and sets...remember?

Exactly.

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#43 Offline Dralcax

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 05:24 PM

unpopularest opinion: the storyline was boring and the sets were a waste of money.

Bionicle was nothing BUT storyline and sets...remember?

Exactly.

Then what are you doing here?

Edited by Chaos Dralcax, Feb 25 2012 - 05:25 PM.

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#44 Offline Ryuujin

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 05:26 PM

unpopularest opinion: the storyline was boring and the sets were a waste of money.

Bionicle was nothing BUT storyline and sets...remember?

Exactly.

Then what are you doing here?

There's no rule stating that one must leave the site if they lose interest in Bionicle. There's a lot more to discuss here than just one Lego theme, or even Lego in general.

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#45 Offline Astrotorical

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 05:32 PM

unpopularest opinion: the storyline was boring and the sets were a waste of money.

Bionicle was nothing BUT storyline and sets...remember?

Exactly.

Then what are you doing here?

There's no rule stating that one must leave the site if they lose interest in Bionicle. There's a lot more to discuss here than just one Lego theme, or even Lego in general.

You mean like the entire CoT section?

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#46 Offline Ryuujin

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 05:33 PM

unpopularest opinion: the storyline was boring and the sets were a waste of money.

Bionicle was nothing BUT storyline and sets...remember?

Exactly.

Then what are you doing here?

There's no rule stating that one must leave the site if they lose interest in Bionicle. There's a lot more to discuss here than just one Lego theme, or even Lego in general.

You mean like the entire CoT section?

That, and the blogs.

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#47 Offline Astrotorical

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 05:42 PM

((at the risk of having a rediculously long post filled with quotes, you get the idea))From the Bionicle fan point of view, i can see why they would rather you leave :PON THE OTHER HANDfrom what i can gather from your point of view, you shouldnt get flamed for not liking Bionicle any moreBut obviously people are going to wonder why your here, on a Bioncle-originating Lego fan site.
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#48 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 05:53 PM

I share many unpopular opinions with Aanchir.I disagree with the mass denunciation of Greg as "sub-par". Some things he wrote weren't as good as others, but in certain cases he really shone. For instance, many of his "transition" books, like Tales of the Masks, Voyage of Fear, Maze of Shadows, and Time Trap were excellent. His work writing the main story for most story years was decent, too. Where his writing tended to suffer was when he had complete creative freedom and no direction as to where it should go, as with many of the story serials, particularly those after BIONICLE ended. He's currently writing for Ninjago and doing an excellent job, which I think is in part due to not having to explain the mechanics of every aspect of the Ninjago universe to fans. No longer does he have to field questions about what is harder or softer than protosteel, or what elemental powers can do. Instead he can go crazy with the story as it's presented to him, omitting logical analysis when it doesn't suit the story, which leads to novels that are much like his best work with the BIONICLE comics.

Do four criticisms really amount to 'mass denunciation'?I think the flaw in Farshtey's writing is that it's rooted in the style of comic books. The positive side of this was that he was extremely good at writing action scenes, intricate plots, villains and one-liners. But the downside was that as far as happy times, quiet and sombre moments, the wider world around the characters and the Matoran society they defended went, such things were barely touched upon. He told the main story of good and evil well enough, but rarely seemed to go far beyond it.

I disagree on that moment. Some of the quiet, heartfelt moments in the BIONICLE Legends books are the ones that stick with me the most, like Kongu explaining to Jaller why he was making so many jokes all of a sudden. Previously, it had seemed like his characterization in 2001-2003 had been completely done away with, and he had been made into a generic Toa of Air. However, Kongu explained that he started joking about things more as a way of coping with the high stakes of the things going on around him, taking a page from Toa Lewa's book, so to speak. This little bit of dialogue masterfully explained the discrepancy that had appeared to exist in the earlier BIONICLE Legends books.There was also some well-written internal conflict on Jaller's part in the Toa Mahri arc as he struggled to come to terms with his role as a leader (and worried that he was not performing in that role as well as a Toa of Fire was expected to). Later, in the 2008 story arc, Krika had a very heartfelt moment with Toa Nuva Gali, explaining why he envied Toa. There was no shortage of well-written "quiet moments" in the BIONICLE books by Greg Farshtey, in my honest opinion.Anyway, getting back on topic, unpopular opinions I have about the story include that the conclusion in 2010 was well-written, that The Legend Reborn was well-written and well-voiced, and that the Toa Nuva and Makuta were well-portrayed in 2008, fleshing out the personalities of both the Toa Nuva whom we had known for years and the Brotherhood of Makuta which had previously been an amorphous, abstract entity.Unpopular NEGATIVE opinions I hold include that I didn't especially like brown sets (I never felt they fit in with the bright colors of the other Toa), I felt that the plot threads the serials included after the conclusion in 2010 were largely unnecessary (unpopular at least with a lot of die-hard BIONICLE fans), and I felt that the original Toa Nuva masks often did a poor job re-imagining the original six Great Kanohi (the Akaku Nuva in particular looks almost nothing like the original Akaku besides that it has an eyepiece).

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#49 Offline DeeVee

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 05:56 PM

I share many unpopular opinions with Aanchir.I disagree with the mass denunciation of Greg as "sub-par". Some things he wrote weren't as good as others, but in certain cases he really shone. For instance, many of his "transition" books, like Tales of the Masks, Voyage of Fear, Maze of Shadows, and Time Trap were excellent. His work writing the main story for most story years was decent, too. Where his writing tended to suffer was when he had complete creative freedom and no direction as to where it should go, as with many of the story serials, particularly those after BIONICLE ended. He's currently writing for Ninjago and doing an excellent job, which I think is in part due to not having to explain the mechanics of every aspect of the Ninjago universe to fans. No longer does he have to field questions about what is harder or softer than protosteel, or what elemental powers can do. Instead he can go crazy with the story as it's presented to him, omitting logical analysis when it doesn't suit the story, which leads to novels that are much like his best work with the BIONICLE comics.

From a writing standpoint, those books were sub-par as well. They contained great story moments (no one should confuse great story moments and ideas with great writing, they are not synonymous), and the reason they did well in that regard is the limited character focus. However, his characterizations between novels were loose and frustratingly inconsistent, nearly all of his characters spoke in the same voice, his ability to describe details and "paint with words" is fairly nonexistent, and he relies too strongly on one-liners and stereotypes. I do not think saying "but he writes for kids" or "but TLG gave him a rough schedule" is a good excuse, there are plenty of examples of quality childrens' literature out there, and many of them were written in the same time frame under similar constraints. (As an aside, if anyone is interested in how children's books, especially series, are contracted and written, there is a lot of great information online, but suffice to say that very few authors have the freedom once contracted to just write and publish whenever they see fit. You are on a deadline, and for children's books, even chapter books, it is a very short window, because children's literature has a very short window of popularity and availability.)

And what is wrong with battles, villains, and one-liners? You could argue that we never learned about a Matoran's ordinary day, but we did. It's called MNOG. And MNOG 2. How much society and Happy Times can you fit in in the middle of a fight for survival?

The MNOLG and it's (terrible) sequel are not canon story (mostly because, it seems, Greg didn't want them to be because he didn't write them).Also, when battles, villains, and one-liners are all you can write, that is the problem. That shouldn't even be a question. Those are fine and dandy in a comic book (and I think Greg is a far superior comic author than he is a book author, and I have no problem conceding that he shines in that regard), but not in a novel, no matter how short or what the target audience.

2008 was the crux of all that unweildy stuff with everything happening at once. It almost was too much for one person to handle.

It was too much for one person to handle, and the story would have been superior with multiple authors, and Greg's work on the serials would have been better with more oversight and with less freedom. The man wallows in his freedom and when he had complete control over directions and details, the story suffered.

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#50 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 06:11 PM

Do four criticisms really amount to 'mass denunciation'?

I was being a little facetious there. Sarcasm doesn't carry over well in text. Sorry.

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#51 Offline Sir Kohran

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 08:03 PM

And what is wrong with battles, villains, and one-liners?

If you'd bothered to read my post properly, you would've seen that I said he was 'extremely good' at these and that it was a 'positive side' of his writing.

You could argue that we never learned about a Matoran's ordinary day, but we did. It's called MNOG. And MNOG 2.

Those concerned 2001 and 2003, neither of which any of Farshtey's books (excepting Tales of the Masks) covered.

How much society and Happy Times can you fit in in the middle of a fight for survival?

As the MNOLG, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and numerous other subtley-written stories have shown - loads.

The MNOLG and it's (terrible) sequel are not canon story (mostly because, it seems, Greg didn't want them to be because he didn't write them).

I asked him about this in early 2010 and he said that the MNOLG is considered canon, just certain details within it aren't. He may have made statements to the contrary before or since, though.You do raise a good point about his lack of involvement in the MNOLG. It's more interesting when the fondness and nostalgia many fans have for it is considered. I vaguely wonder if Farshtey resented not having created what was effectively the foundation stone of the Bionicle story.

From a writing standpoint, those books were sub-par as well. They contained great story moments (no one should confuse great story moments and ideas with great writing, they are not synonymous), and the reason they did well in that regard is the limited character focus. However, his characterizations between novels were loose and frustratingly inconsistent, nearly all of his characters spoke in the same voice, his ability to describe details and "paint with words" is fairly nonexistent, and he relies too strongly on one-liners and stereotypes. I do not think saying "but he writes for kids" or "but TLG gave him a rough schedule" is a good excuse, there are plenty of examples of quality childrens' literature out there, and many of them were written in the same time frame under similar constraints.Also, when battles, villains, and one-liners are all you can write, that is the problem. That shouldn't even be a question. Those are fine and dandy in a comic book (and I think Greg is a far superior comic author than he is a book author, and I have no problem conceding that he shines in that regard), but not in a novel, no matter how short or what the target audience.

Total agreement here.

Edited by Sir Kohran, Feb 25 2012 - 08:05 PM.

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#52 Offline Lewigi

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 08:51 PM

Mr. Farshtey's writing, when compared to most LEGO story is far beyond amazing. That's why it's so popular 'round here.However, when set next to every other book, BIONICLE books are the literary equivalent of a direct-to-DVD movie. They were above-average ad campaigns, and below average novels. However, Mr. Farshtey is not a book author. He is a comic book author and kids' magazine editor, and head story man for what is one of the world's most succesful toy companies. Take his other obligations, time restraints, numerous restrictions, and the fact that he is not a novelist in the first place, and you find that the BIONICLE novels are not a good method of measuring his general skill as an author. However, you can put it in comparison to some other amateurs on this site and you'd find that he is sub-par with his restraints. I haven't read many fanfiction works on this site, but I would find more fun reading something like GaliGee's "Makuta Island" than, say, Mr. Farshtey's "Maze of Shadows".But I am not inclined to complain, considering it's better than anything else from LEGO except for the BIONICLE comics and the new Ninjago TV series.
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#53 Offline GSR

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Posted Feb 25 2012 - 10:55 PM

I get the impression - though maybe I'm mistaken - that people weren't very happy with Makuta getting a name and becoming part of a species, but in the grand scheme of things I didn't mind it all that much. The story was shifting from the mysterious, semi-fantasy vibe of the early years into something more realistic (comparatively speaking) and political - an amorphous ancient evil was going to work less and less as time went on.
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#54 Offline Zarohum

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 05:55 AM

Tahu Mistika is in my top 20 favorite sets.And I liked the Inika build.

From a writing standpoint, those books were sub-par as well. They contained great story moments (no one should confuse great story moments and ideas with great writing, they are not synonymous), and the reason they did well in that regard is the limited character focus. However, his characterizations between novels were loose and frustratingly inconsistent, nearly all of his characters spoke in the same voice, his ability to describe details and "paint with words" is fairly nonexistent, and he relies too strongly on one-liners and stereotypes. I do not think saying "but he writes for kids" or "but TLG gave him a rough schedule" is a good excuse, there are plenty of examples of quality childrens' literature out there, and many of them were written in the same time frame under similar constraints. (As an aside, if anyone is interested in how children's books, especially series, are contracted and written, there is a lot of great information online, but suffice to say that very few authors have the freedom once contracted to just write and publish whenever they see fit. You are on a deadline, and for children's books, even chapter books, it is a very short window, because children's literature has a very short window of popularity and availability.)

I'm gonna pretend I disagree with this only because Greg might read this. So I agree with you until he does. :P In his defense, though, I cried at Matoro's death.

Edited by Zarohum, Feb 26 2012 - 06:03 AM.

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#55 Offline BioGio

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 12:24 PM

I'll have to dig up that quote again, but Greg only had about six-eight weeks to write each book. I'm going to come out with my newly unpopular opinion and say that Greg was a great writer. Given all the craziness that Lego made him put up with, including an excess number of characters (52 in one book!) and the constraints that Lego and Bionicle universe put on him, I would say he did an excellent job.

Such strict constrains and deadlines are really not excuses. A lot of children's books are written in very little time with similar restrictions and requirements, as DeeVee explained, but there are still good--sometimes even spectacular--books for kids.

I often wish that the serials would have contenued. That way we would have gotten a better feel for how his writing style would have worked, less constrained. Because Time Trap was epic. If all of Greg's works were on par with that, then I don't think this argument would even exist.

But they aren't all on the level of Time Trap (which I'll concede was pretty good), so it's clear that his writing is inconsistent to say the least. When he isn't producing the better books (Time Trap being one of the few that was particularly high-caliber), his work is really sub-par.

And what is wrong with battles, villains, and one-liners? You could argue that we never learned about a Matoran's ordinary day, but we did. It's called MNOG. And MNOG 2. How much society and Happy Times can you fit in in the middle of a fight for survival?

How much of society can one include? More than two short games specific to a single setting, I'd think. Literature of acceptable quality is subtle, and that means that there are some "Happy Times" within the struggle. Works like The Lord of the Rings, the Riordan books (to use a children's example), Neal Stephenson's body of work, and even Star Wars contain the ability to include the positive side of life and more than just a showdown between pure evil and absolute good like Greg portrayed.

Character development shortage? That's in 2006, when there were 52 characters in Dark Destiny , 39 in Power Play , 29 in Inferno, and don't get me started on Legacy of Evil. If I had 52 characters in a story, I don't think I would be able to give them much development either. I wouldn't even try; my tendancy is to focus on one or two characters, or a group that can play off each other.

Again, that's a poor excuse. Greg could have allowed for some of the minor characters to have less development so that we at least could have major characters change and become more than stereotypes, but what ended up happening was most characters getting basic, rudimentary, and cliche personalities with little change. It was unwieldy, and one person couldn't do much to write well under some of those conditions, so there shouldn't have been a single person controlling the story.

I think that was what the serials were for; to try to develop stuff out that was important so Greg wouldn't have to deal with that many characters at once; he could give them some space and move them about one at a time. 2008 was the crux of all that unweildy stuff with everything happening at once. It almost was too much for one person to handle.

DeeVee addressed the fact that this is just why Greg shouldn't have been the only one controlling the majority of the story.

So I really don't blame him. Given all that, I really could not have done any better, and I challenge any who critisize the King of Bionicle to write out any of that story they think is "subpar" in a better fashion.

I'm sorry, but that challenge is ridiculous, poor argumentation, and beside the point.Since when do I have do do better than something I criticize? Is disliking something impossible since I haven't done better? By this reasoning, Roger Ebert should be discredited as a film critic because he worked on the horrible Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, you and I shouldn't be able to dislike Twilight because we haven't yet written anything that sold millions of copies, everyone should vote for and support only incumbents because the average voter has never been involved in the government, and people who dislike the Comedies and Comics sub-forums should have to read these forums until they write a high-quality comedy/comic. Eucliwood/LM has never made a toy line, but it's fine for her to find BIONICLE a waste of money.----------To add a positive side to this post, I'd like to chime in on the question of the Inika build (which seems to have popped up once or twice) and agree that it was an actually interesting piece that had a lot of potential uses. I also liked the Piraka torso, but it was sadly much less versatile.~ BioGio

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#56 Offline Ektris

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 04:06 PM

Oh, the Inika build was simply fantastic. I really like the Toa Inika a lot. That build style just got too overused in 2009 (and a bit in 2008).I never read any BIONICLE novels besides the Mask of Light novelization. Because I didn't expect them to be good. I knew I was no longer of the age group these were being written for and would see some of the flaws that people now deride the books for. (I know I wouldn't have seen as many then as I do now, but still had the feeling I wouldn't like them.) The serials, though, started great as a way to flesh things out. It was the 2009/10 ones that got out of hand and I really stopped liking them as much. But anyways - it's honestly not fair to sit down, analyze, and criticize childrens novels as an adult and expect them to be up to your standards. If I have an unpopular opinion here, it's not liking the people who do that. Find things to dislike about them for being a kid's book, not because they aren't anything like what a college-aged person has read.Aaaaand looking back and having actually just gotten my last one last year... The Bohrok-Kal were actually cool... It's still weird that they'd give "identical" sets so close together, but take them on their own and they're just as fun. Heck, the Toa Nuva were pretty much the same thing compare to the Toa Mata, they just had a few more newly molded parts, such as their (horrible, horrible) limbs.~|ET|~

Edited by Electric Turahk, Feb 26 2012 - 04:10 PM.

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#57 Offline Dralcax

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 04:27 PM

I get the impression - though maybe I'm mistaken - that people weren't very happy with Makuta getting a name and becoming part of a species, but in the grand scheme of things I didn't mind it all that much. The story was shifting from the mysterious, semi-fantasy vibe of the early years into something more realistic (comparatively speaking) and political - an amorphous ancient evil was going to work less and less as time went on.

But that says something when his title becomes his name to those outside the Brotherhood.

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#58 Offline KlakWest

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 04:46 PM

So it seems that the whole "GREG IS A TERRIBLE WRITER ZOMG" is actually a popular opinion, interesting.

I'll have to dig up that quote again, but Greg only had about six-eight weeks to write each book. I'm going to come out with my newly unpopular opinion and say that Greg was a great writer. Given all the craziness that Lego made him put up with, including an excess number of characters (52 in one book!) and the constraints that Lego and Bionicle universe put on him, I would say he did an excellent job.

Such strict constrains and deadlines are really not excuses. A lot of children's books are written in very little time with similar restrictions and requirements, as DeeVee explained, but there are still good--sometimes even spectacular--books for kids.

I often wish that the serials would have contenued. That way we would have gotten a better feel for how his writing style would have worked, less constrained. Because Time Trap was epic. If all of Greg's works were on par with that, then I don't think this argument would even exist.

But they aren't all on the level of Time Trap (which I'll concede was pretty good), so it's clear that his writing is inconsistent to say the least. When he isn't producing the better books (Time Trap being one of the few that was particularly high-caliber), his work is really sub-par.

And what is wrong with battles, villains, and one-liners? You could argue that we never learned about a Matoran's ordinary day, but we did. It's called MNOG. And MNOG 2. How much society and Happy Times can you fit in in the middle of a fight for survival?

How much of society can one include? More than two short games specific to a single setting, I'd think. Literature of acceptable quality is subtle, and that means that there are some "Happy Times" within the struggle. Works like The Lord of the Rings, the Riordan books (to use a children's example), Neal Stephenson's body of work, and even Star Wars contain the ability to include the positive side of life and more than just a showdown between pure evil and absolute good like Greg portrayed.

Character development shortage? That's in 2006, when there were 52 characters in Dark Destiny , 39 in Power Play , 29 in Inferno, and don't get me started on Legacy of Evil. If I had 52 characters in a story, I don't think I would be able to give them much development either. I wouldn't even try; my tendancy is to focus on one or two characters, or a group that can play off each other.

Again, that's a poor excuse. Greg could have allowed for some of the minor characters to have less development so that we at least could have major characters change and become more than stereotypes, but what ended up happening was most characters getting basic, rudimentary, and cliche personalities with little change. It was unwieldy, and one person couldn't do much to write well under some of those conditions, so there shouldn't have been a single person controlling the story.

I think that was what the serials were for; to try to develop stuff out that was important so Greg wouldn't have to deal with that many characters at once; he could give them some space and move them about one at a time. 2008 was the crux of all that unweildy stuff with everything happening at once. It almost was too much for one person to handle.

DeeVee addressed the fact that this is just why Greg shouldn't have been the only one controlling the majority of the story.

So I really don't blame him. Given all that, I really could not have done any better, and I challenge any who critisize the King of Bionicle to write out any of that story they think is "subpar" in a better fashion.

I'm sorry, but that challenge is ridiculous, poor argumentation, and beside the point.Since when do I have do do better than something I criticize? Is disliking something impossible since I haven't done better? By this reasoning, Roger Ebert should be discredited as a film critic because he worked on the horrible Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, you and I shouldn't be able to dislike Twilight because we haven't yet written anything that sold millions of copies, everyone should vote for and support only incumbents because the average voter has never been involved in the government, and people who dislike the Comedies and Comics sub-forums should have to read these forums until they write a high-quality comedy/comic. Eucliwood/LM has never made a toy line, but it's fine for her to find BIONICLE a waste of money.----------To add a positive side to this post, I'd like to chime in on the question of the Inika build (which seems to have popped up once or twice) and agree that it was an actually interesting piece that had a lot of potential uses. I also liked the Piraka torso, but it was sadly much less versatile.~ BioGio

I'm sorry, but comparing Bionicle to Twilight? That's what I call ridiculous. I think I understand what you're getting at though.

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#59 Offline BioGio

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 04:47 PM

So it seems that the whole "GREG IS A TERRIBLE WRITER ZOMG" is actually a popular opinion, interesting.

No, it's not. It's just a common unpopular opinion, like enjoying the Inika build. This is, after all, a topic asking for unpopular opinions, so the less common beliefs get stated a lot. It's like claiming that people loved the name "Teridax" because a few posters have commented on how it wasn't bad and didn't deserve the vocal backlash it got.A lot of BZPers disagree with the idea that Greg's a bad writer, if the contents of Greg's profile feed are any indication.~ BioGio

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#60 Offline KlakWest

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 04:59 PM

I see more people attacking Greg and Bionicle's story throughout this site. This is only one topic. To see within its confines is underestimating things. Now, it's popular to dislike Bionicle on BZPower.I myself think that Greg is a great writer. Certainly no Shakespeare, Wilde, or Bronte, but good enough to enjoy. Besides, why are people expecting to find contemporary literature that forever changes the human soul in a sci-fi storyline written for a toy line? It's nonsensical.Still, if you dislike his writing style, be respectful about it. Don't be a smug cool dude. Like I said, comparing Bionicle to Twilight is what I call ridiculous.And if you disagree with me, you are evil. :P
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#61 Offline L'Etranger

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 05:22 PM

2006 Was an amazing year, and ties with 2008 for the best.Kopaka is not the most awesome character ever.Brutaka was the best character of 2006.The Toa Nuva had terrible masks (For mocing, atleast).Bionicle and MLP do not go well together. :P
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#62 Offline fishers64

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 05:28 PM

On the Greg writing debate:Isn't this the point where I whip out my :evilgrin: and accuse you all of not being true fans of Bionicle? :)Nah, he's not the best writer in the world (I've certainly read better), but he isn't necessarily a bad one. You want Shakespeare out of a kid's toyline? Try Hero Factory. We're fortunate we even got the story that we did.I guess people here like the sets more than the story...EDIT: I guess it is an unpopular opinion now to believe that Bionicle might come back.

Edited by fishers64, Feb 26 2012 - 05:50 PM.

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#63 Offline BioGio

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 06:03 PM

EDIT: I guess it is an unpopular opinion now to believe that Bionicle might come back.

It's really not a question of opinion but rather one of fact. LEGO has stated that BIONICLE is considered done and over, removed projects from CUUSOO that had been attempting to return the line, and has repeatedly refused to return the line despite large petitions of hundreds and even thousands. So you really don't need to dredge this up again. That BIONICLE will return is not an opinion; if anything, it's a delusion. Sure, it might, but a practical assessment of fact implies that it isn't likely.Also, I never wanted wonderful literature from kids' toys, but there's plenty of children's literature that's better than Greg's work. Either way, this is truly a matter of opinion and taste, so I'm not going to insist that you should hate Greg, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't insist I have to concede that he meets a certain level of quality.~ BioGio

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#64 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 06:52 PM

I think part of the issue of whether or not Greg is sub-par is setting par too high. He's certainly no J.R.R. Tolkien or Stephen King. But I genuinely enjoyed his writing, and I can't pick any one scene he set that came across as forced or otherwise poor quality.
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#65 Offline fishers64

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 07:10 PM

EDIT: I guess it is an unpopular opinion now to believe that Bionicle might come back.

It's really not a question of opinion but rather one of fact. LEGO has stated that BIONICLE is considered done and over, removed projects from CUUSOO that had been attempting to return the line, and has repeatedly refused to return the line despite large petitions of hundreds and even thousands. So you really don't need to dredge this up again. That BIONICLE will return is not an opinion; if anything, it's a delusion. Sure, it might, but a practical assessment of fact implies that it isn't likely.Also, I never wanted wonderful literature from kids' toys, but there's plenty of children's literature that's better than Greg's work. Either way, this is truly a matter of opinion and taste, so I'm not going to insist that you should hate Greg, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't insist I have to concede that he meets a certain level of quality.~ BioGio

People are entitled to their opinions. The purpose of this topic, however, is to discuss the unpopular ones. Thus I have. And as for that whole "Bionicle isn't coming back", I redirect you to this topic(archive link warning), which explains the whole thing better than I can.

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#66 Offline Sir Kohran

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 07:11 PM

So it seems that the whole "GREG IS A TERRIBLE WRITER ZOMG" is actually a popular opinion, interesting.

I implore you to highlight a single instance of someone calling him that.I don't think Greg's a terrible or even bad writer. I simply think he wasn't dextrous enough to pull off anything beyond the conventional. Or if he was, he didn't do it.

I'm sorry, but comparing Bionicle to Twilight? That's what I call ridiculous.

BioGio didn't compare Bionicle to Twilight. At all.He used Twilight as an example of something he hasn't personally surpassed in terms of success, but should still be able to criticise regardless.Nothing relating it to Bionicle whatsoever.

Edited by Sir Kohran, Feb 26 2012 - 07:12 PM.

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#67 Offline Binary Code

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 07:20 PM

I kinda like the name TeridaxI was ecstatic when Bionicle endedI think the story should have ended at the same time as the sets100101010 BC 010101001
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#68 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 08:38 PM

My love of the color brown seems to be unpopular... well, it's fairly popular here according to past polls, but in general. :)
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#69 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 09:09 PM

EDIT: I guess it is an unpopular opinion now to believe that Bionicle might come back.

It's really not a question of opinion but rather one of fact. LEGO has stated that BIONICLE is considered done and over, removed projects from CUUSOO that had been attempting to return the line, and has repeatedly refused to return the line despite large petitions of hundreds and even thousands. So you really don't need to dredge this up again. That BIONICLE will return is not an opinion; if anything, it's a delusion. Sure, it might, but a practical assessment of fact implies that it isn't likely.Also, I never wanted wonderful literature from kids' toys, but there's plenty of children's literature that's better than Greg's work. Either way, this is truly a matter of opinion and taste, so I'm not going to insist that you should hate Greg, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't insist I have to concede that he meets a certain level of quality.~ BioGio

The reason "Bring Back BIONICLE" things on Cuusoo have been removed isn't because they're trying to snuff out the possibility of BIONICLE proposals being successful, but rather because theme proposals in general have been snuffed out. The possibility of the theme returning still exists, as TLG has gone back on their word before, but it's extremely unlikely, and I don't expect a BIONICLE revival any time in the foreseeable future.I definitely agree, Greg's an OK writer considering my (low) expectations. He's not among my favorite children's book writers, except maybe just by virtue of the fact that he writes for LEGO. Anyway, generally memorable character moments stick with me way more than brilliantly-sophisticated writing.

Edited by Aanchir: Rachira of Time, Feb 26 2012 - 09:09 PM.

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#70 Offline BenLuke

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Posted Feb 26 2012 - 09:25 PM

2001-2003 were mostly terrible apart from the MNOLG.Really, the only reason people like 2001-2003 as much as they do is pure nostalgia.
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#71 Offline Sir Kohran

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Posted Feb 27 2012 - 02:45 PM

2001-2003 were mostly terrible apart from the MNOLG.Really, the only reason people like 2001-2003 as much as they do is pure nostalgia.

Yeah, the early years are missed solely for nostalgia. It's absolutely nothing at all to do with garbage like 'Free the Band', replacing complex set builds and combiners with gimmicky light-ups and projectiles, continual and increasingly ugly mutations, locations devoid of exploration and atmosphere, having to get all the storyline from books that were barely available outside America, and having a cast the size of a country's population.

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#72 Offline InnerRayg

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Posted Feb 27 2012 - 03:06 PM

The concept was interesting and fresh, that's why 2001-2003 rocked. Robots on a deserted island acting like ancient tribes people with mystical powers? awesome.Robots in a robot city doing robotic things? Not quite as unique.I know they're "biological" or whatever and I don't care. That's one of those things that just was unneeded entirely in the story and makes no sense.
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#73 Offline goldenlewa

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Posted Feb 27 2012 - 03:56 PM

I actually like the idea of alternate universes Visorak are pretty coolsame goes for the hordikaand Inika torso is pretty goodthats about all I can think of for now.
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#74 Offline KlakWest

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Posted Feb 27 2012 - 05:45 PM

So it seems that the whole "GREG IS A TERRIBLE WRITER ZOMG" is actually a popular opinion, interesting.

I implore you to highlight a single instance of someone calling him that.I don't think Greg's a terrible or even bad writer. I simply think he wasn't dextrous enough to pull off anything beyond the conventional. Or if he was, he didn't do it.

I'm sorry, but comparing Bionicle to Twilight? That's what I call ridiculous.

BioGio didn't compare Bionicle to Twilight. At all.He used Twilight as an example of something he hasn't personally surpassed in terms of success, but should still be able to criticise regardless.Nothing relating it to Bionicle whatsoever.

The first part was satire, man. You know that.I hope not, because that would be in extremely poor taste, as I repeated earlier.

EDIT: I guess it is an unpopular opinion now to believe that Bionicle might come back.

It's really not a question of opinion but rather one of fact. LEGO has stated that BIONICLE is considered done and over, removed projects from CUUSOO that had been attempting to return the line, and has repeatedly refused to return the line despite large petitions of hundreds and even thousands. So you really don't need to dredge this up again. That BIONICLE will return is not an opinion; if anything, it's a delusion. Sure, it might, but a practical assessment of fact implies that it isn't likely.Also, I never wanted wonderful literature from kids' toys, but there's plenty of children's literature that's better than Greg's work. Either way, this is truly a matter of opinion and taste, so I'm not going to insist that you should hate Greg, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't insist I have to concede that he meets a certain level of quality.~ BioGio

People are entitled to their opinions. The purpose of this topic, however, is to discuss the unpopular ones. Thus I have.And as for that whole "Bionicle isn't coming back", I redirect you to this topic(archive link warning), which explains the whole thing better than I can.

Indeed. Not to mention all the fan projects and Cuusoo projects that have constraction figure ideas (see my sig). Bionicle may be dead to Lego, but we are keeping it alive (another unpopular opinion, it seems). Bloody heck, is even liking Bionicle an unpopular opinion?

2006 Was an amazing year, and ties with 2008 for the best.Kopaka is not the most awesome character ever.Brutaka was the best character of 2006.The Toa Nuva had terrible masks (For mocing, atleast).Bionicle and MLP do not go well together. :P

I agree with all, save for the Toa Nuva part. And this is coming from a semi-brony :P

The concept was interesting and fresh, that's why 2001-2003 rocked. Robots on a deserted island acting like ancient tribes people with mystical powers? awesome.Robots in a robot city doing robotic things? Not quite as unique.I know they're "biological" or whatever and I don't care. That's one of those things that just was unneeded entirely in the story and makes no sense.

It makes sense if you're trying to make a science fiction story, not a fantasy one. Bionicle, I think, blends both.

Edited by MakutaKlak, Feb 27 2012 - 05:45 PM.

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#75 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Feb 27 2012 - 05:53 PM

The concept was interesting and fresh, that's why 2001-2003 rocked. Robots on a deserted island acting like ancient tribes people with mystical powers? awesome.Robots in a robot city doing robotic things? Not quite as unique.I know they're "biological" or whatever and I don't care. That's one of those things that just was unneeded entirely in the story and makes no sense.

Well, the biological aspect was as present in 2001 as it was any other year, seeing as the theme's name comes from Biological Chronicle. Arguably, given what we know now, it could have instead been referring to the fact that the Matoran Universe as a whole was analogous to biological systems, even though the only obvious mention of that in 2001 was the fact that the Onu-Matoran had encountered a layer of rock that seemed "almost organic, like an Ussal Crab's shell"-- and this detail was later retconned anyway.Of course, the difficulty of understanding the whole biomechanical thing is part of why I like Hero Factory. Yes, it's simplistic, but it's a story that can be understood just by taking it at face value: robot good guys fighting robot bad guys, the impression any adult or child would draw from seeing the sets.By the way I couldn't help noticing someone linking to Bonesiii's topic about why BIONICLE's return is likely, and I feel the need to speak up. That topic is based at its core on a flawed principle: that BIONICLE losing the "new factor" was the reason for it going away. The "new factor" had hardly anything to do with it. The problem was not that it was old but that it grew vaster with every year that went by, and thus new fans each year had to learn more than new fans the previous year. As the years went on this discouraged more and more people from actually becoming fans. If BIONICLE is ever expected to feel "new" again, it won't just be able to remain dormant for years and then tell kids "Hey! Here's a brand-new cool story for you to follow! You'll need to read this 500-page encyclopedia before you can understand it, though". That would fail no matter how much money you spent trying to market it, and it would certainly never restore BIONICLE to the success it had in its early years.

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#76 Offline bonesiii

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Posted Feb 27 2012 - 07:04 PM

Aanchir, it was indeed the "new factor" and not its complexity. 2009 experimented with fixing just what you say was the problem, moving to a new world where very few old details mattered to understanding the plot, and it was not successful in bringing back the younger excitement. Also, lack of the new factor was given officially as the major reason. The exponential complexity was part of it, but a small part.Also, FTR, it's "biomechanical" to be clear. :) That was another neat thing Bionicle had that most other fiction did not; others typically had bionics and cybernetics, but the machinery side being simple mechanical principles like pistons and gears was virtually unheard of. :)
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#77 Offline Sir Kohran

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Posted Feb 27 2012 - 08:58 PM

Aanchir, it was indeed the "new factor" and not its complexity. 2009 experimented with fixing just what you say was the problem, moving to a new world where very few old details mattered to understanding the plot, and it was not successful in bringing back the younger excitement. Also, lack of the new factor was given officially as the major reason. The exponential complexity was part of it, but a small part.

I can't remember where I read it, but wasn't Bionicle's end (privately) decided in 2008?

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#78 Offline fishers64

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Posted Feb 27 2012 - 10:30 PM

Aanchir, it was indeed the "new factor" and not its complexity. 2009 experimented with fixing just what you say was the problem, moving to a new world where very few old details mattered to understanding the plot, and it was not successful in bringing back the younger excitement. Also, lack of the new factor was given officially as the major reason. The exponential complexity was part of it, but a small part.

I can't remember where I read it, but wasn't Bionicle's end (privately) decided in 2008?

Somewhat. They planned out doing the Bara Magna saga then, which would have inevitably rounded up the story eventually, but the original plan was to do an elaborate movie trilogy exploring Mata Nui's adventures on Bara Magna, but they cut it short due to the reasons bones and Aanchir explained.

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#79 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Feb 28 2012 - 08:24 AM

Aanchir, it was indeed the "new factor" and not its complexity. 2009 experimented with fixing just what you say was the problem, moving to a new world where very few old details mattered to understanding the plot, and it was not successful in bringing back the younger excitement. Also, lack of the new factor was given officially as the major reason. The exponential complexity was part of it, but a small part.

Really? It's the main reason cited in this article. I don't speak Danish, but Google translate gave me for one paragraph "The reason why they have decided to phase out Bionicle shall in particular be found in that the story eventually had evolved, making it harder for new users to get into." I have never seen any articles or press releases suggesting that the "new factor" had any major impact in the cancellation of BIONICLE.Meanwhile, 2009 was indeed a quite visible attempt at decreasing the complexity of the story, but in the end I can't say it worked very well. It seems obvious to me that a new BIONICLE fan wouldn't get nearly the same enjoyment from The Legend Reborn as someone who had followed the story for many years and understood the significance of the Great Spirit Mata Nui and the Mask of Life.

Edited by Aanchir: Rachira of Time, Feb 28 2012 - 08:28 AM.

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#80 Offline Kahi

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Posted Feb 28 2012 - 09:40 AM

So I really don't blame him. Given all that, I really could not have done any better, and I challenge any who critisize the King of Bionicle to write out any of that story they think is "subpar" in a better fashion.

You're right. I'd like to see those stuck up haters of Batman and Robin to try and make a better movie. How dare they try and compare King Schumacher to the likes of half-baked directors like Christopher Nolan. http://www.bzpower.c...tyle_emoticons/default/mad.gif

I think the flaw in Farshtey's writing is that it's rooted in the style of comic books. The positive side of this was that he was extremely good at writing action scenes, intricate plots, villains and one-liners. But the downside was that as far as happy times, quiet and sombre moments, the wider world around the characters and the Matoran society they defended went, such things were barely touched upon. He told the main story of good and evil well enough, but rarely seemed to go far beyond it.

Actually, I think you've hit it right on the nose. Greg bases his style off the older superhero comic books, and it shows quite profusely.For me, originally I was a big fan of the whole "shift to sci-fi" thing, but later on it just seemed too generic. The earliest years had a "feel" to it that every other year since then tried to emulate. It was based on a clash of genres, the "steampunk robots on a tribal island", and the SchizoTech/AnachronismStew really worked for it.Also there was the fact that when Greg started writing it, I always thought that he stopped looking at it as a world. True, the storyline should be on the main characters, but 2001-2003 did a good job by not just establishing the characters, but also establishing the world where they lived. Its why Mata Nui is probably the most popular island that BIONICLE was ever set in: none of the other islands were ever expounded on enough for them to make them worthwhile.Speaking of unpopular opinions, that's one of the main reasons why I also actually like MNOG II. Sure, it was nowhere near a perfect game, but for what it set out to do, I felt that it had some merits. It got glitched up later on, but that wasn't really the fault of the game itself as it was the release method. I loved how they focused on the island and the Matoran, how you got to see them function as a society. I loved how the game evolved from just being a flash based visual novel into basically a RPG. You didn't do much with what skills you had except for those poorly handled Kolhii matches, but I appreciate the effort and the atmosphere in terms of basically being an online game for kids. I value something like that more than I value moving into a "third person 3D shooter" like Hero Factory: Breakout tried to do.I did liked a few of the alternate dimensions, though. I'm actually not too far set against them as other people were, as I find it interesting how different they are from one another. And I also ironically enjoyed 2006 as well, even though the entire year was advertised with rock bands, chain fences, and other "modern" things.

Edited by Kahinuva, Feb 28 2012 - 09:53 AM.

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