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  • What is the worst licensed AU story/product?

    Thought this might be a fun thread to have.

    What is the worst Buffyverse tie-in story/product that you have read/played/watched/smoked? Discuss the novels, games, older comics etc.

    For the sake of this thread, lets keep it to non-canon, AU type stuff and/or cheap products. I don't want this thread to be yet another argument about the artistic merits of seasons 8 or 9 or After the Fall or IDW or Dark Horse. I want to discuss the stuff that's not even remotely canonical, the type of stuff that we can all agree is terrible no matter our character or shipping preferences.

    Also, let's not bother with spoilers.

    For me: The novel Queen of the Slayers is up near the top of my list. That book sucked. It was written before sesaon 8 was released. Basically shows Buffy's relationship with the Immortal, it's got some Faith and Wood storyline that I don't really remember and the conclusion of the book is some epic fight between good and evil where the tipping factor is Buffy's weird ghost child that she created by holding hands with Angel and Spike. Seriously, anyone who thinks that the Twilight idea was lame should give this book a read. It was my first big WTF moment in the fandom when the conclusion of the book involved Buffy's child who was fathered by both Angel and Spike. It was a lame and downright weird conclusion to a very mediocre story.

    The Nintendo DS game: BTVS -Sacrifice The gameplay here is terrible. I can tell that zero imagination went into this game. The story is very standard, the gameplay is clunky and it doesn't even try to fit itself somewhere in the canon. It's supposedly set after season 7 and Sunnydale is just back for some reason. I've only ever played the start of this game. Maybe one day I'll force myself to play through the entire thing and I'll make a thread on it. This game is terrible and I only bought it out of "brand loyalty" to BTVS. The gameplay is like a weird hybrid of of a Third-Person-Adventure and First Person Shooter. And it's on the handheld Nintendo DS. It's not a well thought out idea. Vampires dust when you punch them enough. I remember fighting a resurrected Master and a skinless Warren as bosses (both seemed to ripped right out of season 8). You run into Angel and Spike somewhere in the restored Sunnydale and it blatantly contradicts AtS season 5. I remember the camera making it really difficult to track where you are going and where you've been. It was not a pleasant gaming experience and the story is so flat, dull and generic. It lifts ideas from the comics without even making a token effort to fit somewhere into the canonical story.

    The Dust Waltz. To be fair, this was Dark Horse's first Buffyverse comic ever. It's set in season 3 sometime. Giles has a niece who seems to serve no purpose in this comic at all. She's a bit of a Mary Sue OC. It's a very generic tie in comic that has a random threat to the scoobies, Buffy saves the day and there is zero character progression because the comic has to pretend that it's a "missing episode" that can slot seamlessly into the show. Like many of the old comics, nothing of significance happens. I guess a comic set during the show can't be blamed, but this one feels especially stagnant. The art is terrible and so very 90's. There are green vampires and werewolves.

    Cursed. It's an Angel and Spike book... supposedly. It's set during BtVS season 6 and AtS season 3. Obviously the book is non-canon. I was looking forward to an AU meeting of Spike and Angel. The last time Angel and Spike were face to face was during the season 1 episode "In the Dark". This book is set when Spike was soulless and Buffy had just broken up with him after the incident with the demon eggs. There was SO MUCH that could be explored here outside the confines of canon. Instead, Angel and Spike only ever cross paths right at the end of the book in a totally non-eventful way. You're waiting for the two vamps to cross paths for the entire book, and it doesn't happen till right at the end. And the writers don't take the opportunity to explore anything that might be interesting at this stage in their unlives. It also has some boring plot about Spike doing some sort of burglary assignment and the AI team looking for some ancient McGuffin.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Vampire in Rug View Post
    For me: The novel Queen of the Slayers is up near the top of my list. That book sucked. It was written before sesaon 8 was released. Basically shows Buffy's relationship with the Immortal, it's got some Faith and Wood storyline that I don't really remember and the conclusion of the book is some epic fight between good and evil where the tipping factor is Buffy's weird ghost child that she created by holding hands with Angel and Spike. Seriously, anyone who thinks that the Twilight idea was lame should give this book a read. It was my first big WTF moment in the fandom when the conclusion of the book involved Buffy's child who was fathered by both Angel and Spike. It was a lame and downright weird conclusion to a very mediocre story.


    Oddly enough, I first thought you mean Meyer's Twilight and things like Jacob "imprinting" on Renesmee. (It shows that I've been a little less involved with the BtVS comics discussions these days, since my first association with the word is sparkling vampires rather than the big universe cat.) Anyway, both Twilights are silly, but this novel really seems sillier than either. At least it's not canon by any means so we don't have to give it more attention than any crazy fanfic out there.
    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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    • #3
      Hmm, well I haven't read that many totally noncanon products. I assume no one minds counting pre-Season 8 Dark Horse books not written by writers from the show, or pre-AtF IDW books as noncanon?

      There is a pre-AtF IDW book called something like Old Friends which attempts to show what happens after NFA which is pretty bad -- there is a bizarre plot about shapeshifting demons who take on the form of Cordy, Wesley etc. mostly just for effect.

      I started reading Christopher Golden's Oz but I couldn't really get through it. It might not be bad, it's just ... I got bored too quickly to get through it.

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      • #4
        A lot of the comics/novels are pretty dull but I remember being really disapointed by Espenson's Reunion. It's the story of what happened when Buffy/Angel met offscreen in S6, penned by a writer of the TV show, so I was expecting it to be good, ya know? But god it was awful with some of the worst dialogue I have ever read and a really lame story line. That was a huge letdown and I couldn't believe she wrote it.

        I was also underwhelmed by Chaos Bleeds. The original BtVS XBOX game is incredible and got such good reviews it's considered part of the 'XBOX Elite', and deservedly so. It's probably the best game adaption of any TV show/movie I've ever played and to this day I still enjoy it. But Chaos Bleeds was such a letdown in comparison and I'm not sure if it had to do with making the game multi-platform or just a lack of trying, but whatever it was it was a real nosedive in quality. The Bringers dusted like vampires just being hitting them, you could stake a vampire in the shinbone and they'd dust, the graphics weren't as good, the fighting was lame, and they completely wasted the opportunity of getting to play multiple characters. Whether you were Buffy or Faith it didn't matter because they played exactly the same and there was hardly any difference between Spike and Xander. Meh.

        There's only really a handful of novels and comics that are actually good. If you want a decent novel;

        - Lost Slayer
        - Tales of the Slayers
        - Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids All In A Row

        Are your best bets. Tales of the Slayers are kind of canon whilst the other two aren't but are still great fun. The Lost Slayer series is pretty much a book revolving around another "Wishverse" if you will, where Buffy wakes up in her future body and Sunnydale has been overrun by vampires. I won't spoil who the Big Bad is but it's pretty great and the writing is definitely more mature. Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids All In A Row is a fantastic little book with great writing and a plot that's before it's time. It basically revolves around Spike and Dru hunting down Potential Slayers and killing them to destroy the Slayer line, and Spike faces off with the current Slayer Sophie. The book actually handles the Potential Slayer idea way better than S7 does but you have to ignore canon as we know from the show Spike only ever faced two Slayers. I actually feel a little bad for Christopher Golden because apparently he contacted Mutant Enemy and/or FOX just before Fool For Love aired and checked them with if there was any major inconsistencies, and they said there wasn't, and then that episode aired and completely contradicted what he had just written. Canonical inconsistencies aside, it's a fantastic read.
        Last edited by vampmogs; 25-01-13, 12:59 AM.
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        • #5
          Can you please use spoilers if discussing the comics outside their section.

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          • #6
            Nikki, in my original post I mentioned two novels (Queen of the Slayers and Cursed), a Nintendo DS game and the Dust Waltz -which admittedly is a comic book, but it's definitely non-canon, has nothing whatsoever to do with season 8 or 9. In fact, it is the first BtVS comic published *ever*. This thread isn't really for "discussions" on the comics per-se, the purpose of this thread is more to point and laugh at terrible tie-in material that has been produced over the years which would include novels, video games, comics, action figures, lunchboxes and what-have-you.

            I posted this thread in the General Section rather than the Comics section because this would be an all encompassing thread that is more about the Buffyverse license than it is about any individual comic. Also, I explicitly don't want season 8 or 9 discussion in this thread.

            If I wanted to create a thread on the 1992 Buffy movie, or a hypothetical reboot movie, I assume the General section would be okay, and spoiler tags wouldn't be needed? If I wanted to create a thread to discuss the non-canon novels or video games, again, I'm assuming that the thread would go in the General Section? What's the policy on spoiler tags for novels and video games?

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            • #7
              My comment is purely to make sure comic book related comments are spoiler tagged. Anything else is fine to discuss freely.

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              • #8
                All good, I agree it's better to err on the side of caution when it comes to spoilers. All comics mentioned so far has been for the non-canonical stuff that is in no way related to the current happenings in season 8 and 9.

                Originally posted by Local Maximum
                I assume no one minds counting pre-Season 8 Dark Horse books not written by writers from the show, or pre-AtF IDW books as noncanon?

                There is a pre-AtF IDW book called something like Old Friends which attempts to show what happens after NFA which is pretty bad -- there is a bizarre plot about shapeshifting demons who take on the form of Cordy, Wesley etc. mostly just for effect.
                I don't mind, the pre-AtF IDW books and the pre-season 8 Dark Horse books really don't fit into the canon at all... and some of the stories are exactly the type of terrible stuff I created this thread for. Anyone else remember the Dark Horse vampires that had green skin and pointed ears?

                Regarding the IDW "Old Friends" comic, I'll use spoiler tags just in case:
                Spoiler:
                Yeah, I remember that comic! You know, for what it was, I didn't think it was too bad. The writers were in this really awkward position where the comic was supposed to be maybe set after "Not Fade Away", but it couldn't directly say that it was. So we had Gunn with an eyepatch. It was pretty awkward that they weren't allowed to say when the comic was set so the best they could do was imply that it happened after NFA. The plot wasn't great either.

                It wasn't a shape-shifting demon taking on the forms of Spike, Wesley, Lorne, Cordelia and Angel. No, it was Dr. Sparrow creating clones of the fang gang. It was weird. The clones also turned to dust for some reason when they were killed even though most of the clones weren't vampires. I might have to do a re-read. I do like that they tried to show us what became of Dr. Sparow, it's a shame it wasn't a good story. David Mesina's artwork was nice though. I do remember one weird bit in the story where Illyria ditches everyone for no reason and just disappears halfway through the book.

                Now, the IDW story that came before "Old Friends" was called "The Curse". It's one of the most boring comics I've read. It was about Angel going back to Romania to meet the gypsy clan that cursed him. He wanted the curse altered so that he could experience happiness (with Nina I think) without fear of losing his soul. Interesting concept, but it was one hell of a boring comic. I think Angel had to fight some businessmen or terrorists in Romania. None of the supporting cast were in the comic, it was just Angel by himself and it was so boring.


                I started reading Christopher Golden's Oz but I couldn't really get through it. It might not be bad, it's just ... I got bored too quickly to get through it.
                Spoiler:
                That books wasn't too bad actually. I really didn't like the artwork, it was too cartoony. I didn't like the villian either, it was some boring generic demon dude. Also they gave Oz some half-demon love interest. I would have liked it better if they steered away from the supernatural world and explored Oz's personal issues with being a werewolf. Still, as far as the older comics go, this one was pretty decent. It totally gets blown out of the canon by season 8 though. We get a different account of Oz's time in Tibet that totally contradicts this story.


                Originally posted by vampmogs
                I was also underwhelmed by Chaos Bleeds. The original BtVS XBOX game is incredible and got such good reviews it's considered part of the 'XBOX Elite', and deservedly so. It's probably the best game adaption of any TV show/movie I've ever played and to this day I still enjoy it. But Chaos Bleeds was such a letdown in comparison and I'm not sure if it had to do with making the game multi-platform or just a lack of trying, but whatever it was it was a real nosedive in quality. The Bringers dusted like vampires just being hitting them, you could stake a vampire in the shinbone and they'd dust, the graphics weren't as good, the fighting was lame, and they completely wasted the opportunity of getting to play multiple characters. Whether you were Buffy or Faith it didn't matter because they played exactly the same and there was hardly any difference between Spike and Xander. Meh.
                I started playing the original XBox Buffy game (playing on the XBox 360 which is backwards compatible with most games) but then the sound cut out. Would that be a problem with my XBox, or with the disc? The game still played fine, just no sound. The whole reason I was playing was for the story and the voice acting, so I didn't bother to finish the game after I lost the sound. Maybe I'll pick it up again someday.

                I didn't think Chaos Bleeds was too bad. It was pretty generic though. I thought the storyline was pretty silly. It was dumb that they were fighting the First Evil in season 5 and that they'd never mention it on the show. Apparently at the end of the game you actually get to kill the First Evil? I never got past vampire-Tara. I think my thumbs are to stumpy to pull of Willow's spell combinations. I played it on the PS2.

                Problems I had with the game: Willow's voice actor sucked. The one-liners from any of the characters were really annoying after a while. As you mention, you can stake vampires by stabbing them in the leg... but that wasn't even the worst part. You could use a metal sword to stake them. Demons could be killed exactly the same way as vampires... lower their health and then stake them with a stake/sword. Very unimaginative there. Werewolves were also killed the same way which is stupid. Werewolves need to be killed with silver, not with wood or steel. Also, killing a werewolf is a pretty big deal since they are apparently human for most of the month. But no, in the game they are just a standard enemy you can happily kill. Kakistos could be finished off with a regular stake. Bringers dusted when you killed them. When playing as Spike the vampires treated you exactly the same as the human characters, even trying to bite you. Spike could be killed when his health bar dropped down far enough. And when Spike died, he didn't turn to dust, he just dropped to the ground like all the other characters. I remember the multiplayer mode feeling especially tacked on and terrible. Xander really had no place running around hell dimensions taking on a dozen vampires at once...

                Was Chaos Bleeds ever released on Xbox? I might have another crack at it one day with a controller I'm more comfortable with. I did enjoy playing as Sid the dummy. For all its faults, Chaos Bleeds still beats the hell out of "Sacrifice" for the DS.

                There's only really a handful of novels and comics that are actually good. If you want a decent novel;

                - Lost Slayer
                - Tales of the Slayers
                - Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids All In A Row
                "Lost Slayer" and "Pretty Maids" were good. I haven't read "Tales of the Slayers" although I would like to read it someday. "Go Ask Malice" is a really great Faith story. I've also heard "Monster Island" is not too bad?

                Man, I really want to talk more about the book "Cursed" with Spike and Angel. That book was a HUGE let down. Anyone else read it?

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                • #9
                  For clarity, any comic, or just canonical ones? I guess I should PM that. But I can't imagine spoiler-tagging generic arcs from the old non-canon Dark Horse comic for instance. And some of those omnibus stories are not TRBL anyway.

                  I think "Queen of the Slayers" is pretty freakin dire. Like, horribad. In fact, since I was one of the many who have probably been confused by the "Christopher Golden"/"Christie Golden" thing, I denied myself a couple pretty legit "Warcraft" books because of how much I didn't like "Queen of the Slayers".

                  I have said, and I don't think even the most acerbic and categorical anti-S8 posters, present and former, you can think of could seriously disagree that it was worth it if for no other reason than to Joss this book.

                  I've read a couple other Buffy novels. Haven't read "Pretty Maids...", but I have read "Go Ask Malice", which is pretty solid. I read something about sea monsters... Tides of War? I think? Pretty terrible. There was a book with Pike in it (!) that I kind of liked, actually.
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