Roughnecks: Starship Troopers – The Tesca Campaign

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Although the battles have been numerous already, Johnny Rico and his fellow roughnecks still face countless future encounters. The horrific bug menace has been struck down time and again, but new waves seem to surface all the time, which Rico and his crew have to shut down, or perhaps perish in the effort. Now Rico finds himself on Zegema Beach, where his soldiers are teamed up with the paranoid T’Phai to battle back the insect forces. Of course, the roughnecks are used to laying waste to endless lines of bugs, but this will present a unique challenge, as they will have to work alongside T’Phai as the blasting happens. As expected, some rough times emerge and close calls abound, including one instance in which Rico is almost snuffed by a massive spider. But as time passes, the two sides find themselves in need of each other and as such, some real teamwork is formed as well. But will the bond hold fast in the most dangerous battles that remain ahead of them, against perhaps their most formidable enemies yet?

I was very pleased to see Columbia release this series to DVD and I suppose the first disc sold well, as we now have a second volume, complete with an audio commentary track. I can’t imagine being able to sum up my feelings better than I did in my first review, so here’s a brief piece of that selection. I liked the movie and novel of Starship Troopers, so I knew this television series would be worth a look. But when it ran well before my alarm clock rings, I never had the chance to see many episodes for myself, until now. This series takes on more of the novel’s elements, which is good and most of the characters were in the film, so those unfamiliar with the book won’t be lost here. The new characters are well interlaced here and the old ones are fleshed out more, which I think makes the film that much better to watch afterwards. The animation is cool visually, much like a feature length video game cut scene, that’s the best way I can sum it up. I found this second volume to be as good as the first, if not better at times. This volume contains the complete Tesca Campaign, which accounts for over 90 minutes of content.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are presented in full frame transfers, as intended. Due to the nature of the animation, some shimmering and edge enhancement is present, but not enough to stress over and in this case, I doubt it was unavoidable. The animation looks smooth and hasn’t suffered at all in transition however, which is terrific news. The colors look bold when needed, but also muted at times, depending on what the visual approach calls for at that moment. I saw no errors with contrast either, as black levels were refined and sharp from start to finish here. I think given the nature of the animation, this is about as good as it gets, which is good enough.

Audio: How does it sound?

This series has guns, giant bugs, massive mechanical devices, and space vehicles, so you know some solid audio potential is present here. The included 2.0 surround option takes advantage of that potential and provides an active, very effective experience. Perhaps not as explosive as I would have liked, but there is some nice presence here and the elements seem well placed, so I won’t complain too much. The vocals are crisp and clean at all times, with no problems in the least to report, impressive stuff. This disc also includes audio options in French, Spanish, and Portuguese, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Thai, Korean, and Chinese.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes a selection of still photos, as well as an audio commentary with some of the team members behind Roughnecks. The filmmakers offer an insightful session here, talking about the story, the series as a whole, animation techniques, and a lot of behind the scenes discussion as well, making for an excellent overall track.

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