Remember season one of Steven Universe? With beautiful bright colours, lots of creative monsters, rich worldbuilding and lore, and characters that were likable? Well, that’s all gone now. Instead it’s been replaced by filler episode after filler episode, horrible character and relationship development, and the lore is gone.
The problems really began midway through season two. Pearl’s characterization reared its ugly head. It became clear that she was so obsessed with Rose and feeling validated that she was willing to endanger children and violate Garnet in order to get what she wanted, and would not properly apologize without making it all about her, and she hasn’t really gotten any better (she was shown in later seasons to illegally race with Steven frightened in the backseat and tried to rip his gem out when he was a baby to get Rose back). Peridot’s transition from bad guy to good guy was rushed and it was during said transition she showed her ugly side. Garnet’s character development pretty much went out the window when she was revealed to be a fusion: now she constantly has to remind everyone she’s a fusion and how she loves fusion fusion fusion and occasionally be the wise old helper black woman. Amethyst has gotten a little development but not much. Lapis hated Peridot for an episode, had her boundaries violated, but suddenly, she and Peridot are BFFs. And oh god, Steven has become unbearable. He’s basically a mouthpiece for the writers and no episode is allowed to focus on a character that isn’t him. Where is Yellow Diamond? Where is White Diamond? I think after the Cluster conflict was resolved, the show didn’t know where else to go. We had a few good episodes, but by season four, the show has just gone way downhill.
So, I’m still upset about that. So when I looked through my iPad and saw that I had the app for the mobile game Attack the Light, I thought, “well, I’m finished school and bored, so let’s see what this is about”.
I was in for a ride.
The game reminded me of how good the show once was. The colours were lush, it was rife with unique and challenging monsters, and we got to explore the compelling set pieces. It explores more of the lore and worldbuilding that made the show so great in the first place. Best of all, it’s a really great game onto itself. It really makes you think: you have to come up with strategies to beat the enemies, and you go back and learn more about how to complete a level of the game.
I was so addicted to the game I finished it in about four days. The game is free last time I checked (if it isn’t it wouldn’t be too expensive) so if you can go download the app and play it for yourself. It’s a blast. It may be a little frustrating at times (some of the bosses are very difficult) but once you figure out how to beat them it’s so rewarding.
It makes me hope that one day the show can return to its former glory. No more filler about Steven’s racist family or domestic Lapis and Peridot: show me more of Homeworld and how to make peace with them. Until then, I’ll always have the game and the first season.