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GUIDES - RELEASES - DVD - GAME OF ILLUSIONS (SEASON TWO, PART TWO)

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Young Justice: Invasion – Game of Illusions: Season Two, Part Two
Street Date: 07/16/13 - July 16th, 2013
Closed Captioning: Yes
MSRP: $19.97
Packaging Type: Eco Amaray Case
Media Quantity: 2
Disc Configuration: DVD 9
Product Language: English
Original Soundtrack Language: English
Run Time: Over 3 Hours
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (16x9)
Episodes:
1. Cornered (aka Fool’s Errand)
2. True Colors
3. The Fix
4. Runaways
5. War
6. Complications
7. The Hunt
8. Intervention
9. Summit
10. Endgame (aka Spin)

Bonus Content:
-Bonus Episodes
-Trailers

Synopsis: The action, intrigue and thrills continue with Season Two Part Two of Young Justice! Watch as The Reach, spearheaded by the quick-talking Ambassador and backed by the muscle of Black Beetle, continues its manipulation of a trusting public while maintaining its shadowy maneuvering with The Light. Meanwhile, team members Robin, Blue Beetle and Impulse go undercover to investigate LexCorp and its newfound partnership with The Reach, the results of which could shift the balance of power forever. So report in for 10 all-new adventures, as the risks have never been greater and the conflicts never so far-reaching. The epic finale will shatter everything you know!

Review by James Harvey:
Since this review will emphasize the home video release more than the main feature, my comments on the episodes included here will be brief. This collections features the final ten episodes from the second season of Young Justice, subtitled “Invasion,” and this second season has been understandably controversial right up to the final moments (that last scene? Oh man...). While the initial controversy to the season was the time jump, that eventually became a non-issue as the story grew and evolved. While the time-jump was still an issue with many, the fact that the show was squeezing at least 26 episodes worth of plot into 20 was becoming a problem. This resulted in some episodes feeling rushed and characters sidelined, leading toward a finale that didn't completely hit as hard as it should. Everything was resolved, save for a few key plotlines, but it felt like too much happened too quickly.

At the end of the it all, I still see Young Justice as a show about the original core team - Aqualad, Artemis, Kid Flash, Miss Martian, Robin, and Superboy. Even with the changes, at its core, this show still remains focused on those six players (with Nightwing a definite anchor to everything going on). It may not seem like it, as there are times when barely any of these characters are seen during the course of an episode, but these six hold the show together even with the rather expansive team growth this season. Superboy vanishes for a huge chunk of episodes, for example, to emphasize the importance of a few new characters introduced this season. New developments pop up, costumes and names change, some retire, some die, but – in the end – this show still remains about that fantastic core group of young heroes.

Personally, I enjoyed the first season of Young Justice more than the second season, but this was still a great run of episodes and a true testament to the great creative team behind the series. The characters are just as developed and layered, the writing and directing sharp, and the developments usually jaw-dropping. True, there is a bit of a sting as we get a taste of what was to come that we'll never get to see, but at least now we get the conclusion to this second and final season on home video.

Speaking of the DVD, Warner Home Video provides another good, though not great, home video release for Young Justice. The Young Justice: Invasion - Season Two, Part Two: Game of Illusions DVD release includes ten episodes, plus some bonus episodes and a few trailers. Nothing major, but a slight improvement from the previous single-disc volume releases.

With five episodes to a disc, the A/V quality here is pretty solid. Audio is a standard English Stereo mix and the video presentation is an anamorphic widescreen encode, resulting in a surprisingly stunning image. It looks great but, like Green Lantern: The Animated Series, this show would benefit from a Blu-ray release. Blu-rays is the dominant home video media and eclipses sales of digital download and DVD media, so Warner Home Video should take advantage of that. People are clamoring for high-definition releases, so why not give it to them?

The bonus content is sparse here, the standard with these releases. Outside of the standard promotional trailers, also included are three bonus Statis Shock episodes which introduce the popular 1990s Milestone character and his background. A neat way to tie episodes of an unrelated series, and something fans should enjoy, especially since only six episodes of Static Shock ever made it to home video. It would be ideal to get some actual behind-the-scenes production content on the show itself, but those days seem to be done for most animation titles (except for Paramount Home Video, who still does a solid job with their home video titles, I find).

I was very disappointed to see that Warner Home Video used their new default menu system for this release. You know - the really cheap looking designs akin to something someone scrambled together from a 'make-your-own-DVD' kit on a fifteen-year old computer? Look at the menu grabs above for a closer look - they look simply awful. Warner used a nice, consistent menu system for the previous five releases, giving a uniform look for the Young Justice titles. And, for this last release, they just dump all that and toss in these terribly cheap menus. I sincerely wish Warner Home Video would stop using this menu system. It's terribly cheap, amateur-ish, and looks awful.

Taking everything into account, fans should really scoop up this release. There’s no guarantee of a complete season collection – be it on DVD and Blu-ray – and there’s enough content on this title to warrant plunking down $15 or $20. Plus - come on - this wraps up the series! If you've bought every release before this one, there's no reason not to scoop up this release, too. You want to support Young Justice? Then put your money where your mouth is and pick up this DVD release. Each episode on this collection is thoroughly enjoyable, some more than others, and the amount of episodes gives this collection a nice hefty run time. While the lack of extras remains frustrating, it’s certainly not a deal-breaker. Young Justice: Invasion - Season Two, Part Two: Game of Illusions comes Highly Recommended. Ten episodes (plus three hard-to-find bonus Static Shock episodes) of one of the best action cartoons currently on television? Yeah, don’t pass this one up. Show your support and add it to your collection!

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