M.L.P Review- S3ep12- Games Ponies Play

Posted: November 15, 2013 in My Little Pony- Reviews



Was I the only one that was pretty disappointed with this episode? The season had this large (albeit unexplored) arch surrounding Twilight Sparkle. Originally, I didn’t want them to overdo it, but at least add SOMETHING!

I was expecting some grand Olympics-esq games! Massive and impressive scenes with splendid animation! I got ponies running around a Crystal Empire in a cliché, and somewhat dumb fashion. Instead of gigantic games, we just got preparation. Which is sort of underwhelming for a penultimate episode!

Let me make this clear, the entirety of this episode was surrounding a misconception, in which a “Games inspector” was thought to be some overly-excited claustrophobic pony, instead of a… you know… GAMES INSPECTOR. I have no idea why they didn’t even ask “You are the Games Inspector, right?”

Stuff like this bites at me throughout the entire episode detracting from the experience. The entirety of it was somewhat anti-climactic and at times, boring. However, it doesn’t mean it was a terrible episode. In fact, it provided some really funny physical comedy (courtesy of mister Shining Armor’s reaction to Ms.Peachbottom’s advancements) and some delicious dialogue.

In fact, the entire scene where Ms. Peachbottom slowly goes nuts in the claustrophobic Crystal kingdom is gold. I think that scene has to include some of my favorite dialogue of the season, when the ponies try to give her an educated tour of the place, not actually knowing what they are looking at.

Also, here’s where I thought we’d be getting a Rarity sub-plot… NOPE, she is in like three scenes and after that, they sometimes ask her how the Princesses hair is doing… that’s about it. This was a big disappointment for me, as a Rarity fan.

Unfortunately, I can’t bring myself to write a lot about this episode, it was honestly very unremarkable. Even after re-watching it for a third time, I couldn’t see past the downright stupidity of a few plot-choices. Although it provides some funny bits, the entirety of this episode is far too simplistic, cliché, and overdone. Especially the third act when the REAL games inspector arrives (kindly named Ms. Harshwhinny) and comes off as a complete bitch… which she isn’t of course, she actually loves everything! Like that hasn’t been done on a thousand different cartoons…

This was a penultimate episode that didn’t have too much going for it, however, it did bring in a lot of laughs from me, and at the end of the day, that’s all I truly ask for. If the story, and the characterization isn’t too great, just throw some laughs at me and I won’t hate it.


-Ms. Peachbottom’s breakdown

-Pretending to know the inside of the Crystal Empire

-Shining armor was being hit on. By a pony with a chicken for a cutie mark.

-Dash sliding off the glass ceiling=hilarious



-Again, re-treading water

-A penultimate episode that was severly underwhelming

-Too many clichés to count

-Rarity is once again forgotten


Grade: C

  1. mynamesnotkim says:

    I’m okay with this episode. Like you said it has both highs and lows throughout. The big highlight, for me at least, was the interaction between Rarity and Princess Cadance. Now I know that their interaction is super limited but the scenes that they had together put a smile on my face. This is probably in part to Rarity being my favorite pony and Cadance being my favorite Princess. Now you say that there wasn’t much characterization this episode but I have to disagree with you there. This episode showed that Cadance is/was the most down to earth Princess at the time. We see Cadance at the crystal spa with other residents of the Crystal Empire. Perhaps the biggest scene that sets apart Cadance from Celestia and Luna is where her hair gets messed up by Rarity. In that scene we see that Cadance is on the verge of tears upon seeing herself. A way to look at this scene is to imagine what Celestia or Luna’s reactions would be if they were situation. With that in mind you see that Cadance really is just another mare who, just like Twilight later on, became an Alicorn. It’s through her interactions with the Mane 6 that Cadance proves that, if not for her being an Alicorn Princess, she can literally be just another one of the girls.

    A big thing I agree with you on this episode though is my displeasure of it being the episode right before the S3 finale. Talk about a penultimate let down. In my opinion a better penultimate episode would of been “Magic Dual” cause you know, it’s an episode of showcasing Twilight’s growth both from a magic and friendship point of view. “Games Ponies Play and it’s sister episode “Just For Side Kicks” could of easily been placed somewhere else in Season 3’s line up, yet for some reason they were placed at the very end almost as if filler.

  2. Dietz says:

    Like Just for Sidekicks, I think for what it is, this episode is just brilliant.
    The story, development and resolution of the episode is really cliché, but it was just sooo entertaining. It’s too bad that the joke of the false inspector lasts for the entire episode.
    All the Mane 6 have their moments to shine, it was nice to see the Crystal Empire again, and Princess Cadence+Shining Armor in a non two-parters, as side-characters was really enjoyable.
    I loved the bond that this episode create with Just for Sidekicks (I’m a sucker for this kind of sh*t). RD shines once again in this season, we a great but inoticed development for Twilight (calming herself down in a desperate situation), and Rarity was at her best in terms of comedy.
    (Plus, we had RD as a filly, and a Fluttershy/RD handshaking, tehehe)
    So I’d say Games Ponies Play is a good time, no alcohol required.

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