Fandom Review

Nintendo

Nintendo has announced that they’ll be releasing the SNES Classic and has already said that they’ll be putting more systems out this time then last year’s NES Classic which was considered almost impossible to find due to them putting out less than 3 million units. Considering the Switch sold more than that in it’s first month you would think that they would’ve put more out. Bottom line, hopefully they can learn from their mistakes this time around.

The controller cord will be longer and there will be 21 games for it including The Legend Of Zelda : A Link To The Past, Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country and the previously unreleased Star Fox 2.

Dynasty Warriors

I absolutely love the Dynasty Warriors series. I love the history of the stories it’s based on, I love the over the top action and I love the wild, outrageous characterizations of some of histories most powerful generals. This looks phenomenal and I can’t wait to see what they do with the series on a modern day console.

Marvel/Sony

Well it appears that sony has no idea what they’re doing. The recently announced films of Venom and Silver and Black have been confirmed as having no connections to the MCU…which is pretty stupid in my opinion but then again, I’m not a producer for either company. I personally think that Sony can give us a good film but it doesn’t make sense for them to not continue along with Marvel. The merger giving us Spider-Man in Civil War helped to make it into one of the best films of 2016.

We’ll still have to wait and see but I do worry about what this means for Spider-Man films in the long-term. I do love Tom Hardy as Venom and I think he’ll give us a great performance…I would just love for that performance to be alongside Tom Holland.

Meanwhile the Producer of Marvel Studios has announced that the sequel to Spider-Man : Homecoming will be the only film confirmed for Phase 4 until after Infinity War. Supposedly the sequel will be the perfect film to lead us into the future of Marvel following the insanity of Infinity War.

Han Solo

And our final story gives us huge, unfortunate news coming from the set of the Han Solo film. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have left the project due to “Creative Differences” which is the fanciest way to say “I don’t like them anymore” ever.

This does worry me a bit due to Lord and Miller alway appearing very laid back and easy to work with during interviews. Was Lucasfilm that difficult to work for?

According to different sources, The duo have said that they felt like they had no creative freedom with this film and that there was no chance for what they wanted to do with it. There were rumors about the Rogue One reshoots being very similar but overall it was said that Gareth Edwards was still proud of the final product(and he absolutely should be.)

Kathleen Kennedy and Lawrence Kasdan have come out and said that Lord and Miller would film 2 or 3 camera setups on one scene when they could have easily done the 10 to 15 that the studio wanted for editing purposes. Supposedly, Lord and Miller listened but didn’t follow through. Naturally, this is all hearsay from a few different sources but the bottom line is that they’re out and now Ron Howard has stepped in to finish shooting the film which is still scheduled to come out in May.

Also, apparently they’ve hired a acting coach for Alden Ehrenreich. This is a very odd choice to do this late in production but at least they’re trying to fix the problems.

So the real questions are will Lord and Miller return to filming The Flash? Will Han Solo be a disjointed mess? And will Ehrenreich’s performance be so flip floppy that we won’t even be able to focus on the good parts? Hopefully all good things will come to fruition soon.(I.E. Apparently Rian Johnson and Lucasfilm got along great during The Last Jedi so that’s great!)

#38 – Star-Lord

I actually didn’t plan to have two Guardians of the Galaxy back to back but it works.

Peter Quill is one of those characters that changed a lot due to the films but I think it works very well for his character.

After losing his mother at a young age, Peter Quill is whisked away to the stars and becomes a pilot and smuggler all across the galaxy. His cavalier approach to situations is probably why I love him as a character. He always seems so calm and cool even if his own ship is blowing up around him. There’s never a point where you think that this is actually the end of Star-Lord.

The true core of his character comes from the love he has for those around him. Both him and Rocket put on these brave faces but when it ultimately comes down to it they just want to hang on to this new family they’ve found. A lot of times Quill can come off as a jerk but ultimately he has one of the biggest hearts around and that’s what makes him such a great character.

Of course we can’t mention him without talking Chris Pratt’s great performance and the wonderful addition of the classic rock songs. Honestly, together this all brought Star-Lord to the forefront of the company and it’s worked wonders for them.

The War Of Five Kings (GOT S2)

Season 2 of Game Of Thrones was a very interesting mix because it does have one of my favorite episodes but I do believe it to be the weakest season of the series.

Now, this isn’t a bad thing, it’s certainly not a bad season. It’s just that in comparison to the introductions of Season 1, the heartrending moments of Season 3, the character moments of Season 4, the scale of Season 5 or the new ground of Season 6 then it’s kinda hard to compare.

For those of us that were upset about the lack of battles in the first season, the second season more than makes up for it in the epic ninth episode : “Blackwater.” Which covers the battle of Blackwater Bay between The Lannister forces and Stannis Baratheon. It’s phenomenal by itself but it’s the exceptional lead-up to the episode that makes the season worth it in my opinion. Tyrion is clearly the lead character of this season and it’s because he’s the only one that can keep everyone alive in King’s Landing. His command of the army and his plan for defeating the navy is what saves the day…even though he gets no recognition for it at all.

Other characters like Jon and Arya find themselves in very different surroundings than what we saw for them in the first season. Jon being beyond the wall and ending up with a group of wildlings and Arya just trying to get out of Harrenhal alive. This actually leads to some of my favorite scenes in this season with Arya becoming Tywin’s cupbearer and trying to avoid them finding out who she really is. Jon’s story has some great moments but really they’re all just lead-up to his great story progression in Seasons 3 and 4.

Unfortunately the bad parts of this season are that Daenerys, Bran and Sansa basically just have the worst luck ever. Granted, Sansa basically ended up there herself but Bran couldn’t really do anything and Daenerys’ story is just sadness after sadness until she gets her Dragons back in the last episode. But it all works out for her cause season 3 basically belongs to her.

Favorite Episode : Blackwater

How could this not be the best episode? From the scale of thr battle to the character moments between Bronn and Sandor, Tyrion’s Speech to the troops or even Cersei’s story to Tommen. This was the episode that truly proved that this was going to go down as one of the greatest shows of all time.

Favorite Scene/Favorite Quote : The Riot.

This might seem like an odd choice but it’s genuinely one of my favorite. From Tyrion realizing exactly what’s about to happen, to Sandor saving Sansa and then of course, the most perfect quote : Tyrion : “We’ve had vicious kings, we’ve had idiot kings but we’ve never been cursed with a vicious idiot for a king.”

Joffrey : “You’re talking to a king!”

Tyrion slaps him and then : “Now I have struck a king! Did my hand fall from my wrist?!”

Just perfection.

Most Shocking MomentThree Blasts for White Walkers.

The grand finale for season two had to be the most shocking moment. Knowing that The White Walkers were finally heading south in force was one of the biggest shocks to all of us. Even those who had read the books were surprised because this scene actually takes place at the beginning of Book 3…which, of course we’ll get into in my Season Three retrospective : “The Rains Of Castamere.”

#39 – Rocket Raccoon

Rocket’s always been a fun character but until recently he’s always been a character that wasn’t necessarily a joke but almost too strange of a concept to work. Of course, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, James Gunn and Marvel Studios all helped to change that fact in recent years. There’s been two origins for Rocket cause in one he’s from a planet of anthropomorphic animals including a walrus named Wal-Russ and in the other he was a gentic experiment, which is the one we see in the films. I actually prefer the latter because it adds a bit of adversity to his character. He’s not someone who’s a perfect hero, instead he’s someone who’s overcome the challenges that were set before him.

Rocket’s actually a very sympathetic character due to the experimentation because just like he says to Drax in the first film “He didn’t ask to become this thing, to be put back together again and again.” It’s a great moment for someone who’s typically so hard-headed and ready to fight to have this rather emotional delivery of these lines that explain why he is the way he is.

Rocket really grew for me in the second film and I love that he ends up admitting that he loves the other Guardians because they’re his real family.

Rocket’s not only someone you’d want with you in a fight, he’s also just a good friend to have by your side.

Why Sony’s Crossplay Stance is Unacceptable

Recently it was announced that Rocket League and Minecraft would soon be cross-play compatible between the PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It’s not terribly surprising that Sony was left out of this conversation seeing as the Playstation is currently the world’s best selling console and there’s really no gain to be had in including players who don’t have it. While this reasoning is disappointing and a little unsatisfactory, it makes sense. Why would Sony, who is winning the console sales race by a mile, slow down game production to invest an unknown amount of time and money into making their console only slightly more appealing to an only slightly larger demographic? Had that been the reasoning given, we would’ve been upset, but the actual reasoning as given to the public is truly unacceptable and detrimental to the gaming community as a whole. Wesley Yin-Pool of Eurogamer recently interviewed Sony marketing head, Jim Ryan, in order to get to the bottom of Sony’s self-imposed isolation. The following paragraph is an exert from the interview explaining Sony’s stance on the matter:

Yeah. We’ve got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base. Minecraft – the demographic playing that, you know as well as I do, it’s all ages but it’s also very young. We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe. Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it’s something we have to think about very carefully.

So there you have it. Sony believes cross-platform play to be a potentially dangerous idea. We essentially got a businessed-up version of “Think of the children!” And from this statement, there are two assumptions that can be made. The first is Sony believes their community to be of a higher caliber than that of the other consoles. I guess they can’t see all the toxic players I’ve reported from way up on their high horse. The second assumption is that Sony believes Nintendo and Microsoft to be incapable of managing their own communities. Sony believes the company that invented the umpty-seven digit long “friend code”, a long code required to add friends and message players, put into place to prevent kids from being harassed online, cannot manage its own community.

Even if Sony doesn’t feel this way, and this whole statement was cooked up to make them look more sympathetic for making a smart business move, these comments can easily be read as incredibly stuck up and will damage the community. The gaming community is already fractured with terms like “console war” and “fanboy” thrown out regularly, and Sony blocking cross-play, preventing that unification, and doing so in such a seemingly pretentious manner will only widen that rift. Perhaps someday Sony will change their mind and instead of being Playstation players or Xbox players, we can all just be gamers.

E3 – Kingdom Hearts

First, I’ll let the trailer speak for itself!

Now then, AHHH! It’s finally on it’s way! Every Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer is effectively that M&M Christmas commercial with us saying “It does exist!” This trailer shows us some gameplay mixed with a few story beats as well. This isn’t a spin-off and there’s no side characters here. It’s Sora, Donald and Goofy facing off against the Heartless again. After 12 years and 6 spin-offs since the last core game in the series it’s high time for an actual sequel. I’m excited to see how the gameplay has advanced in such a way and I can’t wait to see the possibility of Marvel and Star Wars being added to the worlds.

The story looks interesting even though we don’t see much, but the the fact that Sora’s trying to bring Roxas back and that Xemnas is giving him advice isn’t really a great sign.

The Level Design and graphics that we see for Olympus looks great and I’m really excited to see that next trailer and find out what the new world is going to be.

Super Mario Odyssey Impressions

It’s been seven years since the release of Super Mario Galaxy 2. In that seven years we haven’t gotten another large scale 3D Mario game, so super Mario Odyssey has a lot to live up to. Fortunately for us, It seems Odyssey will not only live up to, but exceed all expectations. As the title implies, Odyssey will take players on a globe-trotting adventure across various environments and challenges. The environments showcased appeared as diverse as they were exciting. As interesting as the various settings are, it was Cappy that stole the show for me. Cappy serves as Mario’s new hat and travel companion. Much like Luma in the galaxy series, Cappy comes with a slew of new mechanics that will make Odyssey a truly unique experience. You’d never imagine that there would be so many uses for throwing a hat. When you throw Cappy, you can have him hover in front of you for a time, so should you need an extra jump to cross a gap, throw Cappy and use him as a little extra bounce. Of course, along with his navigational abilities, Cappy can be used offensively. When thrown, Cappy has limited homing abilities so he can find enemies within his range, but things really get interesting. One of two things can happen when Cappy hits an enemy. The first is obvious. The enemy explodes into a poof of coins or other collectibles. The second possibility is much stranger. Upon Cappy making contact with an enemy, NPC or even certain inanimate objects, Mario can choose to possess whatever was hit. Possessing a bullet bill allows you to fly as they can. Possessing a power line turns you into electrcity for faster traversal. according to Kenta Motokura, the game’s creative director, theres a wide variety of subjects to possess and ways to use them. Even more exciting than the seemingly limitless possibilities that Super Mario Odyssey provides, is knowing that it’s currently slated for an October 2017 release. Between that and Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle, fall 2017 is a good time to be a Switch owner.

E3 – Nintendo

Nintendo basically won E3 in my opinion, we saw some cool things from Bethesda, Sony and the rest but Nintendo just had the highlights of the event. They literally gave us everything we wanted from ports of some great games like Rocket League and Skyrim but we also got to see some new additions to the switch’s catalog such as Xenoblade Chronicles 2,  Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle and Super Mario Odyssey. Since I know nothing about Xenoblade Chronicles 2(Although it does look pretty awesome so maybe I need to hop on that train.) and since the other two have already been covered by Carter I’ve decided to go over the remaining games from what I thought was the best showcase of E3.

Pokemon

So they told us nothing besides the fact that there is a core RPG Pokemon game coming for the switch which is huge! Whereas we’ve had spin-offs like Pokemon Coliseum, Pokemon Snap  and Pikachu’s Pokepark we never had an actual core Pokemon on a home console cause they’ve always been Handhelds. Even though they didn’t show anything for it, the announcement is more than enough to get fans excited.

Metroid

Metroid Prime is widely considered to be an epic of a game series and I think that it’s a perfect time to bring Samus back with the push of strong female characters in modern media like Rey, Black Widow and Wonder Woman being so prominent. I still need to beat the first three but I’m excited to see what they can do with this series on the Switch.

So here we’re getting a return to the side scrolling roots of Metroid and I think it looks great. The gameplay looks polished and the graphics are updated to maintain the scale of the prime series and yet it still looks like classical Metroid.

Overall, I’m very excited for both of these games. Although the series never grabbed me like Legend Of Zelda or Mario did, this could definitely get me to become a Metroid fan.

Kirby

Look! Look upon this perfection and despair for Kirby is the bringer of oblivion! Seriously though, This looks fantastic from the bright graphics to the co-op platforming gameplay. I just can’t say enough good things about this game and I’m so ready for it!

Yoshi

Well apparently 2018 is the year of the adorable co-op platformers. Like Kirby Switch before it Yoshi Switch looks just stunning from a visual standpoint and I can’t wait to see what they can bring to the table with this one.

Legend Of Zelda

When I first heard DLC for a Zelda game, I was a little apprehensive due to my traditional thoughts of “How do you add to a Zelda game that’s the biggest they’ve ever done?” Well this is how you do it. More Trials, More Armor and more abilities in The Master Trials and then The Champions Ballad doesn’t show a whole lot but I’m sure we’ll more about that as we get closer to it. It does give a great visual of some different characters from the game so maybe we can play as them or something like that. Either way, more Legend Of Zelda is always a good thing. 

Fire Emblem

I just can’t wait for this game. I loved the Dynasty Warriors series and I loved Hyrule Warriors so this one just makes perfect sense. I’m a big of the series but I’ve only played 4 of the games and haven’t gotten around to Fire Emblem Fates yet so I didn’t know most of the characters shown here but I love Chrom and Marth and I’m hoping for additions of characters like Ricken, Kellam, Panne, Ike, Sothe, Soren, Lyn and Eirika.

The only disappointment to me is that with the game coming out so soon why don’t we see any gameplay here but that might just be me nitpicking. Bottom line is that I can’t wait to have this game.

Overall 

Like I said, Nintendo won E3. They won us over by showing us that there are great things on the horizon for us as gamers. I’ll be getting a switch as soon as I can now cause I’m definitely ready for the next year of games.

Overwatch May be Dropping a New Hero Next Week

Yesterday it was confirmed that the Horizon Lunar Colony Overwatch map would go live on Tuesday, June 20, but according to some fans, that’s not all that will be dropping. The speculation began in one of Jeff Kaplan’s Developer updates where he told the Overwatch community that there was new hero news “on the horizon.” Just a figure of speech? Perhaps. But more than likely, he was literally referring to the Horizon Lunar colony, and since its been live on the PTR, the Overwatch crew has been dropping hint after hint. The first hint was in a map of the colony tweeted out by the Overwatch official twitter page. The map showed a list of names and numbers of the various test subjects on the base, all of which were accounted for except for two. The first of these is Winston, everyone’s favorite monkey scientist tank. The second however is an unfamiliar name: Hammond. According emails posted to Atlas News, the fictional news outlet that Blizzard uses to introduce lore and drop hints of future content, Hammond may still be on the base. Of the emails published, there are two that strike me as relevant to our new hero. The first’s subject line reads “Ventilation System Inspection” and refers to strange sounds coming from the ventilation shafts. The second has a subject line that reads “Have You Seen Me?” Sent by Dr. Zhang, this email mentions that Hammond was gone from his cage and seemingly no one knew where he went. There are two details that can be gleamed from the second email. The first is that Hammond went missing at least a week before the apes went nuts and killed the scientists. The second, and most important detail is that he is smaller than a gorilla. In the second have of the email, Dr. Zhang laments about having a smaller test subject than the rest of the gorillas. So we’re left to speculate what Hammond may be. The most obvious and logical answer is that Hammond is a chimp. It would make sense for scientists testing gene therapies to use chimps as well as gorillas in their experiments. A chimp would also be considerably smaller than a gorilla. Perhaps even small enough to fit in ventilation shafts without much trouble. My personal hope is a little bit stranger. In a recent AMA on reddit, Jeff Kaplan was asked about heroes that were drafted but didn’t quite make it into the game. In his response he mentions a cat with a jetpack that the team ultimately decided was too “out there” for the game. Now, I for one would love a jetpack cat, and I wouldn’t see it as any stranger than a hyper-intelligent gorilla or a robotic monk, but I digress. As much as I hope for the rise of Jetpack Cat, Hammond is more than likely a chimp. A chimp that, if a recent 4chan leak is accurate, will serve as a utility based support with the ability to erect various shaped barriers by deploying anchor points around the map. We won’t know for sure until he launches, but if Jeff’s hint is any indicator, I imagine that at the very least we’ll get an official announcement, if not a PTR launch next Tuesday.

Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle and its Huge Implications

Like most gamers, I’m sure when you think of quality entertainment, one name comes to mind: Rabbids. Or at least it may after this August. Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle is my favorite new game announced this year. Developed by Ubisoft, MRKB sports some seriously intriguing RPG combat. Each of the eight playable characters brings his/her own powers, weapons, and abilities to the table. Combat is turn based and combat zones are marked off by flags so you know when a battle is about to begin. Some of the strategies showcased during the demo included destroying cover to reveal enemies, using teammates to boost your movement during your turn, and employing special character abilities to gain an edge over your opponents. It seems almost like X-COM meets Worms, which is a combo I am more than ok with. The most exciting thing about this game though, is not the game itself, but rather the implications that come with it. I mentioned earlier that this game was developed by Ubisoft, which is an unprecedented level of cooperation on Nintendo’s part. It isn’t unheard of for Nintendo to collaborate with third party studios. The most notable example of this collaboration is the Smash Bros series, on which, Nintendo has collaborated with Namco, Sega, and even Konami. What makes MRKB so unique us that this is the first game bearing the Mario name that Nintendo allowed another studio to develop in its entirety. Nintendo is historically stingy with their characters, and who can blame them after the development of productions like the Super Mario movie and TV show. Nintendo opening up and allowing other developers access to their characters could be exactly what they need to freshen up their games. For instance, earlier today Metroid Prime 4 was announced and that is a game that could benefit from the creative vision of a new studio. Personally I’m pulling for Visceral, a studio best known for their work on the Dead Space series, to try their hand at a Metroid title. Whoever is developing the new Metroid, the future of Nintendo collaborations rests heavily on the success of Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle.