E3 – Star Wars Battlefront 2

This game just looks absolutely amazing but as you know, I’m biased when it comes to Star Wars things so first here’s the main gameplay trailer to let you guys see for yourself.

Alright, so we already got to see a lot of great things really fast such as the showing the different era’s throughout the series and the different heroes we’ll get to see. I was actually really surprised to see that we’ll have heroes mixing in different eras. Having focused so solely on one era through the first game, it was a welcome surprise to see them really open up the possibilities of fights between Darth Maul and Rey or Boba Fett and Yoda. I also love how seamlessly they’re switching their style over to an actual team based shooter in the ways of Battle Points(Which will help you buy Heroes, Vehicles, Speciality Classes and so on.) And in the different classes of Assault(Basic shooter), Heavy(Tank), Specialist(Sniper) and Officer(Support) you really get the feel that working together is the best way to play the new game. They’ve only shown the “Assault on Theed” game mode but I’m sure they’ll announce more as we get closer to the release date of the game itself.

I love that we’ve already seen more planets than we did in the first one which will help it to feel new and fresh. The graphics and sound are still nothing short of perfect and that’s to be expected. I truly think that this will be the Star Wars game we need.

The only thing I’m concerned about is that they said “Free Seasonal DLC” starting with the Last Jedi featuring Finn and Phasma as the new heroes. That sounds great and I love the idea of it…but I’ve been hurt before. I’m still getting the game but I’m waiting to see if EA sticks to that.

Here’s my favorite of thr actual gameplay videos, pay close attention and you can see some of the different abilities that each class and hero can use. There’s two videos from Massive G, one of the clones and one of the droids. Enjoy!

 

Sony’s E3 Letdown

Sony’s 2016 E3 press conference was an amazing experience. The announcements of a new God of War, a new Spider-Man, and Hideo Kojima’s first project apart from Konami were huge. Unfortunately, it would seem those announcements were premature. Not only did Sony fail to announce anything close to the scale of last year’s games, we’ll have to wait nearly another year before we actually get to play any of those big games that made us so excited last year. Sony announced very few new IPs and those that they did announce were either PSVR exclusive titles or were underwhelming in their presentation. Why so much time was dedicated to the PSVR, a device that only a fraction of Playstation owners have, is beyond me, but don’t think I’m not excited for Sony’s support of PSVR. I’d much rather the headset stick around long enough to spawn future iterations than to be stranded on Vita island, but if your coup de grace is going to be gameplay for a game we’ve already seen, followed by an announcement that it isn’t coming out until next year, maybe you ought to spend a little more time on something that the majority of fans can look forward to. The only game with a confirmed release date that isn’t small, a remake, or an expansion that we have to look forward to this year is Days Gone. Days Gone looks good, and maybe I’m being a little nitpicky since Horizon has already cemented itself as Sony’s 2017 flagship game, but why announce games like God of War, and Spider-Man, show gameplay, and not release them for another two years? I think the root of the problem is the leak epidemic in the gaming industry. It’s almost impossible to keep a secret anymore, and thanks to social media, once it’s out, it’s out everywhere. I suppose in a way, I can’t blame Sony for showing all their cards last year. If they hadn’t, it’s probable that someone would have shown them for Sony, and robbed them of what was a truly an incredible conference. From a marketing standpoint, they made the right call last year. No one who knows anything about the industry wasn’t expecting Death Stranding this year, so that doesn’t sting as bad as the others, but I’m left wondering why Sony really needed to go on stage this year. Skyrim VR and Shadow of the Colossus HD, are cool, but where is TLOU2? What happened to Sucker Punch? Why did Sony leave its biggest franchises out to dry without announcing any new ideas? it looks like Sony is done this year, but 2018 looks like a good year to be a Playstation owner.

Thoughts on The Death of the Outsider Announcement

**Minor spoilers for Dishonored to follow**

Anyone who has talked to me for more than ten minutes surely knows of my love for Dishonored. So when I heard that there was an expansion coming to Dishonored 2, I was over the moon. The Expansion, dubbed Death of the Outsider will center around a powered up Billie Lurk trying to do exactly what the title would expect, kill the outsider. The trailer for Death of the Outsider shows Billie Lurk sneaking into a rundown building before taking out a few thugs. Her methods to eliminate the thugs are what really piqued my interest. For anyone not familiar with the universe of Dishonored, the Outsider is the source of all supernatural abilities in the game, meaning that should someone with those abilities target him, he could just as easily take them away. So, to counter this, it would seem that Billie has no supernatural powers but rather cybernetic enhancements that give her a new power set. In the trailer we see her use an electrified sword, a sort of stun pulse, and it’s implied that she can see through walls with her new eye. After eliminating the thugs, she opens a door to Daud, a well-known character to those familiar to the series, and this is where I’m left somewhat disappointed. Let me explain: The backbone of Dishonored’s gameplay is player choice. You choose how to complete your missions; what paths you will take; and most importantly, who lives and who dies. In the first Dishonored you had the choice to either kill or spare Daud. Should you spare him, he promises to quit his life as an assassin and move somewhere far away, never to be seen again. So, In Dishonored 2 when Billie says “No one has seen or heard from Daud for years.” It could apply to either choice, meaning your choices are validated. Now that we know Daud is alive, we are essentially being told that there was a right and wrong choice, that if you chose to kill Daud and take revenge for the empress then you were wrong. I admit there may be another, less concrete explanation. The world of Dishonored is one filled with magic and mysticism after all. Perhaps Daud was brought there by the Outsider whose reach stretches beyond the boundaries of life and death, and could thereby be alive regardless of your choice. I hope this is the case because if not and Daud is simply alive, Arkane has effectively taken the power out of the players’ hands.

Winter Is Coming (GOT S1)

(Major Spoilers for Game Of Thrones season 1)

 

Oh the season that started it all. I had a good friend a few years back (About halfway through Season 4) tell me that Season 1 was his favorite. I asked him why? With so many great scenes from seasons 2 and 3 and in the midst of what is my favorite season, why would 1 be his favorite? And he stopped and he just said “Cause it’s perfect. It’s just done so well as an adaptation for the series.” In all honesty, it’s hard to disagree with him. It’s hard to pick a favorite anyway when each season is filled with epic scenes between some phenomenal characters and just some of the best acting on television. So Let’s get right to it.

We start off with a prologue that won’t have any major closure for literally 18 more episodes. Which is insane but perfectly acceptable for us watching because there’s so many other things to get into. Including, but not limited to : Will one of the Lannisters be my favorite character? Will Daenerys ever have any sort of good luck for longer than two episodes? Will Jaime Lannister eventually become likeable? Can we focus more on Arya? Why is Jon the best? and of course : When will Joffrey Die?!? We have all of these facets of the show answered for us eventually but after having watched Six Seasons it’s still really weird to think of Season 1’s plot because it’s core storyline is : Eddard Stark tries to figure out how Jon Arryn died, Daenerys Targaryen tries to come to terms with her new life as Khaleesi, Tyrion Lannister is trying to find his way back to King’s Landing, Jon Snow is the new guy at the Wall, Arya is learning how to use a sword and We all hate Sansa. Hmm, now think of where all of those characters are now. It’s so different to think of who’s been gone and who we actually love to watch now versus some characters that we couldn’t stand in earlier seasons.

This show became a powerhouse of a success pretty quickly. It was renewed for a second season almost instantly and has since then garnered millions of followers and multiple awards and it’s not hard to see why. From the engrossing political intrigue to the wild fantasy elements this show revealed that it was going to be something different from the very first episode and the theme of staying alive by being smart is one that’s still relevant in the latest episodes.

Favorite Episode : “A Golden Crown”

This episode was really when the show took off. By this time we know all of the core characters very well and between Tyrion’s Trial By Combat and That finale of Drogo killing Viserys was our first example of if you’re stupid, you’re going to die. Viserys is an arrogant fool who dies solely because of his offensive and agressive nature. But agression without intelligence leads to death…which continues the theme.

Favorite Scene : Cersei and Robert

This was one of my favorite scenes cause it allowed to see the power of the show. This was a scene that was never even mentioned in the book and yet it just does a perfect job of explaining Robert and Cersei’s relationship and their purpose to the rest of the show.

Favorite Quote : Bran : “Can a Man be brave if he’s afraid?”

Eddard : “That’s the only time a man can be brave.”

I know it’s a fairly cheesy line but I’ve always loved this advice from Father to Son. It truly showed Eddard’s characterization very quickly and was a great example of his love for his family.

Most Shocking Moment : The Steps Of Baelor

This was when we knew that no one was safe. Ned’s death was the ultimate shocking moment for us because we all thought he was going to get out of it somehow. How could they kill off the main character? How would the show continue?

Well we’ll get more to that here next week for season 2.

#40 – Daredevil

Some heroes fight because of the tragedy surrounding them, Some fight because of Necessity but Daredevil’s always been different because he never stops fighting to save Hell’s Kitchen. As Matt Murdock, he became a lawyer and works to clean up crime using the full ability of the legal system but sometimes he has to do things that a courtroom can’t. That’s where Daredevil comes in.

Blinded by a chemical spill as a boy, Matt learned how to see using his other four sense which were heightened to a superhuman extent. He’s described how he sees in different ways in the comics but my personal favorite comes from the Netflix series where he describes it as “Seeing a World on Fire.” This isn’t just a cool visual, this is also how Matt sees the world around him and feels like he’s the only one that can do something about it. Major Hero Complex going on and it gets him in trouble quite a bit but that’s one of the reasons I love him as a character.

I love that Matt wants to be heroic no matter what. He chooses to fight in the legal system long before he becomes Daredevil and I think that’s why I like him so much. He won’t ever stop fighting no matter what and it’s because of this want to make things right for the city he loves.

Now obviously we have seen Daredevil in a few different forms of media but one of them was a film that was pretty horrendous. Affleck wasn’t terrible as Matt but he wasn’t great and the rest of the film was pretty awful anyways. We didn’t get to see a great version of Matt Murdock until 2015’s Netflix Series. This version did a great job of mixing the legal stuff with the heroics of the character.

Overall Daredevil is one of Marvel’s best because he chooses to keep fighting no matter what. There’s never going to be a point where Matt willingly stops helping people and that’s why he’s on my top 50.

“It’s about what you believe” Wonder Woman Review(Spoiler Free)

If you didn’t know, this film would’ve had a very special place in my heart no matter what. My mother was one of the biggest wonder woman fans I ever knew and I knew that she would’ve been so excited for this movie. Unfortunately she passed away a little over two years ago but it’s her memory and love that keeps me going and allows me to carry on as a writer. So knowing that, know that everything I’m about to say was me attempting to be critical but also coming from my heart.

Wonder Woman is, without a doubt, the most important superhero movie to come out since The Avengers, and possibly the most important ever. In the same way that the Avengers showed us the power of having multiple stars in one giant franchise coming together to form something great, this one shows us that we can have strong female characters in lead roles. My good friend and I were talking before the film and he said “If they screw up with Batman or Superman, they’ll still try again later. But if they screw up with Diana, we’re not gonna see her again for a while. That’s what makes me nervous.” When he came out of the theater as I was going in, he had tears in his eyes and I knew we were in for a ride.

The basic story is that Diana lives on an Amazonian Island called Themyscira, it’s a beautiful paradise where there are there are only Women. Diana wants to train to be the greatest warrior ever and when a man washes ashore on the run from Germans during World War I, Diana realizes that she can’t stand while innocent lives are being taken.

From there, we get to see Gal Gadot absolutely shine as Wonder Woman throughout the entire film. Taking absolute control of a scene in No Man’s Land that is one of the most powerful I’ve ever seen in a film. Her strength and love just shine off of her in every scene and it’s no wonder why everyone loves her. Her reactions to the horrors of war make you really feel for her, they don’t shy away from the fact that this war hurt millions of lives even without killing them and it’s Diana’s counter of love that makes everything better. Her ability to handle the action as well as the personal character moments make her performance the shining light that we need in modern day films.

Chris Pine does a very good job as Steve Trevor bringing a gravity to his character that sometimes the comics kind of forget about. And he brings out my favorite part of this film : Neither of our heroes needed a big tragedy to push them forward. Now, I’m not taking anything away from Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne or anyone else but I just loved that we had ultimately altruistic people on the screen without anyone questioning why they wanted to do what was right.

Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta and Robin Wright as Antiope both do exceptionally well as the mother and trainer of Diana. Both of them do great as different mentors for the princess and they really carry the opening of the film very well. My only issue is that after about the first 40 minutes or so, we don’t get to see them again but that might change with the sequel.

I personally didn’t have a single complaint about the film but the group I was with did think that the main villain was underwhelming but I personally thought the actor brought forth the gravitas that was needed for the character and I thought it worked well for the storyline. I did agree that the final battle drug just a little bit too long but it wasn’t too bad and honestly that’s a small complaint for a film as good as this. At first I was hesitant about them making Wonder Woman into a period piece but I honestly don’t think they could’ve done any better because it fits so well into the core storyline which I can’t talk about without spoiling too much but just trust me that it works.

Overall, this film is just exceptional and gave me a newfound hope for DC Films, I’m not sure if we can save Justice League but hopefully DC and Warner takes a look at what works in here and just runs with it. You need to go see this movie because it’s about as close to perfect for Wonder Woman as you can get.

#41 – Poison Ivy

Pamela Isley was one of those Batman villains that you could always understand due to their psychological state. I’ve never actually seen Ivy as mentally insane in the same way that Mr. Freeze isn’t insane. Both of these characters do everything just because of a singular drive…Just like Batman himself.

Isley’s origin has changed a few different times over the years but most of the origins involve her being a botanist and due to one of her college professors experimenting on her she becomes Poison Ivy. She had already had a deep love for her plants but after her transformation it became an obsession for her.

My personal favorite Poison Ivy story in the comics is the No Man’s Land/Gotham Central storyline. After a massive earthquake nearly destroys all of Gotham, Ivy takes residence in a park and takes in a group of kids that have all been orphaned due to the earthquake. She watches over them and teaches them how to cultivate the land and grow food for the people of Gotham. Following a fight with Clayface and the city being restored, Batman decides to let the kids stay with Ivy. A few months later, one of them is killed and Ivy takes her revenge on the crooked cops who did it. Poison Ivy always works best as a fellow protector of Gotham in my opinion. She’s technically a villain but she’s much more of an anti-hero to me.

Which leads me to my final point and why she’s on this list. In Batman : Arkham Knight Ivy is one of the earlier villains you apprehend but she’s different due to her refusal to work with Scarecrow on his big plan to ruin Gotham. When scarecrow does release his toxin it’s Ivy who chooses to make the ultimate sacrifice. By merging with an ancient tree beneath Gotham she is able to disperse the toxin and return clean air to the city. The strain is too much for her though but she died a hero with the unforgettable last words : “Nature Always Wins.”

Poison Ivy will always be one of my favorites because no matter what she does she always has a heart for the outcasts and downtrodden. Which is why she’s relatable and why she’s on my top 50.