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1528

Wildstar [Review]

Game Review, Reviews, Showcase

June 3, 2014

cover.wildstar.761x1080.2014-03-12.403Not much impresses me in an MMO these days. I’ve been around the block a few times. So why am I writing about Wildstar, from newly formed Carbine Studios? I’m doing it because it has done the unthinkable, it’s surprised me.

Wildstar doesn’t set out to reinvent the wheel; nor should it. Other games have tried and have not been successful. (I’m looking at you, ESO) Just like WoW did with Everquest, it takes what works well and simply polishes it for us. It uses the old “exclamation marks for quests” and a similar kind of quest hub system, but refines it to allow to you to turn in less important quests remotely. You can also easily find out where you need to be without using the map, not even the mini-map: just click on the quest name and a floating arrow will point you in the direction you need to go. (more…)

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1006

Watch_Dogs [Review]

Game Review, Reviews, Showcase

June 3, 2014

originalRemember when there was the rumor going around about Assassin’s Creed heading to the modern (or future) era? The concept of Assassin’s Creed in the 21st or 22nd century, being all bad-ass and high-tech? Well, what if you took that concept and merged it with GTA… does that sound like something you might be into? If so, Watch_Dogs is EXACTLY what you’re looking for.

For some, that endorsement is probably enough to run out and purchase the game if they haven’t done so already.

Quite honestly, I would have fallen into that category myself. When I started following along with the production of Watch_Dogs, I had no idea where it was going. I figured some third-person action title with the ability to manipulate the world around the character, but I didn’t really grasp the scope that Ubisoft was going for. (more…)

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1114

God of Comics on Living Myth Magazine

1191

God of Comics [2014-05-28]

God Of Comics, Reviews

May 29, 2014

[toggle title_open=”Thanks.” title_closed=”Could you give me a list of the comics?” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]This Week: All-New Invaders #5, Aquaman #31, Batman Eternal #3, Catwoman #31, Creepy Scarlet #1, Deadly Class #5, Doctor Spektor #1, Ghostbusters #16, Guardians of the Galaxy #15, Harbinger #23, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #13, Ms. Marvel #4, Nightbreed #1, Shadowman – End Times #2, Southern Bastards #2, Thanos Annual #1, Thief of Thieves #21, Thunderbolts #26, Tomb Raider #4, Trees #1[/toggle]

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962

X-Men: Days of Future Past [Review]

film, Reviews, Showcase

May 28, 2014

 

 

 

 

Interesting Stories. Hollow Characters.

X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-Poster-High-ResA quick disclaimer at the outset: I haven’t read the original Days of Future Past storyline going into this movie, and as such I can’t comment on how accurate it is or is not to the original comic books.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is an odd juxtaposition to the recent Amazing Spider-Man 2. With Spider-Man, the film leaned on the emotional connection and journey of its characters at the expense of a more streamlined pace and story structure. X-Men, however, gives us a very tightly told story, but with little to no engagement of the actual characters. I left the theatre feeling that I had enjoyed both movies – and enjoyed them a great deal – but while the emotions of Spider-Man have stuck with me, X-Men left me feeling a empty the next day.

But here’s the difficult part: Days of Future Past is still very much a solid effort. There is a lot about it that is quite interesting.

To get it out of the way at the outset, the action scenes in Days of Future Past are very well done, especially in the future sections where we see some exhilarating examples of mutant teamwork, our heroes using their powers in combination and unison, clearly practiced and well-trained. And when Quicksilver joins the mix, he gets some of the movie’s most memorable moments to showcase what he can do before being sent home for being in another company’s movie franchise. Or something like that. But believe you me, he is missed for the rest of the film.

The story is based around a great premise about correcting mistakes and what it would take to truly change the course of history, and it is told with a lot of precision. Unfortunately, that precision doesn’t invest in many, or any, of its characters. Days of Future Past is driven by its story, not those who are a part of it. Worse yet, its ancillary characters border on dismissible and interchangeable for the amount that they actually factor into the story. At least half of the future mutants aren’t more than fodder, and that includes all three lines that Halle Berry has as Storm – previously a major role in these films. Academy Award winner Halle Berry. Three lines. Points go to Ellen Page and Shawn Ashmore, who despite being all but irrelevant to the story managed to give the audience something in the future end of the story to care about.

The lion’s share of the film is in the past, or the First Class timeline, and fans of that film will be happy to find that despite the more serious storyline, its quirky retro feel is nicely intact. Hugh Jackman is right at home as Wolverine (although dialed back down to PG mode from last year’s The Wolverine), and James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and the underrated Nicholas Hoult slip right back into their old top notch form. All four do have some great chemistry and that does go a long way. Surprisingly, Jennifer Lawrence was a little underwhelming, which is odd because I really enjoyed her as Mystique in First Class, but here something seems missing.

Oh, and Peter Dinklage, to no one’s surprise, was outstanding.

So how does all of this time travel affect the X-Men universe? Of course, I don’t want to give away any of the fun of the movie’s last five minutes, but I’ll see what I can do:

[toggle title_open=”…” title_closed=”Possible Spoilers…” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]So Bryan Singer walks up to an audience full of X-Men fans, waves his hand slowly in front of their eyes and in his best Alec Guiness voice says: “Only my X-Men movies matter. The Last Stand was not the movie you were looking for.”

Okay maybe that’s stretching things a bit, but I can’t help feeling like that in the back of my mind just a little bit. That said, we do get a big cosmic reset button at the end of the day.[/toggle]

The conclusion of Days of Future Past leaves the X-Men franchise, both modern day and First Class timelines, with a great foundation to leap forward from, and that is something exciting for the future. The film itself, while a little disconnected from its characters, is still creative and interesting and worth a trip to the theatres.

[box]

The Good: The storyline is interesting, the action is dazzling.

The Bad: Characters are either wasted or without development.

The Verdict: Is a totally enjoyable movie, but more interesting in what it sets up going forward.

[/box]

What did you think about X-Men: Days of Future Past? Let us know in the comments below!

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914

Wolfenstein: The New Order [Review]

Game Review, Reviews, Showcase

May 26, 2014

So, last week saw the return of the Third Reich and the Wolfenstein license for the first time since 2009, and ever since I’ve been playing and replaying the game to try and work out exactly how I feel about the return of the franchise, and moreover the first major release from Machine Games.
On the one hand, it’s awesome to see a new studio given a shot on a popular (or once popular) license like Wolfenstein. They had an opportunity to test themselves, carve out a name for their little studio, and break new ground with a familiar face masked over top.

On the other hand, we’re dealing with a franchise with what I would regard as a somewhat checkered past. For some of us, it was bigger than Doom back in the day (I’m referring to myself personally; I definitely spent more time with the original Wolfenstein then I did Doom). But in more recent adaptations it’s gone the route of discount bin knock-off titles. It’s a once glorious franchise that’s relegated itself to sub-par shooters that most will ignore and the rest will quickly forget.

In a similar conflict, I wanted to give these guys the benefit of the doubt. For a first outing, and a new-ish studio, this game should be considered a great success. It doesn’t have any major bugs, it plays solidly, the story is interesting enough, and the game’s pacing and level design are interesting enough to consider this a fully fleshed out game.

But instead of taking a new approach to gaming, developing something entirely new (or at least tweaking the formula of the title to make it their own), at the end of the day it feels a lot more like a mod for Dishonored.

wolftnofinalboxflatpcboxWolfenstein’s gameplay offers a customizable character that you can ‘upgrade’ throughout the game by playing in one of their four core game styles: Stealth, Assault, Demolitions, or Tactical. Each provides a ‘unique’ take on FPS action by letting you make your way through 1960s German-run Europe via sneaking and stabbing, running and gunning, or just lobbing a f*ckton of grenades.

Personally I will always head down the stealth route given the option, thanks to my Metal Gear upbringing, which is why I referenced earlier that this feels a lot like Dishonored.

Sure, there’s no magic abilities that allow you to teleport around, or possess animals … but the way the character moves, the need to be constantly crouching to be in ‘stealth mode’, the way the idle animations deal with holding a blade (or two), all feel exactly like Dishonored. It was a feeling I was never able to shake, try as I might, over several play sessions last week and again this weekend.

To be clear, plenty of people enjoyed Dishonored. It was a well-received game, and it’s not that I’m trying to imply that developers shouldn’t be taking notes on its design to create their own titles … to some level. It’s just that when a new studio comes crashing out of the gate, storied license in hand, you expect something either entirely unique, or utter trash (like the movie tie-in games for example).

A middling example of a game that already exists, and already published by the same label (Bethesda), feels like a massive let down.

Overall, I enjoyed Wolfenstein … but in the same way that I enjoy watching Sylvester Stallone movies these days. There’s a morbid curiosity wrapped in a desire to just muddle through something you don’t need to think too much about.

I will say this for the game’s Dishonored-esque gameplay style though: it feels like it offers a little more variety in how things are approached. In Dishonored it was extremely easy to break the game; leveling up the right stats made you a God by the second level. In Wolfenstein you’ll become better equipped to handle the madness of the Nazi global threat, but you’re still always relying on your own skill at the end of the day.

If you’re looking for a game with an interesting enough B-movie plot line about an alternate history where the Nazis win and carry their victory (via ancient technologies, mechs, and robot dogs), that offers variance in game play ranging from dual-wielding assault rifles, hosing down hallways of ‘ze Germans’, to speedy stealth that will having you tossing out knives from the shadows à la Bullseye, then this is definitely a title worth checking out… I’d probably just wait until it drops another $20.

This review is based on a retail download code provided by the publisher, Bethesda, for the Xbox One.

 

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1234

God of Comics [2014-05-21]

God Of Comics, Reviews

May 22, 2014

[toggle title_open=”Cool.” title_closed=”What comics are you doing this week?” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]This Week: All-New Doop #2, Amazing Spider-Man #2, Amazing X-Men #2, Batman Eternal #7, Batwoman #31, Elektra #2, Harley Quinn #6, Hulk #3, Magneto #4, Magnus Robot Fighter #3, MPH #1, Original Sin #2, Savage Wolverine #19, Solar – Man of the Atom #2, Thor #22, Translucid #2, Uncanny X-Men #21, Unity #7, Velvet #5, Wolverine and the X-Men #4, X-Men #14, X-O Manowar #25[/toggle]

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2860

Lindsey Stirling rocks the Vogue in Vancouver

Music, Reviews

May 21, 2014

lindsey stirlingThere’s something magical about seeing someone caught in the perfect euphoria of doing what they’re supposed to do.

It’s electric; there’s a buzz that fills the crowd and the air, hovering around all of us as we gather to see an icon of the modern age: Lindsey Stirling, violinist, dancer, musician. We arrived an hour before the doors even opened and the line up was already three blocks long, circling around the Vogue Theater in downtown Vancouver.

As the door opened the buzzing grew louder, the line staggered in an effort to control the crowd. The security people were polite, professional, letting everyone know the lay of the land before we ever got to the door. We all knew what was going to happen, and that made getting in simple. No rushing, pushing, or jockeying for position – just quick and excited filing in, we all of us expectant and waiting. (more…)

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3017

The Rewind: The Running Man (1987)

Showcase, The Rewind

May 19, 2014

the-running-man-movie-poster-1987-1020204533THE RUNNING MAN
“The Running Man is a deadly game no one has ever survived.
But… Schwarzenegger has yet to play.”

THE YEAR: 1987
THE DIRECTOR: Paul Michael Glaser
THE WRITER: Steven E. de Souza (screenplay), Stephen King (novel)
THE CAST: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto, Jesse Ventura, Richard Dawson

THE INTRO:
How many directors does it take to transform a Stephen King novel into a science fiction action vehicle for Arnold Schwarzenegger? Five, apparently. Through the years, despite the changes in leadership, The Running Man has remained a classic in Arnold’s catalog. But what happened behind the scenes? And how does the film hold up now?

Well let’s race to the rewind button and see what we find… (more…)

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1260

God of Comics [2014-05-14]

God Of Comics, Reviews

May 18, 2014

[toggle title_open=”I have seen the list and am a better person for the seeing.” title_closed=”Click here to see a list of this week’s comics.” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]This week: Afterlife with Archie #5, All-New Ghost Rider #3, All New Ultimates #2, All-New X-Men #27, Avengers #29, Batgirl #31, Batman Eternal #6, Bloodshot vs. HARD Corps #22, Captain Marvel #3, Future’s End #2, Miss Fury#11, Next Testament #9, Nightcrawler #2, Quantum and Woody #10, Stray Bullets – Killers #3, X #13[/toggle]

(more…)

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